How to Skateboard Faster

One of the best feelings about riding a skateboard is the speed factor. It’s also what makes a skateboard or a longboard a fun form of transportation. 

However, learning to skateboard at a higher speed can be difficult for beginners and many skaters are unaware of the proper skateboard wheels or best skateboards for skating above average speed. 

Today, all that changes. 

In this article, you’ll learn everything there is to learn about How to Skateboard faster: 

  • Which Skateboard Wheels help you go faster?
  • Which Skateboards are the fastest?
  • Tips on How To Skateboard Faster

Need help understanding these skateboard terms? Check out our glossary on skate terminology to help get you up to speed… literally.

Now let’s have fun and GOSKATE!

Which Skateboard Wheels help you go faster?

When it comes to learning how to ride your skateboard faster, the first thing you need to think about are the wheels. However, with several different wheel options available we need to know which wheels actually help you go faster.

The different types of wheels are: 

  • Bigger Wheels
  • Smaller Wheels
  • Softer Wheels
  • ​Harder Wheels
  • Longboard & Cruiser Wheels

Bigger Wheels : Bigger the better? Well not exactly. While bigger wheels will help you get over cracks easier and ride more smoothly through rougher terrain like asphalt, bigger wheels are also much heavier. Bigger wheels, as you will read in this article, vary on material also. 54mm and up are generally considered larger wheels; combining the mm size with the material used are the main factors which impact weight, performance and speed.

Smaller Wheels: Smaller wheels can help with your flat ground tricks or even learning how to skate curbs, but they are not always the best option if you want to skate faster. Wheels from 48mm-51mm are generally considered smaller wheels and thus, require smaller trucks. While smaller wheels and smaller trucks make your board lighter, a lighter board also generates less momentum. Smaller wheels, while can help you with technical skateboard tricks, can make skating in the crusty streets a bit harder and slower. 

Softer Wheels : Softer wheels are really all about preference when it comes to your first skateboard. However, depending on what you skate you might also prefer softer wheels when it comes to speed. Softer wheels are great for skate parks or cement skate ramps but you will suffer in terms of speed in the street skateboard sense or on other surfaces. Really, having softer wheels or harder wheels won’t have the biggest impact on a regular skateboard. Just make sure the wheels are high quality. 

Harder Wheels : Harder wheels are generally considered the faster of the wheels. However, not every skateboard can have hard wheels. Electric skateboards, longboards and other cruiser skateboards generally need softer wheels to better grip the ground and avoid slippage. But since most skateboarders, even with their first skateboard, aspire to do tricks and ride up and down ramps. Generally, harder wheels allow you to manipulate the board more but in terms of long distance speeds or commuting on your skateboard, you may want to opt for softer wheels. 

Longboard Wheels or Cruiser Wheels: Longboard or cruiser wheels are a category in their own right. Essentially, longboards and cruiser boards will have special wheels that are 65mm and larger, with softer, grippy wheels. These are the fastest wheels you can have to reach the fastest speeds on a skateboard. However, these wheels are only for commuting or long distance and are not skate park or street skating friendly. Depending on your goals, you should avoid or embrace these wheels.

Which Skateboards are the fastest?

There might be some debate on whether or not some of the skateboards on this list are actual skateboards. Many skaters believe in order for a skateboard to be a skateboard, you must pedal to ride the board. 

In our experience, some skaters want to skate an array of skateboards, so we’re going to include every major category for you to consider when it comes to which skateboards are the fastest. 

Here’s a quick list of the different types of skateboards (pun intended): 

  • Regular Skateboard
  • Longboard or Cruiser 
  • Downhill Skateboard
  • Electric Skateboard

Regular Skateboard: A regular skateboard is a normal popsicle shaped shortboard, usually ranging from 7.5” to 8.5” with a 52mm wheel. These boards generally go as fast as the skater is able to make them go, varying in the skill they have and the obstacle skated on. These boards generally go from single digit MPH to rarely over 15 mph. 

Longboard or Cruiser: Longboard and cruiser skateboards are generally much faster than regular skateboards as they are designed for long distance commuting. However, the speed factor might be great but you can’t generally do skateboard tricks like the ollie or kickflip.

Downhill Skateboard: The world record for the fastest skateboard speed was set on a downhill skateboard. These skateboards are specifically designed to reach high speeds and are generally not ridden by the general skate public because of the injuries to this type of competition skating with speeds upwards of 40mph. However the fastest skateboard speed ever recorded was in 2017 by downhill skater Peter Cononolly, at an incredible 91.17 mph. WOW!

Electric Skateboard: Electric skateboards will always be at the center of debate around core skate culture. Many skaters refused to skate a board they personally do not generate the momentum for, but these electric chariots can be extremely fun and fast. Some reach 25mph very easily and can flirt with 30 even 40 mph.

Tips on How To Skateboard Faster

The secret is really in the skateboard bearings.

While skateboard wheels and the different types of skateboards are major factors in determining skateboard speed, it’s the different types of bearings that make the largest difference. Imagine the skateboard being the car but the bearings being the engine.

Bearings are determined by abec number and quality: the higher the number the faster the bearings. Abec 3’s are the lowest while the rare Abec 9s are the highest. However most skaters will skate abec 5 on a budget or abec 7 as a happy affordable medium.  

You can shell out $80 for a pair of Bone Swiss, the highest quality bearings on the market or the comparable Bones Reds bearings; which are only $22-$32 dollars. The important thing to know is you have options and based on these options you can produce a skateboard with faster or slower wheels.

For instance, a longboard wheel with abec 3’s won’t skate as fast as a larger softer wheel with abec 7s since abec 3’s are generally made with low quality materials. 

Your skateboard skills have a ton to do with how to skateboard faster.

Obviously, the skateboard you’re riding and the equipment you’ve chosen is going to have a huge impact on the skateboard speed you’re able to hit, but in reality you have to also have the skills to help you skateboard faster. 

This is precisely why we recommend you book a one-on-one skate lesson with a GOSKATE instructor, who can show you the proper tools to learn how to skateboard faster. 

Some of these tools are as simple as becoming comfortable with crouching down, to more complex pumping rituals or center of gravity hacks only lifelong skaters have learned. 

Slow is smooth, smooth is fast. 

Learning how to skateboard faster is literally about momentum and projection, so avoid things that keep you off your board or have you falling off. Heading to your nearest skatepark and attempting to drop in on the biggest ramp doesn’t mean much if you can’t produce the pumping to continue your momentum. 

So while we’re hoping to achieve a new top speed, we have to keep in mind it’s going to be a while before we’re breaking a world record. We also need to have proper pedaling form; this means avoiding the mongo pedal and having proper back foot and front foot placement.

Head over to our videos section to see how to properly stand on your skateboard in our mastering of skateboarding fundamentals or speak with a local skate instructor today!

Regular Skateboard: A regular skateboard is a normal popsicle shaped shortboard, usually ranging from 7.5” to 8.5” with a 52mm wheel. These boards generally go as fast as the skater is able to make them go, varying in the skill they have and the obstacle skated on. These boards generally go from single digit MPH to rarely over 15 mph. 

Longboard or Cruiser: Longboard and cruiser skateboards are generally much faster than regular skateboards as they are designed for long distance commuting. However, the speed factor might be great but you can’t generally do skateboard tricks like the ollie or kickflip.

Downhill Skateboard: The world record for the fastest skateboard speed was set on a downhill skateboard. These skateboards are specifically designed to reach high speeds and are generally not ridden by the general skate public because of the injuries to this type of competition skating with speeds upwards of 40mph. However the fastest skateboard speed ever recorded was in 2017 by downhill skater Peter Cononolly, at an incredible 91.17 mph. WOW!

Electric Skateboard: Electric skateboards will always be at the center of debate around core skate culture. Many skaters refused to skate a board they personally do not generate the momentum for, but these electric chariots can be extremely fun and fast. Some reach 25mph very easily and can flirt with 30 even 40 mph.

Zane Foley

Zane Foley has been writing professionally since 2014, since obtaining his BA in Philosophy from the California State University, Fullerton. Zane is an avid skateboarder and Los Angeles native. Follow him on Instagram for links to his other published works. @zaneyorkfly

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