How To Make Your Skateboard Wheels Spin Longer [Explained]
You can make your skateboard wheels spin faster and longer by cleaning them with the proper cleaning agent such as Bones Speed Cream. However, you can also try loosening your axle nuts if that doesn’t seem to work.
When all else fails, it may mean that it’s time to upgrade your wheels and bearings. At the very least, your bearings. Now let’s take a deeper dive to learn more about making your wheels spin longer.
Step 1: Clean Your Skateboard Bearings And Wheels
If you’ve been riding your skateboard for a few months or years, then you definitely have some dirt and debris buildup inside your wheels and bearings. Dirty bearings will make your skateboard slower and may cause unwarranted noises.
Luckily, there is a simple way to fix this – clean your bearings.
You should regularly clean your wheels and bearings, whether that’s once a week or once a month, that’s up to you. Clean wheels and bearings will give you a faster and smoother ride.
Your wheels will be simple enough to clean (after removing the bearings) with soap and water, a rag, and q-tips. Just make sure they are thoroughly dry before putting the bearings back in because they can rust if they’re still wet or damp.
Cleaning Your Bearings
- Remove the Bearing Shields: use a razor blade, knife, or screwdriver to pry the shields off.
- Allow your bearings to soak in a mason jar or Tupperware container of your chosen cleaner for an hour or two; the longer the better. I suggest either methylated spirit, a solvent, rubbing alcohol, or lemon juice.
- Once the bearings are finished soaking, shake them up in the cleaner.
- Rinse them with more solvent.
- Regrease your bearings with something like Bones Speed Cream or Powell Speed Cream.
Step 2: Loosen Your Axle Nuts
First thing is first. If you’ve already attempted to clean your wheels and bearings, but your wheels are not spinning fast enough, then you may have an issue with your axle nuts.
Sometimes when you buy a prebuilt skateboard, the axle nuts will come extra tight, and sometimes we just tighten them too much ourselves by accident. This will cause the wheels on your skateboard to spin slow.
By loosening your axle nuts slightly, you can make the wheels spin faster and longer. So use your skate tool or a wrench and make small adjustments.
Spin the wheels by hand and study the speed. If it looks good, then you’re all good. But if not, continue making slight adjustments and testing the speed of your wheels. It really is that easy.
Break-In Your New Skateboard
If you are riding a brand new skateboard, it is possible that you just need to break it in. I suggest loosening the axle nuts just a tiny bit with your skate tool before you go riding and bring your tool with you. Loosen as needed while you’re skateboarding for that day.
The bearings won’t begin spinning faster and longer immediately. However, after a few rides, they should begin to.
If you purchased a complete skateboard and the wheels are still stopping early, you probably got a poor set of bearings in your complete package and you should upgrade them to a trusted brand such as Bones Reds, Mini Logo, or Bronson Speed Co.
Upgrade Your Skateboard Wheels And Bearings
If you’ve already cleaned your skateboard wheels and bearings, and loosened your axle nuts, but are not satisfied with the speed, then there is only one other answer. It is time for you to upgrade your wheels and bearings. But definitely your bearings!
If you want to enjoy skateboarding as much as possible, then you need to know never to compromise with quality components. This means you may need to invest a little bit more money. Instead of $10 bearings, take a look at the Bones Reds for $20.
There will be a world of difference.
All skateboard bearings are manufactured in the same size, which makes them easy to choose from. But you also need to know how to choose the BEST ones.
Stick to reputable brands like Bones, Bronson Speed Co., Mini Logo, and Spitfire.
Another thing to consider when choosing your bearings is the ABEC (Annular Bearing Engineer Committee) rating. Skateboard bearings come in ABEC ratings between 1 and 9, with 9 being the fastest but also most likely to get damaged.
Most skateboards come with ABEC 3 or ABEC 5 bearings, so if you’re wanting a little bit extra speed, take a look at ABEC 7s or 9s.
Your wheels will spin perfectly fine when you test by hand on your bearings but if the wheels have damage to them like flat spots, you’ll feel the loss of speed while you’re on the board.
If your wheels have flat spots, then you’ll definitely want to invest in some new wheels. If you don’t know the diameter and durometer of wheels that will suit your skateboarding style, then hop on over to our article about soft vs hard skateboard wheels.
Master Your Riding Skills
To ride faster and make the wheels on your skateboard spin longer, you also need to master your riding skills.
By now you should know to wear suitable skateboard shoes and to wear protective gear. But you should also learn how to fall in a defensive manner when bailing, learn how to ride at higher speeds, and other practice tips that will really enhance your skills.
You can learn all of these and more by learning from other local skaters and right here at BoardCoast. These are two amazing resources that will be able to help you master the skills to become an amazing skater.