Tools for Building Boards

There’s more than one way to make a skateboard, and many opportunities to spend way more money than is necessary (oh, CNC machines…).  I put together a list of the minimum tools I recommend for getting started.  This list is broken into two sections – pressing and shaping. Here’s the video version: Pressing: Roarockit Thin […]


Energy and Action Sports – Lesson Plan [Middle School]

A PDF of this lesson plan may be downloaded here. Overview: Students will design and 3D print their own custom fingerboards, and then use their fingerboards to experimentally observe the law of conservation of energy. Grade Levels:       Middle school  Standards*: NGSS: MS-PS3-2 Energy: Develop a model to describe that when the arrangement of objects interacting […]


Skateboard Design and Applied Math with Fingerboards

A PDF of this lesson plan may be downloaded here. Overview: Students will experiment with different fingerboard shapes to understand how the shape affects their performance. After trying all shapes and discussing, students will be able to design and print their own fingerboards based on the data they collected! Grade Levels: Elementary school through high […]


Denim Skateboard

The other day, I built a skateboard using denim. I had some old jeans that were worn beyond further repair (they already had some patches) or donation.  I’m often keeping an open mind to potential new skateboard deck materials that are upcycled, recycled, or more rapidly-renewable, so I immediately thought of turning these jeans into […]


First revision to the BIS!

The Board Identification System (BIS) has been updated to include one more dimension: H, kick height. I realized a flaw in the previous system that would affect pop angle – the rate at which the kick angle was achieved might vary. What does this mean? The two boards shown above would’ve previously had the same BIS #. […]

The Benefits of… Pushing Mongo?

When I first started skating, I pushed mongo; that is, I used my front foot to push instead of my back foot. I think most skaters agree that pushing mongo is not the most aesthetically pleasing mode of skateboard travel.  That was one of the reasons I learned to push “normal”, with my back foot. […]


What’s the Best Skateboard Length for Me?

Length is probably the second most commonly noted dimension of boards (behind width).  But, it’s actually the three dimensions that make up length that are really important – wheelbase, tail length, and nose length. Wheelbase is the distance between the centers of your board’s inner bolt holes.  Typically, wheelbase ranges from 13” to 15”.  A nice way to […]


How to get Perfect Concave with the Roarockit Method

Making perfectly curved concave on your board is extremely difficult if you try to hand-shape an arc on your foam mold*.  Thankfully, we can still achieve an arced concave by simply making a trapezoidal shape – simply using flat sides.  This is much easier to make reliably, because we can use a straightedge (like a […]

pop angle

How to Measure Pop Angle

Pop angle isn’t as easy to measure as width and length. However, we can use stuff we normally have lying around to measure and calculate pop angle! Materials: protractor fishing line or string nut or washer (optional) keyring with heavy things (like keys) attached (this keeps the string pulled straight down) skateboard Tools: scissors smart phone or […]


Choosing Skateboard Width

How to choose or design your skateboard width: Width is measured straight across from one rail of your deck to the other. Width is most commonly between 7.75” and 8.5”, but can be wider or narrower; this range is typical for all-around (street, transition, park) decks. Freestyle decks may run narrower, down to around 7”. Transition decks […]


Understanding “Pop Angle”

“Pop Angle” is the angle your board makes with the ground when the nose or tail touches. There are four main characteristics of your board that affect this pop angle: 1. Tail and nose length (measured horizontally from outer bolt holes to tip) 2. Kick angle (measured from the horizontal plane) 3. Kick length (measured horizontally from the beginning […]

Skateboarding as a Life Tool: Part 11 – Compassion

“If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.” – Dalai Lama Compassion: sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it ( Despite the individuality and independence of skateboarding, there is a strong bond between skaters.  An unspoken connection is made – when […]

Skateboarding as a Life Tool: Part 8 – Self-confidence

“Insecurity kills more dreams than failure ever will.” – Suzy Kassem Self-confidence: “a feeling of trust in one’s abilities, qualities, and judgment” ( definition). A great portion of success in skateboarding depends on your mentality – “Do I think I can do this?”  I can’t think of a better example of the need for self-confidence in […]