The Board Blazers Blog


How to Buy a Custom Skateboard Online

You’re all set to buy a skateboard, but not just ANY skateboard. You could run down to a skate shop (heck you could run to Target) and pick up an out-of-the-box board, but this one needs to be unique. Whether you’re investing in a custom board for yourself (go you!) or for someone else, the process can be a little daunting. Are you going to build a board from scratch and assemble it yourself? How do you know you’re getting quality materials? Are you paying too much? Today we’re here to take the guesswork out of buying a custom board online because who doesn’t like shopping from the comfort of your couch?! You have a few options when it comes to buying a custom board, and we’ll outline them for you here. Let’s get started!


Let’s say all you’re looking for is a truly unique board – something nobody else has, and you’re not precious about the design. In this case, the best option might be to head to the home of all things unique and handmade, Etsy. This collection of artisans selling their wares can give you anything from a one of a kind live edge skateboard inlaid with turquoise to your name airbrushed onto a pinewood deck by a true artist. If what you want is unique and off the wall, head to Etsy, search “custom skateboard” and go crazy! Be aware that each seller is different, so know what you’re buying (and lead times) before you purchase. If you choose to go this route, you’ll be sure to have a one of a kind board!

For all other options, you should first be aware of all the customizable parts of a skateboard. You’ll need to choose a deck (the flat wood portion), trucks (effectively the axels that hold the wheels in place), wheels, bearings, additional hardware (risers, etc.), and grip tape (the sandpaper-like top of the board that gives your foot traction). The choices you make will determine the style, price, and usability of the board, so bear that in mind when you’re picking your materials.


By far the most accessible site we’ve found to create your own board is the uber-giant skate shop Zumiez. Here you can choose from 3 tiers of boards (best price, top brands, and premium decks) and customize the whole outfit from there. While the site is easy to use and backed by a large company, it should be noted that this is really just a semi-custom skateboard. You can choose from a myriad of choices, but there is no ability to upload a personal design or provide any sort of feedback outside of their predetermined parameters. Don’t get us wrong, you’ll come away with a great board, and it’s highly unlikely that you’ll ever run into another skater that has your exact setup. But if what you’re looking for is total control over your board and the ability to oversee the design, you won’t find it here. What you do get is thousands of options, a killer selection of brands, the comfort of knowing your purchase is backed by a store that you can visit in person, and a board that is highly superior to anything an average skater can pull out of a box in a store. The pricing is straightforward, and the choices are easy and clear. If you want something different at a reasonable price point, Zumiez has you covered.


Let’s say you’re in the market for a genuinely bespoke board. You have a vision for this skateboard, and you want to make it a reality. Look no further than Warehouse Skateboards. Here you can choose every piece of your board from a selection of literally ANY skateboard parts available for sale online. Once you’ve assembled your parts, they have an excellent step by step video showing you how to put the whole board together yourself. You should note that while assembling a board is totally doable, that you will need to block out a chunk of time to put everything together, and if you’re nervous about that task, perhaps consider the Zumiez or Etsy options outlined above. But if you’re skilled at skateboard assembly or just game for a challenge, then give this option a go!


If you want to up the ante even more, consider checking out CCS (California Cheap Skates). Here you can order a 100% customizable skateboard deck. Got a graphic you created that you want on your skate deck? No problem just upload it. Looking for some rad grip tape? Can do. By creating the art for your skateboard deck, you ensure that no one ever shows up to shred with your gear. Plus, you get to express yourself and show off your design skills; it’s a win-win! Combine your custom CCS board with all the equipment available on Warehouse Skateboard’s website, and you’ll have a completely unique board designed entirely by you!

Whether you’re looking for an off the wall original crafted by an artisan, a unique piece designed and assembled entirely by you, or something in between, now you have all the info you need! So, don’t buy a random, off-the-shelf board, go out and create a custom work of art for yourself or a skater you love! Once you have your sick new board make sure to outfit it with the coolest accessories, Board Blazers LED lights, of course! Instagram that rad new board and tag us @BoardBlazers so we can see what you create!


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Hoverboards: 6 Games to Sharpen Your Skills

So you just bought a new hoverboard, and now you have to practice using it so that you can whizz around like a pro. It takes some time and practice to master riding a hoverboard. Even if you purchase a top of the line hoverboard, you still need to put in the time. But never fear, before you know it you'll be zipping around town, turning on a dime and looking like you've been doing it for years. Hoverboards are a great way to get around. Think of them as a souped-up skateboard for the 21st century.

One cool activity that will help new users to train and get to know their new hoverboard is playing games. That's right, there are many games that you and your friends can play while using your new toy, and these games are a great way to learn what you and your ride can accomplish together! Besides, it’s great for kids to get more time to play outdoors. Below are some fun games that you and your friends can enjoy. Games are a great way to get to know your hoverboard and have a ton of fun.


Hoverboard Tag


Tag is an old classic that kids have played down through the generations. A more modern take on this game involves you and your friends on hoverboards! The rules are the same as they always have been. One player is “it.” When you are "it" you have to catch another player and yell “tag!” The tagged person becomes “it,” and the cycle starts all over again. Tag is a game that never gets old. With hoverboards in the mix, it ramps up the fun by several notches. For extra fun, you can find a large clear space and play in the dark, so that only your hoverboard's lights reveal your path. Playing in the dark makes the game way more fun and exciting. You can play with two players or in teams.


Hoverboard Feats of Strength


Here's another old classic with a modern twist. You know this one, it's when you and your friends try to knock each other down by whatever means necessary! This game can be played a few ways. You and your friends can ride around just trying to knock each other off of your boards, which is fun, or you can make things very challenging by using one hoverboard. In this version, you stand on one side of the board, and your friend stands on the other. This way, no one has much control. Whoever can stay on the longest is the victor!

 

Hoverboard Races


Racing is fun no matter what, and hoverboard racing is no exception. It's even better if you can get a lot of friends together to make things wild. You could set up an obstacle course and see who can make it to the end first. You could even get really creative and set up a game that's inspired by Mario Kart - banana peels and all! Your imagination is your only limit.


Merry Go Round


Do you remember that dizzying game of merry go round that you used to play as a kid? Spending hours in the park spinning the merry go round as fast as you could and see who could last the longest without falling off or losing their lunch. You can get the same effect from spinning on your hoverboard. Just go in circles and see who has the staying power. A word to the wise, don't try this if you get dizzy easily. It's not for the faint of heart. 


Tug Of War


If you thought that this game of strength was challenging before, try it on a hoverboard. If you can learn hoverboard tug of war, then you are well on your way to mastering your new toy. It isn't easy to wrestle the rope from the other player with a hoverboard beneath your feet.

Synchronized Dance Routines


You and a few friends can even practice your own original hoverboard dance routines. Just choreograph your movements and practice until you have a great dance routine that will impress your family and friends.

As always, make sure you stay safe while you and your friends are out riding. Always wear proper safety gear and don't forget your Board Blazers to help you light the way!

These are just a few suggestions for some fun games and activities that are perfect for novice hoverboard users. The great thing about hoverboards is that you get to have fun while you are learning. It’s as easy as riding a bike. Now get out there and hover!

**Special thanks to Connor Flynn, a regular contributer to Gadget Review who brought us this awesome post!**


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14 Ultimate Gifts for Skateboarders

It's holiday season once again! Shopping for gifts can be stressful, from second-guessing your gift choices to outrageous lines to visiting multiple stores in search of that last elusive item, how about you just say, “No!” to that this year? Our team at Board Blazers has compiled an insane list of gifts that will satisfy skaters from novice to the most hard-core. Everything you see here can be ordered from the comfort of your couch cushion and shipped directly to you. We’ve done the work so that you don’t have to! Sit back, relax, and prepare to knock out your holiday shopping!


Hydroflask


Staying hydrated is essential, and the Hydro Flask will keep your thirst at bay in style. Its double wall technology keeps hot drinks hot for up to 6 hours, and chilled drinks stay cold for up to 24 hours! The classic gray color goes with everything, and the wide-mouth top ensures easy drinking on the go at the skatepark.


Rubber Gear Tie


This little gadget is one of the most ingenious things we’ve seen this year, and it comes at an incredibly accessible price point! This four pack of rubberized twist ties will keep anything snug, from the top of an open snack bag to your tangled earphone cords. Having a few on hand is always a good idea!


Wireless Earbuds


If that earphone cord is a continual struggle, why not level up to a set of wireless earbuds? This set is excellent quality and less than 1/3 the price of a pair of Apple Airpods. With their slick black charging case, you can keep your music pumping for hours of shredding!


Slim Howler Whistle


While we hope you never find yourself in a sketchy skate situation, we know that it’s bound to happen once in a while. Keep yourself ultra safe by carrying this slim whistle on your person as you shred. If disaster should strike and you find yourself in a place where help may not be able to see you, pull out this crazy-loud whistle, and someone is sure to come to your aid.


Board Blazers LED Skateboard Lights


If you want to stay safe and ride in style, a set or two of these LED underglow skateboarding lights is a must on your holiday gift list. With a rainbow of color options from Outrageous Orange to Boss Black Light (we’re digging Lightning Lime right now), you can’t go wrong. See and be seen with the raddest skateboard accessory out there.


All In One Skateboard Tool


Whenever our team discusses our favorite skate gear, this ALWAYS comes up. An all in one skate tool is essential for every skater’s bag. You have to keep your board up and running while you’re shredding, and this inexpensive and handy tool ensures just that. With attachments that fit nearly every single type of screw on every board, you’ll never find yourself broken down at the skatepark.


Thrasher Magazine Subscription


For those frozen winter months when skating is just a summer dream, a subscription to Thrasher magazine will keep the skate love alive. The ultimate in skateboarding news and trends, every skater should subscribe!


Spitfire Bearings


Finding yourself tabled from gear issues is the very worst. Have some extra of all your gear on hand, including bearings. These Spitfire ones are inexpensive, but top quality. They’re decently quiet and work for any board (plus a variety of other sporting accessories). Make sure you have a few spare sets in your arsenal!


Cutout Grip Tape


Everybody needs grip tape, and there are a million options out there. With so many choices, why have plain black or gray? Our favorite ones lately have small cutouts like this grizzly one. They’re not so big that you’ll lose your footing, but big enough to make a style statement. The smoke marbling on this one is extra fly!


Skateboard


It goes without saying (we hope) that every skater needs a skateboard and buying one online can feel intimidating. But this complete setup is a surefire win. With an ultra-high rating and over 200 positive reviews, you can’t go wrong adding this board to your rotation.


Skate Socks


Skates socks are synonymous with skate culture. These iconic mid-calf tube socks come in every color, design, and brand imaginable. You have a plethora of choices, but we’re digging this version from HUF as an alternative to the text-heavy socks repped by other brands.


HUF Hoodie


HUF is having a major moment in skate fashion right now. Brands come and go in popularity as we all know, and HUF is the brand of the moment. Keep your skate wardrobe current by investing in this classic HUF brand black hoodie. With excellent quality and a timeless design, you’ll keep this one in your wardrobe for a while to come.


Skate Shoes


Shoes are such a personal choice, but we don’t know a skater who doesn’t love this classic slip on by Van’s. Worn by everyone from pro skaters to the dreaded posers, these slides embody the sport of skateboarding. Any skater would be thrilled to find these in their gift pile!


GoPro HERO 7


A weighty investment, the Go Pro HERO 7 will revolutionize the way you document your skateboarding adventures. The hyper smooth video stabilization makes your clips as smooth as butter. And the Time Warp video feature creates sick time-lapse videos you’ll want to watch again and again. We know it’s pricey, but it’s a sure-fire win for any gift giver! If you’re hesitant to drop that much cash, pop over here to enter our giveaway – you could win one just in time for Christmas!

Gift giving shouldn’t be stressful, we’ve done the work for you! If you haven't found exactly what you're searching for, check out our previous gift guides here and here. With all the items on these lists, you should find your shopping list checked off perfectly. Now settle into your comfiest chair and finish that shopping, one click at a time!


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How to Clean Your Skateboard's Grip Tape  

How to clean your skateboard's grip tape

 

What’s one of the best feelings ever? Stepping onto sticky, sturdy, fresh skateboard grip tape.

 

What lasts maybe two seconds? Sticky, sturdy, fresh skateboard grip tape.

 

You know the feeling—you step in sand or mud, your grip tape gets slick, and your tricks are doomed. But instead of straight-up peeling off and replacing your grip tape (a fussy and costly process), why not just clean it?

 

These simple steps will help you get your skateboard or longboard back in shape, and ready for skating within the same day.

 

What You’ll Need

New grip tape costs about $5 to $10 per board, but removing the old tape and applying new tape can be tedious.

Instead, if your grip tape has gotten a little slippery, start by purchasing:

  1. A piece of natural rubber
  2. A soft wire brush
  3. A microfiber cloth.

In my opinion, these three inexpensive items should be kept in every rider's board bag. They’ll cost about the same as fully replacing the grip tape, and will help extend the life of your skateboard—and your sweet tricks.

 

What to Expect

This isn’t a magic process—cleaning your grip tape with these methods won’t make it look brand-new. But it WILL:

  • Make your grip tape feel sticky again
  • Keep your grip tape and skateboard (or longboard) intact without causing any harm
  • Save you from the task of replacing the grip tape entirely
  • Make your grip tape last longer

If you do want your board to look brand-new again, consider replacing your grip tape if it's peeling, worn through or very slippery in some areas.

 

How To Clean Traditional Skateboard Grip Tape (Shortboards)

 

Step 1. Use Rubber to Remove Surface Crud

Most skate shops sell a piece of rubber known as "Grip Gum," which is an effective way to get surface grime off your grip tape.

Little-known secret--you can get this same type of rubber, but cheaper, at an art supply store. It’s a similar product, usually used to remove rubber cement. Go into a store like Blick Art Materials, ask for "rubber cement pickup," and a store attendant should be able to help you find what you need for no more than a few dollars.

If you need a visual, this is what you're looking for:

 

Rubber cement pickup helps you cheaply clean your skateboard's grip tape! This little guy is around $2.

(Image from Blick Art Materials

Once you’ve got the piece of rubber in hand, firmly wipe it across all of your grip tape. It should do its job and get rid of dust, dirt, and other unwanted grip tape invaders.

 

Step 2. Clean Deeper with a Soft Wire Brush

On some websites, you’ll see bad “cleaning advice” where people will tell you to clean your grip tape with window cleaning solution and a toothbrush. DON’T DO THIS. It’s a bad idea for two reasons:

 

Reason #1: The window cleaning solution will soak through the tape and into your board, making it soft and eventually ruining it.

 

Reason #2: Most toothbrushes aren’t actually coarse enough to remove deep grime, so the method isn’t even effective.

 

Don't clean your skateboard's grip tape with window cleaner and a toothbrush! Skateboard grip tape is porous, and it'll soak through into your board.

 

Instead, what you’ll want to do is hit up your local hardware store and get a soft wire brush—again, for not much more than a few bucks.

Scrub the grip tape in sections with the wire brush (and no cleaning solution!) to bring deeper, below-the-surface grime to the top. Then, get out your trusty piece of rubber again, use it to remove the surface grime, and you're ready to ride.

 

How To Clean Coarse Longboard Grip Tape

Longboard skateboards are usually outfitted with a thicker, coarse grip tape that is not permeable. This means you can use a window cleaning substance or water to remove the grime—no problem.

 

Step 1. Scrub the Grip Tape

Start by filling a measuring cup with ½ cup of window cleaner or water. Dip your soft wire brush (from the last section) into the solution, and begin scrubbing the grip tape. Start at one end of the board and work your way to the other end, brushing in small sections to make sure you get rid of all the dirt.

 

Step 2. Thoroughly Dry The Surface

Use a large microfiber cloth (or several smaller microfiber cloths) to dry the grip tape thoroughly before continuing.

For best drying results, lay the cloth on top of the deck and pat it until it sticks to the grip tape. Don’t try to wipe the cloth along the tape to dry it. Let the cloth sit on the grip tape for three to four hours, or until the tape feels completely, absolutely, 100% dry.

 

Step 3. Wipe it Clean with Rubber

Really really make sure your board is dry before you give it a once-over with your rubber piece--your Grip Gum or rubber cement remover won't work properly if the grip tape is even a little bit damp. Wait until the grip is entirely dry, and wipe the piece of rubber over the whole thing until all of the grime is cleared away.

  

Have you successfully restored your grip tape’s solid grip with household cleverness? Let us know in the comments!

 

Author Bio:

Carmen Fiordirosa works as the marketing director for CleanTools, a manufacturer of household drying and cleaning products. CleanTools’ highly acclaimed drying cloth, “The Absorber,” has been used to dry a variety of home items, along with autos and boats. To date, The Absorber has garnered over 700 5-star reviews on Amazon.

 

Photo credit: RACINGMIX

 


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Win a FREE GoPro® HERO7 White action camera!

Enter the Shots & Socks Giveaway now to win a GoPro® HERO7 White action camera or Stance® performance skate socks, totally free! Just enter your email and stay tuned to win big this holiday season. No purchase necessary. Yeah, we're cool like that. 

Shots & Socks Giveaway

Enter here --> https://mailchi.mp/boardblazers/gopro

 

Contest ends 01/11/2019. Terms and conditions apply.


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