No one had ever seen anything quite like it before, but no one knew just how transformative that moment would become. It wasn’t just that you could simply pop up into the air, it’s that it gave the rider a whole other set of opportunities to do tricks, and you don’t even have to be dependent on a ramp! As time went by, people began to add other skateboard tricks while they were airborne.
The skater can gain greater clearance from the ground by jumping higher, popping faster, sliding the front foot farther forwards (starting the jump with the front foot farther back), and pulling the legs higher into the chest to raise the feet higher. Skaters attempting record-setting ollies even contort the legs so that board and feet are not directly below them, allowing the board to rise at or just below the level of the pelvis.
Grip tape is a sheet of paper or fabric with adhesive on one side and a surface similar to fine sandpaper on the other. Grip tape is applied to the top surface of a board to allow the rider's feet to grip the surface and help the skater stay on the board while doing tricks. Grip tape is usually black, but is also available in many different colors such as pink, red, yellow, checkered, camo, and even clear. Often, they have designs die-cut to show the color of the board, or to display the board's company logo. Grip tape accumulates dirt and other substances that will inhibit grip, so use of a grip eraser or rubber eraser is necessary after riding through mud or with dirty shoes.
Each skateboard wheel is mounted on its axle via two bearings. With few exceptions, the bearings are the industrial standard "608" size, with a bore of 8 mm (or 10mm depending on the axle), an outer diameter of 22 mm, and a width of 7 mm. These are usually made of steel, though silicon nitride, a high-tech ceramic, is sometimes used. Many skateboard bearings are graded according to the ABEC scale. The scale starts with ABEC1 as the lowest, followed by 3, 5, 7, and 9. It is a common misconception that the higher ABECs are better for skateboarding, as the ABEC rating only measures tolerances, which do not necessarily apply to skateboards. Bearing performance is determined by how well maintained the bearings are. Maintenance on bearings includes periodically cleaning and lubricating them . Bearings that are kept unmaintained have their performance greatly lowered and will soon need to be replaced. Bearing cleaning kits are commonly available on the market. The ABEC rating does not determine the speed or durability of a skateboard bearing. In particular, the ABEC rating says nothing about how well a bearing handles axial (side-to-side) loads, which are severe in most skateboard applications. Many companies do not show the ABEC rating, such as Bones Bearings, which makes bearings specifically for skateboarding, often marketed as "Skate Rated". Each bearing usually contains 7 steel or ceramic bearing balls, although other configurations are used as well.
Smile and wave – Feel free to look around at all the other people at the skatepark that stood by and marveled at your new-found accomplishments (all one of them). I’m sure by this point you’ll be picking up roses that are being thrown at your feet, and taking a well-deserved bow as they begin to chant your name. Take it all in, thank the crowd for their undying affection, and then go get a snow-cone. You deserve it, champ.