When you assemble a longboard you need “hardware” also known as the Nuts & Bolts.
Nuts and bolts connect your trucks securely to your longboard, without them everything is just a bunch of parts. Nobody talks about them and they don’t get the spotlight but they are essential and no board can do without them.
They come in sets of 8 (8 countersunk bolts, 8 lock nuts and 8 washers) and are commonly black. This prevents the hardware from getting rusty. You also have fun colors and coated ones. They are made from hardened steel, are anodized and can last forever.
Most bolts have a flat-head with Philips as that allows for a more even board, however you also see pan-head bolts.
Pan-head bolts are mostly for top mount and drop through decks. Flathead bolts are more for top mount decks. Always use lock nuts.
Which lengths of bolts do you need?
The length depends on the thickness of your longboard (the amount of plies you have and the thickness of the riser/shock pad – if you use one).
Here an indication of the length you need:
The more plies, the longer the bolts you need. The bolts are 10-32 (10 diameter and 32 threads per inch).
Check your nuts and bolts now! Make sure they are secured and NO nuts are missing. When the nylon rings inside the lock nuts start to show less resistance when turning its time to change them. Better be safe than get hurt and new ones are much cheaper than a wheelchair.
A T-tool (skate tool) is indispensable to adjust your longboard skateboard nuts and bolts, however more about that magic tool in the future.
Go shred, tear it up and have fun.
PS. For more about longboard parts and see the “How to choose a longboard” guide