What are Skateboard Riser Pads?

Grab your helmets, tighten your shoelaces, and let’s ride into the exhilarating world of skateboarding! I’m about to unlock one of its less known yet vital components – Skateboard Riser Pads. If you’re scratching your head wondering, What are skateboard riser pads? don’t worry, you aren’t alone. Many seasoned skateboarders often overlook this small but crucial part that can drastically change their skating experience.

As an avid skater myself, I’ve navigated through countless pitfalls and mishaps in my journey. It took me a fair share of bruised knees and elbows before realizing the significant role these little pieces play in not just enhancing my performance but also ensuring my safety on the board. So get ready as we delve into the nitty-gritty of understanding what skateboard riser pads are and why they could be the missing piece for a smoother ride on your board! Let’s dive right in!

What Exactly Are Skateboard Riser Pads?

Skateboard riser pads are small, rectangular pieces made of plastic, rubber, or other materials, designed to be mounted between the skateboard deck and its trucks. Their primary purpose is to increase the distance between the deck and the wheels. This additional space helps in several ways:

This image is an informative diagram that compares skateboards with and without riser pads, highlighting the differences in clearance and potential for wheel bite.

Preventing Wheel Bite

 Wheel bite occurs when the wheels touch the skateboard deck during a turn or trick, which can cause the board to stop suddenly and throw the rider off. Riser pads help prevent this by providing extra clearance.

Reducing Vibration

Especially when made of rubber or softer materials, riser pads can absorb some of the shocks and vibrations from riding, leading to a smoother skateboarding experience.

Protecting the Deck

By absorbing impacts and reducing stress on the skateboard deck, riser pads can help prevent damage like stress cracks, thereby extending the life of the deck.

Customizing Riding Experience

Riser pads can also alter the board’s performance. For example, thicker pads increase the board’s height, changing the center of gravity and potentially making tricks like ollies easier. Also, have a look at why do you use skateboard wax? for more information about skateboards.

Types of Riser Pads

Riser pads come in many sizes and types. The most common types of riser pads are standard riser pads, made of hard plastic, and shock pads, made of rubber. Standard riser pads are used to provide extra height to the skateboard, allowing the skateboarder to ollie higher and land tricks more comfortably. Shock pads, on the other hand, are softer riser pads that help to reduce vibration and provide a smoother ride.

 This image illustrates the various types of skateboard riser pads, showcasing their distinct materials and shapes.

Angled Riser Pads

Among the different types, angled riser pads are unique. They change the angle of the trucks, making your board super responsive and perfect for those who want to carve deeply.

Riser Pads vs Shock Pads

While both riser pads and shock pads are used on skateboards, they serve slightly different purposes. Shock pads can also prevent stress cracks in the skateboard deck by absorbing the impact of landing tricks. On the other hand, riser pads are mainly for providing clearance between your deck and the wheels to avoid wheel bite.

Why Do Skateboarders Use Riser Pads?

Skateboarders use riser pads for several key reasons, each contributing to a safer, more efficient, and enjoyable skateboarding experience:

Preventing Wheel Bite

 One of the primary reasons skateboarders use riser pads is to prevent wheel bite. Wheel bite happens when the wheels come into contact with the skateboard deck during sharp turns or while performing tricks, which can abruptly stop the board and potentially cause the rider to fall. By increasing the distance between the deck and the wheels, riser pads significantly reduce the risk of wheel bite.

Why Do Skateboarders Use Riser Pads

Enhancing Durability of the Skateboard

Riser pads can help protect the skateboard deck from stress cracks and other forms of wear and tear. By absorbing some of the impacts from tricks and rough terrain, they reduce the direct stress on the deck and trucks, prolonging the life of the skateboard.

Improving Comfort and Ride Quality

Particularly when made from rubber or other shock-absorbing materials, riser pads can decrease the vibration transmitted from the wheels and trucks to the deck. This results in a smoother, more comfortable ride, which is especially noticeable on rough surfaces.

Facilitating Trick Performance

For some skateboarders, especially those who perform a lot of aerial tricks, riser pads can offer a slight advantage. The added height from the pads can make it easier to execute certain tricks, like ollies, by providing a greater range of motion for the board.

Customizing Skateboarding Experience

Riser pads allow skateboarders to customize their setup based on their style and preferences. Different thicknesses and materials cater to various riding styles, from street skating to cruising and ramp skating. They offer a simple way to adjust the board’s performance characteristics.

Accommodating Larger Wheels

Skaters who prefer larger wheels for their skateboards often use riser pads to create the necessary clearance, avoiding wheel bite and ensuring a smooth ride without any wheel-to-deck interference.

Considerations When Choosing Riser Pads

Size and Thickness

Riser pads come in different sizes and thicknesses. The extra height provided by thicker pads can help you to ollie higher and avoid obstacles more easily. However, they also create a higher center of gravity, which might affect stability.


Riser pads are most commonly made of plastic or rubber. The hard plastic pads are more durable and provide more height, whereas the softer rubber pads are better for shock absorption and vibration reduction.


When considering a riser pad, ensure it fits well with your skateboard deck and wheels. Not all riser pads are suitable for all types of skateboards. For instance, pads used in longboarding might not be ideal for a regular skateboard.

How to Use Riser Pads

the content of the diagram is instructional in nature, aimed at guiding skateboard users through the process of handling riser pads.


Installing riser pads is straightforward. They are placed between the baseplate of the trucks and the deck. It’s essential to ensure they are aligned correctly to avoid any issues while skateboarding.

Adjusting Your Skateboard

After installing riser pads, you might need to adjust the way you set up your skateboard. For example, if your bushings are too soft, the increased height might affect your turning radius without the correct adjustments.

Maintenance and Replacement

Riser pads, though durable, do wear out or can become damaged. Regular checks are necessary to ensure they are in good condition. When they show signs of wear, it’s time to buy new riser pads.


Riser pads and shock pads play a significant role in skateboarding. Whether you are a regular skateboarder, longboard enthusiast, or enjoy cruising, these pads can greatly enhance your experience. They provide extra height, help prevent wheel bite, reduce vibration, and can even improve the turning radius of your board. When looking at the different types of riser pads, consider your skateboarding style and needs to choose the best option. Remember, the right riser pad can transform your skateboarding experience.

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