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Born to skate
A friend of mine recently took his skateboard to ride a bowl at his local skate-park. Within minutes the other boarders heard a crunch; they turned round to see my mate pole-axed on the ground with a somewhat contorted wrist displaying his bones in an unnatural way. At hospital his legs had to be held down as the wrist was snapped back into place before being put in a plaster cast. The shots of morphine didn’t kill the pain, but he still went boarding the next day. Skaters … they’re crazy aren’t they?

Have you ever wondered what skateboards are made from? And how the design helps skaters pull tricks?

You might like to …

• find out about skateboard design; find out how it’s changed over the years; find out why some boards are ‘concave’; find out why the noses turn up
• find out what materials are used to make the board; design and carry out tests on different materials to see which would be suitable for making a skateboard
• find out how the wheels are made, and what they’re made from; find out how this has changed over the years
• design and carry out tests on different skateboard wheels; decide which properties you think are required first
• find out how trucks are made and what they do; test different trucks
• design and make a skateboard (or a single component); test your board (or component)
• design and make a skateboard ramp; think about the materials you’d need.

Further links: