Wondering how to change your mountain board deck?
All good things must come to an end. The same is true for your mountain board deck. No matter how well you take care of it, your mountain board deck will gradually get run down and eventually need replacing.
How long that takes varies greatly. Depending on your riding experience and practice, it could take two months or more than a year. What is certain is that you will need to replace it at one time or another – it’s all part of the mountainboard maintenance cycle.
How Do You Know When Your Mountain Board Deck Needs Replacing?
The more experienced you are in the sport, the more you get to know when you need to replace any part of your mountain board. This comes with experience. However, not everybody has the luxury of this experience, and for newbies, knowing when to replace the mountainboard deck or even the trucks doesn’t come naturally.
If you fall into this category, there’s no reason for concern. Keep an eye out for a few signs that show your mountainboard deck needs either repaired or replaced.
Here are some signs that show your mountain board is damaged and needs replacing:
- The graphics start to peel or flake.
- The deck starts to get curved or warped.
- The deck has cracks.
When you start seeing these signs, it’s your mountain board’s way of telling you that your deck needs replacing.
How Do Mountain Board Decks Get Damaged?
You might be wondering if this kind of damage results from careless riding. The truth is that your deck will get worn out and need to be replaced mostly because you use it. If you were to neatly pack and store your mountain board in the garage and never use it, you probably wouldn’t ever need to change the deck. But as long as you are using it, the deck will sustain some wear and tear, regardless of the terrain.
This happens when:
- You crash into objects when riding: This causes your deck to bend, and that, in turn, creates pressure on the deck’s inner layers, which can lead to cracks.
- Foot positioning: When you are just getting started with mountain boarding, there are a lot of little mistakes that are going to occur before you properly learn the craft. One of those little mistakes is improper foot positioning. For stability reasons, you are going to find that your feet move all over the deck. When placed in the wrong spot, that weight can cause the deck to bend and break.
How to Change Your Mountain Board Deck
Since this kind of wear and tear on your mountain board deck is unavoidable, it’s best to learn how to replace it once it reaches the end of its life. Here’s a quick step-by-step guide to changing your mountain board deck when necessary:
Step 1: Buy the Replacement Deck
The first thing you should do is make sure that you have the replacement deck that will go where the old one was. This step is simple enough. You can order a new wood deck online or from a specialty manufacturer, depending on your preference and budget. Just make sure you get the right deck length.
- Note: Getting a blank wood deck is a great idea as it opens up a host of possibilities in terms of decoration and personalization of the new deck.
Step 2: Get the Tools
Unlike most other machines, changing or doing maintenance work on your mountain board doesn’t require an entire toolbox. All you need is one tool, the skate wrench. This tool is essentially a four-in-one as it’s made up of four components.
- Kingpin adjustment: This is a large gauge socket that can be used to loosen or tighten the kingpin as needed.
- Wheel nuts: This is a medium-sized socket that can be used to remove or tighten the wheel nuts that hold your wheels to the skate truck’s axle.
- Truck bolts: It’s the smallest socket on this tool. It’s used for adjusting the truck bolts.
- The Allen key or screw bit: Used in conjunction with number 3, it removes or tightens your skate truck bolts. In many cases, you will find both a screw head and an Allen key attachment, so you can comfortably work on both types of truck bolts.
You will also need a grip tape knife and a file.
Step 3: Grip Your New Deck
Using the new roll of grip, start around the new deck from the center outwards. Slowly work out the bubbles with your hands. Using your skate wrench, firmly run the flat side around the edges of your board to give you an outline of the excess grip. Once you have a clear outline, use your grip tape knife to cut off the excess grip tape.
Step 4: Remove the Trucks
Take your mountain board and start removing the trucks using your skate wrench. The idea is to make your work as light as possible, so remove the skate trucks and wheels together.
Step 5: Puncture Holes in the New Grip Tape
Using the newly removed screws, poke holes into the grip tape. This is simple enough. Just push the screws into the already available holes in the new deck. Once you are done, simply screw the trucks and wheels back on and ensure that it all works the way you want it to work.
Here’s a quick video showing you how it all works:
How to Prolong the Life of your Mountain Board Deck
Note that your mountain board deck, much like your mountain board wheels and bearings, is going to get worn out. There’s no way around that fact. You can, however, prolong its life. Here are a few tricks you can use:
- Land properly: Take the time to learn how to land properly whenever you are performing any tricks on your mountain board. The falls and crashes take a toll on your deck and accelerate the aging process.
- Change your foot position: Whenever you are grinding, try as much as possible to change your foot position. This will distribute your weight evenly. That prevents it from breaking or bending over time.
- Buy shock pads: You can also add shock pads to your mountain board. These tend to absorb a lot of the impact whenever you are mountain boarding and land on your deck. This, in turn, protects your deck from the kind of damage that impact can cause.
Eventually, however, you need to replace your mountain board deck. As you have seen, the process isn’t that complicated, but it can be tedious. The best part is that it allows you to have a more intimate and knowledgeable relationship with your mountain board.