Skateboards come in many shapes and are used for all sorts of purposes. There are boards for pure leisure, and ones designed for the most extreme sports.
Skateboarders can be seen riding casually to work, but also competing ferociously in the Summer Olympics. As skateboarding evolves and develops, its limits continue to be pushed and challenged.
But when the goal in sight is not an easier work commute or a gold medal-worthy trick, but rather a faster speed, what can you do to push the threshold to its limit?
There are a variety of ways you can reach a higher speed on your skateboard. From specific equipment adjustments to choosing the right roads and staking stance, nearly every aspect of skating can be tweaked to reach speeds your board is yet to achieve.
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Bearings determine how your wheels roll. In other words, it is the bearing that determines the quality and speed of the ride. So, taking a closer look at your bearings and how they can be adjusted can greatly affect how to make your skateboard faster.
The first step in identifying the best bearings setup for your skateboard is to determine the best quality bearings for high speeds. Most experts agree that ceramic bearings are by far superior to steel bearings when it comes to overall quality and the ability to make your skateboard faster.
Ceramic bearings are more durable than steel ones, which is crucial when you are pushing your board beyond its normal limitations.
Quality bearings made from ceramic, like Bones Reds bearings, will provide you with faster acceleration because they are lighter and have less friction than standard bearings.
Although having the best skateboard bearings are a great way to improve skateboard speed, bearing maintenance and adjustments can also help to get your wheels spinning faster.
Taking care of your bearings is not only important in maintaining a quality skateboard, but it can also impact its overall speed. Well-maintained bearings will almost always be faster than bearings that are not maintained.
Some skateboard enthusiasts believe that removing bearing shields can increase speed as well. If you choose to go this route and remove the shields from each bearing, be sure to pay even closer attention to maintaining bearing cleanliness, as the shields act to combat dirt buildup.
Buy New Bearings
Changing out your older bearings for new ones periodically also helps to increase skateboard speed. Old bearings will eventually begin to slow you down. Fresh bearings, on the other hand, will enable you to accelerate to a higher speed more smoothly.
Adjusting the trucks, or specifically the axle, can also have an impact on the speed of your ride. Loose trucks can be great for movement and turning when you are riding slow. However, once your skateboard begins to accelerate beyond 20 mph, trucks can begin to wobble.
Longboards have wider trucks, which help keep the wobbling to a minimum as the speed increases, but it can still occur.
If Speed is what you are after, tightening your trucks can make things much smoother coming down the hill. In keeping a steady axle, you can move in a straight line easier as well, which will also help you accelerate further. Tightening your axle also allows for each wheel to perform its best.
When you are trying to reach the top speed on your skateboard, look at your skateboard wheels. Different wheels, in particular bigger wheels, can be the first step in bringing more speed to your roll.
Small wheels are often very appealing for skateboarders. Most commonly they are great for many styles of tricks and more stylized riding. They are also great for quick bursts of speed. If all you need is short and fast acceleration, these will provide you with what you need. When it comes to reaching sustained top speeds over long periods of time on the other hand, a bigger wheel will prove much faster than a smaller wheel.
When perusing through a parts store for new skateboard wheels, keep your eyes peeled for a larger wheel. Larger wheels may take time to build speed, but once they do they can also reach higher speeds than other wheels.
Bigger wheels will take additional pushing at first to roll faster, but once you speed up it will be easier to reach a higher top speed and build more momentum.
Additionally, since bigger wheels have a larger circumference, they need to spin fewer times than smaller wheels, and this allows for a smoother ride. In other words, although a smaller wheel may accelerate faster with fewer pushes, the ride will be rougher and not as smooth as it would be with a bigger wheel.
Bigger wheels are a great way to help your board reach higher top speeds, but the size isn’t the only thing that matters in selecting a wheel for speed.
A Harder Wheel
When you are seeking top speeds on a typical skateboard, quality hard wheels will surely elevate speed to higher levels than soft wheels. Hard wheels are stronger than softer wheels. It is this strength that allows a harder wheel to handle your weight better, and also makes it possible to push down hills with more momentum.
Softer wheels, on the other hand, will absorb that same weight and energy, thus slowing you down much more than harder wheels.
Hard skateboard wheels can certainly push a board to higher speeds, but harder wheels will also be more sensitive to bumps and vibrations, so it is critical to select your roads wisely.
If you can find harder wheels that are also on the bigger side, like seismic encore wheels for longboards, then you can begin to maximize the speed your skateboard can provide.
Although your skateboard and the accessories you connect to it are key to helping you reach your top speed, the roads and hills you choose for the board are just as crucial when chasing the fastest ride.
When you are going for high speeds, a smooth surface is beneficial for several reasons. First and foremost, a smooth surface is safest. Any rough surface should be avoided, as it takes only the slightest bumps to derail a board when it reaches top speeds.
Smooth surfaces also help to decrease friction. Just as bigger wheels and well-maintained bearings make for a smoother ride, so does selecting the smoothest road with little variation.
Dirt roads should be avoided if it is at all possible. Dirt roads and rough roads will slow the wheels down, adding friction and making it more difficult for the wheels to spin.
Rough surfaces and dirt paths can potentially cancel out all the improvements you make to your board, so be sure to select high-quality paved roads to maximize your improvements.
Steep Straight Hills
A steep hill can be a great asset when it comes to making your skateboard faster. Using your weight and letting gravity takeover is a surefire way to clock faster speeds. Ensuring that the road you choose is straight is also important. Fewer turns allows momentum to build without resistance.
Often hills can have varying weather. It is best to choose a hill that does not face much oncoming wind. Where a downward wind can help push you a few mph closer to a personal record, any opposing wind will act as nature’s break and slow you down over time.
When choosing your perfect road, not only should you look for a smooth road, but also a longer one. Riding the board for a longer distance will allow you to maximize on all the improvements made to your board to reach its highest potential speed.
Once you have the best equipment and the ideal location, the only thing left to improve in order to make your skateboard go faster is your own technique. Although your weight is not something you can always control, your stance and power can be adjusted significantly in order to achieve a desired effect.
Your initial push can make or break how quickly you are able to roll down the hill. Once you reach a certain speed, quality equipment and gravity take over, but your job as a rider is to push as hard as possible to start in order to reach that threshold sooner than later.
Ideally, you will work on pushing off in a straight line and developing a rhythm that allows you to push quickly and reach a power stance before your board takes on extreme speed.
In order for you to reach the highest possible speed on your board safely, you will need to adjust your stance. The stance used most often to achieve top speeds is the tuck stance.
The tuck stance is a strong stance where you keep your body closer to the ground. With your legs about shoulder-width apart, you can tuck into a more squatted position where your back knee essentially touches your front calf.
You then place your arms behind you in most cases, allowing for the least wind resistance, using your arms as balance tools when needed. This requires a strong core on your part, but ultimately makes you more aerodynamic and provides you with safety and control.
By tucking your body into a lower stance, you are decreasing your surface area. This allows you to make yourself more aerodynamic. A taller classic stance, on the other hand, will begin to slow you down as the wheels start spinning faster and faster down the hill.
With so many moving parts, it can be overwhelming to decide where to start in order to make your skateboard faster. Whether you start by checking out a skate shop for new wheels, or by finding the perfect slope, the key is to start.
By combining all of the possible adjustments and methods to increase your skateboard speed, you are certainly going to move faster than you did before. Still, it may be best to make adjustments in increments rather than all at once.
Just as there is a learning curve when learning how to skate, there will be a learning curve in how to maximize each new adjustment in order to maximize its value. As you continue to extend the limits of your board, you can find its maximum speed.
Once you find the limits of your equipment, all you can do from there is look inward. If you make all the adjustments you can to your skateboard and you have found the perfect hill, there is nothing left to hold you back from the fastest skate of your life other than yourself.