For me, skateboarding is a lifestyle, I don’t really know anything different, my life revolves around skating, if I wasn’t a pro skater, I’d still be skating every day - Ryan Sheckler
Skateboarding gets in your blood. It isn’t just another hobby or an idle way to spend lazy summer afternoons while you’re young and dreaming about the infinite possibilities of the future. More a vocation than a pastime, skateboarding is a calling that attracts all manner of souls to its four-wheeled bosom. It draws those who heed its cry into a world of camaraderie that not only celebrates courage, insanity, faith, and self-belief in equal measure but also has a place for anyone who wants to just jump on a board and ride until every muscle aches and it hurts to breathe. Skateboarding is a lifestyle that has its own independent culture, and as long as you’ve got a deck, four wheels, and a pair of trucks, it’ll welcome you into its addictive and inclusive embrace.
Those first steps into the skating world, that’s just the beginning of a lifelong adventure that’ll teach you more about yourself than you ever thought possible, but one of the lessons that you’ll quickly learn is how to look after your skateboard. If you don’t learn how your board works, what goes where and how every part of your board functions in conjunction with every other part, then in all likelihood, the time you’ll spend as a skater will be brief. Incredibly enjoyable, but brief. Skateboards fail, they break and their component parts deteriorate, so as time passes, you’re almost certainly, if you want to stay mobile and keep skating, going to need to master the art of skateboard repair. And that’s when you’ll discover how critical and crucial using, and having, the right hardware is.
While it isn’t the flashiest part of your skateboard, the hardware is pretty much the most important. Sure, hardware just seems like an extraneous set of nuts and bolts, but without it, you wouldn’t have anything to hold your trucks to your deck, and no trucks and no deck means no skating. That’s why it’s vital to have the right hardware for your skateboard because as well as holding your board together, it’s got to be strong and durable enough to take all of the abuse you’ll dish out to your skateboard and keep it all in one piece.
That’s why you’re going to want the best hardware you can find for your board and that’s why we’ve come up with a list of the five best sets of skateboard hardware that you’ll ever lay your hands on. All have to do is choose a set, put your board together or keep a set handy for when you do need it, and get right back on your skateboard. Let’s take a look at the best of the best...
Top 5 Best Hardware Skateboard
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
It seems kind of logical that if you’re going to need hardware to attach your trucks to your skateboard, then that hardware should be made by a company that makes either trucks or skateboards. That’s why we’ve gone straight to the top of the skateboarding mountain and chosen Independent branded hardware.
The only American based manufacturer of skateboard trucks, Independent has been casting their product in Sant Cruz since the original Dogtown explosion of nineteen seventy-eight. If you’re serious about skateboarding, you’re already using Independent trucks and if you’re using Independent trucks, then you should be using Independent hardware to attach those trucks to your deck. As we said, it’s all about logic. If you’re already using one of their products on your board, it makes sense to use another that’s purpose-made to fit it properly.
Made to be used on longboards and decks that use spacers with their trucks, these one and half-inch black and gold bolts and nylon locking nuts are designed to minimize damage to your deck and add a little glitz and glamour to the overall look of your board. After all, when you’re airborne, that instant flash of gold and black when you sail past is going to be enough for any hardcore skater to nod their head and mutter “Nice”
Independent ram home the philosophy that you should “accept no substitute” and while we’re all for the spirit of competition that drives the wheels of capitalism, we have to admit that they might be right. This is the company that makes the trucks that most skateboarding manufacturers use to build their boards, and if their competitors are using Independent branded hardware to make their boards, that tells you everything that you need to know.
Durability is the name of the game for Independent. They’ve been making trucks since the tail end of the seventies and they’re still doing what they’ve always done. They make their product to go the distance just like they have.
We have to admit it, the color combination that Independent has chosen for their hardware is a real dazzler. It may not seem like much, but it’ll turn the right heads.
Nine bucks is all this set will cost you. Admittedly, you don’t get a whole lot of physical product for your money, but what you do get is the peace of mind that comes with knowing that your board is held together by Independent branded product. And that would be cheap at twice the price.
Independent have fixated on a one size fits all ideology and while that might have been par for the course in the old days, an ever-changing skateboarding scene means that boards now come in all shapes and sizes, so this hardware set might not fit every board under the sun. Remember the simple rule. Measure twice, order once.
It’s a minor niggle, but a number of disgruntled skaters have complained about their hardware sets turning up incomplete or with added parts that they didn’t order. They’re missing a bolt, or the nuts are the wrong size and in some cases, both have been missing. While it’s not the end of the world, it’s more than a little inconvenient and nobody expects to have to either place another order or wait for a new set of hardware to arrive after they’ve returned the defective one.
We’re more than a little taken with Enjoi’s outlook on life and the care and attention to detail that they pour into every single one of their skateboards is, quite frankly, astonishing. And all of the same thought and scrutiny that Enjoi put to good use when they make their skateboards is also used to manufacture their hardware.
If you’re going to put your life in anyone’s hands while you’re skating, it’s a pretty good idea to entrust it to people who know what they’re doing. Founded two decades ago by professional skateboarders Rodney Mullen and Marc Johnson, Enjoi knows exactly what they’re doing. They make the sort of hardware that they’d trust with their lives, and if their hardware will live up to the demands of the kind of skateboarders who ride Enjoi boards, it should be able to handle everything that you and your skateboard will put it through.
Best of all though, and yes we know durability and strength are probably the most important factors when it comes to choosing hardware, are the funky colors that Enjoi’s hardware comes in. Bright and breezy, their hardware is a direct reflection of their credo and the way they approach everything. Just because something has a serious job to do, it doesn’t mean that it can’t have, and be, fun while it’s doing it.
Enjoi have forged their reputation by making the same quality products that their highly respected skate team use, and swear by, available to skaters everywhere. A brand you can trust implicitly, their hardware won’t let you down and will make sure your board is always safe and secure.
While your hardware has a serious job to do, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be fun. Skating is all about expressing your individuality and enjoying yourself, and Enjoi’s hardware captures that spirit in all of its technicolor glory.
It’s standard-sized hardware (seven-eighths of an inch) for standard-sized trucks and boards, so if you’re a skater who does things the standard way, then Enjoi has got you covered.
It’s standard-sized hardware for standard-sized boards, so if you’re one of the many skaters who doesn’t ride a standard sized board, then these aren’t the nuts and bolts that’ll keep your trucks fixed to your board. However, if you’re not sure if you ride a standard sized board or not, measure your current hardware before you order more. It’ll take a couple of minutes to break out a measuring tape and save you a lot of potential headaches and anger down the road.
They’re kind of expensive, and we can’t help thinking that it isn’t the splash of wonderfully decadent color you’re paying extra for as much as it is the brand name on the packet.
Remember what we were saying about names you can trust when it comes to hardware? Well, you can add Fireball Dragon to that list. Having made their name by designing and manufacturing bearings and wheels that spoke to the hearts of, and are used by, skaters everywhere, Fireball Dragon expanded their horizons and started making skateboards and hardware.
But it’s the hardware that we, and you, are interested in, so that’s what we’re going to focus on. Deviating from the skating norm, Fireball Dragon uses stainless steel to make their hardware, which means that their one to three-inch (that’s right, they make multiple sizes of hardware) bolts, locking nuts (which are actually made from zinc) and washers are fashioned to be stronger and last far, far longer than the same product from their competitors will.
But wait, that’s not all. Fireball Dragon also makes their hardware in a couple of different locking models, so according to which you prefer you can either use a Phillips head screwdriver or a hex key to tighten up and fasten your hardware. Variety, as far as Fireball Dragon are concerned, really is the spice of skateboarding hardware life.
The stainless steel bolts won’t corrode, won’t rust, and won’t bend or break. They’re tougher than Christian Hosoi and will probably outlast your deck, trucks, and wheels.
Making their hardware available in different sizes and with different locking, heads illustrates a degree of inclusivity, that we can really get behind. And the fact that they’ve invested in a number of options rather than focussing on just one, demonstrates a willingness to put the needs of their customers before profit. Which, in this increasingly corporate world, is something that should be supported and applauded.
Oh, and we dig the price too. And so will you. At around nine dollars, you’re not paying for a brand, you’re paying for a solid dependable product.
Okay, here’s the bit that we don’t get. Why make the bolts out of stainless steel and the nuts out of zinc? It doesn’t seem to make any sense to us. Is it purely a cost-cutting exercise or something else? We couldn’t find an answer to that question and we’re guessing that’s because it’s locked in a safe that’s locked in the hidden depths of Fireball Dragon’s headquarters. So, the bolts won’t rust but the nuts will? That’s just crazy.
According to some less than happy skaters who wanted to make their voices, and opinions, heard on the internet, fitting the Fireball Dragon hardware can be a difficult and arduous process. Why make such a great product so difficult to use? Again, it’s another Fireball Dragon conundrum that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
This choice is a little out of left field but bear with us because it’ll be worth it. Ever Hardware isn’t a skate company. They don’t make skateboards, wheels, decks, or trucks. They never have and in all probability, they never will. Ever Hardware is a hardware company.
They make nuts and bolts and all of the other hardware stuff that men with wrenches and massive toolkits love to obsess about. While Ever don’t know anything about skating and probably couldn’t tell the difference between an ollie and a frontside if their lives depended on it, they do know how to make nuts and bolts and at the end of the day, that’s all that skateboard hardware is.
Unlike the other brands on our list, the Ever Hardware set comes with a spare nut and bolt in case one goes astray when you’re working on your board. And it also comes with its own hex key, which means that the only tool you need to fasten your trucks and board together is actually included in the set.
Ignoring the usual black and silver trap that most skate hardware seems to have fallen into, Ever Hardware comes in two shades, shocking metallic pink and shiny metallic green. It’s a little out there and a little different, but so is choosing Ever Hardware for your skateboard. Why be normal when you don’t have to be?
Ever Hardware has nothing to prove to the skating community, so you’re not paying for a brand name, you’re just paying for the product. And you’re going to pay less for a lot more if you go with Ever as you’ll get nine nuts and bolts, instead of the usual eight, and a hex key for eight dollars. Less, sometimes at least, really is more.
This Hardware set comes with a Hex Key. We’re not into the whole DIY thing, we don’t have a tool kit. We’d rather skate than build a cabinet, so the fact that Ever supplies the tools you’ll need to fit your hardware with the set is a gift from skateboarding heaven.
If you’re a brand-centric sort of skater, then the fact that Ever isn’t a skate company and that this hardware set wasn’t purpose-made for skateboards can be a little tough to grasp and come to terms with. We get it, but every now and then, you need to make a leap of faith and trust in the fact that the Universe has your back. This is one of those times.
It’s the same old, one size fits all story. The Ever Hardware set is a one-inch kit that’ll work just fine and dandy with standard-sized skateboards, but won’t do the job for all of those decks that fall slightly outside traditional parameters.
We’re heading back into the skateboarding safe zone for the last choice on our list with the Hardware pack from Bones. Known for designing and manufacturing some of the gnarliest, most hardcore wheels in skateboarding, Bones are a brand name that incredibly serious skaters take seriously. So it’s hardly a surprise that their hardware is a perpetual favorite with skateboarders who have devoted their lives to the thing they love.
Featuring cross-thread whiteheads to help guide your feet to where they need to be on your board, these one-inch zinc steel bolts and locking nuts will fasten your trucks to your board like glue and will never let them go in a hundred lifetimes. Made by skaters to keep other skaters safe, Bones Hardware is the choice of champions in an overly mediocre world.
Bones don’t do over-selling and they’re content to let their products speak for themselves, but they don’t shy away from self-promotion. This is why they include a sticker in every pack of their hardware, as they’re probably gambling on the fact that you’ll slap said sticker on your deck while you’re making sure that your board is high and tight. We would, but then we’re already Bones fans and we’re willing to bet that after investing in their hardware, you will be too.
Bones are skaters brand of choice and a name that skateboarders not only know but also trust. That kind of loyalty doesn’t come easily, it has to be earned and Bones have earned it ten times over. Trust the brand and trust their hardware. It won’t let you down.
And even if it does let you down (which it won’t), if it’s their fault that it’s failed, Bones will replace your hardware. In other words, the hardware comes with a warranty, and who doesn’t love a warranty? It’s the guarantee of happiness that can’t be bribed or bought off.
For around the same sort of money, as you’ll pay for the Ever Hardware, you can get a set of skate branded, designed, and manufactured board friendly hardware. That’s enough to make any skater smile all the way to the bank machine.
And we’re back in familiar territory, as Bones only makes hardware for standard-sized boards. Maybe it’s because they’re one of the old guard who adheres rigidly to a skate or die credo and wants nothing to do with new-fangled deck and truck sizes. Whatever it is, if you’re not you’re skating on a standard stick, Bones won’t be beefing up your hardware.
There is, or possibly was, a quality control issue with some of Bones’ hardware as some long term fans of the brand have spoken out about malformed bolts and stripped threads that have rendered their hardware useless. Given Bones’ sterling reputation, we’d like to think, and hope, that it was a one-off manufacturing problem that caused these issues, but whatever it was, it isn’t something that we can walk away from or ignore. And neither should you.
Best Hardware Skateboards Buyers Guide
Having perused our list, choosing the right hardware for your skateboard may seem like a slam dunk and a walk in the park, but there are a few factors that you might want to consider and take note of before you open your pocketbook.
What Is Skateboard Hardware And Why Is It Important?
As we said at the beginning, skateboard hardware consists of all of the components that fix your trucks to your board. Essentially, it’s a set of eight nuts and bolts (four for each truck) that holds your skateboard together. While hardware isn’t glamorous, it is indispensable, as, without it, you won’t be going anywhere. Good hardware is key to enjoying skateboarding, so don’t skimp on it or ignore it. The better your hardware is, the more fun you’ll have on your skateboard.
Most hardware is made for a standard size skateboard that uses standard size trucks and measures around seven-eighths of an inch. However, if you ride a bigger board, use outsized specialist trucks, or your trucks are mounted on risers, standard-sized hardware won’t work. You’re going to need a bigger bolt.
But don’t worry, plenty of companies make longer bolts and include them in their hardware packs so regardless of the kind of board you’re riding, and trucks you’re using, there’s a hardware pack that’s made to hold your board together.
Components and Color
Life can be kind of grey and drab at times and as skating is a way to escape those more mundane moments, you won’t want your skateboard to be boring. As a way to escape the tedium factor, a lot of companies have started producing colored hardware to add a touch of shade and swagger to your board.
That said, while it looks pretty, the color doesn’t actually add anything to the quality of the hardware, so if you value functionality over fashion, traditional hardware still comes in all of the same shades of black and grey that it always has. The world may well be changing at a bewildering pace, but there are still some things that you’ll always be able to depend on. The Oldsmobile 442, the New York Rangers, and that skateboard hardware will always be available in black, grey, and silver.
Hardware manufacturing has come a long way in the last fifty years and while some companies have clung rigidly to the same materials that they always used to make their hardware, some have begun to think outside of the established box. That willingness to embrace modernity and the future has seen a rise in the usage of stainless steel in hardware, which has extended hardware life through both it’s durability and resistance to rust and corrosion. If you live in an area that’s prone to a lot of rainfall and humidity, stainless steel hardware is an option that you can’t afford to ignore.
What’s In A Name and Brand Loyalty?
The grass is green, the sky is blue and most skaters develop an affinity for, and loyalty to, skateboard brands. The good news is, most skateboard brands also produce their own hardware. It’s a given, and almost goes without saying, that the best hardware is going to be made by companies and brands who are intimately familiar with, and understand, skateboarding.
If you want to get the sort of hardware that you can put your faith in day in day out, you’re going to want hardware that’s come straight off the manufacturing line of an established and familiar skateboard brand. And if you want to kit your skateboard out with the best of the best, you’re going to invest in hardware from a brand that specializes in making trucks, wheel and bearings, because they, even more than board manufacturers, understand how important it is for skaters to have, and use great hardware.
Frequently asked Questions
Which Skateboard Hardware Should I Use For My Board?
That’s a question that depends entirely on whether you ride a standard board, or a longboard or your skateboard’s trucks are mounted on risers.
If you’re a no-nonsense old school skater who rides a time-honored, classic style board, then you can’t go wrong with the hardware made by Independent. They’re a company that values skating tradition and history and has been a part of the community since the glory days of the nineteen seventies.
However, if you’re part of the new breed who have chosen the longboard life and aren’t worried about the convention, then we’d recommend Fireball Dragon’s stainless steel hardware. They’ve got one foot in the past and both eyes on the future and are the sort of company that will end up steering the course of skateboarding into tomorrow and beyond.
With that in mind and your choice of hardware made, there’s only one thing left to do. So let’s skate…