What Do Risers Do On a Skateboard: Pros & Cons

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Riser pads are an optional component on skateboards. Although many new skaters may have heard of riser pads, many of them might not understand what they’re used for.

Skateboard riser pads don’t have to be installed on a mandatory basis, and they’re only used for certain disciplines. If you don’t partake in these disciplines, you might not even need to use them on your deck.

However, if you do find the need for riser pads, understand there are also several different kinds. Angled riser pads and skateboard riser pads shapes should be taken into account before making a decision.

If you’ve never used these components, you’re in luck. Continue reading for information on skateboard risers.

What Do Skateboard Risers Do for Your Deck

Skateboard riser pads are rectangular pads that attach to a skateboard deck that helps reduce wheel bite by lifting it higher off the ground. These riser pads are installed between the trucks and the deck. 

Installing riser pads is a matter of personal preference. These components aren’t something that most skateboards come with on a regular basis. There are several things that riser pads are used for.

Avoid Wheel Bite with Skateboard Riser Pads

Riser pads are used to prevent wheel bite. Wheel bite is when skateboard wheels make contact with the bottom of the deck. This usually ends in disaster.

Prevent Stress Cracks On the Deck

A riser pad can be great at preventing stress cracks as well. A stress crack happens when trucks are too tight, causing them to crack a portion of the board.

 Longer Life

A riser pad can also lead to your skateboard having a much longer life. These components, which are also known as shock pads, prevent vibration and stress on your board. 

Both of these elements can be damaging to your board over time and will lower the amount of time your board stays in good condition.

The shape of shock pads are also a huge factor in what they do, and how they make a board perform. 

Riser Pad Shapes

These are the most common shapes and designs of shock pads. Different brands will have various types of risers available.

Rectangular Shock Pads

Rectangular plastic pads are the most common form of these components. They will perform all the basic duties, including elevating the skateboard, reducing vibration, and lowering the chances of wheel bite. 

Angled Risers

An angled riser fixes your trucks at an angle and also raises the deck height. This can make a huge difference. 

The angle with which these pads are made can lead to a smoother ride. You’ll also increase your turn capability with this form of riser. 

Depending on which way you decide to install the angle, you might need longer bolts to extend through the base plate. 

Typically you use risers when you have large wheels installed. You also might need to change your hardware size and hardware length 

Hardware Size Calculator for Skateboard Riser Pads

If you don’t use a riser, the hardware length will be ⅞” to 1”. When you use ⅛” risers, you’ll need to convert to 1” or 1 ⅛”, ¼” risers will require 1 ¼” length hardware, and finally, ½” risers need 1 ½” hardware lengths. 

Riser Pad Holes

It’s possible you may have noticed that there are six riser pad holes but only four holes required to secure the base plate of your trucks. 

There are six holes to accommodate the two possible configurations of old school and new school riser setups. 

Modern truck manufacturers now provide sets of holes for larger and smaller sets of holes. In the early 1990s, only the broader sets were available. Because truck manufacturers provide arrangements for both, riser manufacturers also do the same. 

Conclusion

If your wheel rubs your deck, this can cause crashes and lead to bolts vibrating loose. If you’re experiencing this problem you could benefit from installing these shock absorbers. 

Just remember they will elevate your skateboard trucks, which could make it more difficult to balance and land a skate trick. However, new school skateboards can come with a concave deck which can lead to less flex. This can help with the stability you lose through the extra height when you install the risers. 

Riser pads aren’t for everybody, but if you consider yourself an experienced skater with above-average balance they could solve some serious problems for you!