How To Choose The Right Riser Pads
Riser pads, additionally referred to as risers, are the plastic rectangular pads you insert between the longboard and truck. this will make the longboard higher. One reason you would like to make it higher is to avoid wheel bite. Wheel bite is the friction between the wheel and the longboard deck when you do a flip, trick or turn. you don’t want this, as the wheel can suddenly stop spinning and you may have a nasty wipeout and harm and damage your longboard wheels. So, to avoid wheel bite, having risers is a good choice. Most longboards nowadays have wheel wells to avoid this too, but the risers are still used.
Riser Pads can preserve your longboard deck. It can reduce the stress cracks where the deck and the truck meet and your board last longer.
There is a variety of riser pads on the market. Thick, thin, different colors and designs.
Do I need riser pads or risers?The larger the wheels, the more chance you have to get wheel bite. Nowadays longboards has wheel wells (a cutout in the deck) allowing for more space for your wheels, but most longboards still need risers to make sure the wheel doesn't touch the deck. The bigger the wheel, the higher your risers need to be.
Another reason to get riser pads is that they absorb some of the shock of impact. The riser pads can prevent your hardware to get loose overtime. You will see most longboards with risers. Only the drop through longboards are without risers. You will see short boards with and without riser pads. Skateboards and longboard decks that use wheels smaller then 55mm do not typically require risers but even 1/8" of risers can help you prevent hardware from vibrating loose.
Hardware sizesWith your board and trucks, you need hardware to get your trucks in place. If you add risers, you need to adjust your hardware to the right length. You do not want to end up with short screws that won't fit anymore. Below is a chart with sizes you need:
- No Riser - 7/8" to 1" hardware
- 1/8" Riser - 1" to 1 1/8" hardware
- 1/4" Riser - 1 1/4" hardware
- 1/2" Riser - 1 1/2" hardware
Riser Pads holesWhen you want to install your riser pads, you will have 4 screws that attach your truck and riser pads to the deck. You will notice 6 holes with the regular most standard risers. You only need four. Why are there six holes in risers? Well, the manufacturer added a set of holes to accommodate both new school and old school skateboards. The mounting holes in old school skateboards are slightly closer together since old school trucks were smaller. The risers can be used on old school boards and new school boards.
Riser Pads DesignsYou will see riser pads with 6 holes. or a design to make the pads more interesting. Most of the plastic is cut out. This makes it not only look cooler but a plus is that it decreases the extra weight of the board. The purpose is the same, though.
Riser Pads Shapes
Rectangular flatThe most common and basic riser is the rectangular flat one in different thickness. It will increase your deck height and decrease the shock. Larger wheels ask for thicker pads. Experiment with different heights to see what works best for you.
Wedge RisersAngled or wedge risers do not only raise your deck, but also fixes them at an angle from your deck. You can install them so they are angled away from the center, or towards the center. The wedge riser pads change the angle of the kingpin and the pivot point. To increase your turn capability, install the thick part closer to the center of the longboard. If you place the thick part of the angled risers towards the center of the board, you can increase front turn capabilities while decreasing rear turn capabilities.You can also flip the direction of your wedges to create different effects. Play with it to see and feel the effects.
No matter what riser shape you choose, you will need to buy longer hardware to accommodate the extra height.
To view different risers and hardware check out the hardware and riser page.