Top 5 longboard bearings for 2018
|Bones Ceramic Reds||(4.6 / 5)||$$||Check Price on Amazon.com|
|Bones Swiss Ceramics Bearings||(4.5 / 5)||$$$||Check Price on Amazon.com|
|Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings||(4.7 / 5)||$||Check Price on Amazon.com|
|Bones Reds Bearings ||(4.7 / 5)||$||Check Price on Amazon.com|
|Bones Super Swiss 6||(4.6 / 5)||$$||Check Price on Amazon.com|
Looking for the best longboard bearings? Longboarding has been both a great hobby and sport to many people. It is fun, exciting, and an enjoyable means of going from place to place. However, you might have a different specific function for your longboard than I or other people do.
Others simply make casual use of their longboards, while others are more serious about theirs. If you are one of the latter and if you truly want better performance out of your longboard, having quality longboard bearings can make a whole lot of difference. I’ve compiled what you need to know and look out for when buying the best longboard bearings. Hopefully, this guide can ultimately help you out with looking for the bearings that you specifically need.
Understanding Longboard Bearings
First, you need to understand more about longboard bearings. The bearings of a longboard or skateboard are what make its wheels turn. It’s a ring-shaped metal piece composed of a shield, outer ring, steel or ceramic balls, retainer, and an inner ring. All of those need to work perfectly together to be highly effective and efficient.
However, with so many different types, how can you find the best longboard bearings? There are those made of different materials, and there are those manufactured through different processes. To start, let’s talk about ABEC ratings.
ABEC Ratings and What It Entails
Like any other products or services, it’s best to look for reviews or ratings. The best longboard bearings also have industry-accepted standard ratings from Annular Bearing Engineering Committee (ABEC). However, it is important to know that ABEC only rates the tolerances of a ball bearing. An ABEC rating does not rate bearings from worst to best. They simply only rate tolerances and that alone. It doesn’t rate speed, axial loads, torsional loads, and durability.
Although tolerance plays a major role in the performance of a bearing, it’s just one other key among many you have to keep in mind. Other than tolerance, when looking for the best longboard bearings, I am also meticulous with the quality of the material used and the manufacturing process.
What Bearings Go Through
Bearings go through a lot of abuse. Regardless if you only use your longboard casually or competitively, the bearings will experience the rigors of longboarding. The axial and torsional loads can be affected by and also affect your bearings. Having poor-quality bearings can limit you to be at your best. You won’t get as much as control and speed with just ordinary bearings.
Having quality bearings can help you improve your performance with longboarding.
If you are indeed looking for the best longboard bearings, don’t just settle for standard machine bearings. Those may only be the best longboard bearings for cruising. Go for those designed and manufactured for the rigors of longboarding and better performance. They can last longer and, of course, serve you better.
Steel vs. Ceramic
There is still a heated discussion even until now between ceramic and steel bearings. So before looking for steel or ceramic skateboard bearings, it’s first important to know the pros and cons of the two. Truly knowing the best longboard bearings requires study and research and not simply relying on marketing hype. Whether it’s a steel or ceramic bearing, it will still have a steel outer and inner ring. Only the balls will either be made of ceramic or steel.
A lot of people look for the best ceramic bearings thinking they can be the fastest longboard bearings because ceramics can withstand high temperatures. With a heat reduction element about them, they can spin faster at higher speeds. Ceramics are also lighter than steel, don’t rust, and are even stronger than other steel grades. However, ceramic has the tendency to blow out and is extremely expensive. A set can cost around $100.
Steel bearings can perform just as good as ceramic bearings. They are used by the majority of the longboarding community because they are way cheaper than their ceramic counterparts. Although there is a large gap between the prices, as mentioned earlier, steel bearings can still match up with ceramic ones. Steel bearings are fast and disposable because of their cheap price. They are also more durable than ceramics.
When Looking for the Best Bearings
Now that you know about ABEC ratings and the different materials used to manufacture bearings, it’s now time for you to know which longboarding bearings are best for you. If you are serious with longboarding and really want to get a boost of speed and have the budget, you can go for ceramic longboard bearings. Although costly, the ceramic’s heat reduction element can help you go faster at higher speeds. The material has a lot of advantages but also has few but critical weak points.
If you are not sponsored and you don’t have the luxury to buy ceramic bearings, you don’t have to worry about going for steel bearings. Majority of the longboarding community makes great use of them for their quality and affordable price. They are durable, cheap, and disposable and can have great quality.
However, if you truly want to know the best longboard bearings, don’t just go crazy over popular brands. Know the bearings world champions are using. They know just how good and bad different types and brands of bearings are. They are at the top for a reason and more than having skills; they also have the best equipment. They know they have to be meticulous even with the smallest details of the bearings to have better control, speed, and overall performance.
Choose the right bearings for you depending on your budget and function. Remember, ABEC only rates tolerances and doesn’t grade bearings from worst to best. You can choose between ceramic and steel longboard bearings. Both can serve you well depending on the type of purpose you have for your longboard. For a boost of speed but with a cost, you can go for ceramics. For practicality with quality, go for steel bearings. If you want to be very competitive and serious with longboarding, you can look for the types of bearings world-renowned long boarders use. I hope this guide has helped you out with understanding more about bearings and looking for the right type of bearings for you. With this, I hope you find the best longboard bearings for you.