Bearings - Small Parts, Big Effect
Skateboard bearings may look small, but they can have an enormous influence on the speed and performance of your longboard or skateboard. Just pop them into your wheels and go ride! Whatever your setup, you’ll need two bearings per wheel, or 8 in total. Of course, you can find a massive selection of skateboard bearings here at Blue Tomato. Whether you’re into racing or cruising, we have the bearings for you!
Caring for your Bearings
To make sure you get the most out of your bearings you should do your best to keep them away from sand, water and moist conditions.
It’s important to care for your bearings the right way so that your board performs the way it’s supposed to. Regular cleaning to get rid of the dirt and dust will do wonders for your setup. You should also make sure you use the right lubrication for your bearings.
We recommend you use the right spacers for your bearings as well. These little fellas slip between your bearings and the wheel and prevent the bearings from getting damaged, whilst guaranteeing your wheels roll clean and smooth.
Don’t Be Fooled - Higher ABEC Does Not Necessarily Mean Higher Speeds!
When setting up your skateboard or longboard you’re sure to encounter one or two difficult decisions. It’s not always easy to get everything to fit together perfectly first time with their different sizes and hardness ratings. Luckily when it comes to bearings there shouldn’t be any such problem - all bearings are the same diameter and should fit into any wheels.
If you skate more in the open air, closed bearings are going to be your best bet as they prevent any dirt or dust from getting in and messing up their performance. But if you normally skate indoor parks, you can also use open bearings. Open bearings give you the advantage of being easier to clean, but don’t worry - most brands make it easy to open up your bearings for maintenance.
The quality of bearings is given with an ABEC rating. This rating is an indication of how precisely and with what error rate the bearings are manufactured. It’s really only about the precision, efficiency and performance of the bearing at high speeds, not necessarily how fast the bearings can go. If the ABEC rating of a bearing is low, you can assume that the bearings will wear quicker than bearings with a higher rating. You could have, for example, ABEC 5 bearings that ride just as fast as ABEC 7 bearings, but the 5’s will wear out faster. The ABEC rating follows a scale of 1 (not particularly good) to nine (top quality manufacture).
One of the most important differences is the material used to make the bearings. Most bearings have steel ball bearings built in, but if you’re looking for a longer life bearing, opt for chrome, titanium or Swiss steel. Ceramic bearings are also available from brands like Independent, Modus or Element and are often used for longboard setups because they offer massive amounts of speed. These ceramic bearings feature ceramic silicon nitride ball bearings that won’t rust and therefore last longer.
How-to: Getting it in
Installing your bearings is, in principle, child’s play. All you have to do is gently push the bearings into your skateboard or longboard wheels with your thumbs. The only thing you absolutely need to remember is never to use a tool or other such implements to get them in. Doing so will damage your bearings and void your warranty in one fell swoop. So don’t do it. If your bearings are open, make sure the open side is facing inwards to prevent dust and dirt from getting in.
Whatever your bearing needs, whether they’re for a street, park or downhill setup, Blue Tomato have the perfect set for you - guaranteed!