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Make a Lowrider Skateboard

Every kid wants a skateboard, but not every kid wants a slammed, lowrider skateboard! Recently my youngest was in the garage working on his skateboards, and the next thing I know he comes in the house with a slammed, lowrider skateboard he made out of a regular board by putting the trucks on the top side and using some three and a half inch screws to hold them in place. I wasn’t expecting that!

The skateboard is pretty cool looking, but it came with some pretty big negatives. First, since the trucks are bolted flat against the top of the deck, the steering doesn’t work. That makes the board pretty hard, if not impossible to control.  Second, the machine screws have to bend around the trucks on the front side. This got me to thinking about my days working cars (lifting and lowering them) and I thought to myself, “What’s needed here is a suspension lowering kit!” So I set out on my way to make a lowering kit for a skateboard!

Watch the Slammed Skateboard Video

Making the Lowrider Skateboard

A slammed, lowrider skateboard lowering kit is pretty simple to make, but it does require a little work and a few tools. I tried to make this video with as few tools as possible, so that the average Joe could make it at home. So rather than using my big shop tools such as my bandsaw, we’re going to stick with handheld tools in the project – mostly a jigsaw. If you have better tools, by all means use them as the job will go quicker and be far more precise.

The first thing we need to do is prepare the skateboard deck. Since the trucks are going to be on the top of the board, instead of the bottom, we’re going to have to cut notches in the deck in order for the wheels to pass through.

Step 1: Install the Trucks Upside-down

This may sound crazy, but this is the best way to mark where the wheel cutouts need to go. Install the trucks, with wheels and bearings installed upside-down on the top side of the skateboard deck.

Step 2: Mark the Wheel Locations

Use a piece of hardboard, or cardboard to mark a line on both sides of the wheels. We found that after marking these lines, we needed to add about another 1/8″ of space to keep the wheels from making contact with the deck when turning. Mark the back of the box about 1/8″ bigger than the wheel size you chose, somewhere between 1″ and 2″ from the side of the skateboard deck.

Step 3: Cut out the Wheel Slots

Next, using a jig-saw (or a bandsaw if you have one), carefully cut out the wheel slots following the lines you marked in step 2.

Step 4: Drill the Truck Plates and the Skateboard Deck

Since the hardware we’re using to mount the trucks is 4 times longer than the stock hardware, we need to it be a lot more rigid. So we’re going to move up from #10-32 to 1/4″-20. These machine screws are much tougher and much more rigid, but their also a slightly larger.  We’ll need to drill out the truck plates and skateboard deck to accept the new screw size.

Step 5: Cut out the Risers

Now we need to cut out the risers.  The risers will determine how far the base of the trucks sit off of the board. In essence this determines how low your skateboard deck will sit to the ground. We mocked this board up with some temporary bolts and measured where we felt like it would work best with the trucks we were using.  This came out to be about 2 5/16″ inches long.  You’ll need 8 of them.  Since we’re using steel tubing, we used an angle grinder to cut them out. If you were using aluminum you could use your bandsaw or miter saw.

Step 6: Assemble the Slammed Skateboard

The slammed, lowrider skateboard is almost ready.  It’s time to assemble everything and test for form and fit. Be sure to use washers. Washers will keep the tubing from pushing through or damaging the wood deck. We used cap screws on the top to make it a little safer if you fell on them.

Step 7: Finish the Deck

Now its time to finish the deck to your liking. Of course, we painted the deck Geek Pub yellow!

The Finished Slammed Lowrider Skateboard

This board just turned out awesome!

slammed lowrider skateboard build 0001

Video Transcript

Hey Guys! It’s Mike from The Geek Pub! And Connor! And today we’re going to be showing you how to make a lowrider skateboard the right way!

So the first thing we need to do to make our lowrider skateboard is to cutout the holes for the wheels. And I think the easiest way to do that is going to be to mount the trucks on the bottom, or on the top, upside down and then use that to gather our measurements for cutting out the holes. So we’re going to start with that.

So we just mounted the trucks upside down using the original hardware. Just using two screws diagonal from each other.

Then we just used a section of scrap hardboard, perpendicular to the board deck and flat agains the wheels to mark the cutouts, and this worked out pretty well. A speed square might make this easier.

OK. So now that we have the skateboard marked, we went back and did a little bit of figuring and I believe we need to move these lines over about one eighth of an inch and that is to keep the wheels from making contact with the board during movement. And we’re going to do that with this straight edge. In addition, we need to mark back somewhere between one and two inches and draw a line for the inner cutout. And so we’ll do that next.

[Connor] I just drew new lines one eighth of an inch to the outside of the old ones using a metal rule, and I followed that up with the inside lines to complete the box.

I clamped the skateboard deck down to the top of my workbench and used a jigsaw to cut out the wheel slots. A bandsaw would definitely make this easier, but I wanted to use tools I thought would be more commonly owned.

We got a little chip-out, so in hindsight, I would recommend using masking tape over the board before cutting it to prevent that.

I think that turned out pretty nice!

OK. So on Connor’s original slammed skateboard, which he did a pretty good job on, there is one fatal flaw! And that is that the mounting hardware makes contact with the hangers, and they also bend as they go through the base plate. So in order to solve that we have another set of base plates which have a second hole in the front. You could add another plate on top if you did’t have these. So then what we’re going to do is use a larger set of screws, and we’re going to use this tubing to actually make the lift kit. And how long we cut this tubing will determine how high or how low the base plate is from the skateboard deck. And so the first thing we’re going to do is drill out the base plates and then we’re going to cut the tubing.

Because the suspension kit becomes a giant lever at four times the length of the original #10 hardware, we’re upping the screws to 1/4 inch versions. This requires the base plates to have a slightly larger hole in them. The end result will be a much more rigid system, but it is optional.

We setup the board on the bench with some temporary nuts, just to mock it up. This allowed us to measure the perfect length for the spacers.

Over on my other workbench I put the half-inch tubing into the vice, and transferred the measurement from the calipers to it.

I then used my angle grinder to cut out 8 identical sections of tubing. Have I told you how much I love the angle grinder?

[Connor] Assemble the risers by first installing a quarter inch flat washer on the bottom. This will prevent the tubing from sinking into the skateboard deck during use and tightening of the hardware.

[Connor] I also put cap nuts on the tops of the screws. They look nice, and will make things a little safer.

[Connor] It rolls good and its fully functional!

Now it’s time for a fantastic paint job! In Geek Pub yellow of course!

OK. So let’s talk about how our design is better than the one that you normally see on the internet.

So the major flaw with the normal design of the lowrider skateboard is that the hangers touch the deck which gives you no steering at all. The way we fixed that is that we used steel risers to make the base plate one with the deck which gives you turning just as if its a normal skateboard.

So lets try this thing out!

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9 Responses

  1. What do you mean when you say I can add another plate on top if I don’t have the extra pair of holes in the front

  2. Where is the best place to get metal tubing for not very much money? I made one before viewing this tutorial, and it cannot turn. Great job by the way!

  3. Such a awesome gift this would make for my son who has been skating since covid limited his life. He’s 18. I haven’t shown any attention to his new hobby of skating I wish I could buy this since I see it hod together better than the version for sell. Models that nearly fall apart after a few leans.

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