There are two kinds of skateboarders — those who only bring their board and end up asking everyone else for spare parts or tools, and those who show up to a session prepared for any situation. To make sure you're always on top of your game, here are five things every skateboarder should have in their bag at all times.
1. First Aid and Recovery Kit
If you take skateboarding even semi-seriously, you are going to get hurt, and there's no way around it. Sometimes that may just mean a scratched knee, and other times an injury may require surgeries and weeks of mending. Never hit the park without a first aid kit that includes at least some bandages, wraps and painkillers — even if you don't need them on a given day, somebody else probably will.
Hopefully, you won't get hurt every time you skate, but either way, skateboarding is a very demanding physical activity, and you will get sore muscles from that kind of workout. Aside from being prepared for first aid, you should come prepared for workout recovery like any other athlete. Keeping things like travel-ready CBD capsules and drinks containing electrolytes stocked in your bag will help with your post-session recovery so you can stay in good working order.
Dehydration is terrible to experience, but fortunately, it's incredibly easy to prevent — always make sure you have plenty of water, and be sure to drink it before, during and after.
2. Grip Tape Cleaner
Too many people assume grip tape has to get dirty over time, but that's not the case. You can get a block of belt sander cleaner from any home improvement store, and rubbing this along your grip will make it look like new. If you take a minute to clean your grip tape from time to time, you'll also maintain its efficacy.
3. Skate Tool
Over time, the nuts and bolts that keep your board together will loosen, so always have a tool handy to keep them properly tightened. You can carry a small collection of various tools, but it's easy to find multi-purpose skate tools designed with everything you'll need to keep your board in check. This is particularly helpful if you have to replace any bearings or swap out your deck mid-session.
The two items most commonly borrowed at any skatepark are a skate tool and wax, so instead of hoping somebody else can cover you, make sure you arrive prepared.
Here's a tip: don't buy wax from skate companies. Go to your local dollar store and buy the biggest candle they have, because it is the same stuff and works just as well. The wax skateboard companies sell that comes in fun shapes and cool packaging is just candle wax poured into fancy molds and sold for much more.
Regardless, never forget your wax — there's nothing worse than a sticky ledge or rail. Just be sure not to use too much, because the second-worst thing is an obstacle that's too slick.
5. Spare Parts
If you haven't ever had a bearing blow out mid-trick, rest assured, if you skate long enough, you will. Even though a skateboard has eight bearings, if one of them doesn't work — or worse yet, goes missing — your board is rendered useless. Similarly, if you aren't paying close attention to the nuts on the ends of your trucks, those can come loose, sending your wheel flying.
Skateboards are comprised of a lot of small parts, and it's not uncommon for any of them to come loose or break. Get a small tackle box and keep a few extras of every small part: bearings, nuts, nuts and kingpins. This is especially important if you are far from home, because it's a major buzzkill to drive two hours to a new park only to have your session end prematurely for something as silly as a missing nut.
Once you get to the designated spot, the only things that should ever get in the way of your skating should be the weather or an injury. Staying stocked with all the right gear will keep your sessions running smoothly, and if you take care of your equipment and your body, you'll keep pushing and progressing.