Graphics on skateboards are essential for a few reasons. They can help riders identify their boards, make them look unique, and add to the overall skating style. Unfortunately, graphics can also be damaged quite easily. This article will discuss how to protect skateboard graphics. Read on for more.
Skateboard graphics are essential for a few reasons. They can help riders identify their boards, make them look unique, and add to the overall skating style. Unfortunately, graphics can also be damaged quite easily. Many of the same things that help protect your board from damage can also help protect your graphics.
A Detailed Guide on How to Protect Skateboard Graphics
Step 1: Carefully Tighten Your Trucks
People often secure trucks too tightly. This can lead to stress on your board, and it can cause the grip tape to get pinched between them, allowing air bubbles to get into the artwork. When this happens, you may see your graphic peeling away from the deck at these times.
It would be best to tighten your truck until you feel some resistance when turning them, but make sure that they are not so tight that they begin denting or pinching your deck’s grip tape. For the enhanced performance of your grip tape, always make sure it is clean before applying any pressure to it. A dirty or oily part of a grip tape will lose its adherence properties when put under pressure, making it more likely to peel at the end of the graphic.
Step 2: Maintain Your Deck’s Construction
Before you ride a board, you should inspect the grip tape and make sure that it looks clean from any dirt or debris. You can do so with your bare hands by running them across the surface, but you first have to wash your hands before doing so. If there is anything stuck on the surface of the grip tape, you will need a sharp object such as a screwdriver to pick them out.
You should avoid using sharp tools because they may damage your deck’s construction, causing holes that will allow air bubbles underneath your graphic. Once done, let it dry for about half an hour before riding them if the water has created some mess on its surface.
Step 3: Clean Your Skate Every Month
When you ride a skateboard, your shoes will inevitably pile up dirt and debris from the grip tape. Over time, this can lead to scratches on the surface of your grip tape and cause air bubbles at those points in time. To avoid such an occurrence, you should clean your skate regularly by using a damp cloth or towel to wipe off all the dirt and grime from their surface.
If you want more thorough cleaning for your deck’s construction, we recommend taking them out of commission for a few days before washing them thoroughly with soap and water. Then, after rinsing them off with tap water for long enough, ensure they are completely dry before lacing them up again. Then, just as before, let it dry for a few days before riding them if any water is left on its surface.
Step 4: Avoid Prolonged Exposure to the Sunlight
When you expose your skateboard graphic to direct sunlight, it can fade and become susceptible to damage due to UV rays emitted from the sun. Over time, these rays can cause cracks and fissures on the outside layer of your grip tape’s artwork when not adequately dealt with. To avoid such an occurrence, you should keep your board out of sight when stored outside or in an area where they might be exposed to long hours of sunlight.
Protecting your board from sunlight is pretty straightforward if you have a bag for your deck with a good amount of padding. You can use a thin cloth bag with thin padding, but we recommend using a board carrying case instead of if you want something better for long-term protection. This is a crucial step in how to protect skateboard graphics.
Step 5: Replace Bushings
Riding your skateboard can cause the bushings under its trucks to wear out faster because there is an increased amount of pressure exerted on them during use. This more significant strain will begin to wear them down and make them softer as time goes on. Once they become too soft, you may find that your board has already started to lean forward or backward excessively while riding it.
Suppose you discover that this is happening to your board. In that case, the solution to the problem lies with replacing their bushings entirely instead of trying to soften them up again by adding lubricants inside them. You should avoid using WD40 because it will only further damage the dryness of these metal bushings in time. Instead, replacing them with new ones should give you a better idea of how your board should feel when used correctly.
Step 6: Avoid Using a Damaged or Warped Skateboard
If you have physical damage on your board, such as a broken tail or a popped wheel, you should avoid using them at all costs because they can lead to air bubbles from prolonged use. Additionally, warped decks are just as hazardous to operate since they will cause the trucks to wobble while riding them, which can eventually lead to cracks and even breakage in some cases.
In rarer scenarios where the warp is not that bad, you may only need to tighten their kingpin nuts for a temporary solution until you replace the deck entirely with another one. However, even if your skateboard is mostly in good shape, you should consider buying a new one when they show significant wear and tear signs, such as warped or cracked decks.
Step 7: Replace Your Grip Tape
If you want to add a personal touch to your board, replacing their grip tape with a new one is an excellent way. More unique grip tapes are made from quality materials that won’t fade in the sunlight or crack when they start feeling too dry for your liking. In addition, they come in different colors and patterns, so if you want more than just plain black, we recommend checking out these alternatives instead.
But before putting on a new piece of grip tape onto your board, we suggest cutting off any jagged pieces left behind by the previous layer of tape. You can use scissors or a sharp knife for this task since it will be easier to maneuver said items around its surface area than using sandpaper alone. When cutting them off, it is best to do so as close as possible to the edge of your board so that there aren’t any unneeded pieces left behind.
Step 8: Clean Wheels
Cleaning your wheels should only be done when necessary because this process can strip away the outer layer of plastic and decrease their overall life expectancy. However, suppose you want to do it anyway. In that case, we recommend using dish soap and warm water for this task instead of commercial cleaners such as Formula 409 or Simple Green because they contain chemicals that could lead to further damage.
If you look at each wheel before cleaning them, you might notice that there are tiny grooves left behind from where they were spinning. They will not affect how your board performs since these aren’t deep enough to cause damage, but it is still recommended that you clean them out to ensure that no residue gets caught inside those grooves and keeps them from coming into complete contact with them the surface of your board.
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Step 9: Store Your Board in a Cool and Dry Place
When you put your skateboard on display or when it is not being used for extended periods, you should store it in a dry and cool place to minimize the surface damage to your grip tape’s artwork. When kept in a humid environment or one where temperatures are high, this can lead to cracks and peeling signs on your graphic. This will be inevitable if you have been keeping them outside without proper protection from sunlight.
If you plan on storing your board somewhere where they might get direct sunlight, you should keep them out of the sun. Hanging them up underneath your roof where they can’t get any sunlight exposure will be good for their longevity.
Taking care of your skateboard’s grip tape should not be taken lightly because it can affect their overall performance and even damage the graphic art itself after prolonged use. To avoid such an occurrence, always make sure to inspect them regularly.
If anything looks off on their surface or visible cracks are starting to form on your grip tape’s artwork, you should replace them immediately. Doing so will help prevent further damage during use until you eventually need to buy a new set of grip tape for your skateboard deck.
While skateboard graphics may seem like a minor detail, they play an essential role in your deck’s overall look and feel. By using a few simple tips, you can protect your graphics from wear and tear and keep them looking good for years to come. Follow these steps on how to protect skateboard graphics to keep your board looking fresh!
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