Why You ABSOLUTELY NEED to Clean Your Bearings
I know what you’re saying. I can almost hear you saying it right now. It’s a FUNDAMENTAL FACT, that you ABSOLUTELY 100% NEED TO clean skateboard bearings.
With every skater that simply can’t be bothered to do so, there’s almost always a laundry list of excuses as to why THEY don’t do it.
It goes a little something like this (and yes, these are actually REAL excuses I’ve ACTUALLY heard people say);
- Don’t have the time or patience to clean skateboard bearings
- Always buy new bearings when I buy new wheels, so I don’t need to clean them, ever.
- Don’t care about going faster, I only skate street anyway
- It’s too much hassle to bother with
- Cleaning skateboard bearings won’t make much difference to the way they work, so I’ll just keep buying new ones.
I know these are the things people say, because I ALSO USED TO SAY THESE STUPID THINGS.
But now I’m older. In fact, I’m a LOT older. I’ve been skateboarding for 31 years now, and I’ve been riding snakeboards, streetboards, and pivotboards for 23 years.
I skated pro for around 10 years or so, and still skate 3-4 days a week at 42 years old.
I had to learn this lesson the hard way, as I too, was a super lazy guy about this.
Watch this video, and see the MIRACULOUS improvement when you clean your bearings. You won’t believe it.
My Biggest Regrets as a Pro Rider
There are only two things I totally regret from my pro career, that didn’t make sense to me until years later. I was even told by dozens of people, but I didn’t listen, because I thought I knew better.
- Not ever skating Bones Swiss bearings.
- Not ever taking time to clean skateboard bearings.
I was always broke during my ‘pro career’ as a snakeboarder and streetboarder. I didn’t earn a lot of money, so I cut corners where I had to.
One of the places I cut corners, because I thought it didn’t matter, was in bearings. I even had a business that sold snakeboards and streetboards, and wholesale accounts which meant I got things at cost.
I bought boxes of Bones Redz Bearings, and several sets of wheels at a time. Every time, I always put a new set of Bones Redz into a new set of wheels. I would skate them until they didn’t spin very well, then throw them out. With each new set of wheels, I would put in another set of bearings.
I did this about once a month, because I skated halfpipe.
THIS WAS SO STUPID.
Stop Buying Cheap Bearings, NOW!
Now, if you don’t buy good bearings such as Bones Swiss, or Bronson bearings, there’s absolutely no point in cleaning them at all.
I know you may think that cheap bearings are okay, but seriously, they are NOT. They spin really badly even when new. Even though you may THINK they spin well, right out the box, they don’t even compare to good bearings. they are a complete waste of your money, and will do nothing for you.
Cheap bearings aren’t even worth cleaning, because they were never good enough to begin with, and there’s no benefit to be gained by cleaning them at all.
If you’re broke, sjut like I’ve been most of my life, take my word for it, and ask a relative for a set of Bones Swiss bearings for Christmas or your next birthday. You won’t regret it at all.
Bones Swiss Bearings
Ever since I was 11 years old, I was told Bones Swiss bearings were the best bearings you could ever buy. Pros, amateurs, skaters, all swore by them.
I had never tried Bones Swiss bearings, so I didn’t know what I was missing out on.
Years later, when I finally tried Bones Swiss, because I felt a little ‘richer’ that month. As the swiss bearings are around $45.00 for a set, complete with spacers, I’d always opted for the cheaper bearings. When I got them, my mind was beyond completely blown, and I felt dumber than I’d ever felt in my life, ever before.
Bones Swiss Bearings, right out the box, spin a thousand times better than ANY other skateboard bearing. I couldn’t believe just quite HOW MUCH BETTER they actually WERE. It absolutely blew my mind how unbelievably awesome they really were.
The swiss bearings were just so amazingly good, I absolutely loved them. Even though I loved these bearings, there was a bitter sweet regret I held.
I knew that had I used these bearings my entire skate career, that I would’ve advanced a lot more. I know I would’ve been able to air higher, jump further, and do bigger gaps, because I would’ve had a lot more speed EVERY TIME.
Thinking of some the people that had beaten me, that I couldn’t understand where they got their speed from, and it made a lot of sense.
Why I had missed this detail my whole career, was beyond me.
Clean Skateboard Bearings are Even Faster
My swiss bearings were about 9 months old, and were still skating better than any other bearing I’d ever had. I was curious as to what it would be like to clean them, instead of now spending another $45.00 on a new set.
What happened next, stunned me into submission. I couldn’t believe it.
After cleaning the Bones Swiss bearings using the Bones Bearing Cleaner, and lubing them with Bones Speed Cream, they didn’t just spin well again. The clean skateboard bearings actually felt better.
They not only spun super fast, but they seemed to run faster than EVER BEFORE!
The 8 Year Bearings
I’m still REALLY lazy about cleaning my bearings.
In fact, I only ever get around to cleaning them once they spin really fucking bad (see the video if you don’t believe me), or if I change my wheels.
Still, that original set of Bones Swiss bearings, lasted me an astounding 8 YEARS!
THEN I STARTED DOING THE MATH, and it dawned on me.
Expensive Skateboard Bearings are Actually Cheaper
When I was buying Bones Redz at $10.00 a pop, I was replacing them around every 3-6 months or so. At the height of my pro career, it was more often than that.
I realized that if I had paid $10.00 every 3-6 months for 8 years, I would’ve paid out around $160-320.00.
For the Bones Swiss bearings, I had bought one set of bearings. I also bought a bearing cleaning kit, and the Bones Speed Cream that I’m still using for my second set of bearings that I’ve owned for 2 years so far.
My total spent in the first 8 years of using swiss bearings? The huge amount of just $60.00! That’s a quarter of the price, for better bearings altogether.
The worst part? The swiss bearings still spun better than the Bones Redz EVEN AFTER 8 YEARS OF USE, and did the ENTIRE TIME!
I Felt Stupid that I Didn’t Ever Clean Skateboard Bearings
So, after this HORRIBLE learning curve, I had discovered the truth.
The 2 things I regret to be a painful mistake, that I know cost me a podium placing a couple of times.
So, what did I learn?
- Only EVER buy Bones Swiss Bearings
- Clean skateboard bearings, and they last forever, and spin better than anything else, for a VERY LONG TIME.
I’m not Sponsored, or Paid to Promote
I would like to point out that I have never been sponsored by Bones, Powell, or Powell and Peralta at any time. I have never been paid, or given any incentive to promote their bearings at all, ever.
I’m simply a VERY EXPERIENCED skater, with a long history in this sport. I’ve learned my lesson, and only hope that I can pass this knowledge onto you as a rider.
If you don’t listen now, you may live to being an age-old fart like me, eating your words, and learning from this mistake, when it’s too late.
So, buy swiss bearings, and clean them. You’ll fly higher, roll faster, jump further, and use less physical effort to do so. This means the energy you put into skating is more productive, and you will then be able to do more.
It doesn’t matter how good you are, or how pro you are, you can always use a little help. Using the best equipment, produces the best results. Yeah, some things are bullshit, but this is my report telling you that Bones Swiss bearings are THE SHIT.
If you’ve never tired them before, buy a set right now, and I know I will have helped your skating, and given you the best advice anyone has ever given you.
That’s about it for today.