What’s The Role Of Riser Pads In Skateboarding Setups, And Do I Need Them?

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of riser pads in skateboard setups? Riser pads are small, often rubber or plastic pads that are mounted between the skateboard deck and the trucks. They serve as a cushion to absorb shock, reduce vibrations, and provide a bit of extra space between the wheels and the deck. While not all skateboarders may feel the need for riser pads, they can be beneficial for those looking for a smoother ride and fewer wheel bite issues. So, next time you’re setting up your skateboard, consider giving riser pads a try and see if they make a difference in your skating experience.

What’s The Role Of Riser Pads In Skateboarding Setups, And Do I Need Them?

Have you ever wondered about the purpose of riser pads in skateboarding setups? Maybe you’ve heard other skaters mention them, or you’ve seen them on someone’s board. In this article, we’ll dive into what riser pads are, their role in skateboarding setups, and whether or not you actually need them for your board. So let’s roll right into it!

Whats The Role Of Riser Pads In Skateboarding Setups, And Do I Need Them?

What Are Riser Pads?

Riser pads are small plastic or rubber pads that are placed between the skateboard deck and the trucks. They come in various thicknesses, typically ranging from 1/8 inch to 1/2 inch. Riser pads are often overlooked by beginners, but they play a crucial role in the performance and comfort of your skateboard.

Riser pads are designed to absorb shock and vibrations from rough surfaces, which can help reduce the impact on your feet and legs. They also create additional space between the deck and the trucks, preventing wheel bite (when the wheels rub against the deck during sharp turns or tricks). Overall, riser pads can improve your ride quality and make skateboarding more comfortable.

Do I Need Riser Pads For My Skateboard?

The need for riser pads largely depends on your riding style, the terrain you skate on, and your personal preference. Here are some factors to consider when deciding if you need riser pads for your skateboard:

Riding Style:

  • Street Skating: If you mainly skate in urban environments, such as streets, parks, or skateparks, riser pads may not be necessary. Street skateboarders typically perform technical tricks that don’t require the extra cushioning of riser pads.
  • Vert Skating: For skaters who ride ramps, bowls, or vert ramps, riser pads can help absorb the impact from high jumps and landings. They can also provide added stability during aerial maneuvers.


  • Smooth Surfaces: If you skate on smooth surfaces like indoor skateparks or polished concrete, riser pads may not be essential. Smooth surfaces don’t generate as much vibration or shock compared to rough pavement or asphalt.
  • Rough Surfaces: On the other hand, if you skate on rough or uneven surfaces, such as cracked sidewalks or gravel paths, riser pads can help dampen the impact and reduce fatigue on your legs.

Wheel Size:

  • Large Wheels: If you ride with larger wheels (over 55mm), there’s a higher chance of experiencing wheel bite when turning sharply. Riser pads can prevent wheel bite by creating more clearance between the wheels and the deck.
  • Small Wheels: For skaters with smaller wheels (under 55mm), wheel bite may not be as common. In this case, riser pads may not be necessary unless you prefer the added cushioning for comfort.

Personal Comfort:

  • Foot and Leg Fatigue: If you experience foot or leg fatigue after long skate sessions, riser pads can help absorb shock and reduce strain on your joints. The added cushioning can make your rides more comfortable and less strenuous.
  • Stability and Control: Some skaters find that riser pads improve their stability and control while skating. The extra height can make tricks easier to land and maneuvers smoother to execute.

How To Choose The Right Riser Pads For Your Skateboard

If you’ve decided that riser pads are a good fit for your skateboard setup, the next step is to choose the right ones for your needs. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting riser pads:


  • Low Profile: Riser pads with a thickness of 1/8 inch are considered low profile and provide minimal lift. They are ideal for skaters who want to maintain a close-to-the-ground feel without sacrificing shock absorption.
  • Medium Thickness: Riser pads with a thickness of 1/4 inch offer a balance between cushioning and clearance. They are suitable for most skaters and can help prevent wheel bite on standard setups.
  • High Profile: Riser pads with a thickness of 1/2 inch provide maximum lift and shock absorption. They are recommended for skaters who ride with large wheels or prefer a more cushioned ride.


  • Rubber: Rubber riser pads are flexible, durable, and provide good shock absorption. They are less prone to compression and maintain their shape over time.
  • Plastic: Plastic riser pads are lightweight, rigid, and offer consistent lift. They are less likely to deform under pressure but may not absorb vibrations as effectively as rubber.


  • Flat: Flat riser pads have a uniform thickness across the entire pad and provide even support for the trucks. They are suitable for most skateboard setups and offer a stable ride.
  • Angled: Angled riser pads have a tapered design that allows for greater customization of truck angles. They can enhance turning capabilities and improve board responsiveness.


  • Hardware Size: Make sure to choose riser pads that are compatible with your skateboard deck and trucks. Check the size of your mounting hardware (bolts) to ensure a proper fit.
  • Wheel Clearance: Select riser pads that provide enough clearance for your wheels to prevent wheel bite. Double-check the size of your wheels and determine the appropriate thickness for your riser pads.

Installing Riser Pads On Your Skateboard

Now that you’ve selected the right riser pads for your skateboard, it’s time to install them properly. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to add riser pads to your setup:

  1. Gather Your Tools: You’ll need a skate tool or a Phillips head screwdriver to remove and reattach your trucks.

  2. Remove Your Trucks: Use your skate tool to loosen the mounting hardware (bolts) on your trucks. Remove the bolts and set them aside.

  3. Place The Riser Pads: Position the riser pads on the top of your skateboard deck, aligning them with the truck holes. Make sure the pads are centered and parallel to the edges of the deck.

  4. Reattach Your Trucks: Place the trucks back onto the riser pads, lining up the holes on the deck with the holes on the trucks. Insert the mounting hardware (bolts) and tighten them securely.

  5. Test Your Setup: Once the riser pads are installed, test your skateboard by riding it around to see how it feels. Make any adjustments as needed to ensure a comfortable and stable ride.

Whats The Role Of Riser Pads In Skateboarding Setups, And Do I Need Them?

Maintaining Your Riser Pads and Skateboard

After installing riser pads on your skateboard, it’s essential to maintain them regularly to ensure optimal performance and safety. Here are some tips for maintaining your riser pads and skateboard:

  • Check for Wear: Inspect your riser pads regularly for signs of wear, such as cracks, tears, or deformation. Replace damaged pads promptly to prevent compromising your ride quality.
  • Clean Your Setup: Clean your riser pads, trucks, and wheels periodically to remove dirt, debris, and grime. Use a soft brush or cloth to wipe down the components and keep them in good condition.
  • Adjust as Needed: If you experience any issues with your skateboard setup, such as wheel bite, instability, or discomfort, consider adjusting the thickness or material of your riser pads. Experiment with different combinations to find the optimal setup for your riding style.
  • Replace When Necessary: Over time, riser pads can wear out due to repeated impact and pressure. Replace your riser pads when they show signs of deterioration to maintain a safe and enjoyable skateboarding experience.

Final Thoughts on Riser Pads in Skateboarding Setups

In conclusion, riser pads play a vital role in skateboarding setups by providing shock absorption, preventing wheel bite, and improving ride comfort. Whether you need riser pads for your skateboard depends on factors such as your riding style, terrain, wheel size, and personal preference. By understanding the role of riser pads and choosing the right ones for your setup, you can enhance your skateboarding experience and ride with confidence.

So, next time you hit the streets or skatepark, consider adding riser pads to your skateboard and see how they impact your ride. Remember to experiment with different setups to find the perfect combination that suits your needs and preferences. Happy skating!

Whats The Role Of Riser Pads In Skateboarding Setups, And Do I Need Them?