Introduction: Tow in Skateboard..

Picture of Tow in Skateboard..

i wanted to make a super fast skateboard for 'tow-in-skateboarding'. it needed to have much lower drag on the wheels than a small skateboard and a longer board, smoother ride, kind of wakeboarding/snowboarding feel. Here are all the parts and most of the tools i played with assembled before i begin. I had a carcass of an old beach skateboard to play with, which i ended up using almost nothing of. oh well. i like the way projects evolve.

Step 1: Deck, Super Structure, Trucks, Wheels, Tools.

Picture of Deck, Super Structure, Trucks, Wheels, Tools.

an old piece of 80-20 is the stiff part of the board, the trucks are attached with a plate as you see. the huge wheels are from those cheap skooters. the scooter wheels can be found for 1-2$ each. because they are thin and have 100-120mm diameter they are WAY WAY faster than skateboard wheels. come to think of it i'm not sure why kids use skatewheels that have such small diameter.. the bigger wheels also ride out the bigger cracks and potholes so much easier, especially at speed.

Step 2: Trucks and Fitting.

Picture of Trucks and Fitting.

cheap trucks can be found at most sports stores on kids boards and at dollar stores. they are fine
for experimenting, but are never wide enough, and usually the centre bolt bends under high load.

the trucks are attached with a plate as you see. this one has been used on beaches and in sand a
lot hence the rust. lock nuts are a necessity on truck fixings as they always rattle loose.

Step 3: Lots of Time Wasted Lightening the 80/20

Picture of Lots of Time Wasted Lightening the 80/20

so it looks really cool but it wasn't worth it. i waterjet oval sections out of the 80/20 to take some weight out of it.

Step 4: 10-24 Nuts and Washers

Picture of 10-24 Nuts and Washers

these were convenient and not metric ( a lot of skateboard and bike stuff is) and were a fine substitute.

Step 5: Preparing for New Trucks.

Picture of Preparing for New Trucks.

the old ones were bent up from the sand boarding so i'm preparing to fit new ones. nice to have a groove such as the one in this band saw table so the board stands on it's edge while you do this stuff.

Step 6: Fitting Trucks.

Picture of Fitting Trucks.

nice cheap new trucks ($2 at building 19 1/8)

Step 7: Fitting Skooter Wheels.

Picture of Fitting Skooter Wheels.

these things are larger diameter and thinner.
that means faster (less rolling resistance)
and better at handling bumps and cracks in road.
i don't know why all skaters don't use 'em.

Step 8: Different Colours Each Side!

Picture of Different Colours Each Side!

i don't know, i like this. should have been one red and one green to teach me finally which is port and which is starboard.

or whether i'm goofy or natch.

red and white. the first football team i ever supported, the St George Dragons were red and white...

Step 9: Testing the Cornering.

Picture of Testing the Cornering.

it mightn't be obvious in this photo, but i'm leaning over full tilt on this board trying to steer the
wheels and they, as you can see, aren't exactly turning much. one problem is the deck is flexible
and the connection between the deck and 80/20 is not rigid enough.

i went out and tested this board, and it sort of sucked. took two city blocks to actually turn the
thing. not the 'feel' i wanted for this board. It was super fast though.

also found the 80/20 spine made the board way to stiff. feels more like surfing when the deck
flexes. that must be why everyone else did it that way. great to reinvent the wheel....


ubicity (author)2015-01-27


darrenhall (author)2014-09-14

I really like this build and hope you work on another with what you learned from this one - will keep a look out.

Have just modded my kite/mountain board into a carver and found this instructable facinating.

Hope to see your new build soon.

See ya.

mikethemaster123 (author)2012-10-21

Im a longboarder and the reason we don't use scooter wheels is because

A) Scooter wheels have too small of a contact patch so you can not get a good grip

B) Scooter wheels are often not made with Urethane or made with urethane of poor quality, so you can not slide your board and do tricks

And to increase turning, you can put softer bushings into the trucks and loosen the trucks

ilpug (author)2012-03-22

Good first design, needs tweaks though, for sure. I must also be a complete jerk and scold you for going barefoot in the shop.

Benjicg (author)2012-02-27

pass the port to the left XD
port is red starboard is green
i knew that four and a half grand i spent on becoming a watersports instructor wouldn't go to waste

Drawstreet (author)2008-01-16

This is sort of painful, really look into this more. is just one of the MANY wheels made for Downhill longboarding (pushing 60 mph) A Scooter wheel is made out of terrible urethane and will not give you the necessary grip on pavement that a skateboard at high speed needs. if you are thinking of a SHORT board wheel they are small and hard due to the more "acrobatic" nature of the flips and slides performed.

benedict688 (author)Drawstreet2012-02-24

Thank you, I swear i've posted 100 times about this, and people just still don't get it. roller blade and scooter wheels are made for roller blading and scootering, NOT SKATING. When you roller blade you can angle your skates so that you maintain traction while turning, skateboard wheels are always flat on the ground therefor you need wider wheels to keep traction. Theres 100 of different wheels in different sizes and shapes and hardess' that are all made specifially for skateboarding, and none of them look like roller blade or scooter wheels. Skating has been around for many years now, and there have been many advances in the technology that goes with it. Putting roller blade wheels on your skate is what they did 40 years ago before there were actual skate wheels. My advice to anyone whos putting these rediculous wheels on your board would be to check out a store that sells longboard gear, and maybe read an article about skating before you come on here and try and tell everyone how you came up with the best new way to make your skateboard faster, you just sound stupid when you don't know what your talking about

TTAMREKRAP (author)2011-10-09

Just for future reference the "centre bolt" that you refered to is called a kingpin

Yerboogieman (author)2011-10-08

Reminds me of when we used to put rollerblade wheels on our skateboards and scooters. Much faster and lower ride height on the scooters.

pinkhobo (author)2009-01-03

skate boarders don't use big wheels cause it will give them wheel bite.

berky93 (author)pinkhobo2009-01-10

what is wheel bite

jokerlz (author)berky932009-02-10

Where the wheel hits the board causing it to stop suddenley sending rider flying forwards a few meters and then letting friction gravity and momentum do the rest.

pyroman711 (author)jokerlz2009-06-07

long boarders do because if the wheels hit big rocks it deosn't make it stop because the wheels are just roll over them or push them out of the way and you don't really do many tricks on longboards where u lift the board so the board can be heavy skateboards only have small wheels so they are lighter so they can do tricks

foxtrot4697 (author)pyroman7112010-07-15

Longboarders use bigger wheels so that they can go faster and they dont need to be close to the ground like skateboards are because they wont be doing many tricks. they are also bigger to support the extra weight and because they can be bigger cause of the higher trucks

pyroman711 (author)foxtrot46972011-09-12

actually theres a whole style of longboarding that does tricks which is called longboard danceing like this they need to be a little bit thicker to take the weight spread out but i've had a longboard thats lighter than my skateboard so the weight doesn't have alot to do with how much weight it supports and the trucks aren't that much bigger i've seen freinds use skateboard trucks on longboards and with cutouts to not get wheelbite it works fine. and that guy is right they are lower to the ground so that they get less drag people go down mountains on longboards

pero27 (author)foxtrot46972011-09-11

oh yes we do :D
every longboarder tryes to have the board as close to the ground as possible; that's why the drop through design was born
if you are crusing you want to be low for ease of pumping and if you are dowhnilling you want to be low for stability and reduced drag ;)
I have a set of 82A 72mm rollerblade wheels on my cruiser for less resistance and they work just fine (they don't have any sidegrip whatsoever tho XD) - it's down to personal preference
but those trucks are a fair bit narrow; I use 220mm ;)

Xeracy (author)2006-06-09

or use wider trucks. try Randle II 180s or like Indy 215s. also, having a large, heavy, stiff board is gonna make your ride sluggish, try cutting a deck out (of sturdy multi-ply wood, but not regular plywood) in the same basic shape as what you've already got, with narrow ends at the trucks to prevent wheel bite, i garuntee that it will atleast ride better :D

jparry-1 (author)Xeracy2011-05-03

i made my own longboard in the same fashion as what you described and it only cost me about £10 and it works brilliantly i use it for cruising and it is going sturdy. all wheel bite is eliminated and its super smooth

indalohouse (author)2010-12-03

If you want to go fast the trucks you need are Randel 150DH these are designed to steer at speed, if its going to be under 30 then Randel 180's are the thing for carving. Either way Wide wheels are essential, ABEC 11's or WDM's. I use green Flashbacks . To give you an idea of whats possible take a look here, I have a vanguard as well as 7 or 8 other boards. I have nothing to do with this company but thier site is great, I suggest you look thorough thier videos you will be inspired to use the right kit and learn how to ride well, My final ford for you is Slide Gloves find out how and what they are for and you will increase your safty and boardcraft, im 48 and still riding strong. regards rob

Squeekzilla (author)2010-05-13

Its funny how much effort you went through to essential end up with A LONG BOARD. check this site out.

foxtrot4697 (author)Squeekzilla2010-07-15

hmmm really? Skateboard trucks, scooter wheels, god knows what deck. supported by a piece of metal. doesn't fit the definition of a longboard

jimbobaway (author)foxtrot46972010-11-06

If you want to be technical, a longboard is just a long skateboard. Regardless of what wheels (they make 90mm skateboard wheels), deck composition (they make metal decks too), or trucks (Sector 9 and a lot of offbrand companies like to put shortboard trucks on their decks), it fits the definition of a longboard just fine. Constructive criticism to the design of this deck: Use wider, reverse kingpin trucks.

bigbuties (author)2010-10-15

the reason we dont use those wheels is they have absolutly no grip

justinazevedo47 (author)2010-08-29

if you go long board trucks the turning radius would be much better

sbent518 (author)2009-07-02

Everyone's right, cheap truck and thin wheels are dangerous. I've had bad experience trying to save money, and AlloySkull is right, it isn't worth the bill. If you don't plan on turning much, the wheels arn't too bad, but still, ridding on flat land with my longboard with roller blade wheels, 72mms, i could still slip on simple corners. Get some ABEC11 wheels, some of those grip like none other.

sbent518 (author)2009-07-02

ah, there we go. Good ol' Locking nuts _

sbent518 (author)2009-07-02

You could also get some regular skateboard hardware, with locking nuts, that's what i've had to use with some ground down threaded bolts from the hardware store, works great. and riser pads are a WONDER in helping making the ride nicer, especially with the scooter wheels being so hard. This is really giving me some ideas for some of my own contraptions!

Yerboogieman (author)2009-04-05

That means you have to loosen the trucks a bit, they are too tight to turn good.

wak166 (author)2009-01-14

the reason that you cant turn is probly because of the cheap trucks . if you got randal 180 longboard trucks this board would be awsome ! but it will set you back 50 bucks . if you dot have that get super soft bushings but it wouldnt wort as good

adome (author)2008-10-08

How did you get your hands on a waterjet?

catwood (author)2008-08-07

Where were you that you had access to a waterjet machine for cutting those ovals out?

digitalenigma (author)2008-06-25

I feel obliged to point out to others i dont think its so much he cant turn on a dime, but more the 1,1/2 In dia. wheels are bitting the baseplate of the trucks (skateboard axels) designed for 3/4 In. wheels on turns? if thats not it just losening the king pin will give more turn radius..

digitalenigma (author)2008-06-25

Yes that is why sk8rs dont use those inline fruit booter wheels! they ruin your turning radius unless you got monster spacers! btw, you could probally pull this off still if you add a set of old-old skool trucks the old vert ramp-ish type boards sported theese there about 1/2 to 2 In. longer than the standard trucks on todays street boards! Also looks like you got a set of 2 $ toys r us sk8board trucks which usally have a shorter truck width, are made out of sub-standard alloys (cardfull on the turns dude!) the ol-rustys probally would've functioned better but not looked nearly as clean/cool on the instructable! all that said it was a excellent project, and deserves a second go! good job man!

AlloySkull (author)2008-06-19

Take a hard enough turn on those going 30+ and you will see why that tiny surface area that actually touches the concrete does you no good. I forwarn you, some things are honestly better to spend some money on. Get some soft, large longboarding wheels, and some wider, stronger trucks. Independent 169s, Trackers of some kind, Randalls, Gullwings, Benetts, something.

40 dollars is nothing compared to a hospital bill. It's one thing to live dangerous, and another to live stupidly. So be smart and live on the edge, upgrade, you'll think yourself.

I've had kingpins snap on a hill. I've had bad nuts fall off (I had that thought that they never would) and I have got speed wobble so bad that I bailed out into GRASS and got a concussion, I hit so fast I wasn't able to roll myself. I tried to keep my head up but your neck can't stop momentum of going 30 down a "warm-up" hill.

Keep 'em loose on the streets, tighten 'em up for the hills. Remember, more speed = quicker response from your trucks. Speed wobble is hard to recover from and never believe you have power over what you are skating...

I've never had serious injuries because I take precautions. But I've been hurt when I shouldn't have been. So just a warning. Heed the knowledge of everyone here.

Have fun and keep longboarding alive.

laxman735 (author)2008-04-27

this would be considered as a LONGBOARD!

SoulFinger (author)2007-03-23

Have you considered using riser pads between the truck and the metal plate? I think you'd find that the bolts would loosen much less as the pads dampen the vibrations a bit (even just the 1/8" size). You can also tighten them down to the point where the pad is being "squeezed" slightly which adds tension, further preventing the bolts from loosening. Also ... a smoother ride. Great design, by the way.

NeilLizard (author)SoulFinger2008-02-11

Yea, I agree.

alvincredible (author)2008-02-06

saw it in half, add hinges, and make it portable, like i did! ahah but don't make one like i did. it's totally gonna get you killed. ahah :-) good work.

Drawstreet (author)2008-01-16

the shape is fine, even the deck construction is good. A stiff deck provides a snappy response that most people at speed enjoy. More flex = more carve and cruise but a huge sacrifice of stability. better trucks would be more helpful.

Drawstreet (author)2008-01-16

a scooter wheel like that, especially combined with the rest of the set up is too high and unstable. a 60mm long-board wheel can reach higher speeds and is much more stable (due to the width)

Drawstreet (author)2008-01-16 if you're spending less than 20 per truck you are putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

Mad Hatter (author)2007-11-25

You should put some grip tape on it. You can find it at your local skate shop for like five dollars a sheet

Easy Button (author)2007-08-02

cool the first instructable and i like the skateboard

kearney (author)2006-04-21

one reason why skaters don't use the bigger wheels is the wheels lock against the board when you lean. i have a set o wheels out of a cheap pair of rollerblades, and the wheels will run into the board at too tight a turn. also, with the metal trucks on metal stock, putting some rubber washers in between will lower the clattering made on cemet or asphalt

masterochicken (author)kearney2007-07-21

wheel bite

masterochicken (author)2007-07-21

the reason skaters don't use those is because you can't turn very good, you can't land on them easily, they are impossible to revert with them, they just get and in the way, and they are cheap pieces of crap.

trialex (author)2007-07-02

Nice... inspiring me to get into skateboard design/manufacture... Would have given it a +, but unfortunately you mentioned you supported the St George Dragons...

Suppafly (author)2006-09-20

I'm not sure that bigger == faster in all cases.

sk8er6 (author)2006-05-01

wider trucks more control, also ride your kingpin loose, or get softer bushings. visit

omegatron (author)2006-04-18

I'm digging the board. I've had a longboard for about ten years, and I use 13-year old Tracker Aggro trucks, wide ones. If you get some really wide trucks, or better yet, find a way to extend those ones, you'lll find turning much easier, and add stability to the whole thing. This would also allow you to use even bigger wheels without getting wheel bite, thus being even faster. I use a 46" Powell deck with 50mm (I think) wheels and my trucks are probably 10" wide (I can't measure it, my board is at a friend's house). I can cut over people's lawns. My wheels are waaay wider though, so they don't sink into the dirt.

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