Ignorance Kills

Any place I go, I know I will never find two skateboards
that are the same. Each and every component of the
skateboard makes a difference in the board’s movement.
Every deck, truck, and wheel is interchangeable so there is
almost an endless amount of combinations. A number of
things can go wrong when riding; a person will never know
when one of the components will malfunction. I was riding
along one day, and like a cat pouncing on a mouse, it hits
me and I suddenly realize that I am going to feel some pain.
One of my wheels came off, I jerked, flew through the air,
then landed on the street, all because the only day I took
the time to check my wheels was the day I received the
board.

I can remember the first time I learned how to check and
fix a skateboard. I learned from one of my good friend
named James. He came to my house and we skated
around for a little while. One of my wheels made a funny
noise, and James said, "I think there is something wrong
with your skateboard." We went into the garage and sat
next to the washer and dryer. He then put the skateboard
downside up, and started to examine the skateboard. He
first looked at the deck to see if there was something
wrong that could be making the noise. James studied the
grip tape, looked at the tail and the nose, then the wood
itself to see if it had been cracked or split.

He then began talking to me about the trucks and their
purpose; I studied and observed the hunks of metal. James
then began to study the bearings and noticed that the
bearings were extremely dirty. This was the cause of the
noise. He told me that the bearings had to be clean. Too
much friction was causing the noise. So James reached in
his bag of tools, and got his mini monkey wrench and
started to take off the nut that was holding the wheel to the
truck. He was very precise, like a surgeon in heart surgery.
With great ease he slipped off the wheel from the kingpin
and placed it gentle on the floor. Once again James
reached in his bag, grabbed a rag, and a special metal
lubricate called Speedy Grease.

Pop went the bearing as it came out of the wheel, I picked
it up from the floor, pondered, and said, " hmmmm, to think
that this little piece of machinery can actually effect the way
the board operates, that this little piece is so important
wow", it blew my mind. I gave it to him and he said, " this
little piece right here can decide on whether you ride with
ease, or if you end up smacked on the asphalt, with your
arm scrapped like if it was against a cheese grater". James
whipped out a flat head screw driver from his bag and
popped of the shield; were low and behold was eight ball
bearing and he said " look there\'s your problem right here
your bearings are all gunked up.

James rapped the rag over the bearing, and began to wipe
out the majority of the filth. Placed about four or five
massive drops of speedy grease, looked at it and shook his
head and said "much better", and said "all right". He then
popped the shield back in its position, took off the other
three wheels, and repeated the process. After that James
slipped the wheels back on, tightened the nuts back, and I
smiled and said "cool", he then gave all four wheels one
final quick rub down, to get all the excess grease off. He
smiled and "here you go, good as new". He handed to me
and said "rotate them, or just ride on for a while. I choose
to ride. It rode smoother than any board I have ever
ridden.

To this day, I will never forget how to clean and replace a
dirty bearing. It is a skill I have learned and that I can pass
on to anyone. If James did not tell about the noise, who
knows what would happen to me if I would have jumped
off a ramp that night. That is why to this day before I get on
anyones skateboard, I always check everything, to insure
my safety. Ignorance kills.

Category: Miscellaneous