Recent Comments

Fix slow skateboard wheels


Q. The wheels on my skateboard aren’t spinning well anymore. Is there anything I can do to fix them or do I have to buy new wheels?
Slow Joe, Tampa, Fla.

A. We feel your pain, Slow. We have the same problem, so we asked our friend Andy Macdonald, eight-time world champion skateboarder, for the lowdown on your slow down:

“New wheels are not going to help in the least if your wheels aren’t spinning. Chances are you just have to clean and lubricate your bearings. Remove your wheel and pop out the bearings with the edge of your axle. Bones Bearings pretty much set the standard in the skateboarding world as far as bearings go. They recommend picking up a Bones Bearings Cleaner Unit at your local skate shop ($15), but a clean plastic yogurt cup and a few cotton swabs will work, too.

“You’ll need to remove the bearing shields if your bearings have them. Just poke them out with a paper clip. Then soak your bearings in acetone, nail-polish remover or rubbing alcohol. Spin them dry and make sure all the dust and dirt are out. Now you’ve removed all the dirt as well as all the lubricant from your bearings. It’s important to use a silicone-based lubricant. WD40 or others like it will dry out your bearings and attract dust and dirt. You can pick up a bottle of Bones Speed Cream at the skate shop, or try some Prolong from the auto parts store. It doesn’t take much, and the excess will just spin out when you replace your shields, pop your bearings back in your wheels and start shredding. Skate safe and enjoy your new-found speed.”

Ask the Gear Guy

Not sure which gear to buy? Need tips for maintaining your equipment? Click here to send in your questions for the Gear Guy. Selected questions will be answered here and in the printed magazine.

55 Comments on Fix slow skateboard wheels

  1. I’ve done away with liquid lubes and use graphite or white lithium of course after cleaning and drying the bearings

  2. Thank u sir/ma

  3. How do you make the tires loose?

  4. Is it okay to use silicon-free lubricant for my skateboard bearings after cleaning them?

  5. Abec rating just doesn’t matter in skateboarding. It’s not a measure of anything useful to skaters. Don’t waste money chasing a higher abec rating.

  6. Would graphite work as a lubricant for the bearings?

  7. The shields of the bearings I have are metal and just WON’T COME OFF. Is there an easy way to get them off?

  8. I have relatively new bearings (they’re new but I’ve broken them in) but they’re not any better than my old bearings. They’re not dirty so I feel like it’s my wheels slowing me down (they’re at least 6 years old). Should I get new ones?

  9. Skull crusher // August 25, 2016 at 12:29 pm // Reply

    Thanks 4 the help😎😎😆😆😜

  10. Anyone ever use slick 50 multipurpose grease?

  11. My skateboard curves when it moves can I stop this?

  12. How were the front skateboard Bearings?

    • it’s entirely possible that you’re putting a bit of weight on one side or another as you ride. evening out your stance may help.

    • Its mainly you dont like how loose you trucks are or you arent centering your balance

    • YourEveryDayPanda // January 8, 2017 at 12:29 pm // Reply

      loosen all your bearings and clean them, when it curves this means the board has one or two bearings that are dirty, or the nut is on too tight

    • your trucks are probably too loose, tighten them a bit and you should be fine

    • You can replace the bushings

    • Tighten the trucks to fix that problem

    • What you can do is loosen or tighten the trucks until it rolls straight. If that doesn’t work then do the same with each wheel until you find that perfect “sweet spot” where it rolls in a relatively straight line. Chances are it doesn’t have to do with the actual wheels or the bearings. Also try adjusting the positioning of the rubber spacers in between the metal bits of the trucks. This worked for me when my 1990 Powell Peralta was drifting to the side.

    • Yes, you may want to check if the wheels are screwed in parallel to the center of the board, or check out your foot position. If the board curves even when you’re not on it, you may want to take i in to a store to have it checked out.

    • I only respond 4 years late // May 12, 2020 at 8:57 am // Reply

      Loosen the trucks if they are tight. Sorry for the late response.

  13. Why is my skateboard so slow??…

  14. I just bought a drop down longboard and put some Randall downhill trucks with brand new bearings but when I try to turn my longboard slows down or just completely stops. Don’t know why.

    • Systemrename087 // October 12, 2015 at 7:48 pm // Reply

      Is it possible that when you’re turning the bottom of your board is hitting the wheel/wheels on the side that your turning towards?

  15. Hi guys i left my skateboard in my room for this whole year because i buy a new one but my sister wants ti start skating two so i want to give her my old skateboard but when i tryd the skateboard it did not roll zo ik cleaned the bearing that dint hep so i boucht new ones did not help eigter put on difrent wheel dit ilso nit help its jus super slow and it wasnt a year ago hope someone can help i would aprileciate

  16. Is it possible that when a skateboard is new it is slow and when it’s old it is fast?

  17. My wheels are not spinning fast I have tried to lube them but they failed
    Please help me get better

  18. Koalas 'r us // July 2, 2015 at 5:36 pm // Reply

    My left back wheel spins slower than the other 3. I’d spin it and it would stop very fast. Is the bolt too tight? Do I need to lube it?

  19. I’ve been told that the best stuff to use is powder graphite because it’s the slickest substance you can find and it doesn’t have the problems of dealing with grime and dirt build up

    • I would check it and lube it. It happened to me too , but on the front left and back right. I just cleaned the bearings and bought some new lube to put on it. Now its working much better.

  20. can I put baby oil on them

  21. I use wd 40 all the time for my wheels and it gets the job done. Its makes my board go waaay faster

  22. Why my skateboard slow

  23. Hey can i replace bones speed with something else? Besides can i find bones speed in walmart or something

    • You can probably find it at walmart and u canmaybe rreplace it though I wouldnt try ive had many bearing (like 10 pairs) and several boards (I currently own 3 customs) if you take care of them and use actual skate stuff they tend to last great follow the instructions in this article and u will be fine

  24. How do I lube my bearings

  25. skatergirl101 // July 30, 2014 at 6:25 pm // Reply

    Haha my board did the same thing then I did this and was good as new

  26. I just ordered new wheels, will i need new bearings too? The old wheels 61mm x 51mm. The new wheels 65mm x 51mm. Thanx

  27. Skaterboy14 // June 3, 2014 at 10:54 pm // Reply

    I just bought some rictas sparx and rush APEC 7 blue bearings and i cant get the bearings in on the front, only on the back. I have tried every skate tools there is and i even tried to put my bed on it and it didn’t work, plz tell me how to put them in ASAP because i cant skate until they are done, thx

  28. My wheels are fine but when i get on and ride they barley move they go like 4 feet is it weight?

  29. custompaintskate // May 23, 2014 at 11:17 am // Reply

    In reply to skating newbie if the board is brand new it may not be that the bearings need to be cleaned at all. The new bearings sometimes are alittle stiff in general and need to be “rode in” atleast that is my personal experience.

  30. thanks, that was awesome

  31. This dose not WORK

  32. skating newbie // May 4, 2014 at 1:07 am // Reply

    I just got a new skateboard and need to clean the bearings. Does anyone know the proper way to clean bearings? Please reply.

Leave a Comment

Please don't use your real name.