When it comes to what the best bearings for longboards are, there are as many opinions as how many people you ask. Many people say ceramic bearings are the best longboard bearings overall for skateboards, cruisers, and longboards.
Others believe that steel skate bearings perform as well as ceramic bearings. Some even believe that steel ones such as the Bones Reds are the best bet for longboarding because most are cheap, incredibly smooth, and tough.
Also Read: Best Longboards
As for many bearing brands, they say that ABEC-rated longboard bearings are the best choice for everyone. But is that bold claim true? Are bearings with an ABEC rating better than skate-rated ones and other bearings that use a different rating system such as Oust bearings? I answer all these questions so you can pick the best longboard bearings for your board.
But first things first. The list…
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15 Best Longboard Bearings
Here they are.
3. Bones Reds Longboard Bearings [8-pack Precision Skate Bearings] (Best Overall)
3. 8-Pack Bones Super Reds Bearings (Precision)
4. Bones Super Swiss 6 Longboard Bearings (8-pack) (Best Premium Option)
6. 8-Pack Oust MOC 9 Airrr (Best for Lateral Loads)
13. ABEC 9 Skitch Pro Longboard Bearing (Unavailable on Amazon At This Time)
Before we discuss how to choose the best bearings for your longboard, I’ll do a longboard bearings review section in the hope that my insights might help a little.
Best Longboard Bearings Reviews
Hop on and let’s examine these 15 best longboard bearings. Hopefully, you’ll bump into an option that resonates with you.
1. Zealous Steel Longboard Bearings Review (8 Skate-Rated Bearings)
Many longboarding enthusiasts today swear by Zealous bearings. Some people even say these zealous longboarding bearings are better than Bones. Zealous bearings come lubed with Archoil Nanoceramic Grease so you can test your longboard immediately.
Among the best bearings for longboarding, these made-of-steel Zealous bearings offer a set of 8 skate-rated bearings. Skate-rated means they’re been thoroughly fine-tuned and tested for all kinds of longboarding conditions. Stop fretting over ABEC ratings — doesn’t mean much when it comes to bearings for skating/longboarding.
The balls stay in a strengthened removable nylon retainer. And the green shields are removable, too. Removable rubber shield bearings are much easier to clean than non-removable ones. Learn how to correctly clean longboard and skateboard bearings in this article.
This longboard bearing also comes with green rubber seals that ensure your balls don’t get all clogged up with gunk. This is very high-quality lube, better than most out there. How do I know? A guy I know skates them. He recently rode his bearings in the rain and kind of forgot to dry them out afterward.
Guess what happened? Two of the bearings were seized, and he hated that. But he decided to work the wheels a bit, which broke the seize completely. Afterward, he rode on them for about 2 hours, and they spun as good as new! Try doing that with bearings lubed with a different lubricant. You won’t get them working right ever again and will most likely need to replace them.
What my friend loves most about these bearings is that they’re super cheap, costing under $20 as of this post. Honestly, there’s almost nothing to hate about these bearings.
- Very cheap
- Skate rated
- Increasingly popular
- Easy to break the seize after exposure to moisture
- Built-in spacer and 5-mm speed rings
- Removable rubber shield for easy cleaning
- Strong nylon ball retainer
- The bearings also come with extremely high-quality lube
- May rust if exposed to moisture
- Seals sometimes come bent
It’s possible to get them working again even after they’ve seized. The superior quality lube on these bearings thoroughly removes the tiniest bits of dirt. It also easily bonds with metal, filling up any little dents. That’s why everyone says these bearings also are self-healing/repairing.
If you receive bearings whose seals seem bent out of shape, worry not. They should be ok, and they’ll spin just as well. Avoid skating via water or when it’s raining as steel balls rust pretty easily.
Look, these are great longboard bearings, and they’re dirt cheap. I recommend them, and so do many experienced skaters. At that price, I’m tempted to say Zealous bearings for longboarding are the best deal on the market today. But no, I don’t think Zealous bearings are the finest bearings for longboarding ever made.
2. Bones Reds Longboard Bearings Review [8-pack Precision Skate Bearings]
Do you know why Bones Reds precision longboard bearings are super affordable? It’s because they’re produced in China even though the designer is a US brand. We all know “made in China” isn’t necessarily a good thing, but let’s not go there.
These ones come as an 8-bearings set, and they arrive pre-lubed with Bones Speed Cream, a low-viscosity lubricant.
The balls live inside a high-speed nylon retainer. And a red, single, non-contact removable rubber shield allows for less friction during rides. This shield also makes your longboard bearing easy to clean.
Well, Chinese products aren’t always the best quality, but the manufacturer says they’re made to its strict quality standards. And it does seem that with the Bones Reds Precision skate bearings, the factory got everything right.
These bearings pack tons of performance and longevity all offered at an irresistible price range. No wonder thousands of longboarders everywhere vouch strongly for them. Oh, and remember to have that sticker on your longboard to announce to the world that you recognize superior quality when it comes disguised as a cheap product.
One thing I like about these Bones Reds bearings is that they have built-in spacers and speed rings. No one likes fiddling around with spacers, and these bearings eliminate all that pain.
These bearings feature extended inner races made of precision-ground premium-quality steel. Precision-ground is a technical way of saying you’ll end up with perfect alignment after tightening down the nuts.
- Easy to clean (removable rubber shield)
- Affordable price
- Last a long time
- Better performance than most
- High speed bearings that roll nicely
- Lubed with Bones Speed Cream
- Long-lasting, high-speed nylon retainer
- Instructions + sticker
- Built-in spacers for better nut tightening
- Not rustproof
As already noted above, being not rustproof isn’t really a dealbreaker with these bearings. Make sure to clean them with Bones Bearing Cleaning Unit and lube them with Bones Speed Cream after drying them out.
Applying Bones speed cream makes these bearings roll really well. You’ll love them! With these bearings, it always feels like you’re getting a ton more than your money’s worth. I believe these are the highest quality bearings that can be had at that price point.
3. 8-Pack Bones Super Reds Bearings Review
So, are Bones Super Reds any good? Bones Super Reds vs Bones Reds bearings, what’s better? Bones bearings have become pretty much a staple of skateboarding and longboarding. And that’s because they deliver loads of value to the user while coming in at a super affordable price point.
These 8-pack precision bearings with skate-rated materials, clearances, and tolerances are similar to the more popular Bones Reds bearings. But they’re supposedly smoother, faster, and quieter. Also, the manufacturer says these bearings have better-quality steel races and better-quality ball bearings.
Also, the Super Reds have a much better surface finish. But are they any better than Bones Reds bearings in reality? After researching around, I found that these bearings aren’t much better if at all than regular Bones.
In fact, many skaters seem to favor Bones Reds bearings over Super Reds. I skate these bearings, and I like them better than most other bearings I’ve had.
One good thing about these bearings is you won’t need speed rings and spacers. They come with a precision-ground extended race that allows for better bearing alignment. You must tighten the axle nut down to a snug fit to achieve perfect alignment.
- Better finish than regular Bones
- An improved version of Bones Reds bearings
- No need for speed rings and spacers
- Made of steel, and steel rusts
I won’t count the rusting issue against these steel bearings. Why? Because even ceramics see rusting even though it never happens to the bearings themselves. The inner and outer rings are all steel, and steel isn’t rust-proof.
4. Bones Super Swiss 6 Longboard Bearings Review (Premium Pick)
Made in Switzerland, Bones Super Swiss 6 longboard bearings come fully optimized for speed. They also pack lots of strength, and they last. I know quite a few people who won’t skate anything else but Bones Swiss 6.
Once you break them in, these skate-rated bearings are super fast. And their removable (single) non-contact rubber shield/seal minimizes friction while making it really easy to clean them.
Everything from the materials, clearances, and tolerances comes skate rated. These bearings have been subjected to numerous tests meant to ascertain their suitability for skating. The bearings feature 6 rather than 7 larger diameter ball bearings. In contrast, most 608 (standard) bearings come with 7 balls. This 6-ball design offers increased speed, strength, and durability.
You get 8 balls pre-lubed with Speed Cream racing lubricant. These balls do their thing inside a nylon ball retainer designed for strength and speed. These bearings demonstrate a performance similar to that of Swiss Ceramic bearings. But Swiss ceramic bearings spin a little better.
The only gripe I have is they’re 4 times more expensive than regular Bones bearings. I wonder if the added quality and performance difference is justifiable. Honestly, you don’t want to pay almost $60 for longboard bearings when there are sub-$15 deals that work nearly as well. But if you crave the best stuff in life and are itching to spend a bit of money now, grab a set of these bearings.
Oh, and this deal includes 4 spacers so you can easily tighten your axle nuts and align your wheels better.
- Performance comparable to Swiss ceramic bearings
- 4 bearing spacers for better wheel alignment
- Made by a highly reputable brand
- Massively popular
- Removable rubber shield (blue) for easier cleaning
The price is steep, but I’d say you get what you pay for in most cases regardless of whether you’re buying bearings or whatever.
5. Bones Super Reds Review: Best Ceramics Longboard Bearings
So you’ve been meaning to `gift yourself a set of Swiss Ceramics but don’t feel ready for that yet. Consider buying Bones Super Reds Ceramics instead. Bones Ceramic Reds (Super) are cheaper than the Bones Swiss, and they’re one of the best sets of bearings ever made. And while Bones Ceramic Super Reds may not roll as smoothly and quietly as the Swiss Ceramics, the difference isn’t like day and night.
In all honesty, I’m yet to ride on Bones Ceramic Super Reds. However, I’ve tried spinning them on the axle of a friend’s longboard. I’d say Bones Ceramic Super Reds spin somewhat faster (well, it’s not like I timed the spins) than regular Bones Reds bearings. And they’re also noticeably quieter.
The bearings come in a white-ish box, unlike the Bones Reds bearings that come packed in a red box. Like all Bones bearings, they’re skate-rated and are pre-lubricated with Speed Cream. The balls are 7, and they lodge inside a high-speed nylon cage. These bearings are an improved version of the regular Bones.
These balls are made of lightweight, abrasion-resistant grade-5, isostatically pressed balls manufactured from silicon nitride. Silicon nitride ball bearings are rust-free, unlike steel balls. And since they’re tougher than the steel races on which they spin, they end up re-polishing the races. For that reason, they’re described as self-healing.
- supposedly harder than steel
- Remain useful for a long time
- Rust-resistant silicon nitride balls
- Removable rubber shields for hassle-free cleaning
- High speed bearings
- Tends to be brittle
- Inner and outer rings made of steel
Buy these longboard bearings only when you have lots of cash lying around. Beginners and price-conscious consumers should probably buy something else. Another downside is that ceramic bearings are brittle. But it’s not like they’re always falling apart during skating/longboarding.
6. Oust MOC 9 Airrr Longboarding Bearings Review (Best for Side-loads)
Oust MOC 9 longboard bearings are unbeatable when it comes to taking side-loads and twists and suchlike movements. Most bearings break when subjected to too much lateral load, but not Oust bearings. That’s why these bearings are the preferred option by those in competitive skating.
But what bearings do you want when you’re turning those sharp bends while commuting to work? That should be Oust MOC 9 Air bearings. Note that Oust doesn’t use the ABEC scale rating system, and MOC 9 isn’t equal to ABEC rating 9.
Oust bearings don’t receive as much credit as they deserve. That could be because the company that makes them doesn’t do as much marketing as Bones and other companies do. Could it be that people just follow their friend’s recommendations even when those recommendations almost always revolve around the biggest, most popular brands?
Just because the skating community isn’t crazy about Oust doesn’t mean they aren’t great. In fact, I’ve met (mainly online) lots of folks who think these are the best skateboard and longboard bearings ever made.
If you’re looking for bearings tested for the crazy demands of performance longboarding, buy Oust. These ones really shine in the speed and durability department. Think of them as a high-performance mid-range option that’s worth the money.
To keep dirt and grit out, Oust MOC 9 Airrr longboard bearings use a non-contact labyrinth-type seal. This seal is set in the outer race in what Oust calls the U-channel design. A stop on the inner race completes the seal setup. This setup is great for keeping dirt out and preventing lube leakage in the bearings.
Here’s how to avoid slop with these Oust bearings. Once you install them (together with spacers), skate your longboard for a few minutes. This causes the bearings to sit just right. And that’s when to tighten the nuts on the axle to create a perfect against the spacers.
- Affordable price
- They serve the user a long time
- Takes side-loads very well; great for carving
- U.S.-based company
- Uniquely set MOC 9 seal
- Best bet for racing
- Super smooth rides
- Non-conventional rating
- No spacers
- Steel balls may rust
- No rating whatsoever
These bearings are neither skate-rated nor are they ABEC scale rated. Oust chose to use a different system altogether since their bearings are tested for more than just vertical loads.
Also, you have to buy spacers or use what you have as spacers aren’t part of the package. Whether you end up choosing ceramics or these steel bearings, avoid skating through puddles as that ruins them.
7. Oldboy 608RS Xr02 Premium Ceramic Longboard Bearings Review
With mid-range pricing, these bearings use 7 super hard ceramic balls that come heavily pre-lubricated to minimize drag. How hard are they? The ceramic balls have a density of 7.80 g/cm3, a level of hardness that makes them indestructible.
Once you break them in, and that takes just a couple of rides, you won’t believe how fast and smoothly they ride. Like all ceramics, these are extremely hard, highly polished bearings that resist rusting. But that doesn’t you shouldn’t clean and dry them out after passing them via a puddle or two.
If you’re heavier than average, Oldboy ceramics could be a great bet for you. They’re designed to take up to 364 pounds of static force. These won’t break under you no matter how heavy you are.
Oldboy ceramics are increasingly growing in popularity within the skating community. And that’s because they’re offered at an affordable price while delivering better performance than most metal bearings.
Cleaning them is easy, thanks to these bearings’ one-shield design. It’s a white, removable polymer shield that keeps them clean during and after rides. Buy these for bombing hills and commuting, and you’ll love them.
- 2 Oldboy stickers for your longboard
- Indestructibly hard
- Rust proofed
- Faster than metal bearings
- Built to even the carry heaviest skater
- Many cheaper options
These bearings are purposely designed for skateboarding and longboarding. But they’re also great for inline skates hockey, and quad skate wheels. The only thing I don’t like about these bearings is the price. But they’re not the priciest option out there.
8. Yellow Jacket Premium Longboard Bearing Review
While some Yellow Jacket longboard bearings have a yellow jacket (shield), yellow is just one of the colors out of 7. The balls are manufactured from premium steel (haven’t verified that), and they should last long.
The bearings rotate inside a high-speed nylon ball retainer for increased strength and reduced friction. The raceways are made of nicely finished stainless steel. And like the balls, the races come treated with high-quality lube so you can start riding on them immediately.
Now, these longboard bearings cost just slightly more than the standard Bones bearings (Reds), which are incredibly cheap. And you won’t see lackluster performance with them. Some skaters even say that Yellow Jacket Premium bearings ride pretty much like Bones Swiss. I’d take that with a pinch of salt, though. Let’s just say they’re great bearings for the price.
They’re ABEC scale rated, ABEC 9 to be specific. That means they’re super fast, and that’s why they feature prominently in racing. What about shields? They come with yellow shields for shutting dirt and grime out of your bearings, but the shields are available in 7 different colors.
- Competitively priced
- ABEC rating of 9
- 100% money-back
- Made using German technology
- 7 different shield colors offer variety
- Many cheaper options
- Cheap, but not the cheapest
- Not made in the U.S.
There’ll always be Bones Reds bearings, and I can’t think of any aspect that makes Yellow Jacket better. I’ve not skated them, but I hear they spin really nicely.
I’ll order a set of these soon, but I suspect I’ll stick with my Bones Reds bearings. Are Yellow Jacket skateboard bearings made in the U.S.? Well, no. If you want U.S.-made ones, order Bones or Oust or something else. But you know what? German technology is great, and the country has a reputation for superior quality products.
9. Bronson Speed Co RAW Review (Best Shieldless Longboard Bearings)
The Bronson Speed Co is another great longboard bearing you may consider. Seven wheels sit in a super strong high-quality nylon cage reinforced with fiberglass. The structure of the cage allows for precision spacing.
The balls roll with minimal resistance in deep-groove, tungsten-coated raceways. The non-stick tungsten coating is essentially a low-drag lubricant. That means the bearings are rideable right out of the box. They come in nitrogen-filled packaging that keeps oxidation at bay during storage (in the store).
These bearings have no shields, and some skaters love them for that. They say dirt and grime encounter no barrier. This shieldless design lets particles breeze past the bearings, leaving none of inside. Besides, cleaning shieldless bearings is much easier than either one-shield or two-shield bearings.
I’ve not skated shieldless bearings, but I suspect it’s possible not all of the dirt and grit may go past the bearings. Some of it might stick around. That can cause your bearings to seize unexpectedly, and you’ll bail. Luckily, the raceways come lubed with a slick, non-stick lubricant that prevents particle buildup.
- Shieldless bearings for very easy cleaning
- Affordable price
- Bearings come pre-lubed
- Tungsten-coated raceways
- Audible Speed Technology enhances sound of speed
- Twice the cost of Bones Reds bearings
- Not rated
- Can be noisy
For some reason, Bronson doesn’t provide any rating for their bearings. But the company says they test their products thoroughly before release. That being said, longboard bearing rating isn’t something longboarders worry too much about.
My research finds that while these bearings cost twice what Bones Reds bearings cost, the price doesn’t seem justifiable. Small wonder Bones Reds bearings have remained the world’s most popular set of bearings for years.
These bearings tend to be naturally noisy thanks to the fully open, high-spin construction and Audible Speed Technology. This technology is meant to enhance the sound of speed emanating from the bearings, and it’s not unpleasant at all.
Besides, don’t all bearings produce a certain level of noise? Still, I think it’d be hard to determine whether bearing noise is natural or an indication they’re bad or need cleaning. But noise isn’t the only to determine whether something’s wrong. Plus, many skaters just love listening to the fine-tuned RAW speed sound these bearings produce during motion.
10. Bronson G2 Longboard Bearings Review
If you order Bronson Speed Co, G2 NextGen longboard bearings, you’ll get 8 orange, double-shielded steel bearings. The bearings come with two straight-edge shields designed to reduce friction. And …..beware: the price will prevent you from looking at other deals!
The bearings come properly lubed with a high-speed ceramic oil, and that makes them rideable right out of the box. It’s not the same with their sibling, the Bronson G3 bearings. If you’re debating G2 vs G3, pick G2. You’ll be happier with that choice.
The raceways feature noticeably deep grooves so you can have smooth, slop-free rides. That raceway design probably also makes these bearings last longer.
I haven’t tested these ones yet, but I’ve heard nice things from the community. They reportedly will survive more than a few weeks of heavy skating, and they don’t suck at speed.
In fact, I’ve interacted with skateboarders who said these G2 Bronsons deliver better-quality rides than Bones Reds bearings. What’s more, they’re quieter than Bones. However, that’s anecdotal evidence, but I assure you it came from trustworthy sources.
With this option, you get 7 hard steel balls sitting in a nylon retainer for optimal precision. By the way, having a strong nylon ball retainer is pretty much the standard no matter what brand you choose.
- Two shields that keep bearings clean for long
- Provided at an affordable price
- Pre-lubed with speed ceramic oil
- Unbelievably quiet
- Spacers included
- Some skaters say they roll like Bones Reds
- Deep groove raceways for smoother rides
- Some cheaper options offer more value
- May be harder to clean than single-shield bearings
- Not rated
- No washers
- Won’t ship to California
Skitch Pro cost less than these bearings, and they offer way more value. And it’s not like you’ll get exceptional performance from these ones.
Being double-shielded is both good and bad. It’s desirable because it completely seals off the bearings, making it impossible for filth to get in. But then, removing two shields during cleaning should be harder than detaching one shield. At least, it should be theoretically somewhat harder.
And I’d not be too anxious about ratings. These ones — and all Bronson bearings — aren’t rated, but that doesn’t mean they’re not tested. Or that you shouldn’t have faith in them.
Oh, and you won’t be able to order these bearings if you live in California.
11. Fireball Dragon Precision Longboard Bearings Review (Best Dual-shielded)
Most bearings on the market today are single-shielded. Others like the Fireball Dragon Precision boast two shields, one on either of the bearing. And because they’re better shielded, their ability to keep dust and grime out is unmatched. I imagine this dual-shield design may make throw a wrench in the works during cleaning.
The bearings are available in two versions: Race lube and Endure lube version. In general, Fireball bearings are supposed to be slow according to the manufacturer. But don’t buy Fireball thinking they are slow — they are not. They’re as fast as any other bearing, actually faster than most, even faster than Bones Reds in Uncle Ryan’s experience! An old uncle of mine bought these recently after 20+ years away from skating.
They’re skate rated. They’ve been subjected to all kinds of rigorous testing in various skate conditions and found fit for longboarding. Don’t let anyone dissuade you from buying skate-rated or MOC-rated or even rating-less bearings. Skateboard bearings from pretty much all companies are designed for a specific purpose — skateboarding/longboarding rather than for general use. That doesn’t mean the ABEC rating system and other recognized rating systems aren’t important. It’s just that you shouldn’t over-focus on them. As regards pricing, these bearings are insanely affordable. They’re in the same price range as the Bones Reds.
- Skate rated
- Double-shielding offers maximum protection
- Faster than the manufacturer says!
- Priced like Bones Reds
- Double shielded — may not be very easy to clean
- May be too fast for a beginner
While the bearings may be somewhat harder to clean due to their being double-shielded, they’re designed to disassemble fast and easily. It takes less than a minute to detach a shield; why should it take forever to detach two?
If you’re looking for slow bearings after a 20-year hiatus or are a beginner, consider buying something else. Fireball Dragon Precision bearings, particularly the Race version, are pretty fast. My uncle says his board starts getting away if he takes too long to hop on!
But if your eyes are only set on this brand, go with the Endure version. This version is great and also comes lubed with light Endure grease that’s formulated for promoting longevity. That’s why these bearings are slower, but they should outlast the Race version.
12. Heady Shake Pro Longboard Bearings Review
These ones are available in a nice jackpot color, and the manufacturer backs them with a 100% guarantee. If they don’t work, just return them. But you won’t ship them back because they work. Plus, these bearings are super versatile. You can use them on a skateboard, skateboard, cruiser, inline skates, roller skates, and kick scooter.
The bearing market reels from a glut of crappy ABEC 9 longboard wheels. I’m sure you know what I mean here. I’m talking about those bearings that say their ABEC rating is 9 but suck at rolling. Good news: that’s not the case with the Heady Shake Pro longboard bearing. Break them in, and the speed you get from the will blow you away.
These aren’t regular steel bearings. They’re made of titanium. Titanium vs steel bearings, what’s better? Titanium is in general is much lighter than steel. And unlike steel, it’s resistant to rusting. If you live near an ocean, I recommend these bearings. You can skate around the beach and not worry about them being destroyed by rust.
The manufacturer says these bearings are stronger and last a long time, more durable than steel, but are they? If you’re comparing the same volume of titanium vs steel, titanium is lighter and not as strong as steel. The only advantage of these bearings is they’re anti-corrosive.
Get them out of the pack, attach them to your longboard, and ride away. They reach you sufficiently lubed with premium speed oil so you can start enjoying decent rides immediately.
They’re single-shield bearings, and that means they don’t let gunk set inside your bearings. Plus, they’re pretty easy to remove during cleaning.
- Non-contact removable rubber shield for easy cleaning
- Pretty versatile
- Great rust resistance
- Attractive pricing
- Made of durable, lightweight titanium
- A waterproof sticker included
- Reinforced retainer for superior precision
- Also comes lubed with premium speed oil
- True ABEC-9 speed
- Not the cheapest longboard bearings
One feature makes these bearings stand out — the double-strengthened nylon retainer that holds the ball bearings. With that such a structure, it’s easy to see why these ABEC-9 bearings offer superior precision.
13. ABEC 9 Skitch Pro Review
These are the cheapest longboard bearings I’ve reviewed. They’re even cheaper than regular Bones. What other deal gives skaters 16 longboard bearings, 8 speed rings, and 4 spacers at a sub-$15 price as of this writing? None! If you’re looking for a best-value pick that’s not mediocrity incarnate, order these. They even include an extra case for storing the bonus set of bearings. How kind of them.
They’re versatile, too. You can use them in a kick scooter, roller skates, longboard, skateboard, mini-cruiser, and fidget spinner. And like all longboard wheels, the bearings work inside of a nylon retainer that accounts for their precision.
The bearings feature an upgraded design that supposedly makes them unbelievably fast and durable. Skitch even says their bearings show a performance that mirrors that of ceramic or Swiss bearings. Tell you what? I rode on these as a beginner, but I didn’t know enough then to know how they stacked up against other options.
I’ve skated these, and the two sets lasted about 8 months before they fell apart. I’d even say
the bearings are as good as Bones Reds. And let me let you in on a little secret: these ABEC 9 Skitch Pro longboard bearings are incredibly quiet.
I pitted them against regular Reds to see which brand ran more smoothly and quietly. They demonstrated about the same performance as far as spin. But surprisingly, Skitch Pro bearings were noticeably quieter than the Reds. I was stoked. I’d highly recommend these.
- Incredibly cheap
- Removable shield for hassle-free cleaning
- Pre-lubed with high-speed bearing lubricant
- An extra set of 8 bearings!
- 4 free spacers for a perfect fit
- 8 speed rings means less friction
- Surprisingly quiet
- Maybe too fast especially for beginners
Look, ABEC 9 bearings can be extremely fast. And for most skaters, durability and the ability to take load are more important than speed. I know a skater who ended up needing high-precision medical equipment in the emergency room. He chose the fastest spinning bearings and always rode blazing fast. Ponder that.
14. Neal Precision Longboard Bearings Review (Best Value)
Neal Precision Longboard bearings are pretty much like ABEC 9 Skitch Pro as far as features, but they cost twice as much. Like with the Skitch Pro, the package contains two sets of 8 high-precision bearings along with 8 speed-boosting rings and 4 spacers. The deal also includes a spare reusable aluminum case for storing the bonus set. But for the life of me, I can’t understand why they cost double the price.
You can buy one of 5 versions including Neal Standard Issue Ceramic, Neal Blackout Ceramic, Hurricane Swiss Steel, Titanium Stinger, Vinnie Banh Pro Signature. But do these ceramic bearings ride as well as premium ceramics from other brands? Honestly, you shouldn’t expect the same ride quality as you’d get with premium Swiss Ceramics.
I have a set of Neal Blackout Ceramic bearings, and I get pretty decent rides. I don’t know if they ride like any of those high-end ceramics, but I love them, and you probably will.
Like most of the best skateboard and longboard bearings, Neal Precision bearings feature a single shield. The shield helps keep bearings clean, and that builds longevity. And yes, the bearings are pre-lubed.
While these bearings appear in my best longboard bearings reviews, I’d hesitate to buy them again. Why? I explain that after the cons section below.
- Great price
- Bonus: 8 speed-boosting rings + spacers
- Shielded to keep out dirt
- 4 different versions offered
- The bearings bind if you over- tighten them
- Not the fastest bearings
- Some users have complained of vibration during spins
Regarding the binding issue, I must say all bearings bind up a little if you tighten them too much. And things get worse if you tighten them without spacers. Luckily, these bearings come with spacers. So, just tighten your wheels down solid and you won’t see speed wobbles at all.
Note 1: It matters what wheels you use these bearings on. These Neal bearings might still bind if the spacers you get aren’t sufficiently long. But you may want to buy better spacers, ones with thicker walls as they last longer. Plus, premium spacers are super stable and allow for a much snugger fit without compromising on spin speed. My spacers work just fine, and I’ve never needed to swap them out with anything else.
Note 2: I came across a couple of users who felt that the bearings noticeably vibrated. These skaters became aware of the issue as soon as they attached the wheels. And, I don’t like that this company offers “Swiss” bearings. Listen, these bearings don’t roll anywhere near the smoothness of genuine premium Swiss bearings. But the pricing is enticing, and you may still want to try them out and see if they’re a good fit for you.
15. Andale P. Rod Swiss Pen Box Signature Review (Skater-owned Brand)
Professional skateboarders Joe Brezinski and Paul Rodriguez teamed up to form Andale. By the way, the P. Rod in the product’s name comes from Paul Rodriguez’s name. The bearings are sold in a nice-looking rectangular red and white pack.
Did you know that Brezinski does manual and other skateboarding tricks exceptionally well? He was also a co-producer and actor in a 2018 movie, Concrete Kids. In this movie, two Venice CA kids aged 9 try to cross Los Angeles on skateboards for a contest.
Evidently, the man’s passion for skateboarding is boundless. And he deserves our support. If you like supporting entrepreneurs who were once or are skateboarders, here’s a chance to do so.
But are Andale Swiss P. Rod Pro longboard bearings any good? Well, there’s spectacular about them, really. They’re just affordable (not the cheapest, though) bearings that roll as nicely as any decent ones. I’ve yet to ride on them, but I’d not expect too much from them.
And like with most bearings, these ones are contained in a high-speed nylon retainer. Also, they feature a single, non-contact (and removable) rubber seal, so cleaning them won’t feel like drudgery.
Andale says these bearings have been tested against more than a ton of crushing forces. If that’s true, then these should be really good for pulling off high-impact skateboard tricks such as ollies. And they also should be one of the best options for longboarding lovers like you.
- 4 bonus spacers
- Not too expensive
- Skateboarder-owned company
- Tested for high-impact jumps
- No speed rings
- One set of bearings
- Many cheaper deals on the market
- No reviews (Amazon) as of this post
Pretty much every company that offers spacers also offers speed rings. Also, when I saw the deal included 4 spacers, I expected to see an extra set of bearings. Well, that didn’t happen. But the usual Bones are massively popular yet they don’t provide these extras.
I recommend these bearings mainly because they’re from a skateboard-owned business. Additionally, the bearings deliver pretty decent performance. I expected their description to include unique information about the bearings given they’re made by expert skateboarders. But there’s nothing exceptional about them.
Also, I couldn’t find many customers reviews online. At that price, I’d probably wait until others tested them and shared their experiences. But that’s not to say I don’t think they’re good bearings.
Buying Guide: How to choose the Best Longboard Bearings
Pay attention now, and you’ll learn how to pick good bearings for your longboard. This guide contains everything to know about longboard bearings and bearings in general. Consider the following:
1. Does Your Longboarding Style Matter When Choosing Bearings?
No, the longboarding style you do has little to do with the kind of bearings you should choose. Freestyle, freeride, carving, cruising, dancing, downhill longboarding…it doesn’t matter. Simply pick good bearings and you’re all set for the ride of your life.
Good here means bearings that roll without resistance. But if you’re wanting to purchase the finest precision bearings for a race, go ahead. Be happy. That’s all that matters.
2. ABEC Rated Longboard Bearings Vs Skate Rated Bearings, What’s Better?
What’s the ABEC scale rating? And, does this bearing rating scale matter in longboarding? The ABEC rating is a rating system that lays out the standards general-purpose bearings need to follow when manufacturing high-performance, high-precision bearings for industrial use.
The standard mainly concerns itself with dimensions, precision, and related stuff. While ABEC is an important bearing rating system, it reveals little about a bearing’s overall quality or even speed compared to competing options.
Let’s assume a set of bearings from a company is ABEC 3 rated and another set from the same company is ABEC 7. You can expect the latter set of bearings from this company to be faster than the former set, all other things being equal.
But you know what? ABEC 7 bearings of one brand may not always be as fast as ABEC 7 bearings of a different company. Testing done by engineers at Bones Bearings revealed that there’s no consistency in performance between bearings from different brands even if they had the exact same rating. Skaters who know this don’t give too much attention to the ABEC rating system.
Skate-rated bearings such as Bones are another matter altogether. These wheels have been thoroughly tested for skateboarding. If you want to insist on a rating, definitely get skate-rated bearings such as Bones Reds, my all-time favorite.
3. Type of Bearing and Price
Ceramic vs steel vs Swiss bearings, what’s best? Ceramic bearings are super high-quality bearings, and they run super fast and unbelievably smoothly. Unlike the more standard steel bearings, ceramic bearings are rust-free (at least the parts not made of steel). Plus, they experience less friction which is why they don’t heat up as much.
Besides, they’re supposedly harder (tougher) and more durable than steel, but are they? I watched a video where someone tested ceramics and steel bearings. Bearings manufacturers have been lying to us all along! The ceramic bearing tested crashed under pressure almost immediately while the steel bearing held up.
Ceramics roll awesomely, no doubt about that. But I feel they’re unjustifiably expensive. As for Swiss bearings, you can’t always be sure that they were actually made in Switzerland. In truth, Swiss bearings for longboards are sometimes produced in China.
Many longboarders and skateboarders just buy cheap steel bearings and I don’t see an awful lot of complaints from them. Which means they work just fine. Start with steel bearings and then skate Swiss or Ceramic bearings down the road and see if you like them better.
4. Price: $20 Steel Bearings or $100 Ceramic Bearings?
Pro skaters love skating ceramic bearings because they offer faster, smoother rides. But do you really want to shell out $100 for a longboard bearing set when you can buy $20 Bones that work just fine? I suggest that you start with cheap but good bearings such as Bones Reds. Later on, you can upgrade to ceramics or whatever if you wish.
What’s Great About Swiss Bearings?
There’s a whole boatload of praise heaped on Swiss bearings. They’ve become kind of like the standard. Everyone swears by them. But what’s special about Swiss Bearings? Well, they’re made in Switzerland using great Swiss ball-bearing technology.
But do you think Swiss engineers are better than American engineers? Neither do I. I stick with Bones (an American company) for obvious reasons.
Oh, and not all Swiss bearings are produced in Switzerland. Some of the manufacturing is done in China.
5. Brand: What’s the Best Longboard Bearing Brand?
Buy any brand you want, but I’d go with Bones. Because Bones bearings are hard and roll pretty nicely. Unless you’re always skating through puddles, these bearings should serve you for a considerably long time.
Besides that, these bearings are super affordable. Replacing them won’t drain your bank account. Aside from that, they last for years. For me and many longboarders, there’s no reason to choose anything else.
Well, Bones Reds and Super Reds may be the best longboard bearings brands, but they’re not the only ones. I’ve heard other skaters say nice things about brands such as Magic, Zealous, Seismic Tektons, and a bunch of others.
Every brand has fans, and every skater settles for a particular brand. You may have to experiment with a few before picking any one of them.
6. Shielded Vs Shieldless Longboard Bearings
Some longboard bearings come with removable rubber shields. These are easy to clean, and the shield helps keep moisture and dirt out of your bearings. You should always set your wheels with the bearing shields facing outside. Other bearings come with metal shields, and these are typically not removable.
What’s better, removable rubber shields or permanent/ non-removable metal shields? Most people prefer removable-shield bearings because they’re serviceable.
What About Shieldless Bearings?
Some bearings don’t have shields at all. And is that a bad thing? Some skaters prefer no-shield bearings because they’re easier to clean. Dirt and grit pass right through and go out the other side.
The argument makes sense. If you’ll mostly skate in parks, you can use shieldless bearings no problem. But you have to clean and lube your bearings more frequently if you go shieldless.
If you’ll skate outside of parks on surfaces with tons of dust, grit, and grime, use shielded bearings. Most skaters choose shielded ones, and you probably should, because seizing isn’t fun.
7. Longboard Bearing Size
The standard size when it comes to regular longboard and skateboarding bearings is size 608. Often, you’ll see some bearings described as 608 ZZ or 608 Z. Now, Z or ZZ has little to do with size. That said, 608 Z almost always means ABEC 1.
One Z means that the bearing features one rubber shield while ZZ usually means the bearing has two shields. But manufacturers sometimes mark each shield with one Z even when the bearing has two shields.
Can You Use Longboard Bearings On Skateboard Wheels?
Yes, you can use longboard bearings on skateboard wheels. Longboard wheels may be bigger than skateboard wheels, but that doesn’t mean they use a larger bearing size.
A standard longboard bearing has an inner diameter of 8 mm, an outer diameter of 22 mm, and a standard width of 7 mm.
Are Spacers Important in Longboard Bearings?
Spacers help align longboard bearings correctly so that they spin better than anything you’ve ever seen. They live between bearings (each longboard wheel uses two bearings) and should fit perfectly on the axle. If you have spacers in your wheels, you can easily tighten them snugly.
Also, spacers ensure that the balls rotate much more smoothly in the inner races. Besides that, they allow for drastically reduced wheel slop in the outer races. But there’s more. Spacers shield bearings from too much side load. And wear mostly results from side-load pressure.
Another benefit of having spacers is that they help prevent wheel chatter (rattling noise from the wheels). Most importantly, spacers may increase bearing longevity. Spacers allow for a super rigid wheel structure that makes your wheels spin better.
Finally, you won’t see any of those jackhammer slides if you add in spacers. If you’ll mostly do freeride longboarding, your bearings will have to deal with the extra pressure from too much siding. And installing spacers helps slow down bearing degradation.
Best Longboard Bearings: Conclusion
It’s hard to say which longboard bearing is the best considering that all of them are good enough for what they do. But I’d go with Bones Reds any day.
For competitions, Oust bearings are a great choice. And who says you shouldn’t treat yourself to some really smooth and fast rides by choosing Bones Swiss ceramics? They’re expensive, of course, but should we always buy cheap things?
If you have the money, pick whatever makes you feel happy and enriches your riding experience. All things considered, I’d say regular Bones Reds are the best bang for the buck. And it’s not just me. Many skaters agree that Bones bearings are the best longboard bearings out there.