Wheels and Trucks
Since 1973, most skateboard wheels have been composed of polyurethane. This material tends to provide better control for the ability to do stunts than previously used materials. As was mentioned before, the wheels are connected to the skateboard with a truck. To connect the wheels to the truck, you must use ball bearings. The truck itself can be composed of a variety of metals and even from nylon in some cases, but is usually made of an aluminum alloy. Aluminum is preferred for its greater flexibility and natural corrosion resistance. An aluminum alloy will have additional metals to create desired characteristics, such as increased durability. A skateboard will usually require two trucks to accommodate four wheels.
While the wheels and trucks are definitely an important part of the board, the deck is usually the most exciting part of the skateboard purchase. Although the wheels can often be colored and may feature a small design, the deck is where artistic expression and personality can show, with the bottom of the deck usually displaying either a machine-created or hand-painted image. But before the image can be applied, the deck has to be created.
Decks can be made of a variety of materials, such as aluminum, nylon, plexiglass, foam, and composites. Most of the skateboards you find in your skate shops in Atlanta, however, will be composed of wood. Wood allows the board to have more flexibility, giving the rider more control. Usually, the wood chosen is maple. The maple will first be cut into thin pieces of wood called veneers. The veneers are then coated in adhesive, and put in stacks of four to seven pieces of veneer. The stack is then compressed in a hydraulic press that contains molds to create the concave shape in the tail and nose of the board. After being pressed, the board is drilled in eight places where the trucks will be mounted. The board can then be shaped, sanded, decorated, and then coated with paint or sealant.