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


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


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.