The Best Skateboard Setup for Heavy Skaters

fat man skateboarding

It’s possible to skateboard whether you’re tall, have a larger frame, or are just a little overweight. If you’re too hefty (more than 230lbs), you’ll need a different setup. There’s no need to be concerned; I’m here to assist. In general, you need a deck with more surface area, high-quality trucks, and bushings that can support your weight.

The following are the components that should be included in the best skateboards for heavy riders:

  • A bigger deck, about 8.5+
  • Heavy-duty trucks that can withstand impacts
  • Harder bushings that can bear your weight without being crushed

It’s true that skateboards have a weight limit. However, if you’re overweight you can still skateboard if you’re careful and purchase higher quality products that can withstand more weight.

Decks That Are Built For Heavier Skaters

When taking a look at decks, you want to make sure that you purchase one made from maple or bamboo. If possible, look for a deck that has a layer of carbon fiber or is designed with Impact Support. Many boards manufactured by Dwindle Distribution have Impact Support, a small disc of carbon fiber around the truck mounts.

Skateboards that have Impact Support are constructed from 8 plies of North American Maple and held together with Epoxy Resin glue. Each deck has 2 carbon fiber laminate discs at the truck mount stress-points. This is often where pressure cracks form. Impact Support provides stronger decks that have long lasting pop and a better deck life.

How Does Weight Affect Performance?

Weight can influence performance several ways. The more you weigh increases your momentum which gets you to higher speeds, faster. However, balance can be more tricky when learning foot placement and weight distribution over the board. That being said, every ride is one step closer to better stability and board control.

The disadvantage for larger skaters is falling. As they say, the bigger you are, the harder you fall. Added weight can sometimes be cause for added injury.

If you’re a little on the heavier side then it’s safe to say that you’ll need a better quality skateboard.

Best Skateboard Decks For Heavier Skateboarders

The best skateboard decks for heavier riders are made from quality woods like Hardrock Maple or bamboo and sometimes have a layer of carbon fiber for added support and flexibility.

Another difference in the best skateboard decks for heavier skateboarders is that you’ll want a wider board. Not only will this help balance, it also allows your weight to be displaced over a larger surface area.

8.25 Almost Skateboard Deck

The Almost Bowerbank Gradient Cuts is the signature deck of Tyson Bowerbank. It is 8.25″ wide and 31.9″ long and made from 8 plies of Hardrock Maple. It also has Impact Support, carbon fiber laminate discs that protect the stress points. The truck mounts are weak points that are vulnerable to pressure cracks.

Almost Tyson Bowerbank Pro Model “Gradient Cuts” 8.25 skateboard deck

Features:

  • 8.25″ in width, 31.9″ in length
  • Carbon Fiber Discs at truck mounts
  • Signature Tyson Bowerbank pro model

8.50 Almost Skateboard Deck

Almost Mean Pets is the 8.50 pro deck of John Dilo. It is 7 plies of North American Maple with Epoxy Glue and added Impact Support. This deck measures 8.5″ wide, 32″ long, and has a 14.38″ wheelbase and a mellow concave.

Almost John Dilo Pro Model “Mean Pets” 8.50 skateboard deck

Features:

  • 8.50″ in width, 32″ in length
  • Impact Support at truck mounts
  • Signature John Dilo pro model
  • Mellow concave

8.60 Blood Wizard

Runnin’ With The Devil is the pro deck of Nolan Miskell. This board is a 7-ply North American Maple deck from the Spellcaster Series of Blood Wizard skateboards. Not only does it have really incredible artwork, it’s an 8.6 which can be hard to come by.

Blood Wizard Nolan Miskell Pro Model “Runnin’ With The Devil” 8.60 skateboard deck

Features:

  • 8.60″ in width, 32.375″ in length, 14.5″ wheelbase
  • Signature Nolan Miskell pro model

What Trucks Are Best For Heavier Riders?

Use skateboard trucks from reputable brands like Independent, Tensor, Thunder, Destructo, Royal, and Krux. Cheap trucks are not made with quality work or materials. Look for aluminum skateboard trucks from one of the brands above.

The trucks should also be the same width as your skateboard deck. If the trucks that you have or are interested in don’t use standard measurements, use this guide.

You might also want to upgrade the hard rubber pieces inside the trucks, called the bushings. Harder bushings can handle more weight, will lower your chances of getting wheel bite, and can help tighten up the trucks. That being said, they need to be bushings that are made from a good brand. Cheap bushings will crumble and break down much sooner.

Harder Bushings

Many times the stock bushings in your trucks will be perfectly fine. They only need to be replaced when they start to crumble apart or are no longer doing their job properly. Bushings are made from the same material as skateboard wheels, polyurethane.

The polyurethane can get damaged or wear over time, causing loose trucks. Sometimes, the polyurethane is made from lighter rubber, a lower durometer. Bushings are rated differently than wheels. They’re measured from light to hard.

If your trucks feel loose even though you’ve tightened them, or you’re a little on the heavier side, you need harder bushings. Bones Hardcore bushings are different than conventional bushings because they don’t deform and can support more weight.

Do You Need Riser Pads?

If your wheels are causing wheel bite, stopping against the wood deck, then you probably need to get riser pads to give the trucks and wheels more space to turn. The size of riser pads depends on how bad the wheels are rubbing against the deck. However, the most common sizes for a regular skateboard are 1/4 and 1/2 inches.

What Bearings Are Best For Heavier Riders?

Bones Ceramic Super Reds skateboard bearings are the best bearings for heavier skateboarders. Ceramic bearings are harder than steel and deform less when pressure is applied to them. That means that they can withstand more weight than competing bearings made from stainless steel.

You don’t need to go for Bones Ceramic Super Reds if they are out of your price range but you should get ceramic bearings. Here is a list of the best skateboard bearings that also shows whether they’re made from steel or ceramic.

What Wheels Are Best For Heavier Riders?

The best wheels will vary slightly depending on what kind of skateboarding you plan on doing. Following are the top recommendations. However, you may want to stray a bit away from these.

If you need a smoother ride, get a softer or larger wheel. Drop down to 97A and don’t use anything lower than 56mm. If you are looking for a bit more speed, you’ll want smaller and harder wheels. Try 99A or higher, and 54mm or smaller.

Conclusion

The best skateboard setup for a heavy rider is one that can handle their weight without breaking and will also perform well. That means higher quality trucks, bushings, bearings, and wheels. It’s also important to make sure that everything fits together properly.

Riser pads may also be necessary to prevent wheel bite. With the right setup, any skater can enjoy skating regardless of their weight.

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