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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.”

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15 Comments on Fix slow skateboard wheels

  1. Sk8freek21 // July 6, 2009 at 11:24 pm // Reply

    Apec7 yellow jackets are awesome they are like butter

    • skatergirl13 // October 5, 2013 at 6:02 am // Reply

      i started skating about 2 months ago, I bought a cheap board (tony hawk huckjam series) and I want to get new bearings which is the best to start on? (abec 1, 2, 3, etc)

    • Does a lubricant called finish line wet bike lubricants good for bearings ?

  2. Sk8freek21 // July 6, 2009 at 11:21 pm // Reply

    Yea just place it in acetone for 5-10mins then just put some wd40 on it and it’ll work fine. I just did that with mine and it works like a charm. I polish my board bottom every time after use and clean the outside of the wheel everytime after use. There’s a saying,” take care of your board ad it’ll take care of you”

    • dont use wd 40 it attracts more dirt use a silicon based lubricant thats why they have skateboard specific bearing lube.

      • 80_TonyHawk_80 // April 4, 2011 at 7:25 pm //

        Yeah I’d say that too man. Use some silicon based lubricants for that type of situation man.

    • JackTheGiantSlayer // November 8, 2013 at 6:45 pm // Reply

      Why would you polish your skateboard and clean your wheels? That’s just weird..

  3. Anonymous // July 4, 2009 at 5:21 pm // Reply


  4. I just stuck brand new wheels and bearings on my board and all but one of them have a decent spin. I have no idea why only 1 of the wheels goes slow! Any ideas?

  5. Oil will make it worse if they get some dust from ground, they become slow and noisy

  6. yeah, just go to your local skate shop and get Bones Speed Cream.
    I go to Zumiez.

  7. lube them and then ride hard for a hour or two that will do the job…

  8. i want good wheels

  9. expert hiker 101 // June 27, 2008 at 8:47 am // Reply

    i just like to put on w-d 40 and that w3orks because i don’t want to buy new bearings.

  10. jelly mannnn // June 11, 2008 at 5:01 pm // Reply

    skating wrocks!!!!

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