Why is My Skateboard so Slow? (Top 10 Reasons and How to Fix it)

Richmond Bendu Oct 07, 2022
15 People Read
Why is my skateboard so slow
Table of Contents
  1. You Need to Clean Your Bearings
  2. The Axle Nut is Too Tight
  3. You Got the Wrong Bearings
  4. You Need to Replace Your Wheels
  5. You Have the Wrong Wheel Size
  6. You Don't Have the Right Wheels For the Surface you Are Riding
  7. You Have a Low-Quality Skateboard
  8. Your Pushing Technique is Wrong
  9. You Push Mongo
  10. You Don't use Speed Washers
    1. 11. You Got Rusty Bearings
  11. Tips to Get Extra Speed
  12. Pumping
  13. Pushing
  14. Crouching on Your Skateboard
  15. Skitching (Holding Onto Cards)
  16. Conclusion

Disclosure:  

Why is my skateboard so slow? (Top 10 Reasons and How to Fix it)

When you skate, your skateboard will become slower over time; luckily, if you have the time, the solutions are often very simple. Most of the time, you could solve the problem by changing your wheels or bearings, but many other factors can slow your board down.

If you are thinking, Why is my skateboard so slow? Take a look at the list below to find out why.

Why Your skateboard is Slow and How to fix it

If you are like some of my friends, having a slow skateboard isn't a problem, but losing the speed you need to perform tricks can be annoying. In my list, I will state the most common problems that you should look at first. You can take a look at the less obvious ones if you think it's necessary.

  1. You Need to Clean Your Bearings

After you have used your skateboard for a while, your bearings need to be cleaned; clean bearings are essential if you want to skate at high speeds.

Your bearings will build up dirt and sand, which will cause a lot of friction, and over time this will damage your bearings. If you have never cleaned your bearings, you will be surprised at how much dirt they pick up over time.

Dirty bearings will slow down your board, but they are also really easy to clean. The most important thing to remember when cleaning your bearings is that the lube on them will disappear afterward. So if you want your bearings to work properly after cleaning them, you need to use a silicone lube, like bones speed cream before you put them back into your wheels.

Cleaning your bearings can take 15 - 30 minutes; if you want to learn how to clean them properly, click here

  1. The Axle Nut is Too Tight

A very common problem, especially with new skaters, is that they have over tightened axle nuts, if you are over tightening axle nuts you end up pinching the bearings. If the axle nut is too tight, it will create a lot of friction, damaging your bearings.

Loosen the nuts just a bit and see how long they can spin; if they can spin for 20 seconds or longer, they are fine. You only loosen them a little bit to prevent your wheel from falling off while you are riding. You need to ensure that you have spacers between the bearings and nuts to avoid crushing your bearings.

If you have taken off the wheel completely, you attach the axle nut back on with a skate tool until you feel resistance; check if they still spin and if they don't, loosen them by turning the nut counterclockwise.

If you have bought a pre-built board, it is common that the axle nut is too tight, loosen the nut a bit, and your problem should now be gone.

  1. You Got the Wrong Bearings

You don't need expensive bearings to make your skateboard go fast, but there is a chance that you have picked out longboard or cruiser board bearings.

Longboard bearings speed up slower than skateboard bearings, but in exchange, they can keep the momentum for longer than skateboard bearings can. If you don't have skateboard bearings skating at a skate park with limited pushing space can be frustrating; change your bearing to something like Bones or Bronson bearings to fix the problem.

When you decide to get new bearings, you should go for the more known brands; you don't need to get the most expensive one from the brand, but this way, you can be confident that you have quality bearings.

  1. You Need to Replace Your Wheels

If you have used the same wheels for a long time, you are probably noticing that your board is riding slower when a skateboard wheel has been used for a long time, it will wear down, and suddenly, you have a 45mm wheel instead of the 56mm wheel you bought.

With larger wheels, you can travel a longer distance with fewer wheel rotations, allowing you to keep your momentum for longer.

Your skateboard wheels will wear down differently; this is because you probably turn more and harder to one side than the other. If you want your wheels to wear down the same, you can switch up the positions of your wheels and do this in a clockwise pattern.

If it feels like something is stuck under your wheel or that it is bumpy, you probably have flat spots. Skateboard wheels wear down not only in overall size but sometimes a single spot will wear down; this often happens if you powerslide a lot. If you want to learn more about when it's time to change your wheels, click here.

  1. You Have the Wrong Wheel Size

Bigger wheels will make you achieve high speeds, but smaller wheels will slow you down. There are a lot of good qualities with small wheels, but if you want to go faster, the bigger, the better, unfortunately you shouldn't go for bigger than 56mm wheels if you want to do technical tricks.

The reason bigger wheels lets you go faster is because you can travel a longer distance with fewer rotations; this lets you have your momentum longer.

People that ride in bowls usually have bigger wheels than 56mm; this is because you need a lot of speed, and you would use too much energy with small wheels. People that want to cruise also use larger wheels, but it often requires riser pads if you want to avoid wheel bite. If you use loose trucks, you will experience wheel bite more often.

  1. You Don't Have the Right Wheels For the Surface you Are Riding

If you plan to mainly skate in skate parks or on smooth surfaces like concrete, small and hard wheels won't be a problem, but if you want to do some street skating as well, you will find getting enough speed can be challenging.

When you ride on rough terrain, soft wheels will help you significantly, softer wheels can absorb all of the shock and bumps you encounter while riding. If you get large soft wheels, you can now ride on rough surfaces without a problem.

Even do soft wheels go faster on rough terrain, they won't go faster if the ground is smooth. Soft wheels stick to the ground; because of this, I have two separate boards for riding in the streets and skate parks.

  1. You Have a Low-Quality Skateboard

When this is the issue, it is most likely a parent who bought a skateboard off amazon as a gift to a child. When something has a 5-star revue on Amazon, it doesn't mean that the board is good.

A sign that you got yourself a low-quality board is when it is entirely covered in plastic, and the plastic is trapped by the trucks and screws.

When you ride a cheap board, you cant expect it to go fast at all, and in many cases, it can even be dangerous to ride it. I recommend that you either get a new board or slowly replace the parts, start with the wheels and bearings, then move on to the skateboard trucks and deck.

  1. Your Pushing Technique is Wrong

This might be the problem if you are new to skating. Beginners often stomp their whole foot on the ground and push, but the most effective way is pushing with the front part of your foot; this way, you get a springlike effect.

When you use the whole base of your foot, you put a lot of energy into the ground; the energy won't come back, which means you are just wasting it.

The problem can also be that you don't extend your leg out enough; if you want to push properly, you should have your front foot by the front bolts, then take your push foot in front of your front foot; after this, you push away,but don't put all of your weight on the push foot; if you do this you will lose speed or not gain any.

  1. You Push Mongo

Skating mongo is when you push with your front foot. Pushing mongo is inefficient and unnecessary; you can learn to push normal with a bit of practice, and you really should. You can skate at the same speed as when you push normally, but only if you have enough room; it also takes longer when shifting your stances if you push mongo.

  1. You Don't use Speed Washers

Speed washers/speed rings are small metal rings you put between the axel nut and bearings. If you don't have the speed washers installed, you will get a lot of friction between the nut and bearings, this will deteriorate your bearings, and over time they will break.

You can even break your bearings if you tighten the axle nut too hard without the speed washers.

Usually, all boards have speed washers, but it is when you disassemble your wheels that you might lose them since they are so small; To avoid this, just be careful and put your parts away in a place they won't get lost; if you don't have extra parts, this is a sad way of ruining your bearings.

11. You Got Rusty Bearings

If you don’t avoid water while skating you will end up with rusty bearings. You can avoid rust by drying all metal parts but it is better to avoid puddles or skating in the rain.


Rusty bearings don’t only make your board slower, it deteriorates your parts. If your bearing takes enough damage they might break while you are riding; this can lead to serious injuries if you are unlucky.

Tips to Get Extra Speed

It is not good enough to have a high-quality skateboard if you want to skate at high speeds; it helps a lot, but what you need the most is experience. You will go much faster with proper technique, but remember that you also fall harder if you're not careful.

You can't use the different techniques everywhere, but it will be easy to use them when you can after they are mastered.

Pumping

Pumping is the most efficient way to gain speed. You pump by crouching fast when you go down a ramp, bowl, or incline. You can also pump when you go up, but you need to crouch beforehand and stand up when you go upwards.

When you pump down, you want to add more weight by pushing down, but when you pump up, you put less weight on the board by standing up fast.

You don't have any space to push when you skate on a mini ramp, and this means that you only get speed by pumping. You have the opportunity to push if you skate in a bowl, but it is much more fun to only pump. You need to learn to pump in corners if you want speed in a bowl, but it won't be difficult if you know how to pump regularly. If you are cruising, you won't get many chances to pump, but it is fun to do it when you get the opportunity.

Pushing

This might sound stupid, but you need to push harder. You obviously go faster if you push harder, but most people don't really push that hard.

I started to use my skateboard to get to school, but I was annoyed with how slow I was going. I diden't have the knowledge or money to do anything else than push harder, and after a while, I get way more speed than my friends when we cruise.

I'm at the point where I can easily push up hills at a fast pace without getting tired, and this has made it so much easier to get from A to B fast.

Crouching on Your Skateboard

You loose a lot of speed because of air resistance, so if you crouch you can make your surface area smaller and avoid loosing speed. This is especially useful if it is windy but you can do it to get extra speed when you skate downhill.

You should practice crouching carefully, it is easy to loose your balance at the start so make sure you don't go to fast. It is easier if you have a bigger deck, but if you practise enough, you can do it on

Skitching (Holding Onto Cards)

Holding onto cars is an effective way go up up hills, but I included it more as a joke. Skitching is surprisingly difficult so I recommend doing it with a friends car so you're both aware that it is happening.

Almost no one would be happy to see a skateboarder hang onto their car; it is both annoying and dangerous.

I have tried sketching twice with my friends car, it is worth the experience but only attempt this if you are an experienced skater that can handle unexpected things to happen. It feels unnatural when the car brakes and gas, so make sure that you prioritize staying on your board. If you focus to much on holding onto the car you might fall of the board, and it is much better to let go of the car than your skateboard.

Be sure to wear safety equipment if you attempt this; the lowest requirement should be wearing a helmet.

Conclusion

Skateboard wheels spin longer when the axle nuts don't sit on too tight. If you clean your bearings, you need to apply a new layer of lube to them. You don't need the most expensive bearings but get them from a known brand to ensure that they are good quality. Smaller wheels go slower than large wheels, but you can't get too large if you want to do tricks. If you skate on rough terrain, use softer wheels, but if you skate in skate parks, you can use harder ones.

Your wheels deteriorate; this means that they get smaller and can get flat spots. Make sure that you are pushing the correct way and stay away from low-quality boards

It is not only the quality of the board that decides how fast you go; it is the techniques you use as well. If you master pumping, you can get the maximum speed in skateparks and sometimes extra speed while cruising.

Try to practice crouching when you are going down hills to get extra speed by avoiding air resistance. It takes time to master all the techniques, but if you are patient, you will eventually get them down.

Remember to use safety equipment if you are planning to skate really fast; it is better to be safe than sorry. If you are at this point, I'm sure you are no longer asking why is my skateboard so slow?

If you have questions about skateboarding, contact me on my contact page. I'm happy to answer any questions and will reply as fast as possible.

Table of Contents
  1. You Need to Clean Your Bearings
  2. The Axle Nut is Too Tight
  3. You Got the Wrong Bearings
  4. You Need to Replace Your Wheels
  5. You Have the Wrong Wheel Size
  6. You Don't Have the Right Wheels For the Surface you Are Riding
  7. You Have a Low-Quality Skateboard
  8. Your Pushing Technique is Wrong
  9. You Push Mongo
  10. You Don't use Speed Washers
    1. 11. You Got Rusty Bearings
  11. Tips to Get Extra Speed
  12. Pumping
  13. Pushing
  14. Crouching on Your Skateboard
  15. Skitching (Holding Onto Cards)
  16. Conclusion

Disclosure: