Bones Ceramic Super Reds
- Extremely smooth and fast ride
- Incredibly durable
- Removable Rubber Shield
- Come with a warranty
Bearings are one of the most, if not the most important, part of your longboard. These tiny components dictate the quality of your ride. Depending on the material and quality of longboard bearings, you can have a smooth silent ride or a noisy, choppy nightmare.
Whether you're building a board from scratch or upgrading your old one, a fresh set of high-quality longboard bearings will dramatically improve your riding experience.
The market is chock-full of all kinds of different longboard bearing brands and products, so there's lots of room to experiment. However, the market is also full of all sorts of sub-par and downright bad longboard bearings. That's why we decided to write up this comprehensive review.
In this article, we'll review the 12 best longboard bearings - and we'll teach you everything you need to know about these products.
Top 12 Best Longboard Bearings Reviewed
Here are our top 12 picks for the best longboard bearings of 2023. When choosing the products, we made it a point to include bearings for each price point. This way, we made sure there was something for everyone's budget.
1. Bones Ceramic Super Reds - Best Longboard Bearings Of 2023
The first on our list is Bones Ceramics Super Reds Bearings. With more than 25 years of experience in the skateboard industry, Bones is one of the leaders in the construction of specialty bearings.
Just like all their products, Bones doesn't disappoint with its Super Reds Ceramic Bearings. One of the best things about these bearings is that they don't entirely rely on the ABEC rating.
These longboard bearings feature a removable non-contact rubber shield, so don't worry about having trouble cleaning them. On top of that, Bones Ceramic Super Reds come pre-lubed with speed cream.
Just 30 minutes with Bones Ceramic Super Reds is enough to see why they're worth every penny. The riding experience is incredibly smooth and fast. It will take some time for you to get used to breaking with these ball bearings because of how fast and smooth they are.
Without a doubt, these are some of the best longboard bearings for cruising.
The only downside to these bearings is their price. One set of 16 ball bearings will cost you as much as three dozen other bearings.
2. Bones Reds - Best Longboard Bearings For Cruising
Bones Reds are by far the most popular longboard and skateboard ball bearings for cruising in the world.
The most noticeable feature of these bearings is their super-finished and ground balls and races built out of stainless steel.
Another cool feature of this bearing is the high-speed ball retainer built out of removable nylon. On top of all that, these bearings are guaranteed to last you for years.
Thanks to Bones Bearings' non-contact, removable rubber shield, you won't have to worry about friction. And because Bones Reds Bearings are skate rated, they're able to handle high impacts. So, there's no reason to worry about wearing them out due to four-wheel sliding.
Just like All Bones Bearings, Bones Bearings Reds come pre-lubricated with speed cream.
On top of that, Bones Reds are some of the most affordable bearings on the market. So, no matter your budget, Bones reds are some of the best bearings for speed and cruising.
3. Yellow Jacket Premium Skateboard Bearings - Best Durable Longboard Bearings
Yellow Jacket Premium Bearings for skateboards and longboards are some of the very few quality bearings you can get - without burning a hole in your wallet.
These bearings are built using German techniques, which many consider being the best in the world.
The main feature of these Yellow Jacket Premium bearings is the steel balls - some of the smoothest we've tested. Remember:
The smoother the ball bearings, the smoother and faster the ride.
While testing these bearings, we were dumbfounded by how frictionless they are. No matter how rough the terrain was, the longboard rolled for nearly 25 seconds every time. The ride Yellow Jacket Premium bearings provide is incredibly smooth.
And since they're meant for skateboarding, you can be damn sure they're incredibly durable.
On top of that, these ball bearings come with seven differently colored rubber shields, so you can customize them to match your wheels. Of course, these bearings come pre-lubricated with high-speed race lube; you don't have to do any maintenance work before installing them.
Unfortunately, Yellow Jacket Premium bearings are not the fastest - that's our only complaint.
4. esKape 608-RS Skateboard Longboard Bearings - Best Cheap Longboard Bearings
If you're on a pretty tight budget, consider picking up esKape 608-RS Skateboard Longboard bearings.
Although they're not the most expensive bearings on the market, esKape 608 still has an ABEC rating of 9. That means they handle high RPMs like it's nothing - making them perfect for downhill rides.
These bearings are so cheap because they don't come with a fancy removable rubber shield. Instead, these bearings come with plastic-coated steel shields. That does mean moisture and debris will come in more easily - so, make sure you clean them regularly.
Another reason why they're so cheap is that they make a rattling sound when pushed a bit too far. That's because the races and the retainers don't hold the ball bearing tightly enough.
Thankfully, there's no cause for worry; they won't break because of that.
esKape 608-RS Skateboard Longboard Steel Bearings come pre-lubed with speed cream lubricant, so you don't have to disassemble them before installation. That's always a plus!
5.Bones Swiss Ceramics - Best High-End Longboard Bearing
You can't talk about high-quality bearings without mentioning Bones Bearings - especially Bones Swiss Ceramics. These ceramic bearings do have a high price tag but are worth every penny.
The main feature of the Bones Swiss Ceramics is, of course, their ceramic bearings. The balls are built out of Cerbec ceramic - a lightweight but strong material that promises long-lasting performance.
And thanks to the nylon ball retainers and Bones Speed Cream lubricant, you'll never have to worry about friction.
Bones Swiss Ceramics are also incredibly quiet. With these bearings installed on your longboard, you'll only hear the wind and the sound of the wheels as you cruise down the street.
Of course, just like all Bones bearings, Bones Swiss Ceramics comes with a removable rubber shield for easy maintenance.
These ceramic bearings come with a lifetime warranty - which justifies the high price tag to a degree.
If you want a bearing that will last you for years and provide you with a smooth ride - and have the budget - you can't go wrong with Bones Swiss Ceramic.
6. Heady Shake Pro Skateboard Bearings - Best Longboard Bearing For High-Speed Riding
If you're looking for longboard bearings for high-speed and don't have a lot of money to spend, then you should look into the Heady Shake Pro Bearings.
One of the coolest things about the Heady Shake Pro Bearings is how versatile they are:
They're not just compatible with skateboards and longboards but also with roller skates, inline skates, and even scooters.
The main feature of Heady Shake Pro Bearings is their pre-lubrication. The lubricant used works magic at fending off friction. It's so good that these bearings are almost entirely silent.
The steel balls are protected with a removable rubber shield, so don't worry about any debris gunking the balls up. And thanks to double strengthens nylon ball retainer, the balls are held firmly in place.
Another cool thing about these steel bearings is their load tolerance. Even if you're on the heavy side, these bearings won't crack under the load.
All this is backed up by a money-back guarantee.
The only issue we have with these bearings is that they're not very resistant to moisture. But with good maintenance, you can have them last for years.
7. Zealous Steel Bearings - Best Longboard Bearing For The Money
If you're looking for longboard bearings that provide you with the best bang for the buck, you should consider getting Zealous Steel Bearings.
The best thing about these steel bearings is that they come with built-in speed rings and spacers. That makes installation a breeze - you don't have to worry about losing any of the tiny components.
Furthermore, the Zealous Bearings boast an incredibly low friction level. These steel bearings are pre-lubricated with a special nanoceramic lubricant that fills in the deformations in the steel ball, effectively reducing friction and wear and tear. On top of all this, this lubricant is also incredibly water resistant and washes out very slowly. It will be months before you'll have to clean them up and re-lube them.
Zealous Bearings come with a stylish, green removable rubber shield from both sides, so there's very little room for water and debris to come in.
The only issue with these bearings is finding the right lubricant after the original one has washed out. The original lube is so good that any replacement seems subpar.
8. Oldboy Premium Ceramic Bearings - Best Budget Ceramic Longboard Bearing
If you're interested in ceramic bearings but don't want to spend a fortune, then Oldboy Premium Ceramic Bearings might be the best solution for you.
Oldboy Premium Ceramic Bearings come in a pack of 8 in one of the coolest boxes ever:
They come in a pyramid-shaped box - and you also get a couple of stickers along with the bearings.
The main feature of these bearings isn't the ceramic balls but the lubrication. Oldboy Premium bearings come heavily lubed to ensure there's as little drag as possible. That also means it'll take some time to break them in - but once you do, the ride will be smoother than ever.
The ceramic balls are built out of zirconium dioxide, which is known for its excellent durability. The nylon ball retainer also provides excellent structural support and ensures these bearings don't fly out from the races due to high pressure and loads.
These bearings are also incredibly versatile, and you can also use them on scooters, roller skates, and skateboards.
9. Bones Super Swiss 6 - Best High-End Longboard Bearings For High Speed
Bones made known that they don't joke around when it comes to ABEC rating. The proof of this is the Bones Super Swiss 6 bearings.
If you're a professional who's looking for high speed and power, unmatched strength and acceleration, then these are the best bearings for you.
The construction of the Bones Super Swiss 6 bearings is incredibly unique. While most other longboard and skateboard bearings come with seven balls, Super Swiss bearings come with six large steel balls. Although the steel used in their construction is the same as in other Bones Swiss products, the ride is much smoother and faster due to the larger diameter of steel balls.
Everything on these bearings is designed to provide you with greater strength and speed, including the nylon ball retainer and lubrication.
On top of all this, these bearings are capable of withstanding ungodly amounts of punishment - and still perform flawlessly.
That's why these bearings come at a higher-than-usual price, though.
10. Bronson Speed Co. G3 Bearings - Best Affordable Bearings For High Speed
Bronson Speed Co. bearings are quickly earning a positive reputation for their speed. This company doesn't stop pushing the envelope when it comes to the best bearings for longboarding and skateboarding.
The G3 is their mid-tier bearing that features large, deep-cut raceway channels. This design allows the ball bearings to ride deeper in the races, increasing lateral stability.
And that means that the ride is much smoother and more stable than with most other longboard bearings.
Unlike ultra-polished races in other bearings, the raceway surfaces in G3 bearings have microgrooves that hold lube and reduce drag. The glass-filled nylon ball retainer also features the same groves, eliminating the problematic wave of lube in front of the balls.
These bearings feature a non-friction removable rubber shield and an exposed cage on the other side.
The Bronson Speed Co. G3 bearings have proven themselves to be incredibly long-lasting. They retain their smooth and fast feel after months of constant use - all thanks to innovative design.
11. Bones Bearings Super Reds - Best Steel Bearings For High Speed
When it comes to bearings, Bones is never short of impeccable products. If you ask us, the Super Reds are a significant improvement from the regular Reds.
Of course, this improvement comes at a slightly higher price tag.
When you try them out, you will feel the difference in speed, acceleration, and precision. On top of all that, these bearings have an incredibly short break-in period.
A few short rides around the block will be more than enough to release their full potential.
These are some of the most durable bearings on the market due to their six-ball design. The balls in these bearings are a bit bigger, which makes them a bit more durable.
One thing many longboarders will appreciate is how easy these bearings are to assemble and install. Everything pops into place quickly, easily, and without much hassle.
Unfortunately, the Bones Bearings Super Reds don't come with any spacers or washers. Unless you have spares lying around, you'll have to buy them separately.
12. Fireball Dragon Precision Bearing - Best Versatile Longboard Bearings
The Jart skateboard deck stands out with its striking multi-color design with the famous logo in the middle. It is constructed using 100% hard rock Canadian maple wood with a 7-layer design, resulting in a very durable board.
Integrated eco friendly 2XS glue in the skateboard deck’s construction provides reliable strength and a lasting pop. Between this and the low concave shape of the deck, you get enough confidence to pull off tricks in the air without risking injury.
At 31.85 x 8.25 inches, there is enough surface area on the deck to plant your feet firmly while riding. Overall, the skateboard deck is sturdy enough to cope with frequent use and the standard popsicle shape makes it a great choice for beginners.
It also comes with free grip tape to enhance your stability on the board and the subtle yet charming graphics will endear to any skateboard lover. Another thing is that the skateboard deck is reasonably priced, so if you have a limited budget, this will be a good brand.
Tipping the scales at 6.61 pounds, the skateboard deck is heavier than most of the other options in our review. All in all, it is a great eco friendly product that will serve both beginner and intermediate boarders.
Choosing Your Longboard Bearings: Buyer's Guide
When looking for the best longboard bearings for your needs, there are quite a few factors you need to be aware of to ensure you're getting the right thing. If you follow the reviews blindly, you could end up buying a set of bearings that'll make your riding experience worse.
The three key longboard bearing factors you should keep in mind are:
- ABEC scale
Besides these three, there is a whole slew of other factors, and we'll discuss them all. But, before we get into the nitty-gritty details, let's start with a short history lesson.
How Modern Skateboard And Longboard Bearings Came To Be & How They Work
The current, standard skateboard bearing came into being in 1974, when Santa Cruz merged with Road Rider wheels, the brainchild of one Anthony Roderick.
These wheels utilized precision bearings instead of the old, loose-bearing design - and skateboarding changed forever.
Urethane and precision bearings combined to make skateboards faster, more responsive, and more comfortable to ride than clay or steel wheels and loose bearings ever could.
How Do Longboard Bearings Work?
All bearings - not just longboard and skateboard bearings - have four components. Bearings are just metal or ceramic balls that roll along a track.
The track consists out of two steel rings. These steel rings are called races - and there's an inner and an outer one. The inner race is the part of the bearing assembly that makes contact with the longboard axle. The outer race is a bit larger in diameter and has a groove cut on its inner section.
The steel balls, aka bearings, roll on the races and are held in place by a cage that keeps them at a precise distance from each other.
All this rolling causes friction between the balls and the races, leading to a lot of wear and tear. That's why you must regularly lubricate the bearing assembly.
How To Pick The Best Longboard Bearings For Your Needs
Now that you're a bit more familiar with how longboard and skateboard bearings came to be and how they work, let's get into the essential factors you need to keep in mind when purchasing the suitable model for your needs.
Longboard bearing shields are the walls of the bearing assembly. They serve as a barrier that prevents dirt and debris from the road from getting inside and gunking everything up.
When you consider how much dust, water, and mud you encounter when riding a longboard, you should realize how important bearing shields are.
Metal And Rubber Longboard Bearing Shields
When it comes to building materials, bearing shields come in two types: rubber and metal. Some longboard bearings come with rubber-coated metal shields, and some come with plain metal shields.
Depending on the brand, some metal shields are removable while some aren't. Most cheap bearings have non-removable shields.
Rubber shields, on the other hand, are removable - no matter how cheap the bearings are. They're also easier to remove and clean.
Keep in mind that both types of shields let some moisture and debris inside. So, don't forget to clean and lube your bearings every once in a while.
Labyrinth Longboard Bearing Shields
Labyrinth shields are a type of metal shields that have a seat in a groove on the races. This design eliminates the gap and the shield, making it better at keeping moisture and debris out.
Unfortunately, this causes a bit more friction than using bearings with regular shields - but it's negligible in most cases.
All precision bearings can handle thousands of RPM easily, which is much faster than any longboard can travel. Quite a few popular bearing brands have adopted this shield design, including Bronson and Bones Swiss Bearings.
Everything You Need To Know About The ABEC Rating
The American Bearing Manufacturers Association, or ABMA for short, is the nation's leading group of bearing makers. The Annular Bearing Engineering Committee is an arm of the ABMA that sets the standards for how durable bearing assemblies should be.
Any bearing can be rated from ABEC 1 to ABEC 9. The tolerances get tighter and tighter as the ABEC rating increases.
Tolerances include allowed variance in the depth of the race and dimensions and their roundness, runout, taper - and much more.
ABEC 1 To 3
Although they're low on the rating ladder, ABEC 1 to 3 bearings are still pretty precise. These bearings are commonly used in electric motors and motor vehicles. Most cheap longboard bearings will have an ABEC rating of at least 3.
ABEC 5 to 9
The bearings in this ABEC bracket fall into a category of high and ultra-precision bearings. These types of bearings don't handle loads any better than those from the lower brackets. However, they do handle those loads better at higher RPM.
These bearings are commonly used in medical equipment and precision machining tools.
What Does ABEC Rating Mean For Longboards?
Bearings with high ABEC ratings are meant for high-speed applications. Any bearing with an ABEC rating of 5 or higher is intended for high RPM applications, which far exceed even the fastest downhill riding speeds. Their precision begins to drop off as the axial loads increase - like when you go into four-wheel slides.
Does ABEC Rating Even Matter?
When it comes to longboarding, ABEC rating matters - and does not matter, at the same time. Here's the thing:
ABEC ratings matter when you're comparing different bearing models from the same manufacturer. What's more important than the ABEC rating are the bearing materials, though.
Commonly, longboard and skateboard bearings with lower ABEC ratings will be on the cheap side. They may run just as smoothly as those with a higher rating - but they will wear out sooner.
A higher ABEC rating indicates smoother operating components, especially at high RPM. These benefits will slowly decrease over time with wear, which means you'll have to replace your longboard bearings sooner.
Unless you're building a jet-powered longboard, getting a set of bearings with an ABEC 3 rating will be more than enough for a smooth ride.
Longboard Bearing Material
The second most important factor when choosing ideal longboard bearings for your need is the bearing material.
Bearings can be built out of three different materials:
Although most longboard and skateboard bearings tout they're built out of space-age materials, most of them are made out of good old steel. In most cases, the entire bearing assembly is built out of steel.
Although you might think steel bearings will be prone to corrosion, they're actually quite resilient. In fact, many high-quality skateboard bearings are built out of this material.
Some components that were traditionally built out of steel are now being replaced with synthetic materials. Because of this, you'll encounter many longboard bearings with plastic cages and rubber shields.
Ceramic bearings are still primarily built out of steel. The only ceramic component in this type of bearing would be the balls:
Ceramic balls are much better than steel ones because they're much smoother, and they don't expand with heat - meaning there's less friction.
Ceramic bearings don't require a lot of lube, and they don't rust. On top of that, thanks to their harness, they also pulverize any intruding debris and clean and polish the races as you use them.
Lubrication is another critical factor you'll have to consider when looking for the best longboard bearings for your needs. The lube you should use has to be capable of reducing friction as much as possible.
Minimizing friction will make your ride much smoother - and even a bit faster.
When it comes to your lube options, you have two - nano-ceramic grease and speed cream.
Both are equally good; it depends on your preference. Keep in mind that there's no lubricant specially designed for longboarding.
So, pick an option that you think works best for you.
Pre-Lubed Longboard Bearings
Most longboard and skateboard bearings come pre-lubricated out of the box. Some are lubricated with speed cream and some with nano-ceramic cream.
We recommend you buy pre-lubricated longboard bearings because that saves you the hassle of disassembling and lubing everything. You can hit the road straight away!
Here we are at the end; all that's left is to declare a winner.
If you ask us, the best bearings you can buy for your longboard are the Bones Ceramic Super Reds. Yes, they do cost a lot - but the quality you're getting justifies the price completely.
What if you're on a budget? Well, you can't go wrong with Bones Reds. These bearings have been a staple for skating and longboarding for many years now. For a relatively low price, you're getting high-quality bearings that will last you for months and even years - if you maintain them properly, of course.