Are you getting a skateboard? While you might be thinking about the cool artwork that you want on the board itself and how large or small you want it to be, you should also be thinking about the skateboard bearings.
Just like you would not want to drive a car with a cheap axle and other parts, you don’t want to skimp on the bearings. Doing that could invite disaster. The same goes for not taking care of the bearings and not changing them often enough.We’re here to help you with our ultimate guide to skateboard bearings. Read on to learn more.
What Exactly is a Skateboard Bearing?
Flip a skateboard over and look at the side of the wheels. There are round metal pieces that are inside it and attach it to the axle. Those are the bearings.
These are what keep the wheels going while you are riding and also prevent them from flying off the skateboard. It’s not as simple as one type of bearing fitting all skateboards out there - there are different types that suit different needs.
What Type of Bearings Are There?
When you are looking at bearings, you also need to think about what kind of load that you are going to be using.
If you are getting a small- or medium-sized load, you should probably get a ball bearing. If it is a heavy load, then you should get roller bearings.
Another factor to take into consideration is how fast you intend to go while you are skateboarding.
If you want to go fast, that means you want a bearing that can handle a lot of rotational speed, and that would be ball bearings. Roller bearings are best for those who want to go slower.
Are There Any Ratings For Bearings?
Yes, there are. When you look at the packaging for the bearings, you will usually see ABEC and then a number.
ABEC means Annular Bearing Engineering Committee and it usually ranges between 1-9 with 1 being bare minimum and 9 being the highest quality. The ratings also tend to correlate to pricing.You need to be careful when looking at the bearing though, since not all of these will have an ABEC rating. If you are unsure, you can always talk to someone who works at the skateboard store - they will tell you what to look for.
Clean Bearings Can Give You Speed
You might look at the ABEC rating of the bearings and see a high number. That does mean that you could go faster than a lower-rated bearing, but it is not the main factor in terms of achieving the highest speed - assuming that you want to go really fast, of course.
So how do you set things up to get a good head of steam going on your skateboard? It’s all about cleaning the bearings on a consistent basis. You should also make sure that the bearings are very well-oiled.
The thing to remember, though, is that bearings can be quite complex. They need to be taken apart when they are being cleaned. There are a lot of different parts to keep track of.
If you tend to skate on the street, you will have to do maintenance much more often than in other conditions. It also depends on if you get steel or ceramic bearings.
Ultimately, to ensure that you have a consistently fun experience riding your skateboard each and every day, the best thing you can do is to always monitor the state of your bearings. Consistently clean them and make sure that they are looking good. Pay attention to how they look.
Don’t wait to get new bearings and put them on if it has been over a year or if they seem to be off to you. It’s not a good thing if something happens if you are in mid-traffic. You need to be proactive and not reactive when it comes to this.
If you are careful and show good form and awareness, you can have a great time with your skateboard. You can focus on the riding and not what is going on underneath your feet, That is what all the fun is about.