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How to Make a Skateboard Faster

By Kim Nunley

Increase how fast your skateboard can go by changing out your bearings and wheels. The quality of your bearings and the size and hardness of your wheels make an impact on how fast your wheels spin and how much distance they cover. In addition, by keeping your bearings lubricated and clean, you can help ensure they spin smoothly.

Replace Bearings

Replace your bearings with higher quality ones. Bearings sit in the cutout groove that exists at the center of your skateboard wheels and they help eliminate friction as the axle spins. Bearings are rated by ABEC, which stands for Annular Bearing Engineering Council. A higher ABEC rating means that the bearing is more precisely made. Greater precision means that there’s less wobbling and friction so that the wheels can rotate faster. Boards typically come with bearings that have an ABEC-1 or ABEC-3 rating. For a faster ride, pick ABEC-5 or ABEC-7 bearings for your board.

Select ceramic over steel bearings. Ceramic bearings are made from silicon nitride, making them smoother and harder than those made of steel. As a result, there’s less friction within the wheels and they can spin faster. As an added bonus, ceramic bearings are better at resisting damage caused by the heat created as the wheels spin and will therefore last longer.

Get Harder Wheels

Pick harder wheels to increase the speed of your skateboard. Every wheel has a durometer rating, which is a measure of its hardness. The higher the durometer, the harder the wheel. A wheel with a higher durometer will cause there to be less friction between the wheels and the riding surface. A board typically comes with wheels with a 78A durometer rating. Use wheels with a durometer of 97A or higher if you use your board for technical tricks or on ramps. If you use your board to cruise, pick wheels with a durometer rating of 75A to 85A.

Adjust Wheel Size

The size of your skateboard wheels will directly effect how fast your board can go. The larger the wheels, the faster your ride, as a single rotation of each wheel will cover more distance. Wheel sizes range from 49 to 75 mm. If you use your board on ramps or inclines, go with wheels sized 55 to 65 mm. If you use your board to do tricks, the smaller wheels help you perform more technical moves, so select wheels sized 50 to 62 mm. If you use your board to cruise or ride for long distances, select wheels sized 64 to 75 mm.

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Wash and Lubricate Your Bearings

Keep your bearings lubricated and free of dust and moisture. Dirt and rust will reduce the smoothness of your bearings so they won’t spin as freely due to increased friction. This can cause your wheels to not spin as fast and slow your board. To wash your bearings, remove them from the wheels first and allow them to fully dry before reinstalling them.

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