The fun and enjoyment of skateboarding lie in the speed and smoothness while riding it on skate parks and streets. But when a skateboard keeps slowing, it can suck all the fun of skateboarding and turn into a miserable experience. In most cases, the wheels themselves are the reason your skateboard slows down.
If you have been facing this issue and looking for a solution, you have come to the right place. I have compiled nine reasons why your skateboard wheels are slow and discussed how you could counter each.
Why My Skateboard Is Slow (Reasons & Solutions)
Does skateboard slow down? The answer would be- Yes.
Skateboard wheels can get slower for various reasons, and it’s completely normal. The reason behind it could be a silly mistake or miscalculation in size. Following are the potential reasons why your skateboard wheels may be slow-
Reason 1: Damaged Wheels
Wheels these days are durable and last longer. However, you must admit that they aren’t meant to last forever. Over time, the wheels wear out and shrink due to friction and heat. These events make them slow on the surface.
The fix is pretty simple. You must change the wheels before it starts to affect your skating experience. Check for noticeable cracks or size changes; if you find any, it’s time to replace the wheels. Also, always use high-quality wheels to keep you free from slowing down often.
Reason 2: Tight wheels
Skateboard wheels are secured on the axle with nuts. If these nuts are too tight, it can stop your wheels from running smoothly. Some people do it to ensure the wheels stay in place for safety. However, you must find the right balance between this tightness and safety to provide a balanced experience.
You can solve this issue with a skate tool or a wrench. All you have to do is loosen the axle nuts on the wheels until they start spinning freely. The tightness is perfect if the heels turn for about 15 seconds with your hand spin.
Reason 3: Dirty Bearings
This is the most common reason why skateboard slows down. Bearings are the main reason why your wheels spin so smoothly. If dirt buildup in the bearing, it loses its smoothness over time, making the wheels slow.
In the worst-case scenario, you might need to clean and replace the bearings for the best results. But typically, routine cleaning of the bearings with isopropyl alcohol should do the job. Make sure you dry the bearings properly before reinstalling them to prevent corrosion.
Reason 4: Wrong Wheel Size
Wheel size plays the most significant role in determining the speed and acceleration of the skateboard. Many beginners don’t know about it; therefore, they look in the wrong direction to find the actual reason.
The wheels seem slow if you cannot balance the speed and acceleration with the proper size.
Bigger wheels are faster, but that compromises the acceleration. On the other hand, smaller wheels are slower but have better acceleration. Find the right speed and acceleration, and it won’t slow you down anymore.
Reason 5: Wrong bearings
Aside from the wheel size, wrong bearings can be another potential culprit that slows you down. In the market, there are different brands bearings meant for different disciplines. Using low-quality bearings can make your wheels slow in no time.
In most cases, using cheap bearings is the reason behind a slow skateboard. Also, you need to ensure the speed matches your skateboard style, so you don’t feel sluggish on the ground.
Reason 6: Wrong Pushing Technique
Sometimes, the reason behind slow skateboard is not the wheels or bearings but your riding style. There are techniques to push a skateboard correctly, and you need to know the right one to push the skateboard efficiently or become slow.
You need to know the proper pushing technique to go fast with less effort. In that regard, the key is placing the foot over the right front of the skateboard. Then, when it’s time to push, ensure you do it with the front of the foot and not the entire foot.
Reason 7: Low-quality skateboard
If you are purchasing a pre-built skateboard, you need to be extra careful about the quality of the wheels and bearings. While expensive skateboards use high-quality components from known brands, cheap one often sues low-quality wheels and bearings that may slow you down.
You should be more affordable when purchasing a complete skateboard. Many people want to avoid spending because wheels and bearings are upgradable later. However, you should refrain from doing it, so you don’t spend more on replacing components.
Reason 8: Lack Of Speed Washer
This tiny component can make all the difference in the world regarding skateboarding with speed.
So, what’s a speed washer? It’s the thin metal ring that sits outside the bearing to reduce the friction between trucks and wheels. These washers don’t increase the speed themselves. However, it minimizes the friction between the axle and bearings to stop wear and improve smoothness. They are typically made of aluminum.
Most cheap ones need a speed washer installed if you purchase prebuilt skateboards. However, you can always buy them separately and install them between the axle and the wheel.
Reason 9: Surface-wheel incompatibility
There are different forms of skateboarding. Each form require different surfaces, like a skate park, bowl, vert, street etc. You need to understand that different wheels are made for different surface.
You cannot use wheels made for cruising in a skate park. If you use same wheel in all surface (unless all-terrain) then your skateboard becomes slow.
You must find the proper skateboard wheel hardness and size according to your riding style. If you are more into tricks and technical skating, go for smaller but harder wheels. On the other hand, bigger and softer wheels are better for cruising around.
That’s a wrap for today. My guide will help you figure out the issue with your wheels and get the smoothness back on board. As you have seen, there can be one or a combination of multiple reasons.
Whatever the case, you can troubleshoot the issue without professional help too.
Hi, this is Jerry, a skateboarder, who loves to talk about micro-mobility and future of that industry. Coming from motion engineering background, I am very enthusiast about speed, motion, balance and technology. I have taken a mission to carry the fuel free, environment friendly micro-mobile industry forward by educating people about micro-mobile products especially skateboards and longboards. I love skating around very much and encourage people to do so. Its a fun believe me.