Each skateboard wheel is mounted on its axle via two bearings. With few exceptions, the bearings are the industrial standard "608" size, with a bore of 8 mm (or 10mm depending on the axle), an outer diameter of 22 mm, and a width of 7 mm. These are usually made of steel, though silicon nitride, a high-tech ceramic, is sometimes used. Many skateboard bearings are graded according to the ABEC scale. The scale starts with ABEC1 as the lowest, followed by 3, 5, 7, and 9. It is a common misconception that the higher ABECs are better for skateboarding, as the ABEC rating only measures tolerances, which do not necessarily apply to skateboards. Bearing performance is determined by how well maintained the bearings are. Maintenance on bearings includes periodically cleaning and lubricating them [1]. Bearings that are kept unmaintained have their performance greatly lowered and will soon need to be replaced. Bearing cleaning kits are commonly available on the market. The ABEC rating does not determine the speed or durability of a skateboard bearing. In particular, the ABEC rating says nothing about how well a bearing handles axial (side-to-side) loads, which are severe in most skateboard applications. Many companies do not show the ABEC rating, such as Bones Bearings, which makes bearings specifically for skateboarding, often marketed as "Skate Rated". Each bearing usually contains 7 steel or ceramic bearing balls, although other configurations are used as well.
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Smile and wave – Feel free to look around at all the other people at the skatepark that stood by and marveled at your new-found accomplishments (all one of them). I’m sure by this point you’ll be picking up roses that are being thrown at your feet, and taking a well-deserved bow as they begin to chant your name. Take it all in, thank the crowd for their undying affection, and then go get a snow-cone. You deserve it, champ.
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