Longboard Bearings Can Make all the Difference
Longboard wheel bearings are the small components that make the wheels turn on the axles. Getting the right bearings is important - they can make a big difference on the speed and feel while riding your longboard.
Longboard bearings are universal and will work with any type of wheel. They are the same as skateboard bearings but you may want to get larger bearing spacers if you have larger longboard wheels.
This does not mean that all bearings are identical though. Bearings are made from a range of materials but are usually made out of stainless steel, ceramic, or titanium. Steel bearings are the most traditional and affordable, while ceramic longboard bearings usually provide faster acceleration and last a long time.
ABEC Bearing Rating Explained
One of the biggest decisions to make when buying bearings is which ABEC rating to choose. Many people think the higher the ABEC number, the faster the bearing will roll. However, this is incorrect. The ABEC rating is actually a measure of bearing tolerance, with the higher the number the greater the precision and efficiency of the bearing. This means that it should provide you with a smoother and more fluid riding experience. While this can impact the speed, how fast a bearing can turn is also influenced by other factors like the riders’ weight.
Not all bearings have an ABEC grading, however, this does not mean that they are poorly designed. There are many high-quality bearings without a bearing grade used at the highest level of longboarding.
Whatever bearings you have, it is important to keep them clean. If you’re unsure how to do this, check out our guide on Bearing Cleaning and Lubrication.