Skateboard Science Exploratorium

The Science and art of skateboard design
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in the end the ride's the thing

Vitello stressed that the most important thing in making trucks, over and above all the engineering, is listening to how the riders feel: "When we design skateboard trucks, the most important part of the process is the input we get from the actual riders. We can't design what we think is an improvement without having their input. The ultimate test is what skateboarders say about it."

Tim Piumarta agreed: when it comes to the crux of designing skateboards, all the engineering in the world won’t make any difference if the board doesn’t feel right under the feet of the skater.

"The biggest mistake I see new designers make," said Piumarta, "is to spend a lot of time fiddling with the engineering and the physics of new design, without consulting the riders. You can make a technically perfect part, but it may ride terribly. You have to talk to the riders.

Science and engineering combined with the very personal relationship of rider to board—that’s the recipe for a skateboard that can become more than just a plank with wheels.

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