Many variables can slow down the speed of your longboard, but there are simple ways to improve it. Here are some of the most frequent ways to speed up your board, ranging from simple and inexpensive to more involved and costly:
- Remove the axle nuts and loosen them.
- Make sure your bearings are clean and lubricated.
- Invest in new bearings.
- Replace your tires.
- Boost your riding skills.
This is a simple one: if your axle nuts are too tight, your wheels will not spin freely. That could be the cause of your longboard's sluggishness.
You can get your wheels to spin normally again by loosening the nuts a little. Unscrew the bolts just enough to allow for some side-to-side movement. However, don't make them too loose or they'll come off the axle.
If loosening your trucks doesn't help you speed up your longboard, go to the next step.
If your wheels continue to spin slowly after freeing your axle nuts, your bearings may need to be cleaned and lubricated. Dirt collects quickly in your bearings when you ride over wet sidewalks, mud, leaves, and other debris, causing friction and slowing down your longboard over time.
Cleaning your bearings is a straightforward procedure once you learn how to do it, but there is a learning curve the first time you do it. Upgrade your bearings to speed up your board.
If your longboard still seems slow after cleaning and lubing your bearings, you may wish to update your bearings, especially if you're using low-quality bearings that came stock with your ordinary longboard.
Free spinning your longboard wheels without any weight on them is not a good indicator of how quickly it will roll when you ride it. As a result, you can't actually use this test to see if your bearings need to be replaced. If you hear squeaking while riding, you should clean and lubricate your bearings (as described in the preceding section) or replace them.
Although selecting high-quality replacement bearings is a broad topic that is constantly highly disputed, there are a few crucial things to keep in mind:
- Curvature, plastic cage, and detachable rubber seals are the most crucial features of a bearing.
- In the case of longboarding, ABEC ratings are unrelated to bearing quality.
- Only a few high-quality bearing manufacturers exist on the planet.
- Germany, Switzerland, Thailand, and China produce bearings.
- Bearings made in Switzerland and Germany are of the highest quality.
Different wheels and high-quality bearings often contain built-in spacers to make your longboard faster.
We've discussed how improving bearings can help you speed up your longboard. Aside from bearings, the wheels themselves can have a significant impact on how fast your longboard travels. Choosing the fastest wheels for your board might be difficult, so let's go through some of the key features to look for.
Larger wheels spin faster and have less bearing friction than smaller wheels because they cover greater distance with the same amount of spinning. Smaller wheels, on the other hand, accelerate more quickly because they build up momentum faster.
At high speeds, bigger wheels also handle tiny bumps and obstructions better than smaller wheels on rough ground.
To put it another way, if you want to speed up your longboard over tough terrain, aim for bigger wheels — as big as you can without producing wheelbite. Wheelbite is also affected by deck height (mount type, platform drop), shape (cutout / wheel wells), truck tightness, bushing hardness, and washer arrangement, among other factors.
Another important component in speed is wheel hardness (durometer). On road bumps and cracks, softer wheels (e.g. 75A-78A) compress a lot, resulting in better grip but also more speed loss. On flat surfaces, harder wheels (82A or more) have less compression and are therefore faster. Hard very wheels, on the other hand, might cause a jarring ride on rough surfaces, slowing you down.
To summarize, if you want to make your longboard faster on rough pavement and sidewalks, acquire harder wheels, but not too hard. Choose higher rebound wheels for such rough surfaces for comparable reasons.
The center of the wheel
Compression is also less in wheels with larger cores (since wheel core is made of hard material). As a result, they may run faster on smooth surfaces while slowing down on rougher ones.
Unlike traditional skateboarders, longboarders ride on uneven surfaces and rough pavement the majority of the time. Installing larger, medium-hard wheels with small to medium-size cores, which have enough urethane to travel fast and smooth over bumpy roads, is the greatest option to make your longboard quicker.
The particular wheels you choose will be determined by your setup. If you're not sure where to begin, seek for Orangatangs that are the same size as your deck and truck width. For a larger commuter / cruiser board, you may get 70mm Presidents (Amazon).
I'll bring up you, the longboarder, as an example of how to make your longboard quicker. After you've tuned up and updated your longboard, you should focus on improving your longboarding skills:
- Learn to stop at higher speeds: the fear of not being able to stop can be a significant psychological barrier that prevents you from going faster, even if your longboard is capable of doing so. To make progress, you must have faith in your capacity to brake.
- Get the correct protective gear: Another confidence booster that will help you overcome your fear of riding your longboard quicker is to get the right protection gear. Get a helmet, elbow pads, and knee pads (you can actually use the latter to stop by sliding on them), as well as some good quality gloves with pucks if you plan on sliding.
- Improve your speed stance: even if you don't want to bomb steep hills at breakneck speeds, learning to get into a good tuck position on your well-tuned longboard can help you travel faster. More about the tuck stance may be found here and here.
Learn to control speed wobbles: as previously stated, speed wobbles might prevent you from riding your longboard quickly. The emergence of the wobbles is only postponed by tightening your trucks or reducing your truck angles. You must learn to relax and increase the weight on your front truck.
Overall, improving the speed of your longboard isn't difficult; it just requires altering a few components of your setup, notably your wheels and bearings. Using high-quality bearings and cleaning and lubricating them on a regular basis can keep your longboard going smoothly.
It's possible that moving things around will have an affect on the remainder of your setup. If your trucks are small, loose, or excessively turny, if your deck is too low or close to your wheels, etc., bigger wheels may result in increased wheelbite. You should choose your wheels carefully and adjust your trucks or add risers if necessary.
Even if you have an extremely fast and well-tuned setup, your riding abilities may limit how fast you can ride your longboard. Protecting yourself adequately, learning to stop successfully, improving your stance, and learning to deal with speed wobbles are all simple ways to enhance them.