Skateboarding is not always about buying a complete skateboard set or new parts. Sometimes, you will not know someone in your family used to skate until you find their old boards.
Suppose that day came, and you have decided to try skateboarding. But you don’t have enough money to get a new deck. However, you found an old board beneath your bed, and it’s your brother’s.
Should you take the chance to rebuild it? Of course! Today, let me teach you how to restore an old skateboard and make it as functional as before! Here, we’ll share a few hacks to enjoy old skateboards like they’re new.
Table of Contents
What You Need
As mentioned, we might incur minimal to no cost when we fix up an old skateboard. Here are the only things you need.
- Old skateboard – The old skateboard we restore should still have a solid deck. It is even better if the trucks have not rusted. But don’t worry. A new set of trucks still costs less than a new complete skateboard.
- Hairdryer – Before changing grip tape, we should remove the old one first. And the best way to soften the sheet’s adhesive is through hot air from a hairdryer or heat gun.
- Razor blade – An old skateboard deck without cracks is an absolute plus. But that does not eliminate the probability that its paint has already worn out. And we have no other reason to keep that layer. So, prepare a sharp blade to scrape the paint and graphics.
- Art tools – Of course, after detaching the leftover graphics and painting the deck, it’s time to redesign it. Hence, we need art or stationery tools, including paints, markers, pencils, and other things necessary to customize a skateboard deck.
- New wheels – Old skateboard wheels have likely been exposed to the elements. And while they can roll a few meters, they are still not the most reliable option. New skateboard rollers are the way to go.
- New trucks – In the worst scenario that the old trucks are no longer reusable, the best option you have is a pair of new trucks.
- New grip tape – Your old skateboard might have slightly worn skateboard grip tape, but nothing feels more secure than a new layer of it.
Steps to Restoring an Old Skateboard
What to do with an old skateboard?
This skateboard repair tutorial is slightly different from other skateboard tutorials because we aim to revive an old board no one thought was coming back to life. Take note of the following steps.
Step 1: Remove top residues
Take your hairdryer or heat gun. Point the device’s head or nozzle over the old grip tape. Keep running the hot air over the grit sheet until the adhesive between it and the wooden deck soften.
Once soft, pull the grip tape off the skateboard deck. You can also assist with the detachment process using your knife. Keep heating the grip tape if it is too sticky and firm.
Expectedly, there will be adhesive residues after pulling the grip tape off the board. So, all we must do is rub them off with some WD-40.
Have patience while doing this step. It will prepare the skateboard’s stepping surface for new grip tape.
Step 2: Clean the bottom of the deck
Yes, we’re not stepping on the bottom surface of the skateboard. But we will show everyone that part every time we’re not riding it. So, you might as well make that side of the board neat and aesthetically pleasing.
To clean the bottom of a skateboard, start by detaching the skateboard trucks. Peel off stickers, paint, and other attachments. Like the previous step with the grip tape, we can also grab a knife to scrape off stickers and paint residues.
Take a sheet of sandpaper and rub it against the bottom of the deck. It may take a while, so be patient in doing this step to ensure the skateboard’s body doesn’t get damaged. Eventually, you’ll see that the deck is neat and ready for bottom of skateboard designs.
Step 3: Designing the old deck
Now that we have both sides of the skateboard deck prepared, it’s time to apply new finishing layers at the top and bottom. Let’s start with the latter.
Grab a white priming paint or any color you want. Paint the bottom of the deck evenly with the primer. Let it dry based on the product instructions.
Next, take your pencil and start drawing your desired design. Things to paint on your skateboard include characters, patterns, text, etc. Once sketched, take some more colored paints and bring these drawings to life. More specifically, can you paint a skateboard with acrylic? Yes!
If you don’t like to keep up with drawn lines, you can put your pencil aside and paint a skateboard deck with solid colors–no patterns required. Dry all the paint, and you’re ready for the next move.
Step 4: Install new grip tape
Take your new grip tape. Lay it flat against the skateboard, so the sheet covers the entire stepping surface. Begin to peel off the backing from one side of the sheet.
Lay the exposed part of the grip tape against the tail or nose of the skateboard deck’s stepping surface. Ensure it covers the entire board.
Continue to pull the backing while you press the grip tape’s sticky side against the deck’s length. After covering the entire stepping surface, grab a flat object to press the sheet down.
Next, grab your blade or knife, and cut the excess grip tape off the skateboard. Use your sandpaper to refine the board’s edges with the new grip tape. Ultimately, take a screwdriver or a similar object to poke holes for the trucks’ hardware.
Step 5: Install new skateboard trucks and wheels.
Suppose you already have the truck’s parts assembled. Begin with either the tail or nose side of the skateboard. Slide four truck bolts onto the deck’s stepping surface and through the wooden body.
Flip the skateboard deck and align the truck’s holes against the tips of the bolts. Press the wheel holder against the bottom of the board, letting the four screws pass through. Finally, lock each bolt with a nut.
Repeat the same steps with the other truck.
For the wheels, begin by installing the bearings. These cores should sit on both sides of the rollers. Once done, place the skateboard deck on a flat surface with the length facing up.
Follow this sequence of installing the wheels’ parts from the truck hanger to the axle pins.
- Speed ring
- Wheel with bearing
- Speed ring
- Axle nut
Repeat the same steps with the rest of the skateboard wheels.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to restore a skateboard?
Depending on the service provider, a skateboard restoration could cost around $250 to $450. The figures already comprise the labor, planning, and parts availability. On the topic of parts availability, what if we buy them separately and restore the skateboard on our own?
Following this tutorial, here’s a brief price list of the new parts we need.
- Grip tape – $7.50 to $16
- Skateboard trucks – $15 to $54
- Skateboard wheels – $16 to $49
How do you upcycle an old skateboard?
Restoring an old skateboard to its functional state is an appealing idea. But what if the item is too old for revamp? Here are a few things you can do to a board that’s no longer skateable.
- Skateboard stool – There are various ways to create one. You can set the decks up as a hanging skateboard swing, a bench, or a floor chair.
- Wall hooks or shelves – Skateboards can also be perfect fixtures to hang your belongings.
- Fan blades – Perhaps, this is one of the most helpful ideas you can implement with a skateboard. But before trying it, ensure the fan has enough strength to carry the deck weight.
A skateboard’s life does not necessarily end once you slide it beneath your bed and prioritize other sports. Sometimes, there are people patient and creative enough to refurbish dusty and damaged boards.
And now that you know how to restore an old skateboard, you can finally be one of these people. The process could take a while, but it will be worth it.
Remember, our goal is to ride the old skateboard as others do with their new boards. Hence, clean what needs cleaning, and replace what needs replacement.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.