Longboards are elevated versions of skateboards with more stability and durability. Thus, it is ideal for speed riders and athletic skaters.
Once you learn to ride it, you would want to speed up your rides. The adrenaline rush of high speed in your nerves, the jumps, the bumping against your ramp and the wind against your face; trust me, once the “faster rides” bug bites you, there’s no turning back!
07 Methods To Make Longboards Faster
In my article today, I will be explaining methods of how to go faster on a longboard. Sit back and scroll down to get a definitive answer to all your questions regarding this.
Methods of getting a faster ride:
- Loosen your longboard wheel axle
- Tighten the trucks
- Switch to larger wheels
- Switch to harder wheels
- Change your bearings
- Upgrade your riding
Here are the explained versions of the methods I am suggesting:
Method 1: Loosening the Axle Nuts
The easiest method is loosening the axle nuts of your wheels. If your nuts are too tight, it hinders your wheels from spinning faster. So loosening them a bit is going to help fasten your rides. All you have to do is loosen the nuts around the axle around which the wheels are attached, using a skate tool or wrench. Mind not to loosen too much or the wheels might come off while riding and cause a mishap.
If you face speed wobbles while taking turns, you may try tightening the trucks a bit. It will postpone the wobbling as your board takes on a higher speed.
Method 2: Tightening the Trucks
You can also try tightening your board trucks to make your wheels spin faster. Trucks are the metal parts under your longboard on which the wheels are attached on both sides.
Tighten them using a wrench and go on a test ride and redo if you are not satisfied with the speed. Tightened trucks also make your longboard turn better & eliminates speed wobbling.
Method 3: Switching to Larger Wheels
Large wheels are automatically fast longboard wheels. The physics behind it is, larger or bigger wheels bring more momentum as you ride. They have more diameter and hence cover longer distances with each spin than small wheels.
Mind you, getting wheels will also add height to your board from the ground. You may feel uncomfortable for a few rides but this eases up as you ride more and more.
So yes, try switching to a pair of larger wheels than the ones you already have. It will increase your wheel bite and fasten your rides.
Method 4: Switching to Harder Wheels
Upgrade to high-end harder wheels. If you read my article on How to Determine The Hardness of Your Skating Wheels, you will get an idea.
Harder wheels are usually made with high-quality urethane, a component that increases the resilience as well as your wheels’ ability to surf through rough roads and still manage to deliver a smooth ride.
Softer wheels absorb a lot of bumps against the roads and cracks, stemming more grip to serve the beginners better. As they spin slowly, they cause speed loss.
Pro-riders would want their rides to be speedy and thus we suggest they switch to harder wheels. You can buy wheels ranging from 82A-100A on a Durometer Scale.
However, note that harder wheels might spin faster but the rides may not feel as smooth as the ones with softer wheels as hard wheels absorb less bumps. So the same smooth roads may feel rougher, and rough surfaces may feel very sturdy.
Method 5: Clean & Lubricate
As you surf through mud patches or skate on a rainy day, your longboard bearings and trucks attract muddy sprinkles easily. They get dried later on and become dust particles stuck inside your bearing balls. Similarly, dust from riding on a sandy skatepark, cement sidewalks, or dried leaves also make your bearing unclean.
Over time, all of these cause additional grinding between the steel balls of your bearings and slow you down.
Cleaning & Lubricating goes a long way to keep any motor working, may it be electrical or mechanical. Cleaning up your longboard bearing, nuts & bolts, trucks, and lubricating them with oil or lubes are going to make them spin smoother and faster, resulting in faster rides.
Here are the steps to follow-
Taking out the bearings:
- Screw out your first axle nut the same way you would loosen it. As it comes out, don’t take out the wheel fully & let them stay on the trucks.
- Now swish the wheel a bit and you will feel the first bearing popping out of the wheel. Slide the wheel out of the axle without the bearing.
- Flip the wheel & slide it back into the axle. Swish it again to pop out the second bearing.
- Now you have two bearings out of one wheel on your axle and the wheel in your hand. Repeat the process with your other three wheels.
Cleaning the bearings:
- Use a sharp tool or knife-like head to tear off the bearing covers. You will be able to see the bearing balls with your naked eyes.
- Now pour down a few drops of cleaners in each bearing. You can use alcohol or acetone and wiggle them around so that the drops reach corners.
- You can also try soaking them into cleaner mixed water but that’s for intense cleaning. •The water will turn dark from the dirt of the bearings as they become clean
- Once they are clean, dry them up by putting them on a dry sheet & one by one.
Lubricating The Bearings:
- Lube them with any bearing oil or any lubricant.
- Put a few drops of the selected liquid and turn the bearings around so that it reaches every corner. This will make longboard bearings spin faster.
- Now push the bearing shields back on to cover the bearings again.
Mounting the Wheels:
- Clean your axle bar with a piece of cloth or rug
- Place the first bearing onto the axle and then the wheel. Squeeze gently to pop the bearing inside the wheel.
- Now take the wheel out & flip it and put it onto the axle again. Then put the second bearing and squeeze it inside.
- Repeat steps 2 & 3 for the rest of the wheels.
- The last step is to tighten the axle nuts. Don’t tighten too much or it will fail Method 1
You are all ready to go!
As you are all done mounting your wheels back up, hold your board in front of your eyes and spin the wheels freely. Check if they are spinning faster enough than before. You will feel the difference with a clean and smooth pair of bearings.
Often when you spin the wheels without any weight on top, they might feel smooth. But the real problem arises when you go for a ride and your bearings squeak even after cleaning them.
Which brings you to our method 6.
Method 6: Upgrading Your Bearings
Even after cleaning or lubing your bearings, they aren’t spinning faster or fastening your rides, maybe it’s time to upgrade them. Especially if you bought an average longboard & they came along with it. Replacing your bearings will enhance the performance.
While Germany, Switzerland, Thailand & China are into manufacturing bearings, the best manufacturers are from Germany & Switzerland. While buying new bearings one must look out for the curvature of the bearing. Second comes the cage & if the seals are removable.
If you were a user of steel bearings which often turn rusty due to wet encounters, you may want to try ceramic bearings this time. They might cost you more than steel bearings, but they have heat-resisting components which help them in spinning faster. They last longer though they are very fragile. But all in all, they are the best replacement.
Method 7: Upgrade Your Longboarding Skills
After fulfilling all the demands of your play tool, it’s time to focus on yourself. Be it physically or psychologically, sometimes if the rider isn’t daring to upgrade the skating game, the board isn’t to blame.
- Most of the time, a huge limitation in our minds is the fear of not being able to stop on time. It keeps us from riding faster even if our board is capable of it. Be confident that you are able to brake. It is essential.
- Speed wobbles break your riding game too. Learn to pet them without breaking your speed and have faith in your feet.
- Tucking is an important trick to enhance your game. Even if you are not a fan of bombing steep tracks with your board, learning a personalized tuck position will boost your confidence in speeding up.
- The right protective gears are a must if you want to learn to speed skate fearlessly. A helmet, elbow pads, knee guards will keep you safe from bruises and the burns if you fall. So you don’t fear falling and getting up and keep speeding your longboard.
You can also check this awesome video:
To draw a finishing touch, my article assists you in choosing your suitable method to fasten your longboard. You may want to go step by step or you may try any one of them, until your problem is solved.
Retouching your gears, cleaning and lubing, replacing or upgrading- all works well for speed enhancing. Let us know if you loved our methods & which one helped you the most!