Tech Talk: Understanding the Role of Bearings in Skateboard Performance

tech talk understanding the role of bearings in skateboard performance

There are many different components on a skateboard, each with varying roles in the performance of the device. One that many people talk about is the bearings – but what are these pieces? How do they function on a skateboard, and what position do they play in the skateboard’s performance?

Skateboard bearings play a role in the performance of your skateboard by helping the wheels roll smoothly. They allow them to move quickly in a circle and also reduce the fraction the wheels face while carrying the board and person on top. Without bearings, the wheel performance would falter.

If you’re interested in learning more about the role of bearing in skateboard performance, you’re in the right place. The more you know about how much bearings matter, the easier it will be to appreciate the complexity of your board as a whole. Read on to learn more about why bearings matter, how they work on a skateboard and other practical information. 

Why Do Bearings Matter?

Bearings matter because, without them, the wheels aren’t able to perform as well as they must keep up with the forward momentum necessary for the speed and tricks many skaters want to perform on a skateboard. Unfortunately, many skaters don’t think about their bearings and thus let them fall into serious disrepair over time.

To keep your bearings in the best possible condition, clean them regularly. Also, invest in good ones right from the start to extend the time you have before natural wear and tear starts to break them down. Never use water instead of traditional lubricant – most of the time, it will do far more harm than good. The same goes for using WD40. 

Overall, bearings are a crucial part of owning a skateboard. Speak with a professional before buying or building your board to make the best bearing choice right off the bat to set yourself and your riding experience on a path toward success.

How Do Bearings Work On A Skateboard?

Bearings are like little wheels inside your main skateboard wheels. Although you might know what they do, how do they work on a board? It’s crucial to understand this information if you want to keep your board in the best condition. Let’s dive into the process of how bearings work on a typical skateboard.

Bearings sit on the base of the board, surrounding and working in tandem with components like the axle, hanger, wheel, spacer, speed ring, and axle nut. These all work together, ensuring the board has wheels that run smoothly and don’t fall apart if there is additional speed or tricks performed. 

Most bearings have a large outer ring on their design and a smaller one on the inside. Inside the ring sit small steel balls, which are the main reason the core wheels are allowed to turn.

You can typically get your bearings open or closed. Most choose closed, but there are a few skaters who like the sound that emits from an open bearing when a skateboard is in use.

Can You Skate Without Bearings?

It might seem as though bearings are a waste of time, especially if you’re building your board. It will cost extra to make the bearings yours and they might not seem like they’re a good financial decision – but that couldn’t be further from the truth. They’re required.

Skate with bearings if you care about your safety and the stability of your board. The longer you attempt to skate without bearings, which would have to be a custom choice, the harder it will become on the skateboard and your risk. Most people don’t want to break their board right away – which is where the ball bearings come in.

How Do I Know If My Skateboard Bearings Are Good?

Like all things in the world, skateboard bearings will eventually lose the battle to time. It’s critical to know when it’s time to replace your skateboard bearings and when it’s time to hold onto them for a little longer to save some money on the side. 

You’ll know you’re having issues with your skateboard if you hear the following:

  • Rough and crunchy use experience
  • Wheels slowing down when pushing forward

These indicate that your skateboard bearings are reaching the end of their life cycle.

Once your bearings are done, take the board to a repair shop or attempt to do it yourself. It’s crucial to get new bearings in a practical time, as the wheels will be unable to function properly if you don’t act. 

Does Skating In The Rain Ruin Bearings?

Finally, one final question – what happens if you’re ready to go out for the evening and you find it’s raining? Will the weather ruin the bearings, or is it possible to ride a skateboard forever without worrying about an addition of bearings? 

Although it’s possible to ride your skateboard in the rain, rain itself is generally not good for your system. Keep it away from it if you can, as there’s a much higher chance of rust and corrosion.. Try your best not to skate through rain or floods if you want to avoid destruction to your toes. 

Final Thoughts

Bearings are one of the most critical parts of a skateboard, helping the wheels move and reducing the friction these components face as they press against the pavement. If you want your board to continue functioning at optimal performance, it’s critical to keep up with proper maintenance as your skateboard faces harsh outdoor conditions. 

We hope this information was helpful! Although the bearings are a small part of the skateboard, they are critical if you want your wheels to roll smoothly and to avoid the friction that will inevitably press against various components once you kick it up a notch on your board. Bearings matter – even if you can’t always see them.

Vandem Longboard Shop

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