Can You Explain The Role Of Skateboard Risers In Shock Absorption?

Skateboarding is all about pushing boundaries, embracing the adrenaline rush, and defying gravity. But have you ever wondered how skateboarders manage to absorb those bone-rattling shocks? Enter skateboard risers, the unsung heroes of the sport. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, understanding the role of these small but mighty pieces of equipment can make all the difference in your ride. In this article, we’ll break down the science behind skateboard risers and how they enhance shock absorption, allowing you to ride with more comfort, control, and confidence.

Can You Explain The Role Of Skateboard Risers In Shock Absorption?

Understanding Skateboard Risers

What are skateboard risers?

Skateboard risers are small accessories that are placed between the skateboard deck and the trucks. They are typically made from materials like hard plastic, rubber, or foam and serve several important purposes in skateboarding. While they may seem like a small and insignificant part of a skateboard setup, they play a crucial role in shock absorption, impact reduction, and overall performance.

Types of skateboard risers

There are various types of skateboard risers available in the market, each designed to cater to different riding styles and preferences. Some common types include hard risers, soft risers, angled risers, rubber risers, and shock pads. The choice of the riser type depends on individual needs, the terrain being ridden, and personal preference.

Importance of Shock Absorption

Why is shock absorption important in skateboarding?

Skateboarding involves tricks, jumps, and high impact landings, which means that the skateboard and its components are constantly subjected to significant amounts of shock and vibration. This continuous impact can lead to wear and tear, reduced performance, and even potential injury. Therefore, shock absorption is of utmost importance in skateboarding as it helps protect the skateboard and its rider from unnecessary strain, while also ensuring a more comfortable and controlled ride.

Impact of shock on skateboard components

When a skateboard lands a trick or navigates rough terrain, it generates a considerable amount of impact force. This impact force is transmitted through the wheels and trucks to the skateboard deck. Without proper shock absorption, this force can damage the skateboard components, such as the deck, trucks, and wheels. Over time, this can lead to cracks, fractures, or even breakages, compromising the overall functionality and safety of the skateboard.

How Skateboard Risers Aid Shock Absorption

Cushioning and padding

Skateboard risers act as a cushioning layer between the skateboard deck and the trucks. They provide an additional layer of padding that absorbs and distributes the impact forces more evenly, reducing the strain on both the skateboard and the rider. The cushioning effect of risers helps to prevent damage to the deck by reducing the direct transfer of shock from the wheels to the deck, thus increasing its longevity.

Reducing vibration

In addition to absorbing impact forces, skateboard risers also help in reducing vibrations. The constant vibration that occurs during skateboarding can cause discomfort and fatigue for the rider, affecting their control and performance. By serving as a buffer, risers dampen the vibrations, making the ride smoother and more stable. This allows the rider to have better control over the board and helps alleviate the strain on their feet and joints.

Absorbing impact energy

Skateboard risers play a crucial role in absorbing and dispersing the impact energy experienced during tricks and high-impact landings. They act as a shock absorber, reducing the amount of force transferred to the skateboard deck and decreasing the risk of damage to the components. This absorption of energy helps to maintain the integrity of the skateboard, allowing it to withstand the rigors of skateboarding and prolonging its lifespan.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Skateboard Risers


Skateboard risers are available in different materials, each offering distinct properties. Hard risers, usually made of plastic or composite materials, provide excellent durability and stability. Soft risers, on the other hand, are usually made of rubber or foam and offer greater shock absorption. When choosing risers, it’s essential to consider the specific needs and preferences of the rider, as different materials will provide different levels of cushioning and performance.


Skateboard risers come in various thicknesses, typically ranging from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch. The thickness of the riser affects the ride height of the skateboard and the amount of shock absorption it provides. Thicker risers offer more cushioning and shock absorption, making them ideal for riders who prefer a smoother ride and enhanced impact protection. Thinner risers, on the other hand, provide a lower ride height, which can be advantageous for certain skating styles that require increased board responsiveness.

Compatibility with trucks and wheels

It is crucial to ensure that the chosen skateboard risers are compatible with the trucks and wheels being used. Different risers have specific dimensions and hole patterns to accommodate various truck sizes and mounting options. It is important to select risers that fit properly on the skateboard trucks to avoid any instability or improper assembly. Checking the compatibility before purchasing risers will ensure a safer and more efficient skateboard setup.

Can You Explain The Role Of Skateboard Risers In Shock Absorption?

Different Types of Skateboard Risers

Hard risers

Hard risers are typically made of durable materials like plastic or composites, providing stability and improved board control. They offer less cushioning compared to softer materials but excel in shock absorption and impact resistance. Hard risers are popular among skateboarders who prioritize stability and responsiveness in their riding style. They are also suitable for riders who frequent rough terrains or transition skateboarding.

Soft risers

Soft risers are commonly made of rubber or foam materials, offering exceptional shock absorption capabilities. They provide a smoother and more comfortable ride, reducing the strain on the rider’s feet and joints. Soft risers are ideal for skateboarders who prioritize comfort and impact reduction over other factors. They are particularly beneficial for street skaters and those who engage in high-impact tricks and landings.

Angled risers

Angled risers, as the name suggests, have a slanted design that allows for varying degrees of truck tilt. These risers provide increased maneuverability and control by altering the truck position and the board’s responsiveness. Angled risers are popular among skateboarders who prefer a specific truck angle to suit their style of riding. They are especially useful for downhill skating, carving, or pumping, where precise truck adjustments are essential.

Rubber risers

Rubber risers are known for their excellent shock absorption capabilities and dampening effect on vibrations. They offer a good balance between stability and cushioning, making them suitable for a wide range of skateboarding styles. Rubber risers are particularly favored by skateboarders who seek a forgiving and comfortable ride while maintaining control and stability. Their ability to reduce vibrations helps reduce foot and leg fatigue during long skate sessions.

Shock pads

Shock pads are an additional form of skateboard risers, often made of rubber or foam. They are thinner than traditional risers but still provide effective shock absorption and impact reduction. Shock pads are typically inserted between the truck’s baseplate and the skateboard deck, minimizing the transfer of impact forces. They are commonly used in conjunction with risers or on their own to provide an extra layer of cushioning and protect the truck and deck from damage.

Installing Skateboard Risers

Tools required

Installing skateboard risers is a relatively simple process and requires only a few tools. Here are the tools typically needed:

  • Skate tool or wrench
  • Screwdriver (if necessary)
  • Skateboard risers
  • Skateboard hardware (screws and nuts)

Step-by-step installation process

  1. Start by flipping your skateboard upside down and placing it on a flat surface.
  2. Use the skate tool or a wrench to remove the nuts and screws securing the trucks to the skateboard deck. Keep the hardware in a safe place.
  3. If you are using shock pads, place them on the skateboard deck, aligning them with the holes for the truck mounting hardware.
  4. Take the risers and align them with the truck mounting holes. Make sure the risers are positioned correctly, either flush against the deck or seated on top of the shock pads, if applicable.
  5. Insert the screws through the riser mounting holes and screw them into the truck baseplate. Ensure that the screws are tight but not overly tightened, as this may strip the threads or damage the risers.
  6. Repeat the process for all the trucks, ensuring that the risers and hardware are securely attached to the skateboard deck.
  7. Once all the risers are properly installed, double-check the tightness of the screws and nuts to ensure a safe and secure fit.
  8. Flip the skateboard back to its upright position and get ready to ride with your newly installed risers.

Can You Explain The Role Of Skateboard Risers In Shock Absorption?

Effects of Skateboard Risers on Performance

Higher or lower ride height

Skateboard risers have a direct impact on the ride height of the skateboard. By adding risers, the skateboard deck is elevated, resulting in a higher ride height. This increased ride height can affect stability, board control, and overall performance. Higher ride heights are often preferred by riders who need additional clearance for larger wheels or those who prefer a more comfortable and responsive ride. Conversely, some riders may prefer a lower ride height for a more stable and controlled feel, especially when performing technical tricks or riding ramps.

Enhanced stability

One of the significant benefits of skateboard risers is the enhanced stability they provide. The added cushioning and shock absorption allow for smoother transitions and landings, reducing the chance of wheel bite or the skateboard abruptly stopping. The stability provided by risers is particularly important for riders who skate on rough terrains, transition ramps, or uneven surfaces. Improved stability gives riders more confidence and control over their board, allowing them to push their limits and expand their skill set.

Improved maneuverability

Skateboard risers can also impact the maneuverability of the board. The added cushioning and shock absorption provided by the risers allow for greater responsiveness and control. When executing tricks or sharp turns, the board’s flexibility and responsiveness are vital. Risers help absorb the impact forces and vibrations, allowing for quicker adjustments and smoother movements. As a result, skateboarders may experience improved maneuverability, making it easier to perform technical tricks, carve, and navigate various terrain types.

Maintenance and Care

Cleaning skateboard risers

Skateboard risers, like any other skateboard component, require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance and durability. Cleaning the risers is a simple process that can be done using a damp cloth or sponge. Wipe down the risers to remove dirt, debris, and any built-up grime. For stubborn stains, mild soap or skateboard specific cleaning products can be used. It is important to dry the risers thoroughly before reassembling the skateboard to prevent moisture accumulation, which could lead to damage or rust.

Replacing worn-out risers

Skateboard risers, like any other skateboard component, will wear out over time. The constant impact and stress from skateboarding can cause the risers to crack, deform, or lose their cushioning properties. It is important to regularly inspect the risers for any signs of wear and tear. If the risers show signs of damage, it is recommended to replace them as soon as possible. Damaged or worn-out risers can compromise the skateboard’s performance, safety, and overall ride quality.

Common Misconceptions

Risers providing unlimited shock absorption

While skateboard risers are designed to absorb and reduce shock impact, it is important to note that they have limitations. Extreme or excessive forces applied to the skateboard, such as landing extremely high jumps or riding on extremely rough terrains, may still transmit a significant amount of shock to the board and the rider. While risers can help minimize the impact, skateboarders should still exercise caution and practice safe riding techniques, especially in high-impact situations.

Risers eliminating the need for other protective gear

Skateboard risers play a crucial role in shock absorption and impact reduction, but they do not eliminate the need for other protective gear. Risers primarily focus on safeguarding the skateboard components and reducing strain on the rider. However, protective gear such as helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards are still necessary to protect the rider’s body from potential injuries. It is important to wear appropriate protective gear in conjunction with skateboard risers to ensure overall safety while skateboarding.

Safety Considerations

Wearing appropriate protective gear

Skateboarding, even with the use of risers, can be a high-impact sport that involves potential risks. To minimize the risk of injuries, skateboarders should always wear appropriate protective gear. This includes wearing a properly fitting helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards. These protective gears provide critical protection to vulnerable body parts, reducing the severity of injuries in the event of a fall or accident. It is important to prioritize safety and make protective gear an essential part of skateboarding.

Inspecting risers for damage

Regularly inspecting the condition of the risers is crucial to identify any signs of damage or wear. Cracks, deformities, or loss of cushioning properties can affect the risers’ performance and put the rider at risk. Inspect the risers visually and physically before every skate session, paying attention to any irregularities or abnormalities. If any damage is detected, it is essential to replace the risers immediately to maintain optimal performance and ensure the rider’s safety.

Regular maintenance routines

In addition to inspecting risers for damage, maintaining regular maintenance routines for the entire skateboard setup is essential. This includes checking the trucks, wheels, bearings, and skateboard deck. Regularly tighten loose screws, clean the bearings, and remove any built-up dirt or debris. By keeping the skateboard in good condition, riders can ensure safe and reliable performance. Regular maintenance not only extends the lifespan of the skateboard but also contributes to a safer and more enjoyable skateboarding experience.

In conclusion, skateboard risers play a crucial role in shock absorption, impact reduction, and overall performance in skateboarding. They provide cushioning, reduce vibration, and absorb the energy generated from tricks and high-impact landings. When choosing skateboard risers, factors such as material, thickness, and compatibility with trucks and wheels should be considered. Installation is a straightforward process that requires basic tools, and the effects of risers on performance include ride height adjustments, enhanced stability, and improved maneuverability. Regular maintenance and care, along with appropriate protective gear, are necessary for a safe and enjoyable skateboarding experience. Finally, it is important to be aware of common misconceptions regarding risers and to prioritize safety through regular inspections and maintenance routines. With the right risers and proper care, skateboarders can enjoy a smoother, safer, and more comfortable ride.