by Craig Blake
Like their namesake, longboards generally have a long shelf life. Considering longboards are designed for cruising and not for extreme tricks like a standard skateboard, you can usually keep them from getting hashed before their time. Still, doing a few simple things to maintain longboards can extent their longevity. The longer you keep your longboard in riding condition, the more money you'll save, and the less time you'll have to take out of your boarding schedule. Here are a few tips on how to make your longboard last as long as possible.
It's not a skateboard. Longboards aren't designed for kick flips or tricks. If you want your longboard to last, don't bang it around like a skateboard. A longboard deck can break in half if it is constantly being pounded with too much stress in the middle.
Maintain the deck. The two biggest threats to a longboard deck are water and the sun. Although you can't completely avoid either of these things, do your best not to expose your longboard unnecessarily. If your longboard deck gets wet, it can weaken the material and cause it to crack or break. If the deck does get wet, make sure to wipe it off when you get home. As for the sun, just be sure to store longboards inside or at least under shade. Too much sun exposure can make longboard decks brittle and prone to snap.
Lubricate the bearings. If you can hear your bearings squeaking or feel them sticking, don't just keep rolling; fix them. Make sure your bearings are well lubricated so they aren't wearing down from too much friction. If they are dirty, the residue will rub into the bearings and wear them down. If they are in need of cleaning, you can take the bearings off the longboard trucks and clean them off. Keep the bearings safe from being wet for too long as well.
Rotate the wheels. Chances are you wear down some longboard wheels more than others, depending on your boarding habits. If you want to get the most out of your wheels, rotate them every once in a while. If they are all pretty worn, get new wheels soon. Bumpy, worn longboard wheels can negatively impact the rest of the board.