Are you looking to take your skateboarding skills to the next level? One crucial factor that can greatly impact your performance is the speed of your skateboard. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skateboarder, having a faster board can enhance your overall experience and enable you to perform tricks easily. In this article, we will explore five effective ways to make your skateboard faster. So, let’s strap on our helmets and get started!
Choose the Right Bearings
When it comes to skateboard speed, the bearings play a vital role. Bearings are small metal or ceramic rings that fit inside the wheels of your skateboard. They reduce friction between the wheel and the axle, allowing smooth and efficient rotation. Upgrading your bearings to high-quality ones can significantly improve your skateboard’s speed.
Pro Tip: Look for bearings with a higher ABEC rating, such as ABEC-7 or ABEC-9. These ratings indicate the precision and smoothness of the bearings. Additionally, consider opting for ceramic bearings, known for their durability and superior performance.
Optimize Your Wheels
The wheels of your skateboard also contribute significantly to its speed. Larger wheels tend to roll faster and maintain momentum better, while smaller wheels offer quicker acceleration. The type of terrain you ride on should influence your wheel choice as well. So, here are a few factors to consider when optimizing your skateboard wheels for speed:
- Size: Experiment with different wheel sizes to find the optimal balance between speed and maneuverability. Larger wheels, typically around 54-60mm, are ideal for speed-focused riders.
- Hardness: The wheel durometer is measured on a scale from 1 to 100. Softer wheels (78A-87A) provide better grip and shock absorption but are slower, while harder wheels (88A-101A) are faster but offer less traction. Strike a balance based on your preferred riding style and the surfaces you encounter.
Pro Tip: Look for wheels specifically designed for speed and smooth rides. Brands like Spitfire, Bones, and Ricta offer high-quality wheels suitable for skateboarding styles.
Reduce Friction with Proper Lubrication
Lubricating your skateboard’s moving parts, including the bearings, can significantly reduce friction and increase speed. Over time, dirt, dust, and debris can accumulate in the bearings, causing them to slow down. Regular maintenance and lubrication will keep them in optimal condition. It’s especially important for beginners’ skate shoes, as they need a smoother ride to learn and improve their skills.
Pro Tip: Clean your bearings with a skate-bearing cleaning kit to remove dirt or debris. After cleaning, apply a few drops of skateboard-specific lubricant to each bearing. Spin the wheels to distribute the lubricant evenly.
Fine-Tune Your Trucks
Trucks are the metal T-shaped components that connect the wheels to the skateboard deck. Properly adjusted trucks can enhance your skateboard’s speed and stability. Here are a few tips for fine-tuning your trucks:
- Tightness: Adjust the tightness of your trucks based on your preference. Looser trucks provide better maneuverability, while tighter trucks offer higher speed stability.
- Bushings: Consider replacing your bushings with harder ones. Harder bushings provide more stability and control during high-speed rides.
Pro Tip: Experiment with different truck settings to find the configuration that suits your riding style and helps maximize your skateboard’s speed.
Improve Your Riding Technique
Last but not least, improving your riding technique can significantly impact your skateboard’s speed. You can optimize your board’s speed and maintain momentum by practicing proper weight distribution, pumping, and carving techniques.
Pro Tip: Focus on your body positioning while riding. Keep your weight centered over the board and engage your core muscles to maintain stability. Mastering pumping techniques can help you generate additional speed by utilizing your body’s momentum.
How to choose the right skateboard wheels for speed?
When it comes to choosing the right skateboard wheels for speed, there are a few factors you should consider. As a fellow skater, I’ll share my personal experience and knowledge with you in a conversational style to help you make an informed decision.
One of the key factors to consider is the durometer, which measures the hardness of the skateboard wheels. Softer wheels, usually in the range of 78A to 87A, provide more grip and are great for cruising and rough surfaces, but they tend to have more rolling resistance and may not be ideal for achieving high speeds.
On the other hand, harder wheels, typically ranging from 88A to 101A, offer less grip but provide a smoother and faster ride. If speed is your priority, you’ll generally want to go for wheels on the harder side of the durometer scale. They will roll more efficiently, allowing you to reach higher speeds with less effort.
Another aspect to consider is the size of the wheels. Larger wheels have a higher top speed potential because they cover more ground with each revolution. However, they can also be heavier and less maneuverable. If you prioritize speed, you might want to consider wheels in the range of 54mm to 60mm or even larger. They will give you more speed and maintain momentum better than smaller wheels.
Several options have gained popularity among skateboarders seeking speed regarding brands and models. Some popular brands known for their fast wheels include Bones, Spitfire, Ricta, and OJ Wheels. You can find specific models designed for speed within these brands, such as Bones SPF (Skatepark Formula) or Spitfire Formula Four Conical Full.
How to maintain skateboard wheels and bearings for optimal speed
Maintaining skateboard wheels and bearings is essential for optimal speed and a smooth riding experience. As a skateboarder with experience, let me share some tips to help you keep your wheels and bearings in top condition.
- Regular Cleaning: Regularly cleaning your skateboard wheels and bearings is crucial for longevity and performance. Start by removing the wheels from the trucks using a skate tool or wrench. Then, use a soft cloth or paper towel to remove dirt, dust, or debris from the wheels and bearings. You can also use a mild detergent or bearing cleaner for a deeper clean. Remember to dry everything thoroughly before reassembling.
- Bearing Maintenance: Bearings are vital in how fast your skateboard wheels spin. To maintain optimal speed, keeping your bearings clean and lubricated is important. You can use a bearing cleaning kit or soak the bearings in a solvent like isopropyl alcohol to remove dirt and grime. Once clean and dry, apply a small amount of skate-specific bearing lubricant or speed cream to each bearing. This will help reduce friction and keep the bearings spinning smoothly.
- Wheel Rotation: Rotating your wheels regularly ensures even wear, prolonging their lifespan and maintaining optimal performance. As you skate, the wheels tend to wear unevenly, with the front wheels often wearing down faster than the back ones. To rotate your wheels, remove them from the trucks and switch the front wheels with the back ones. This way, you distribute the wear evenly and prevent uneven performance.
- Wheel Replacement: Skateboard wheels can wear down and lose their grip or smoothness over time. When you notice excessive flat spots, cracks, or a significant decrease in performance, it’s time to consider replacing your wheels. Look for reputable brands like Spitfire, Bones, or Ricta, known for their quality wheels. Consider factors like durometer (hardness), diameter, and shape based on your skating style and preferences.
- Quality Bearings: Investing in high-quality bearings can make a noticeable difference in speed and overall performance. Brands like Bones, Bronson, and Independent offer reliable bearings built to withstand the demands of skateboarding. Look for bearings with higher ABEC ratings (such as ABEC 7 or higher), as they indicate better precision and smoother rolling.
Remember, maintaining your skateboard wheels and bearings is an ongoing process. Regular cleaning, lubrication, and rotation will help ensure optimal speed and a smoother ride. By taking care of these crucial components, you’ll be able to enjoy your skateboard to its fullest potential.
Congratulations on reaching the end of this comprehensive guide on making your skateboard faster! By implementing these five effective strategies – choosing the right bearings, optimizing your wheels, reducing friction, fine-tuning your trucks, and improving your riding technique, you’ll be well on your way to unlocking the full potential of your skateboard.
Speed is just one aspect of skateboarding, and it’s essential to prioritize safety and practice proper protective gear while pushing your limits. So, put these tips into action, have fun, and enjoy the thrilling experience of riding a faster skateboard!