Understanding the skateboard wheelbase is crucial for skateboarders of all skill levels. The wheelbase is the distance between the inner mounting holes of the skateboard trucks, and it affects your performance significantly.
Let’s know in detail about the skateboard wheelbase, its impact on your riding experience, and instructions on how to accurately measure it.
- What Is a Skateboard Wheelbase?
- How Is the Wheelbase of a Skateboard Measured?
- Does Skateboard Wheelbase Even Matter?
- How the Wheelbase Affects Your Skateboarding Performance
- How to Choose the Right Wheelbase for Your Needs
- Skateboard Wheelbase Chart
- Final Words
What Is a Skateboard Wheelbase?
Before we dive into the details, let’s start by understanding what exactly wheelbase refers to in the realm of skateboarding.
The skateboard wheelbase is the distance between the inner mounting holes on your deck, which determines the positioning of your trucks. In simpler terms, it’s the measurement from the front truck holes to the back truck holes on the underside of your deck.
It may seem like a tiny measurement, but it holds immense power over your skating performance.
The Importance of Wheelbase
The wheelbase is not just a random measurement, it is an important factor to consider when choosing a skateboard deck. It directly influences how your skateboard behaves on the pavement, especially it can affect the board’s stability, maneuverability, and turning radius.
A longer wheelbase will make the board more stable, but it will also make it less maneuverable. A shorter wheelbase will make the board easier to perform tricks, but it will also make it less stable.
How Is the Wheelbase of a Skateboard Measured?
Now, let’s get down to business and learn how to measure the wheelbase of your skateboard accurately. Grab a trusty measuring tool and follow these simple steps:
1. Place your skateboard upside down on a flat surface, ensuring it’s stable and won’t roll away.
2. Locate the innermost holes on both the front and rear truck mounts.
3. Take your measuring tool and align one end with the front mounting hole.
4. Stretch the measuring tool along the deck until it reaches the rear mounting hole.
5. Read the measurement where the rear mounting hole aligns with the measuring tool.
6. That’s it! You’ve measured your skateboard wheelbase successfully.
Does Skateboard Wheelbase Even Matter?
Absolutely! Trust me, it matters more than you might think! Let me break it down for you.
When I first started skating, I never paid much attention to the wheelbase, but I was wrong! Once I discovered its significance, I realized that adjusting the wheelbase could turn your skateboard into a nimble beast or a stable fortress, depending on your preference. It’s like finding the perfect balance between agility and control, and let me tell you, that feeling is pure skateboarding heaven.
Picture this: you are cruising down the street, feeling like the king or queen of the concrete jungle, when suddenly your board starts wobbling like a newborn giraffe on roller skates. Not the coolest look, right?
Well, that wobble could be a result of an ill-suited wheelbase. Finding the sweet spot for your wheelbase can be a game-changer. So, whether you are a smooth cruiser or a trick-loving daredevil, nailing the perfect wheelbase will have you gliding with confidence and style.
How the Wheelbase Affects Your Skateboarding Performance
The skateboard wheelbase can affect your skateboarding performance in a number of ways.
Wheelbase significantly influences your board’s balance and stability. A longer wheelbase acts as a lever, providing enhanced stability and control, making it easier to maintain balance during slides, downhill rides, and transitions.
This is because a longer wheelbase provides a larger base for the board to rest on, which makes it less likely to tip over.
A shorter wheelbase will make the board more maneuverable, but it will also make it less stable. This is because a shorter wheelbase provides a smaller base for the board to rest on, which makes it more likely to tip over.
In addition, wheelbase length affects the way your skateboard pops. A shorter wheelbase provides a more responsive and powerful pop, giving you an advantage when executing tricks in bowl and vert that require quick and explosive movements.
Turning Radius and Stance:
The wheelbase directly impacts your turning abilities. A shorter wheelbase allows for quick and sharp turns, ideal for navigating tight spaces and technical maneuvers.
On the other hand, a longer wheelbase will have a larger turning radius, perfect for high-speed runs and flowing lines.
The wheelbase also affects a rider’s stance too. In simple words – the longer the wheelbase, the more space to stand on the deck. Therefore, we always recommend taller skateboarders opt for skateboards with longer wheelbases.
How to Choose the Right Wheelbase for Your Needs
The right wheelbase for you will depend on your skateboarding style and needs. If you are a beginner, you will want a longer wheelbase for stability. If you are an experienced skater who likes to do tricks, you will want a shorter wheelbase for maneuverability.
On average, the wheelbase ranges from 13.50” to 15.50”. I personally prefer a 14.25” skateboard wheelbase because it is perfect for both, stability and easy maneuverability – best suited for street and park skating.
Most of the skateboards for streets have a wheelbase between 14.25″ to 14.75″.
If you are not sure what wheelbase is correct for you, it is a good idea to try out different boards with different wheelbases to see what feels best.
Choosing the Right Wheelbase Length:
Choosing the right wheelbase length is like finding the perfect pair of sneakers – fit matters!
1. Body Size and Height
The first and foremost crucial factor to consider is your body size and height. If you are as tall as a basketball player, a longer wheelbase might be your best bet to maintain stability and prevent those legs from looking like they’re on a never-ending pogo stick.
Conversely, if you are more on the petite side, a shorter wheelbase will give you the maneuverability of a squirrel on a sugar rush.
2. Riding Style
Next up, think about your preferred riding style. Different skateboarding types call for varying wheelbase lengths.
Are you a speed demon who loves cruising, downhill riding, slalom, or longboarding, and feeling the wind rush through your hair? In that case, a longer wheelbase will offer stability and control, keeping your adrenaline-fueled adventures in check.
But if you are a street magician who enjoys pool skating or aggressive tricks, popping ollies and grinding curbs, a shorter wheelbase will give you the nimble dexterity of a cat chasing a laser pointer.
3. Wheel Size
Now, here’s a pro tip for you: Don’t forget about your wheel size! The size of your wheels can interact with the wheelbase length, impacting the overall performance.
Bigger wheels generally require a longer wheelbase to avoid pesky wheel bite, while smaller wheels can get away with a shorter wheelbase for tighter turns and quick maneuvers.
Skateboard Wheelbase Chart
Here is the skateboard wheelbase measurement chart with recommended deck size and riding style:
|Wheelbase Length (in inches)||Riding Style||Characteristics||Recommended Deck Width (in Inches)|
|13"||Street skating||Agile, quick turns, optimal for technical tricks||7.5" - 7.75"|
|14" - 14.25"||Transition and Park skating||Versatile, good balance for park and ramp skating||7.75" - 8"|
|14.5" - 15.25"||All-around||Well-balanced for various styles, moderate maneuvering||8" - 8.5"|
|15.5" - 16.5"||Cruising and Carving||Stable, comfortable for long rides and carving||8.5" - 9"|
|16.5" - 17"||Downhill riding||High-speed stability, less maneuverability, ideal for downhill and racing||9" and above|
I guess now you have a deep understanding of skateboard wheelbase and why is it so important to debate about. Remember, understanding and optimizing your wheelbase is key to unlocking your full potential on the board.
So, go out there, experiment with different setups, and find the perfect wheelbase length that suits your style. Whether you are tearing up the streets, cruising along the boardwalk, or carving epic lines on the hills, a well-optimized wheelbase will take your skateboarding skills to new heights.
Frequently Asked Questions: (FAQs)
What is a wheelbase on a skateboard?
Wheelbase is like the backbone of your skateboard. The wheelbase is the distance between the inner mounting holes on your deck, determining where your trucks sit. It’s the foundation that sets the stage for your skating performance.
Is a longer wheelbase better?
Well, it depends on what floats your board. A longer wheelbase offers stability and control, making it a go-to choice for downhill speed demons and riders who crave steady turns. But if you are all about nimble tricks and quick maneuvers, a shorter wheelbase is your ticket to snappy responsiveness.
What is the base of a skateboard called?
The base of a skateboard is called the deck. It’s the flat, sturdy platform that supports your feet and serves as the canvas for your sick graphics. Choose your deck wisely, as it sets the stage for your wheelbase, trucks, and overall skateboarding experience.
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