It is an oddly-familiar, yet sometimes annoying sound – your skateboard creaking as you ride it. Have you ever wondered why this happens? Well, after years of researching and boarding experience, we are here to tell you not only why it occurs but how to fix it too.
We’re sure all skaters have seen the dreaded “creak” at one time or another and now we can explain what exactly causes your board to make that irritating noise and tips for getting rid of the unwanted squeaks.
So keep on reading if you want to learn more about why your skateboard has suddenly decided it needs a new decibel level.
Is it normal for my skateboard to squeak?
Skateboards primarily consist of a deck, trucks, wheels and bearings, each of which plays a crucial role in the overall performance of the skateboard.
Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a seasoned pro, you may have noticed a strange noise coming from your skateboard: a high-pitched squeak that seems to echo every time you make a move.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone. This is a common occurrence for many skateboarders, especially those who have been riding for a while.
While it may seem alarming at first, there’s actually nothing to be concerned about. In fact, a squeaky skateboard can even add character to your ride.
But let’s take a closer look at what causes this sound and how you can address it.
Why does skateboard creak and how to fix it?
A creaking sound coming from your skateboards can happen due to multiple reasons, from loose bolts to worn-out bearings, and can impact your overall skating experience.
Explore the key root causes of a creaking skateboard and offer some simple and easy steps to fix it.
One common reason why skateboards creak is due to loose bolts.
The four bolts that attach your trucks to your deck may become loose over time, causing your skateboard to create a creaking sound.
Loose bolts can also cause your skateboard to become unstable and make tricks more difficult to execute.
The simple fix is to tighten your bolts using a skate tool, and you may also use some thread locker as an added measure to prevent loosening.
Another reason why your skateboard may creak is due to worn-out bearings.
Over time, bearings get dirty and lose their lubrication, which causes them to create a creaking sound.
Worn-out bearings also make your skateboard slower and less responsive.
The solution is simple, replace your bearings with new ones, and make sure you clean and lubricate them regularly to avoid recurrence.
Sometimes a creaking sound may originate from the deck of your skateboard.
Natural wear and tear or exposure to weather conditions can cause your skateboard to crack, which can lead to creaking sounds.
To diagnose this issue, turn the skateboard over and gently press the deck with your hand; you’ll notice some flex, but if you hear creaking, you’ll know it’s a crack.
The solution is straightforward; replace the deck with a new one, and you’ll be creak-free in no time.
Another reason why a skateboard may creak is when the deck is warped.
A warped deck creates an uneven distribution of weight on your skateboard, and this makes it harder to maintain balance while riding it.
Warping often occurs when the skateboard is exposed to high heat or moisture. To remedy this issue, assess the deck visually and feel for any subtle changes in shape.
If the deck is warped, replace it with a new one.
Finally, the last reason why skateboards may creak is due to the trucks.
The trucks of your skateboard bear the weight and make contact with the ground, and over time, they may gather dirt and dust, creating friction and a creaking sound.
The first step is to clean the trucks with some water, soap, and a sponge, making sure not to get the bearings wet.
Once they’re dry, make sure you apply some lubricant to reduce friction, and you’re good to go.
Many skateboarders struggle with a creaking board, as it can be quite frustrating. Regular maintenance of your skateboard and its components is necessary to ensure optimal performance and trick execution.
- Check the screws and bolts that hold the trucks to the deck and tighten them when needed.
- Use a lubricant on all moving parts such as bearings, axles, and pivot cups to reduce friction.
- Sand away any rust with an abrasive paper or cloth then apply oil or grease to further protect against weathering.
- Finally, if you find that none of these steps have solved the issue, consider replacing faulty components of your deck or trucks such as bushings or bearings for smoother rides.
With a bit of investigation and regular maintenance routines, you should be able to identify and fix the cause of your creaking skateboard in no time.
Is it dangerous to ride a creaking skateboard?
Yes, it is dangerous to ride a creaking skateboard, as this could indicate that parts of your skateboard may be loose or worn out.
Loose bolts can cause the trucks and wheels to fall off while riding, leading to serious injury.
Similarly, if the bearings are worn out or have been neglected for too long, they may fail while you are riding and cause an accident.
Therefore, if your skateboard is creaking, it is important to take the necessary steps to identify and fix the problem before you ride again.
Should I lubricate skateboard bearings?
Yes, lubricating your skateboard bearings is important to ensure that they remain in optimal condition. The lube helps reduce friction and increases speed and responsiveness. Make sure to apply just a small amount of lubricant so you don’t attract dirt or dust particles.
How often should I clean my skateboard?
It’s best to clean your skateboard every few weeks. Remove any dirt and dust with a brush or cloth, and use some water and soap to wipe away stuck-on grime. After cleaning, make sure you apply some lubricant on the bearings and trucks for efficient performance.
Can I use Vaseline to lube my bearings?
No, Vaseline or petroleum jelly is not an appropriate lubricant for bearings. It’s a thick substance that attracts dirt particles and can cause even more friction as you ride. Instead, look for specialized skateboard bearing lubes in your local skate shop.
Do I need to replace my bearings regularly?
Yes, it is recommended that you replace your bearings every 6 to 12 months. Regular maintenance and lubrication can help extend their lifespan, but it’s important to check them regularly for signs of wear and tear. If they become noisy or slow, it may be time for an upgrade.