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Choosing Your Skateboard Bearings Guide 

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Skateboard bearings are essential components that greatly affect your riding experience. Understanding their ratings, materials, and designs can help you make informed decisions when choosing the right bearings for your skateboard. Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about skateboard bearings and provide our personal recommendations through some bearings we’ve used over the years.

ABEC Ratings Explained

Skateboard bearings are rated using the ABEC scale, which ranges from ABEC 1 to ABEC 9. Contrary to popular belief, the ABEC rating does not necessarily indicate the speed or quality of a bearing. Instead, it measures the precision and tolerance levels of the bearing’s components.

  • ABEC 1 to ABEC 3: These bearings are less expensive and suitable for beginners or casual riders. They may not offer the same level of performance or durability as higher-rated bearings but are sufficient for everyday skateboarding. Great examples of these bearings are unbranded bearings selling at a low price.
  • ABEC 5: A step up from ABEC 3, these bearings provide smoother and more consistent performance. They are a good choice for intermediate riders looking for a balance between cost and quality. In my personal experience, ABEC 5 bearings from reputable brands are already good enough. For example, Speed Metal and Lucky Bearings ($15) both ABEC 5 rated worked well for me for a few years of skateboarding.
  • ABEC 7 to ABEC 9: These bearings are the highest quality and offer the best performance. They are more expensive but provide superior speed and durability, making them ideal for professional or competitive skateboarders. Every skate shop will offer these, as they are the most popular. 

Factors to Consider When Choosing Bearings

When selecting skateboard bearings, consider the following factors:

  • Material Quality: Look for bearings made from high-quality steel or ceramics. These materials are more durable and offer better performance than lower-quality alternatives. Never get plastic bearings, that you may see at a toy store like Walmart, Target, or 5-Below. 
  • Design and Construction: Bearings with removable shields are easier to clean and maintain. This can help extend the life of your bearings and ensure optimal performance.  In my personal experience, this became evident when I switched from Birdhouse Jacked Bearings (which did not have removable shields) to Bones Reds in my third year of skateboarding. The improved ease of cleaning with Bones Reds has made a noticeable difference for me. Now, I can easily determine if I need to change my bearings by checking the bearing crown.
  • Lubrication: Some bearings come pre-lubricated, which can save you time and effort. However, you may prefer to add your lubricant for customized performance. Check out the Bones Speed Cream ($10). 
  • Price: Higher ABEC-rated bearings are generally more expensive than lower-rated ones. Consider your budget and riding needs when choosing the right bearings for you. Plan to spend anywhere from $20 for your standard Bones Reds up to $60 for Bones Swiss.

Skate The Foundry’s Bearing Recommendations

  • For ABEC 7: Bones Super Swiss 6 ($50) and Bones Ceramics ($120) are highly recommended, despite not having an ABEC rating. These bearings are Skate Rated and offer top-notch performance and durability.
  • For ABEC 5: Bones Reds ($20), Bronson G3 ($30), and G2 ($17) bearings are excellent choices. They are known for their durability and fast, reliable performance, making them ideal for most skateboarders.
  • For ABEC 1 and 3: Mini Logo’s bearings ($12) are a budget-friendly option that offers decent performance for beginner to intermediate skateboarders. Despite their lower price point, they are durable enough for regular skateboarding.

In conclusion, the ABEC rating is just one factor to consider when choosing skateboard bearings. The material quality, design, and construction, as well as your budget and riding style, should also influence your decision. Choose bearings that best suit your needs and enjoy a smoother, more enjoyable ride.

Need Our Assistance? We’re here for you! Just drop us an email with any questions or if you need any assistance in looking for your skateboard bearings, and we’ll help you look for the best one that suits your skateboarding.