A Couple Of Questions About Modern Deck / Truck / Wheel Setups vs. Mid 80's
  • Having recently gotten back into skating, I have been catching myself up on the modern board setups vs. when I skated ( '83 - '90 ). I have a few questions that I was hoping someone could give me a logical answer to.

    1) How on earth does anyone skate anywhere but a clean, smooth skatepark with the tiny, rock - hard wheels that are popular now? These tiny wheels are impossible to skate any normal terrain without having to run off your board or ollie / avoid every pebble or concrete expansion joint you run into.
    2) Did skaters shrink since the 80's? All the decks are smaller than even the mini's I rode for street back in the day. I understand the idea's behind the popsicle shape and double kick design, but the size makes no sense to me unless you are a small kid or an emaciated teen.
    3) Why are folks not using rails on boards any longer? Does anyone use skid plates to stretch out the life of a deck anymore? Is there a honest, common sense reason for the non - use of these accessories any longer? I can understand not using copers or nose guards ( they are pretty useless ), but rails and skids made sense for a kid on a budget.
    4) What happened to risers? Even a 1/8" riser will theoretically keep your board from snapping sooner than later by acting as an impact absorber / grommet for the truck / deck / mounting holes in the deck area.

    I am not trying to be an old crank. I am genuinely interested in why the skaters have their boards setup the way they are. I own a small manufacturing company and find this very interesting.
  • 53mm wheels don t fight it !! RICTA SPEEDRINGS ARE THE BEST ! 8.25x32.5 deck I am an old skater from 1974 still skatin " lighter faster -easier for old men !!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • As I remember, the larger the wheel, the faster and more stable the ride. Am I wrong on this?
  • I use to always skate the 60mm SPF wheels, because I thought the were faster, I was wrong.  I just bought a set of 56mm SPF and I go faster and grinding is way easier.  I agree with you about all the small decks, the smallest I will ride is an 8.5.  

    I have two decks, one for park and one for street.  My park deck is a Flip Lance Mountain Vato (it's 9 wide) with indy 149's and 56mm SPF wheels.

    For street and cruising I keep it old school, Cab Chinese Dragon reissue, indy 159's and black Rat Bones 85a.  I love those rat bones, smooth on anything, and you can powerlside.  I have rails on my Chinese Dragon, because I like to play around on parking curbs.


  • 1. it's easy
    2. times have changed
    3.rails only purpose is to really just slide so waste of money when u can just go really fast and slide
    4. risers are really only for wheels 55mm and up but no matter what u will still get wheelbite
  • Unless you tighten your trucks really tight. I never liked loose trucks, I never dealt with wheel bite.

    I've always been fond of 60mm wheels, very hard. But I also push with my front foot, so basically everything I have ever done has been opposite from the norm. That's the beauty of skating, there is no standard.
  • i like bigger wheels, bigger boards, ride rails (no tail guard tho!), and have risers. so... i don't know ;). 
  • Chris - thank god, there's another mongo pusher out there!! I have two setups going at the moment..one with 1/2 inch risers, rails and tailbone, 60mm wheels, mini totem for skating hills. The other is for the park, 8.5 wide, 56mm wheels with 1/8 soft risers, no plastics. I mainly skate the mini ramp and board and noseslides on a spine. Don't really see the need for rails on this one, the graphics pretty slick and I'm sliding on metal so I get better feel without them
  • OK. It seems a logical answer is not to be found to my questions. Funny thing, one my neighbors kids has been skating around our subdivision with a new board. I was skating back in from skating some parking lots when she saw me. She asked me if I could show her how to turn easier. I got on her board and was amazed at how rough the ride was even on decent asphalt. I asked her if she wanted to try out some new wheels and she said sure. I took her stock, hard as a rock, mini wheels off and mounted a set of random 85a, 60mm wheels I had laying around. Within ten minutes she was doing frontside and backside turns no problem. She kept saying how much easier the board was to ride. I told her if she liked them, they were hers to keep. Nice kid and I was glad to help. I look at it like playing guitar. There is a reason that guitar manufacturers string their new guitars with lighter gauge strings. They are easier on your fingers to fret and bend until you build up some callous. If you strung a new electric with heavy gauge strings, you would have many more folks quitting due to the difficulty of playing those strings. I see a correlation with the small, hard wheels that are the current favored product vs. a softer, wider wheel that I started out with. I am not saying Krypto 85's were the shit ( they were not ). But they did make it easier and more enjoyable to skate everywhere while I learned the basics. I feel that common sense has given way to forgoing everything in search of  weight savings.
  • JUST SKATE !
  • 1) Wheels - Bones STF in 54 mm or so is the perfect wheel for any terrain.  Lighter, thinner wheels offer more overall control for technical tricks.  If I'm skating a rough terrain (Landsdowne) I might use a softer wheel, but not bigger.  Yes, a bigger wheel should have less roll resistance and as a result will go faster - so they are certainly appropriate if going fast in a big bowl is your cup of tea.

    My kids started out with small wheels, but they were quality wheels with quality bearings - they roll just fine.  Maybe the child you helped was riding a Walmart board?

    2) Deck sizes - i think you're off on this one actually.  I have an old school full size Hawk in my collection.  It's shorter than a small 8" wide popsicle.  Wider - yes - but not longer.  My foot wants to fly off the front when ollieing on old boards.  Also, you can find any shape and size.  Most pros ride 8.5's nowadays, which for me is the perfect old man size.

    3) Rails - straight up, I used them to keep my graphic pretty.  Now that I don't care about that, I only use them if it's a 'for show' board - like a reissue cruiser.  If you like rails, they still sell them.  I could see the practicality for certain things, and no one will be down on you for using them.  They just aren't as popular.  In terms of tail guards - they sap your board of 'pop' (my opinion).  Also, decks are $50 nowadays, which is about $20 in 1985 dollars - so if your tail razors, you just buy a new one.  I find a deck passes it's usable life in other areas before tail wear becomes an issue.

    4) Risers - It's a preference thing.  I use a little Dookie shock pad and I'm good to go.  Technical tricks require a lower center of gravity - it feels more stable to be lower to the ground.  Same concept as the wheels.  I don't know if they help with shock absorption or not, but again, decks are more disposable.  And the saying you will hear everyone say is that "I landed bolts" - that's the mark everyone shoots for.  Land bolts and your board doesn't snap.

    At the end of the day, you're old, I'm old - we look weird at the skatepark any way you slice it.  Ride what you like!  Everything you're used to is still available for sale - companies makes big wheels, big risers, and rails.  Tail plates are also out there, but a little more scarce.  Skate or die!


  • Thanks for the detailed feedback. I just picked up a set of the Oval Dragon and Skull and Sword wheels. Smaller wheels, but with 90A hardness. I figure this is a good compromise to try out some smaller wheels. The neighbor girls deck was a Birdhouse as I remember. Don't know where she got it from. I am currently riding four different boards to try to find the combo I am going to go with. I modded a Cab Dragon and Bats with a front kick, a Flip Mountain Vato stock, a Cab Guitar Dragon with the concave sanded down a bit and a Elephant Street Axe just for a change of pace.
  • goofy foot ??
  • No, I skate regular I just push off with my front foot and leave my back on the board, heel on the tail, toes above the rear truck. It's kind of strange, I've never seen anybody else push like that.
  • Yup, that's a unique way to do it alright
  • My first board was some shitty toys r us complete back in 85, think Valterra knock off. The truck bushings were so stiff the trucks were either tight as hell or so loose you couldn't stand. So, not being able to turn, I adopted that style so I could lift the front truck and turn while pushing. It just became my style, and to this day I ride really tight trucks. I've split bushings I tighten them up so much. I can't skate on loose trucks.
  • I learned how to push mongo first (that's what it's called), way back when.  After doing it for a year I realized no one else did, so I learned to push standard.  It was helpful because we skated *everywhere*, sometimes for miles to hit a spot.  So if one leg got tired, I switched to the other!
  • Ambidextrous pushing. Brilliant! We to had to skate miles to hit most any spot. You could get pretty worn by the time you actually got somewhere to skate.
  • Yea, now that you said it I remember it being called mongo. Like you I eventually learned to switch it up, but I still feel more comfortable that way.

  • I mentioned it was called mongo on this thread a few days ago - must not have clicked first time
  • LOL. I just went back and read it, when you posted it I totally missed it, or like you said it didn't click. I tend to drift off a lot, too much drug use back in the day I guess.
  • Haha I know what you mean..weed robbed me of a decent memory
  • My dad said it best the other day....as I am a product of the drug fueled "hippy" parents.  We were talking about the random things we have done to our bodies and how it's catching up to us.  

    Dad: Back in the day we would smoke some pot and drop some acid.....you know how some days you would think "I think I'm having a heart attack".  Well now if I did it, I might really be having a heart attack and wouldn't know it, I would just pass it off as a reaction to being high or tripping....and end up in the hospital with a real heart attack.


  • Sup man, I just saw your post And I agree. I'm 16 but I don't ride those tiny boards, I ride a Hosoi Cadillac Hammerhead with OJ rockets. I think big boards are better, especially if you are a bowl skater.

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