So here's my perspective regarding gripping and assembling/setting up a skateboard deck from scratch:
Videos make it look easier than it really is, but you'll probably be pleased about your efforts if you simply take it slowly and be methodical. Better to under-cut it since you can't add grip tape to parts where you cut too far toward the center of the board.
Touch-ups are easy, just make sure you have a sharp knife. If you use a box-cutter/saftey-knife try using it out of its enclosure. Make sure you press down onto the blade - and subsequently the deck, that way you'll avoid needing to touch-up like I had to.
A bright/informed 8 year old could figure this out/do this on their own. I'm 22 and have always been interested in how things are put together so it was a breeze.
- screw holes: It's pretty inconsequential as to how you punch the holes through the griptape. I don't think I need to explain it
- trucks: hold the allen key/screwdriver in the screw head while you use the skate tool/wrench to tighten the screws. Pretty straight-forward. Adjust the kingpin with your skate tool/wrench for 'turnier' (counter-clockwise) or straighter (less-'turny', counter-clockwise) trucks.
- wheels/bearings: second most difficult aspect of assembly and overall set-up. You don't need a bearing press but they're way easier than using your hands, and if you have a sprained wrist like me, using your hands can prove to be exhaustive. If you don't know what the trick is: put the bearing on the truck axle and the wheel on top - press down very fucking hard until you're pretty darn tootin' sure the bearing is in (there'll be a 1/3rd of an inch let between where the wheel edge is and where the bearing sits). Do this for both and make sure there's a washer on either side of the wheel/bearings.
When you're tightening the nut, tighten it until there's just very accute clicking when you wobble the wheel side to side on the axle. You won't want your wheels sliding around, but if you tighten it too much your Bones Super Reds will feel like slow abec 3's.
Like I mentioned before, jump on your deck to see how loose your trucks are. They're usually pretty loose out of the bag/box. I don't like terribly loose trucks since I feel like it impinges upon your balance if you rock them too loose, but that's probably just me.
Here's a rather jumpy pictorial of me putting my deck together:
All the stuff!
Gripped - not bad for my first time. I sorted those bubbles out (they appear when you think you didn't get any, but they're no trouble).
Close up of the edges
First-person skateboarding...I guess
Review of the components:
- Plan B OG 7.75" deck: I haven't had a chance to skate it properly since my road is far too steep to skate down It's a sweet looking deck and looks the way a skateboard should with griptape applied. My one gripe is the painted sides which highlight paint chips.
- Independent Stage 10 low 7.75" trucks: Like I said, I haven't skated this deck properly but a whoooole lot of people swear by Indy's. I'll try other trucks like Venture and Thunder in the future.
- Bones 100A 52 mm wheels: Hard fucking wheels, good for powerslides and street skating in general.
- Bones Super Reds bearings: SO motherfucking fast again, everyone swears by them (and all this stuff, which is why it's on my board).
- Shorty's Silverado hardware: I love this stuff, man...so handy and it gives your board a unique-ish look.
Wirelessly posted (HTC G2)
Putting tape on is easy, install it, run a screwdriver around the top edge of the board a couple times to weaken it, cut from the bottom.