Q: WHAT ARE RISER PADS?

March 26, 2011

Q & A

Riser Pads

Answer: Riser Pads are thin inserts that go between your trucks and your board. They are usually made of a plastic and come in a few different heights. Their purpose is to increase your “wheel clearance”. Which is the area between the top of your wheel and the bottom or your board. If this area is not large enough, during sharp turning the rider can experience what’s called “wheel bite”. Which is when the board touches the wheel. Causing the rider to come to a complete stop in the blink of an eye. Peeling yourself off the ground comes after that. Risers also help prevent “stress cracks”. Which are small cracks stemming from the underneath the trucks. Caused by excessive banging.

Wheel Bite Mark

A good way to check and see if your wheel clearance is correct is to use your pointer finger and your middle finger together and try and slide them between your wheels and board. It should pass through without much contact. If you cannot do this,  you could probably use some riser pads. Another way to check is to look at the bottom of your board right above your wheels. When “wheel bite” happens, it will leave behind a mark. If you find heavy markings in this area then you could benifet from risers. Some small marks in this area are normal but if it looks really bad then get risers.

Stress Cracks

Please be aware that riser pads and shock pads are not the same thing. Shock pads look very similar to riser pads but are designed for a different purpose. Shock pads are made to absorb the impact from big drops. They are made of a softer material than risers. Risers are usually stiff and hard, whereas shock pads are soft and bendable. So when brand new, the shock pads will add some extra wheel clearance, but after use they will begin to flatten out. Risers also have a shock absorbing quality to them, which helps prevent stress cracks but just don’t do it as well as shock pads.

Because skateboarding trucks and wheels are sold in different sizes, running into wheel clearance issues is common. The most common size riser pads are 1/8 inch. Odds are if you are having any clearance or stress crack problems, this will usually fix it. Although, if you find you need more room, larger ones are available. Here is a link to a great selection!

Happy Skateboarding!

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