Skateboarding isn’t just about rolling smoothly and performing tricks; it’s also about fine-tuning your ride to match your preferences and style. One of the lesser-known yet crucial components that contribute to this customization is the skateboard riser.
If you’re new to skateboarding or simply curious about these unassuming pieces of hardware, you’re in the right place.
In this article, we’ll delve into the world of skateboard risers, answering five frequently asked questions to give you a comprehensive understanding of their purpose, benefits, and how to use them effectively.
What Are Risers On A Skateboard?
Skateboard risers are small, flat pieces of hardware made from materials such as rubber or plastic that are inserted between the skateboard trucks and the deck.
These unassuming components might seem inconspicuous, but they play a crucial role in customizing and optimizing your skateboarding experience.
The main purpose of skateboard risers is to increase the distance between the skateboard deck and the trucks. By adding this extra height, risers provide several benefits that contribute to a smoother and safer ride. One of the primary advantages of using risers is to prevent “wheel bite.”
Wheelbite occurs when the skateboard’s wheels come into contact with the underside of the deck during sharp turns or tricks. This can lead to instability and even cause accidents.
Risers effectively reduce the risk of wheel bite by creating more clearance between the wheels and the deck. This is particularly important when using larger wheels or when tightening the trucks to limit turning ability.
What Do Risers Do on a Skateboard?
Risers on a skateboard serve several important functions that contribute to a smoother and more controlled riding experience. These unassuming pieces of hardware, typically made from materials like rubber or plastic, play a vital role in enhancing both safety and customization for skateboarders.
Here’s what risers do on a skateboard:
One of the primary functions of risers is to prevent wheel bite. Wheelbite occurs when the skateboard’s wheels come into contact with the underside of the deck during sharp turns or tricks.
This sudden stoppage of the wheels can lead to instability and potentially cause the rider to lose balance or even be thrown off the board.
Risers increase the distance between the wheels and the deck, providing extra clearance and reducing the risk of wheel bite.
Clearance for Larger Wheels
Skateboard wheels come in various sizes, and larger wheels can sometimes come too close to the deck during turns.
Risers offer additional space between the wheels and the deck, allowing riders to use larger wheels without the fear of wheel bite. This is especially important for cruisers and longboards, which often have larger and softer wheels for a smoother ride.
Customization of Ride Feel
The thickness of risers can influence how a skateboard feels and responds. Thicker risers can impact the way the trucks pivot and the deck flexes, ultimately affecting the overall responsiveness and stability of the board.
By selecting different riser sizes, skateboarders can tailor their setups to match their preferred riding style, whether it’s for cruising, tricks, or downhill riding.
Risers made from materials like rubber can also help absorb some of the vibrations and shocks that occur while riding on rough surfaces. This can result in a more comfortable ride, reducing the impact on the rider’s feet and legs.
In addition to their functional benefits, risers also act as a buffer between the trucks and the deck. This can help prevent stress cracks and damage to the deck caused by the constant vibrations and impacts that skateboarding involves.
To use risers effectively, it’s important to choose the right size based on factors such as wheel size and personal preference.
Installing risers involves placing them between the trucks and the deck, ensuring that the holes in the risers align with the truck mounting holes on the deck. Skateboard hardware is then used to secure the trucks and risers to the deck.
Sizes of Different Skateboard Risers
If you decide to add risers to your skateboard, it’s important to adjust the length of your hardware accordingly to accommodate the extra height.
Skateboard risers are typically used to raise the skateboard deck away from the trucks, providing more clearance and reducing the risk of wheel bite.
The size of the riser determines how much extra height is added, and this, in turn, affects the length of hardware needed. Here’s a breakdown of the different riser sizes and their corresponding recommended hardware lengths:
- Riser Size: None
- Recommended Hardware Length: 7/8″ to 1″
If you’re not using any risers, standard skateboard hardware with a length of 7/8″ to 1″ is suitable.
- Riser Size: 1/8″ (0.125 inches)
- Recommended Hardware Length: 1″ to 1 1/8″
When using a 1/8″ riser, you’ll need slightly longer hardware ranging from 1″ to 1 1/8″ to ensure proper attachment.
- Riser Size: 1/4″ (0.25 inches)
- Recommended Hardware Length: 1 1/4″
For a 1/4″ riser, use hardware that’s 1 1/4″ in length to accommodate the increased height between the deck and trucks.
- Riser Size: 1/2″ (0.5 inches)
- Recommended Hardware Length: 1 1/2″
If you’re using a 1/2″ riser, opt for hardware that’s 1 1/2″ long to securely attach your trucks to the skateboard deck.
Functions of Skateboard Riser Pads and Shock Pads
Skateboard Angled riser pads and shock pads are two separate components that serve distinct yet complementary functions when it comes to enhancing a skateboard’s performance and rider comfort. Let’s delve into the functions of both skateboard angled riser pads and shock pads:
Skateboard Riser Pads
The primary function of angled riser pads is to prevent wheel bite. Wheelbite occurs when the skateboard’s wheels make contact with the underside of the deck during sharp turns or tricks.
This can lead to instability, sudden stops, and potential accidents. Riser pads increase the distance between the wheels and the deck, providing more clearance and reducing the risk of wheel bite.
Clearance for Larger Wheels
Skateboard wheels come in various sizes, and larger wheels can sometimes rub against the deck during turns. Riser pads create additional space between the wheels and the deck, allowing riders to use larger wheels without the concern of wheel bite.
Customization of Ride Feel
Different riser pad thicknesses can impact how a skateboard performs. Thicker riser pads can influence the way the trucks pivot and the deck flexes, altering the overall responsiveness and stability of the board.
Skateboarders can fine-tune their setups based on their preferred riding style by selecting the appropriate riser pad size.
Risers also act as a cushion between the trucks and the deck. This buffer helps absorb some of the impact and vibrations from riding on rough surfaces, potentially reducing stress cracks and wear on the skateboard deck.
Skateboard Shock Pads
Shock pads, also known as shock absorber pads or shock risers, are designed to absorb and dampen vibrations and impacts that result from riding on uneven or rough surfaces.
These pads, typically made from rubber or other elastomeric materials, help create a smoother and more comfortable ride by reducing the jarring effects of bumps and cracks on the road.
Similar to risers, shock pads also provide an added layer of protection for the skateboard deck. By absorbing shocks and impacts, shock pads help minimize stress cracks and damage to the deck over time.
Reduced Foot Fatigue
The vibration-dampening properties of shock pads can contribute to reduced foot fatigue during longer rides. Riders may experience less discomfort and strain on their feet and legs when riding over rough terrain.
Both skateboard riser pads and shock pads play important roles in enhancing the skateboarding experience. Riser pads primarily focus on preventing wheel bite, providing clearance for larger wheels, and influencing ride feel.
Shock pads, on the other hand, focus on absorbing vibrations and impacts for a smoother ride, as well as protecting the deck and reducing foot fatigue.
Depending on your riding preferences and the conditions you often encounter, you can choose to incorporate either or both of these pads to optimize your skateboard setup.
How to Choose the Right Skateboard Risers
Choosing the right skateboard risers involves considering several factors to ensure they suit your riding style, preferences, and skateboard setup. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you select the appropriate riser pads for your needs:
Determine Your Riding Style
Consider the type of skateboarding you primarily engage in. Are you into street skating, cruising, downhill riding, or vert skating? Different riding styles may require specific riser pad thicknesses for optimal performance.
Take into account the size of your skateboard wheels. Larger wheels have a higher chance of causing wheel bite, so if you’re using wheels larger than 56mm, you might need thicker riser pads to prevent wheel bite during turns and tricks.
Deck Shape and Concave
The shape and concave of your skateboard deck can influence how much clearance you need. If your deck has a steeper concave or a unique shape, you might require more or less clearance to avoid wheel bite.
Consider how tight your trucks are. Tighter trucks reduce turning ability, increasing the likelihood of wheel bite. Looser trucks allow for sharper turns but might increase the risk of wheel bite. Adjusting your truck’s tightness may influence the choice of riser pad thickness.
If you ride on rough surfaces or experience discomfort due to vibrations, shock-absorbing riser pads (shock pads) made from rubber or elastomeric materials could provide a more comfortable ride.
Think about how you want your skateboard to feel and perform. Thicker riser pads can influence the responsiveness, turning dynamics, and overall ride feel. Experiment with different thicknesses to find the setup that matches your preferences.
Available Riser Pad Sizes
Riser pads typically come in various thicknesses, ranging from 1/8″ to 1/2″. Check what sizes are available from reputable skateboard hardware brands.
Choose riser pads that are compatible with your skateboard hardware. Ensure that the holes in the risers align with the truck mounting holes on your deck.
Personal Experience and Trial
Sometimes, the best way to find the right riser pads is through trial and error. Experiment with different riser sizes to see how they impact your riding experience. Pay attention to how your board responds, how comfortable the ride is, and whether you experience any wheel bite.
Consult experienced skateboarders, friends, or local skate shop staff for recommendations. They might provide insights based on their own experiences and knowledge.
Test and Adjust
Once you’ve chosen a set of riser pads, install them and take your skateboard for a test ride. Pay attention to how your board handles, the comfort of the ride, and any differences in performance compared to your previous setup. If needed, make further adjustments.
Remember that the choice of riser pads is personal and can evolve over time as your skating style and preferences change.
By considering these factors and testing different setups, you can find the right riser pads that enhance your skateboarding experience and provide the optimal combination of safety and performance.
What are skateboard risers, and what do they do?
Skateboard risers are small, flat pieces made of various materials, such as rubber or plastic, that are placed between the skateboard trucks and the deck. Their primary purpose is to increase the distance between the deck and the trucks, adding clearance to your ride.
This reduction in friction can prevent “wheelbase,” where the wheels make contact with the deck during sharp turns or tricks, leading to potential instability or accidents.
Why would I need to use risers on my skateboard?
Skateboard risers serve multiple purposes. If you’re riding larger wheels, or if your trucks are tightened to reduce turning, the risk of wheel bite increases.
Risers provide the extra height needed to prevent this, giving you a smoother and safer ride. Additionally, they can alter your board’s feel and responsiveness, allowing you to customize your setup based on your preferences.
How do I choose the right riser size for my skateboard?
The appropriate riser size depends on factors like wheel size and personal preference. Generally, the taller the wheels, the thicker the riser you might need. Common riser sizes range from 1/8″ to 1/2″.
Check the specifications of your wheels and consider the level of clearance you desire to determine the ideal riser height.
How do I install risers on my skateboard?
Installing risers is a straightforward process. Start by removing the trucks from your skateboard deck. Place the risers between the deck and the trucks, aligning the holes with the truck mounting holes.
Then, insert the skateboard hardware through the risers and into the holes, securing the trucks to the deck. Make sure to choose hardware of an appropriate length to accommodate the added height of the risers.
Can risers affect the performance of my skateboard?
Yes, risers can impact your skateboard’s performance. While they provide essential benefits like preventing wheelbase, they can also influence your board’s stability, turning responsiveness, and the “pop” of your tricks.
Experimenting with different riser sizes allows you to fine-tune your setup to match your riding style and preferences.
Skateboard risers might be small in size, but their impact on your riding experience can be significant.
Whether you’re a seasoned skateboarder looking to optimize your setup or a newcomer seeking to understand the intricacies of skateboarding components, knowing about risers and how they function is a valuable piece of knowledge.
By adding clearance, preventing wheel bite, and allowing for customization, risers contribute to both safety and style on your skateboard journey.
So, next time you hit the skatepark or cruise through the streets, remember that those unassuming risers beneath your trucks are working hard to enhance your ride.
Have a nice day.
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