Next in this series, the best skateboard setup for parks. Setups for parks require a bit of a different setup compared to street but there are a lot of similarities.
The best skateboard setup for skate parks consists of a 8.0″ or 8.25″ wide standard popsicle deck, standard bearings, 53mm skateboard wheels (durometer 99A to 104A), and 139mm (8.0″ deck) or 149mm (8.25″ deck). A wider deck offers more stability, small and hard wheels make tricks a bit easier.
Let’s look a bit into what would fit your style. Some like to do more technical tricks and others just like to ride. Remember, this is just a general guide.
Skate Park Setup for Less Technical Skating
Skate parks usually consist of mini ramps, quarter pipes, banks, rails, etc. If you usually skip banks and rails look for a more flowy setup. If you want to cruise around a bit, do some turns on quarters and ride mini ramps and pools you need a stable ride.
- 8.5″ deck with a mellow concave
- Wheels between 56mm and 58mm
- Wheel durometer should be between 97A and 99A
- High trucks for turnability
- Decent bearings
In order to stay on your board and keep stability a wider deck is recommended. If you look around the park a bit you’ll see people ride all kinds of sizes but the dedicated pool and ramp riders usually have a wider deck.
Wider decks allow you to keep your feet on your board and help you to keep your balance when you carve around corners. A narrow deck will feel less stable and responds much faster. Make sure the concave is mellow, a high concave is for technical stuff and makes a board very responsive but also less stable.
Even the old school decks made a comeback but now they are a bit updated to modern standards. They added a bit of concave and the nose is now also slightly elevated, more like popsicle decks. Although these boards provide a lot of stability, they aren’t really suitable for technical tricks.
Larger & Hard Wheels
larger wheels are needed for speed and arguably provide more stability depending on the size of the contact patch. Wider contact patches provide more grip and prevent you from sliding when you didn’t account for it. When you’re pushing and pumping you need wheels that keep rolling. Inadequate wheels will make you exhausted.
As the image above explains, there is a correlation between wheel size and speed, though hardness also plays a huge part. Soft wheels will stick to the surface so avoid those. Go with anything between 100A and 84B (104A), these wheels are excellent for parks.
Less technical park skating requires high trucks. This will allow for better carving because there’s more space between the wheels and your deck. Another benefit is that you can fit larger wheels. Obviously their width should match your board but they don’t have to align perfectly.
Make sure your trucks are loose for better turning around corners. Tight trucks aren’t very responsive when it comes to riding around corners. Adjusting the tightness of your trucks is half the battle although it might take some time to get used to it.
I always advise going with Bones Reds or Bronson G2 because they are specifically designed for skateboarding and last for a long time. They’re not even that expensive and maintaining them properly will save you money in the long run. Make sure they are cleaned and lubed and do so every three or four months. It depends on how often you skate of course and if you even want to bother.
Skate Park Setup for Technical Skating
People who like to skate technical probably already know what they need. I think it’s still a good idea to show a bit of the difference between flowy riders. You’ll probably be more inclined to skate quarter pipes, ollie, and flip gaps and banks, grind rails, etc.
This requires a bit of a different setup compared to more flowy riders. It probably comes close to a street setup with a few minor differences.
- 8.0″ or 8.25″ deck with a medium-high concave
- Wheels around 54mm
- Durometer should be between 99A and 84B (104A)
- Medium trucks
|Deck size||truck axle width||Bearings||Wheels size||Suggested setup|
|8.0″||139mm||bones reds||52mm – 54mm||Independent 139 or Thunder 147, Bones or Spitfire Wheels, , and any brand (maple) 8.0″ deck you like + griptape|
|8.25″||149mm||bones reds||52mm – 54mm||Independent 144 or Thunder 148, Bones Wheels,Bones or Bronson bearings, and any maple 8.25″ deck + griptape|
|8.5″||159mm||bones reds||52mm – 54mm||Indy 149, Thunder 149, Bones or Bronson bearings, and any maple 8.5″ deck + griptape|
If you really want to go for the technical part of skateboarding I would suggest going for a narrow deck around 8.0″ with more concave. Just like street skating, you’ll need a responsive deck to be able to perform more technical tricks. More concave allows your board to react faster but it provides less balance.
A wider board behaves very differently in a pool compared to a narrow board. This has to do with the concave (the way the board is shaped) and how wide it is. A narrow board is very responsive but provides less balance.
Concave is about responsiveness vs stability. It’s easier to position your feet on a wide deck with a mellow concave compared to a narrow deck with a steeper concave.
Steeper concave decks are usually a bit stiffer and curvier along the width. The shape sort of locks your feet because of the curved edges around the deck. There less space for your feet in the middle but the ‘walls’ on the side allow you to flip of pop your board better.
This is tricky. You don’t want to ride big wheels but also not something too small. Smaller wheels are more responsive, more forgiving, and easier to unlock from a when grinding a rail. Something in between is usually a good idea. You’re still able to maintain speed and don’t compromise too much on responsiveness. Just don’t go below 53mm, 54mm is probably the sweet spot but it’s up to you.
Like flowy riders you also need hard wheels between 99A and 84B to ride slick park surfaces efficiently. Softer wheels are not recommended as they have the tendency to bounce a lot when you’re trying to land a trick. this can result in landing primo or not landing your feet right when you catch your deck. We all know what can happen and breaking your deck is probably the least of your worries.
Here’s a recommended setup for transition skating, this is the setup I ride in parks. Same deck, wheels, trucks, and bearings the only difference is that my deck is 8.5 instead of the suggested blank 8.25″ below.
I added a blank deck so you can pick your own favorite brand. Wheels around 54mm and 56mm/101A should be perfect. Check the table first if you want to get other trucks or a different size deck.
|Deck width (Inches)||8.0″ – 8.49″||8.5″ – 8.99″|
|CCS Trucks||139, 144||149, 159|
|Independent Trucks||139, 144||149, 159|
|Thunder Trucks||147, 148||149, 151|
|Tensor Trucks||5.35, 5.5||5.75|
Skateboard setups for parks vary a lot depending on your style and preferences, some even get just ride a basic complete skateboard and still shred.
You see all kinds of setups when you visit parks and what works for them may not work for you. If you never visited a park before make sure not to get in the way. Don’t camp on objects and keep your eyes open for other skaters. Being aware of your surroundings and not acting like a tool is probably the best advice is can give.
Ask other skaters for tips if you’re a beginner. Usually, there are people around who gladly help you and love to give pointers. Start slow and gradually build up. You don’t have to drop in right away or feel pressured. Everyone was a beginner once and most skaters realize that. Being respectful will get you a long way.