The Best Skateboard Bearings in Australia [2019]

SkateDeluxe

Author: The Adventure Lab Staff

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You’d think choosing something like some small stainless steel balls inside a casing would be an easy task right?

Like it or not, skateboard bearings play just as significant role in the performance of a set-up as your wheels, trucks, and deck. They assist with speed, meaning less pushing and shorter run ups for tricks. They also contribute to the smoothness of your ride, allowing you to spend more time and energy concentrating on your skating. But which bearings are the best?

After the summary table below, we discuss the key things to look out for when choosing your skateboard bearings, followed by reviews of the best bearings on the market.


iMAGE
PRODUCT
OUR #1 RATED
Bones Ceramic Reds Bearings 8 Pack Set
OUR #1 RATED

Bones Super Reds Ceramic 

  • Lighter and faster
  • Higher quality steel races
  • Super durable and long-lasting    
  • Pre-lubricated with Speed Cream  


Bronson Raw Bearings 

  • Fast out of the box
  • Long lasting and low maintenance
  • Unique sound


Bones Swiss Bearings - Single Set

Bones SWISS Skateboard Bearings 

  • Proven quality
  • Made in Switzerland       to Bones’ exceptionally high quality standards
  • Pre-lubricated with         speed cream  


Bones Super Reds Bearings 8 Pack set

Bones Super Reds 

  • Higher quality steel races
  • Higher grade balls
  • Superior surface finish
  • Pre-lubricated with Speed Cream


Bones Reds Precision Skate Bearings

Bones REDS Skateboard Bearings 

  • From the makers of Bones Swiss, incorporating similar technology and precision
  • Affordable     

What Makes Good Skateboard Bearings? 

Materials

The most common materials bearings are made from are:

  • Steel - cheap, entry level bearings

  • Stainless Steel - extremely resistant to rust and roll smoother than steel

  • Ceramic - rust resistant and harder than steel with improved durability, lighter weight, and faster speed

Most skaters use stainless steel bearings as they provide a good balance of performance, durability, and price. However, which is right for you will largely depend on your budget.

ABEC Ratings: Not As Important as You Think

Bearings often come with an ABEC rating, which is measured in odd numbers from 1 to 9. ABEC stands for Annual Bearing Engineers Committee, a group established to measure tolerances and specifications for the size and geometric accuracy of bearings from manufacturers from around the world. The higher the rating, the higher the level of precision.

However, as discussed in detail here, and in the video below, the rating really isn’t relevant for skateboard bearings, and while for the longest time skaters have placed huge emphasis on the ABEC rating, it just doesn’t matter that much. This is why new skateboard bearings brands like Bronson ignore choose to omit reference to ABEC ratings altogether.

Bearings Buyers Guide Video 

If you’re looking for more information, check out the great buyers guide video below from Skate Deluxe:


Skateboard Bearing Reviews 

#1 ​​Bones Super Reds Ceramic 

TOP PICK

Bones Ceramic Reds Bearings 8 Pack Set

BUY AT amazon

Take the proven quality and performance of Bones Super Reds and upgrade the bearing material to ceramic and you have what could be the fastest, most consistently high performing skateboard bearings on the market.

With less friction than their stainless steel counterparts, the bearings spin faster and for longer, even without lubricant.

Completely rust resistant and self-polishing, these ceramic bearings also have an incredible life span, meaning you’ll need to replace them much less frequently than regular bearings.

Pros
  • Lighter and faster
  • Higher quality steel races
  • Super durable and long-lasting            
  • Pre-lubricated with Speed Cream        
cons
  • Very expensive                                                                                                                                          

#2 ​​​​Bronson Raw Bearings 

BUY AT surfstitch

The new kids on the block in the world of bearings, Bronson have recently been taking the scene by storm.

Uniquely, the Bronson Raws are shieldless bearings. This seems to fly in the face of everything we know about skate bearings, namely that the shields protect the bearings from dirt and dust, reducing wear, tear and rust, and prolonging their life.

However, these bearings have been put through their paces and people only have positive things to say about them, with most skaters praising not only their speed, but also their long-lasting durability. We think it is likely to have something to do with Bronson’s tungsten coated races, a micro-thin dry lubricant coating, that is designed to be fast, slick and non-stick to minimise friction.

Pros
  • Fast out of the box

  • Long lasting and low maintenance

  • Unique sound                                                                                                         

cons
  • More expensive than other stainless steel options                                                        

3. ​​Bones SWISS Skateboard Bearings 

Bones Swiss Bearings - Single Set

BUY AT Amazon

The Crème de la crème of skateboard bearings, Bones Swiss have been the favourite of pro skaters for decades.

Super fast with almost zero break in period, these bearings feature a high speed nylon ball retainer that provides added strength and speed. They are also pre-lubricated with Speed Cream racing lubricant.

Unfortunately this level of performance comes at a cost, with Swiss bearings being some of the most expensive on the market.

Pros
  • Proven quality
  • Made in Switzerland to Bones’
  • exceptionally high standards
  • Pre-lubricated with speed cream        
cons
  • Expensive                                                        

#4 ​Bones Super Reds 

best value

Bones Super Reds Bearings 8 Pack set

BUY AT amazon

Arguably the best value bearings on the market, Bones Super Reds deliver superior performance at an affordable price point.

An evolution from the famous Bones Reds, Super Reds are built with higher quality steel races, better quality and grade balls, and a superior surface finish. They are also quieter, smoother, and more durable than their little brother.

Pros
  • Higher quality steel races
  • Higher grade balls
  • Superior surface finish
  • Pre-lubricated with Speed Cream        
cons
  • More expensive than standard Reds                                                     

#5 ​​Bones REDS Skateboard Bearings 

Bones Reds Precision Skate Bearings

BUY AT Amazon

An excellent mid-range option and some of the most popular bearings on the market, bones-reds are famous for being super quick from their first skate.

These are Bones best selling bearings because they offer performance very close to the level of Bones Swiss but at a much more affordable price point.

Durable, reliable, high-performing and affordable, it’s hard to go wrong with Bones Reds.

Pros
  • From the makers of Bones Swiss, incorporating similar technology and precision
  • Affordable                                          
cons
  • A slight sacrifice on performance vs higher grade Bones bearings                                                       


verdict

At the end of the day, the best bearings for you are going to come down to your personal preference and budget.

If we could just skate one set of bearings we’d go with the incredible Bones Super Reds Ceramics, offering superior long-lasting performance. However, it’s hard to go wrong with any of the options on this list.


Frequently Asked Questions 

How to remove skateboard bearings? 

You’d think this would be an easy task, but almost every beginner skater will struggle with removing their bearings to start with.

As displayed in the great video below, the best method is using the axle on your truck and gently prying the bearing casing from the wheel. If that doesn’t work, you’re best bet will be investing in a skate tool designed to help with working with your skate hardwear.

How do you clean skateboard bearings? 

Once you have your bearings removed from the wheels, carefully remove the shields from the bearings using a small, sharp blade.

Rinse the bearings into your acetone cleaning solution (take care and wear appropriate protection). Remove the bearings from the solution, dry them out, then apply lubricant.

Described in detail in the video below:

What are the best longboard bearings? 

There’s no difference between skateboard and longboard bearings, so everything in the article above applies to longboards as well. However, as discussed in depth in this ar​​​​ticle, longboards need spacers, and there are longboard specific bearings that come complete with built in spacers.

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