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Build Your Own Pro Grade Skateboard


4 of 7

Part 4: Bearings
Build Your Own Pro Grade Skateboard
Your bearings are inside little metal rings that fit inside your skateboard wheels. There's only one way to rate bearings at the moment, and it doesn't work well with skateboard bearings. The rating is called ABEC and goes from 1 to 9, but only odd numbers. Unfortunately it was originally developed to rate the bearings in machines, not on skateboards (for more, you can read "What does ABEC mean?".

Therefore, the ABEC rating only rates the precision of a bearing. Plus, the more precise he bearing, the weaker they usually are. Skateboarders take their bearings and abuse them, as normal skateboarding does. Skateboarders want bearings that are both precise and durable, so the ideal ABEC rating for a skateboard is 3 or 5. Smooth enough, but not going to break when you jump on your board. Some skateboard bearings don't even bother with the ABEC rating system. The best thing to do is try some out, ask your friends, or ask the guy behind the counter at the skate shop.

One warning, though: don't rush out and buy the most expensive bearings right away. You'll likely do something without thinking about it and ruin your first set, and there are some good medium-priced bearings out there, like Bones Reds.

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