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Picking Out the Best Hardware for Your Skateboard

In this Braille Buyer’s Guide, we’re going to be going over hardware. What’s skateboard hardware? These are literally the nuts and bolts of your skateboard. Why is hardware so important? keep reading to find out.

Skateboarding hardware comes in variety of different styles and sizes which will be covered in greater detail within this Buyer’s Guide. With so many different options on the market, it may be difficult for a new skateboarder to decide on a set of skateboard hardware to purchase.

If you’re struggling to choose the right hardware for your skateboard, don’t stress! We have you covered! Read over the following information so that you’ll be able to make an informed decision before you make a purchase. 

If you’re reading this blog post, chances are, you’re a beginner looking at getting into skateboarding. That’s great and we will fully support you! Take a look at our other Braille Buyer’s Guide blog posts to find out more about all the different parts and tools of a skateboard.

You can also check out this video we made of setting up a new skateboard! It goes through all the parts you need for a full complete and walks you through all the motions.

We hope you enjoyed that video! Now let’s dive deeper into what you really came here for; skateboard hardware! Chances are, you’re here to find out more about hardware and probably find what works best for you. Here’s what we’re going to be covering in this post:

  • What is skateboard hardware?
  • Different types of hardware
  • Skateboard hardware sizing
  • General Recommendations

Skateboard Hardware Definition

While “hardware” may seem like a broad term, in skateboarding, “hardware” refers to a very specific set of nuts and bolts that are used to secure your trucks to your skateboard. The bolts are inserted through the mounting holes of your skateboard deck and your trucks, then tightened and secured using the included locknuts.

When you purchase a set of skateboard hardware, you will receive eight locknuts and eight bolts. Each truck will require four of these nuts and bolts to be properly mounted to your skateboard. 

Allen vs. Phillips Head

Skateboard hardware is typically sold in two different styles; Allen and Phillips. The Allen style hardware features bolts with hexagonal sockets in their heads. For this style of hardware, an Allen key, hex key, or Allen wrench is required for tightening/loosening the bolts. Phillips style hardware features bolts with cross-shape embedded in their heads. A Phillips head screwdriver works perfectly for tightening/loosening Phillips style hardware.

No matter your skill level, your choice of hardware will have little to absolutely no effect on your skateboarding. If you are having trouble deciding whether to get Allen style or Phillips style hardware, choose the hardware that you have the appropriate tool for.

That being said, Skateboarding Tools are manufactured with both styles of hardware in mind and will have a function to tighten/loosen both Allen and Phillips head bolts. 

If you haven’t already picked one up, we recommend picking up a Skate Tool from our online shop. With this tool, you’ll be able to adjust both Allen and Phillips style hardware. Plus, it’s must have when setting up a complete!

Skateboard Hardware Sizing

Before you select a set of skateboard hardware to purchase, it’s important to understand the different sizes of hardware and why you may need a specific size to set your board up properly. If you are riding a skateboard without riser pads, the appropriate size of hardware that you’ll need is seven-eighths of an inch (7/8″). One-inch (1″) hardware will also do the trick if 7/8″ isn’t available.

The only time you’ll need hardware larger than 7/8″-1″ is:

  • If you are using risers or shock pads. Depending on the size of the riser pads, you’ll need a set of hardware that measures anywhere from one-inch (1″) to one and a half-inch (1 1/2″). 
  • Your risers that are only an eighth of an inch (1/8″), select hardware in the ranges of one-inch (1″) to one and one-eighth-inch (1 1/8″).
  • If the risers are a quarter-inch (1/4″), you’ll need one and one-quarter-inch hardware (1 1/4″).
  • If your risers that are a half-inch (1/2″), you’ll need one and a half-inch hardware (1 1/2″).

General Recommendations

As stated before, the type of hardware you select should have little to no effect on your skateboarding progression. Hardware is just a means of securing your trucks to your deck.

Being relatively inexpensive at just a few dollars per set, it makes sense to replace your hardware at the first sign of stripping. The last thing you want is to have stripped bolts on your skateboard that are nearly impossible to remove and replace. If you see your bolts starting to become stripped, whether they are Phillips or Allen style just pick up a new set from your local skate shop before it’s too late.

We can’t tell you if Allens are better than Phillips or vice-versa, but what we can do is recommend a few notable brands of hardware to help you get on the right track. Remember to make note of the size of hardware you need, choose your preferred style of Allens or Phillips, then choose the hardware you’d like to go with.

Maybe multi-colored hardware is your style? Choose from one of the many brands that offer hardware in different colors. If you like a more plain and traditional look, choose from one of the many brands that offer hardware with a standard appearance. 

Some of the most notable hardware brands include Independent, Diamond, Shake Junt, Shorty’s, Mini-Logo, Bones, and the list goes on! Often times the brand of board and or trucks you are riding will also offer hardware. If you want to show some brand loyalty, you can always go that route!

With so many different brands, styles, colors, and sizes, Braille Skateboarding knows that choosing skateboard hardware can be confusing. Experiment with hardware from different companies and eventually, you’ll settle on a set of hardware that you love! 

In Conclusion

With most aspects of skateboarding, picking out hardware is up to preference. You can have it many different colors, sizes and types. If you want to go with an Allen head over a Phillips head, go for it! If you want all multicolor hardware showing on your grip tape, do it! It’s all up to what you want to do and where your creativity takes you.

We hope that this guide helped you with selecting the right hardware and that you learned something. While hardware may seem not as important as other parts of your setup, choosing good hardware will ensure your board lasts longer and keeps you safe.

What kind of hardware do you use? We want to see your setup! Snap a photo of your board setup and tag us on Instagram, @brailleskate#brailleskate and #brailleskateboarding. We love to see you guys progressing and pushing yourself to learn more tricks. Keep them coming!

If you’re new to skateboarding and looking to improve your skills, definitely check out Skateboarding Made Simple. It’s the most detailed lesson plan for skateboarding that exists. With 9 different volumes, you’ll go from learning how to ride on a board, to skating skateparks and landing more advanced flatground tricks in no time!

Now get out there and send it, FIRST TRY!

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