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How to Make Skateboard Wheels Slower? – 2 Simple Ways

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

how to make skateboard wheels slower

Maximum skateboard speeds vary based on board parts, setup, and riding environment. Though many of us would like to skate fast, there are times when safety demands we move slowly.

Such situations include riding on a busy street or a road with many potholes and obstacles.

And with that in mind, let me teach you how to make skateboard wheels slower.

What You Need


Reasonably, a majority of skateboarders want their wheels and bearings fast and smooth. But if you ever decide to go the opposite way, here’s what to prepare.

  • T-tool – This tool will help you tighten your wheels to slow them down.
  • A dirt-filled skating spot – The bearings won’t spin as quick once dirt builds up inside them. As bad as it may sound, we’ll skate on dusty ground to stop wheel cores from rolling too smoothly, though I do suggest you clean them afterward.

Slowing Down Skateboard Wheels

To make skateboard wheels spin slow, consider the following methods.

1. Clog the bearings


No, we are not going to spray dirt on the bearings directly. Instead, we will be skating around in places where the wheel cores are more likely to attract debris.

This method will lead to a dirt build-up on the bearings. The process could be faster if you use shield-less wheel cores, though they’re not necessary.

Note that you can’t be skating for hours in the same place. Otherwise, your bearings won’t roll anymore. So, when should you leave that spot? Once you begin feeling the wheels slow down.

If dust doesn’t seem to reduce your wheels’ speed, try applying liquid adhesive on the ball runners. However, it could render the bearings less than functional or make the skateboard so slow it frustrates you.

2. Tighten skateboard wheels


Tight skateboard wheels will reduce speed. So, grab your T-tool, and we will adjust your urethane rollers.

Place your skateboard on a flat surface with one front and one back wheel facing up. Align the tool’s head against the axle nut.

I rotate the tool counter-clockwise to loosen my skateboard wheels. Conversely, turn the skate tool clockwise to tighten the axle nuts.

When you adjust skateboard wheels, ensure that you only make quarter turns. Doing so will help you gauge the best tightness level for your wheels.

Frequently Asked Questions


Why would you want to make skateboard wheels slower?

As mentioned, slow skateboard wheels may have their fair share of good sides. It’s just that not a majority likes such a setup.

Using slow skateboard wheels means there will be sufficient grip between them and the ground. And with such an amount of traction, skaters, especially beginners, won’t find it hard to control the skateboard.

Another benefit of riding slow skate wheels is you get to observe your surroundings better.

Are softer skateboard wheels slower?

Between soft and hard wheels, the latter gets the upper hand in maximum speeds.

If you are a skater using soft wheels and want to improve your speed, sizing up will help. However, they may not be as fast as their rigid counterparts.

Do bearing spacers slow you down?

One of the good things about spacers is they distribute weight to the bearings. These parts sit between bearings and are responsible for aligning these wheel interiors.

But do they slow the skateboard down? Unfortunately, the chances of that are high. Spacers could increase friction against the bearings. And with that setup, the traction will inhibit the wheels from rolling as smoothly as intended.

How To Avoid Over-Tightening Skateboard Wheels

I once tried to tighten the axle nuts almost recklessly, leaving the wheels not spinning on my skateboard.

Now, how do we put the wheels back to life? Rotate the skate tool counter-clockwise like what we discussed above.

But when you perform this step, try to test the wheels every time you adjust them. The indicators of a perfectly tight roller are minimal wiggle on the axle and a free spin with a light push of the hand.

How to make skateboard wheels spin longer

New skateboard bearings are slow? Wheels don’t roll smoothly? Contrary to this tutorial, if you ever decide to come back to the idea of faster skateboards, here are a few tips for you.


Riding a skateboard is more about preference. Whether other skaters like speed or not, what matters is your enjoyment while riding.

To slow down on a skateboard is not bad, as it yields a few valuable benefits. And now that you know how to make skateboard wheels slower, you probably have reasons to try it on your rollers.

The tricks are simple: ride on dirt or adjust your axle nuts. Then, you will appreciate what riding slowly on a skateboard gives you.

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