How Do Skateboard Bearings Work?

Skateboard bearings make your skateboard wheels roll smoothly. Bearings make it easier for you to move around with your skateboard. It helps you do tricks easily. A good bearing reduces friction and allows you to spin, slide, stop and make tricks effortlessly while on top of your skateboard.

With these benefits of having good bearings, how would you know if you have the best bearings for skateboards?

Different Types of Bearings

To know whether you have the best bearings or not, let us talk about its different types first. There are three popular skateboard bearings. These are radial bearings, radii axle bearings, and thrust bearings.

Radial bearings

Radial bearings are also called transverse bearings or pivot bearings. You are using a radial bearing if the direction of the action is outward to the shaft axis. Some skateboard users also refer to this type of bearings as ‘bearing support bearing.’

There are techniques for setting up a radial bearing. If you want to maximize the effect of this bearing on your skateboard, ask a pro first. Do not just replace your bearings on your own.

Thrust bearings

Thrust bearings are used if you are intending to use your skateboard to make axial movements. A thrust bearing is also recommended if you want to make some movements like controlling end thrust. With thrust bearings, you can make movements or rotations with a certain part of your skateboard.

Radii axle bearings

This type of bearing needs one degree of freedom. It is the simplest type of bearing. Skateboards used by beginners come with radii axle bearings.

How Does It Work?

A skateboard wheel always needs two bearings in order to roll. In between each bearing is a spacer. A spacer keeps the bearings from getting into the center of the wheels. It also protects your wheel from being damaged when used. A spacer will keep the bearings parallel with one another.

A standard bearing has a bore of 8 mm or 10 mm depending on axle size. The outer diameter is 22 mm and the width is 7 mm. Most bearings are made of steel, a hightech ceramic, or silicon nitride. This small part of a skateboard is the most used part of a skateboard. It also receives the most force when skateboarding.

A bearing comes with inner ring, outer ring, ball cage, and balls. To know the quality of your bearing, you can check its ABEC rating. ABEC or Annular Bearing Engineers Committee check each bearing in terms of durability and quality of the bearing. Still, the ABEC rating is not conclusive when it comes to durability. To maximize the use of your bearings, you should take regular care of your bearings. Regular maintenance means cleaning and applying enough lubricant to your bearings from time to time or as needed.

What regular maintenance and care you need to do for your bearings?

Here are some things you can do to keep your bearings at its best condition all the time.


  • Lube it regularly
  • Clean it regularly
  • Check the spin regularly


  • Don’t use it on a wet surface
  • Don’t skate on dirt or bare land
  • Don’t overuse it


One thing is sure, all skateboards need bearings in order to roll smoothly. Without bearings, a skateboard won’t even roll. Take note though that different types of bearings work differently from one another. Before buying a skateboard, check with professionals first if your chosen skateboard comes with the right bearings you need. In addition, understanding how your bearings and other parts of your skateboard works can help you decide on the type of skateboard to have.