Risers may seem like a small and insignificant component of a longboard, but they have a significant impact on the ride and experience. Properly using a riser pad can make a significant difference in longboarding, from increasing maneuverability to minimizing wheel bite. In this article, we will discuss the function of riser pads on longboards and how to choose the right ones for your riding style.
What are riser pads, and how do they work?
Riser pads are small, rubber components that sit between the longboard deck and trucks. They increase the distance between the deck and the wheels, essentially “raising” the board. Riser pads are typically made of rubber or plastic and come in varying thicknesses and sizes.
The primary purpose of riser pads is to prevent wheel bite. Wheel bite is when the longboard’s wheel makes contact with the board deck during turns, causing it to stop abruptly or throwing off the rider’s balance. Riser pads provide the necessary clearance between the deck and the wheels to avoid this problem. Additionally, they can also dampen vibrations, reducing fatigue and strain on the rider’s feet.
How do riser pads affect riding performance?
Riser pads have a significant impact on the way you ride your longboard. Here are a few ways they can affect your performance:
– Maneuverability: Longboards with smaller wheels have less clearance between the deck and ground, which can make it more challenging to make sharp turns or carve. Riser pads increase the height of the board, allowing the rider to turn more effectively, making quick, tight turns and carving more manageable.
– Stability: Longboards with a lower center of gravity tend to be more stable and easier to control at higher speeds. Riser pads raise the board, increasing the center of gravity, which can make it harder to control at high speeds.
– Comfort: Risers can absorb some of the shock and vibration from rough terrain, improving ride comfort.
– Wheel clearance: Larger wheels can give a smoother ride and better traction, but they require more clearance between the deck and the wheels. Risers help prevent wheel bite and allow riders to use larger wheels without issues.
How thick should riser pads be?
Riser pads come in various thicknesses ranging from 1/8 inch up to 1 inch. The thickness you choose will depend on your riding style, the size of your wheels, and the type of terrain you plan on riding.
For downhill and freeride, thinner risers work better, as they provide better stability and control. For cruising and carving, thicker risers can increase the board’s maneuverability and make it easier to carve turns. When using larger wheels, thicker risers are typically required to prevent wheel bite.
When should riser pads be used?
Riser pads are recommended for most longboard setups but are not always necessary. They should be used when using wheels with a diameter larger than 70mm to avoid wheel bite. Additionally, if you experience any shock or discomfort during rides, using riser pads can reduce the amount of vibration and increase comfort.
How do you install riser pads?
Installing riser pads is a simple process that anyone can do. Follow these easy steps:
– Remove the trucks from the longboard deck and remove the old shock pads if you had any.
– Place the riser pad onto the bolt holes under each truck.
– Insert the screws through the riser pad and the truck holes and screw them on tightly.
– Re-attach the trucks onto the longboard deck, using the previously removed nuts.
What type of riser pads should I choose?
There is no specific type of riser pad that is perfect for everyone – it depends on your individual preference. However, there are a few things to consider when choosing riser pads:
– Thickness: Consider how much clearance you need between the deck and the wheels based on your wheels’ size and type of terrain.
– Material: Most riser pads are made of rubber or plastic. Rubber pads are generally more durable, offer better shock absorption, but are more expensive. Plastic pads are cheaper, lighter, but not as long-lasting as rubber pads.
– Brand: Choose reliable longboarding companies that manufacture quality products like Fireball, Loaded, and Venom, among others.
– Color: While not necessary, most longboards riders choose riser pads that match their board’s color scheme.
Riser pads are essential components of longboarding and are often overlooked. They provide additional clearance that allows riders to use larger wheels and prevent wheel bite, ultimately enhancing your longboarding experience. Choosing the right thickness, material, brand, and color of riser pads depends on your riding ambitions and personal preference. It is always wise to go for high-quality and reliable riser pads from reputable manufacturers, ensuring your longboarding experience is a safe and fun one.