Skateboard Bearings Keep Your Board Rolling
Skateboard bearings are cylindrical parts inside the wheel that rotate the axle. Regardless of their small size, skate bearings have a big impact on how well your wheels roll and on your performance. Their construction is relatively complex, and each bearing is built from the inner and outer race, retainer, bearing balls, and the shield.
Skateboard bearings are universal, which means every skate bearing fits every skateboard wheel. You will need two bearings per wheel, so eight per skateboard, and spacers to fill the space between bearings.
What Skateboard Bearings Should I Get?
When you are looking for new bearings for a skateboard, you should pay attention to the following factors: precision (ABEC rating), lubrication, material, and the shield/seal of the bearing.
A common misunderstanding is that you should choose bearings with a high ABEC rating no matter what your skateboarding style is. The scale ranges from 1 to 9, the higher the number, the greater the precision and “roll” there is.
However, it’s not always necessary to choose a bearing with a high rating. For example, if you are into street skating, then a regular ABEC 5 bearing should do the job. If you are usually riding vert, then it might make sense to use an ABEC 7 or 9 bearings, so you can optimise your speed to be able to get enough air time for your tricks. In addition, it is worth remembering that not all brands use the ABEC scale to measure the precision of the bearings.
Do you need more information about what bearings to choose? Feel free to visit our comprehensive Buying Bearings Guide.
When to Replace Skateboard Bearings
Skateboarding can be tough for bearings with all the hits, impacts, and dirt from the surfaces. These can easily damage your skate bearings and have a negative influence on your performance. Furthermore, riding a board with loud, rattling bearings can be distracting.
That is why replacing bearings every now and then is a good way to keep your board fresh and the wheels rolling smoothly. Bearing sets are also relatively inexpensive, so getting an extra set at home will not be too hard on the budget.
However, if you are experiencing a low performance from your skateboard bearings, you might want to try a good cleaning before buying new ones. You can learn how to do this from our Bearing Cleaning and Lubrication guide.