Modern skateboard decks are tough and durable, but they have a lifespan. The average lifespan of a skateboard depends on how much you ride it and what type of riding you do. If you've been riding for a while, you may notice the tail starting to become thin, which is known as razor tail. If left unattended, razor tail can lead to the lamination coming off and the board coming apart.
Use a Tail Guard
One of the best ways to stop razor tail is purchase and install a tail guard. Your local skate store carries protective products such as tail guards for about $15 on average. Tail guards, also called skid plates, attach to the tail of your deck and prolong its lifespan by adding a buffer between the tail of your deck and the ground. They have a beveled, light-weight design so that you don't compromise control. Tail guards are easy to install and come with the mounting hardware necessary to attach it to your deck.
Sand Your Deck
Use a rough grit sandpaper to reshape your board and remove the razor tail -- 60 or 80 grit will do. Sand heavily against the edge of the deck to flatten the edge. As you sand down you will remove the grip tape and the thin pieces of wood, which are called veneers. As you continue to sand you'll see the board beginning to get its shape back. This is a good way to repair razor tail and will only remove about 1/8-inch of your tail.
Avoid Dragging Your Tail
If you use your deck primarily for transportation and drag your tail as a method of stopping, this can wear it down and cause razor tail. A simple way to stop razor tail in this situation is to learn a different method of stopping. Try stopping by dragging your pushing foot on the ground and allowing the friction of your shoe to slow you down until you reach a stop. This method of stopping requires more balance, but reduces deck damage to your tail.
Apply Carbon Fiber
Add a thin layer of carbon fiber to the back of your deck. Carbon fiber is lightweight and adds some much needed strength and durability to help extend the life of your deck. You have the option of adding carbon fiber to only the tail of your board. However, if you use your board for tricks, it's best to add it to the entire back of the deck so that you have protection for the nose and middle of your deck. Like the tail, the nose and middle of your deck wear down from sliding, grinding and other tricks.
- The Handmade Skateboard: Design & Build a Custom Longboard, Cruiser, or Street Deck from Scratch; Matt Berger
Ainsley Whitley is a contributing writer for various branded properties that together attract more than 280 million readers seeking influential content. Whitley's articles have appeared in various print and online magazines, including "GQ," "Details," "Southern Living" and "Cooking Light."