I always carry around more items than I should, and most of the time I don’t need them. There are days when just bringing an extra bearing or a skate tool can save your session.
It’s not just saving your own session, sometimes you can help another skater out and people really appreciate that. We’ve all been there, and often you only need an item when it’s too late.
11 Skateboard Backpack Essentials
Sometimes you break a bearing, come across a ledge that needs some waxing, need to patch yourself up, or replace your ripped laces.
So I looked at my skateboard backpack and decided to check out its content, here are 11 essentials things I carry around when skateboarding.
1. A Skate Tool
The most essential thing you really need to bring when skateboarding is a skate tool. it saved me so many drives back home that I can’t recall. I love to tweak my board every time I go out and ride, especially when riding transition.
Not every skate tool is equal though, you really get what you pay for. My favorite is still the Silver skate tool, the only thing it lacks is a re-threader.
- It’s sturdy, super fast when removing or replacing hardware.
- Can deal with Allen and Philips bolts
- Can be used to scratch grip tape
- Allows you to tweak your trucks
2. An Extra Bearing (or Two)
Bearings break, especially if you ride cheaper bearings like Bones Reds or Mini Logo. I always carry an extra set, not just for me, but when someone breaks one I help out. Of course you don’t have to carry brand new bearings like I do.
Just a few old bearings are fine and will get you through your session. Riding on one bearing just won’t work. You also might want to add a couple of speedrings/washers, I always misplace them when swapping my wheels or bearings.
Hardware usually damages when you tighten them too much or just wear out over time. Bringing a set of bolts and nuts is always a good idea, you won’t need them often but when you do you’re glad you brought them with you.
4. Axle Nuts
Axle nuts get destroyed and when you primo often, the really wear fast. They are super cheap and can save the day when you need to replace a bearing. It’s pretty frustrating when you just can’t get the axle nut back on the axle thread.
5. Pocket Knife or Stanley knife
A utility knife or packet knife can be used to cut laces, even out chips or cutting the edges of when applying grip tape. There are probably a million good reasons to bring a knife, and one really bad reason.
6. First Aid Kit
Sometimes you learn the hard way. I recently wanted to replace some grip tape and managed to cut myself with my utility knife. Fortunately somebody was smart enough to bring some bandages so I could patch myself up.
I now carry a small First Aid Kit just in case, hopefully I or anyone else don’t need it anytime soon.
7. Food & Drinks
Obviously staying hydrated is important and skateboarding always makes me thirsty. I usually bring one or two Camelbak bottles and fill them to the brim with water.
As for food; a banana works wonders to quickly get some energy and if you’re in for a long sessions making a couple of sandwiches won’t hurt. I’ll leave the choice of desired food to you, this is just something I personally prefer.
Wax is great for practicing slappies on curbs, grinding rusty flatbars and dry ledges. I often also wax my board a bit to boardslide copings and it really makes a difference. Make sure you don’t overdo it and ask your fellow skaters if they don’t mind.
Waxing without asking could be considered rude, I recently encountered a couple of Rollerbladers who waxed the coping in my local park and they really went overboard. Probably had something to do with their inability to grind. Fortunately I always carry a piece of griptape and removed the wax.
Wax can melt so make sure to wrap it in a plastic bag. As a bonus, bring a piece of sand paper or grip tape. This will allow you to remove some of the excess wax.
Snapping laces is part of the game but it’s super annoying. Usually you can fix them temporarily but sometimes you really have to replace your laces. Fortunately skate shoes often come with an extra pair of laces, easy to stow away in your backpack
10. A Phone
You probably bring your phone when skateboarding and obviously you want to be able to make a call when you injured yourself. It’s not only great for emergencies, a phone with a decent camera is great for snapping awesome pics!
Let’s just say tissues are not only convenient to clean your hands but sometimes you just gotta go.
Less Essential Skateboarding Stuff But Still Useful
Let’s also quickly go through some things you don’t have to bring with you but are convenient to have at home.
A re-threader isn’t really necessary, but not being able to place back a nut on an axle is super frustrating. I usually leave mine at home because their is a really slim chance that you need one. I do like having one because when you need it, you’ll wish you had one.
I don’t carry Shoo Goo around but still it’s an essential thing to have. Shoe Goo really works and extend the useful life of your shoes considerably. I recently fixed a shoe that was almost beyond repair. After patching the shoe with a piece of suede, Shoe Goo, and RipCare, they lasted for another 30 hours.
I really love my skate bag. It has tons of little pockets to store my stuff and being able to attach a skateboard is very convenient. The only downside is that grip tape will eat through your bag eventually though some bags are better than others.
If I had to pick one of this list it would definitely be a skate tool. It save me so many times and I always hear skaters asking “hey, anyone bring a skate tool?”. So maybe even a skate tool isn’t that essential, but if nobody brings one you’re gonna have a bad time.
Usually you won’t need any of these items, but when you do you really wish you brought that extra bearing. Consider inspecting your board before you ride, usually you can spot problems before they happen.
Lastly, make sure to place your back in a spot where it’s harder for people to steal your stuff. Some places are safer than others, just be sure to keep an eye on your belongings.