If you enjoy skateboarding, you may wonder why everyone talks about how important bearings are.
Bearings for your skateboard are important because these small, circular items are what allow the wheels to roll smoothly and fast. The bearings are the essential part that dictates how fast you can go on your board. A skateboard needs eight bearings or two for every wheel. Almost all skateboard bearings are the same size and will fit fine on any skateboard.
When you select your bearings, it is vital to think about your level of experience with skateboarding and how you prefer to ride. Bearings with the best quality parts and materials will last longer and be faster. If you are just starting out in skateboarding, you probably do not need the toughest and fastest bearings.
If you have more experience and know how to ride hard and fast, you may want to get a higher-end bearing. Bearings with better quality are more expensive, but there is no question you will get better performance.
Steel Bearings or Ceramic Bearings?
You can choose steel or ceramic for your bearings. Most bearings are made of steel and are naturally called steel bearings. The steel quality and other parts used in these bearings determine how durable and fast they are. You can buy both high end and beginner level steel bearings from around $10 to $70.
Ceramic bearings feature ceramic balls that are stronger and lighter than steel. Ceramic bearings will roll faster than steel because there is less friction. The faster rotation means they tend to clean themselves. Ceramic bearings are high end and tend to cost more, with a set running from about $50 to $150.
What About ABEC Rating?
Bearings always come with an ABEC rating. You can see the rating on the side of the bearing package. There are five levels: ABEC 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and 9. Some people think that a higher ABEC rating will mean you skate faster.
However, the ABEC system was devised to rate bearings made for machinery, not for skateboards. When you select your bearings, you probably do not need to worry about the ABEC rating, no matter what the marketing says. Instead, focus on what the bearings are made of and the quality of that material.
Bearings are important for skateboard performance, so be sure you get good advice on which ones are best for you.