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Why is One of My Skateboard Wheels Spin Slow? – 9 Common Causes

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

why is one of my skateboard wheels spin slow

One of the worst nightmares a skateboarder could ever experience is a sluggish skateboard. It does not only lead to subpar rides. It could also be exhausting, since we’ll often try to push the board harder and harder.

In these instances, the wheels could be the primary antagonist. And if you happen to experience this, you are probably asking, “why is one of my skateboard wheels spin slow?” Keep reading this article as we tackle this issue and how to counter it.

Causes of Slow-spinning Wheels and Their Remedies

The number of issues for why new skateboard wheels won’t spin may be overwhelming. But don’t worry. We have ideal solutions you can perform even without professional assistance. Let’s get into each one of them.

1. Overly tight wheels


Are your skateboard wheels slow because of tight hardware? As with the trucks, we also rotate the axle pin nuts to tighten the wheels.

However, not all of us get the right balance of looseness and security, leading to overly tight axle nuts that compress the wheels and bearings, preventing them from moving freely.

So, as a solution, grab a skate tool or a wrench. Loosen skateboard wheels through the truck axle nuts by rotating the tightener counter-clockwise. The goal is to get the wheels spinning freely for around 20 seconds.

2. Dirty bearings

The bearings are the soul of the skateboard wheels. And while dirt penetrating these parts is inevitable, we should always take time to clean them. Otherwise, no smooth ride happens.

Some skaters resort to buying a new set of bearings, especially if the ball runners rust, but that could be costly. Don’t let your bearings stay wet for too long, or corrosion will happen.

If you see dirt, gunk, and moisture on them, here’s what to do.

  • Take off skateboard wheels from the trucks. Remove the shields of the bearings and set them aside.
  • Soak the bare wheel cores in isopropyl alcohol or a nail polish remover for at least 15 minutes.
  • Dry and gently rub the bearings on a dry towel to ensure all liquid is out.
  • Lubricate skateboard wheels using a silicone lubricant.
  • Put the shields back, and your bearings are now clean.

3. Wrong wheel type

We know that the reason skateboard wheels differ is to make them suit specific riding environments and setups. Forcing a cruiser wheel to work on a skate park will only make you look clueless.

In a nutshell, skateboard hard wheels are for technical skating, parks, and tricks. On the other hand, low-durometer or smooth skateboard wheels work for cruising over rough surfaces.

Besides the hardness, certain sizes should fit specific riding styles only. Large wheels at 60mm to 70mm are the most comfortable for cruising around. Rollers with a 56mm size work for tricks, technical skating, and beginner skaters.

4. Damaged Trucks


The trucks link the deck to the wheels. They translate your movements to the response of the rollers. So, if you ride with a pair of damaged trucks, you need to take care of them first to adjust skateboard wheels.

It’s rare to have the trucks damaged, but possible conditions are bent axles and impaired hangers.

Can we straighten these parts so they go back to normal? Or can hangers be restored?

Unfortunately, a repair is not worth the gamble in this case. Let’s consider having the trucks replaced.

5. Cheap skateboard

Does your new skateboard not go far as expected? You might have bought a cheap one.

Spending on a pricey skateboard or one with an above-average price often earns you better durability and longevity. On the other hand, buying a cheap skateboard can lead to low-quality parts and leave the wheels not spinning well.

While parts of a cheap board are replaceable, getting a complete skateboard with bearings, trucks, and a quality deck is still a better option. This way, you would not have to spend much time changing or repairing components.

6. Improper pushing

Your body movements translate into skateboard motions. That means they could be one reason your wheels won’t spin longer.

So, when riding the board, remember the essential pushing position: knees bent, front foot angled over the front truck bolts, and back foot over the rear truck.

Others also argue that pushing mongo has drawbacks. This is when the skater uses only his front foot to push the skateboard. Yes, doing so can help you accelerate, but it has stability issues.

7. Wrong bearings

Besides the wrong wheels, we might also be using inappropriate bearings. Let’s face it. There is a chance that new skateboard bearings are slow because not all wheel core brands have the same riding smoothness, acceleration, and precision.

So, what bearings brand will make skateboard wheels faster? Our top picks would be Bones and Bronson.

Another consideration when picking skateboard bearings is their suitability. If you want wheels for cruising, choose bearings that fit such a style.

8. Absence of speed washers

Speed washers are the thin rings that sit outside each wheel bearings. They are not there to make your skateboard move too fast, but these thin discs prevent friction between the bearings and the axles, thus keeping them from wearing out.

Most skateboards not having speed washers are cheap ones. So, if yours doesn’t have them, remember that they sit on the axle pin first before the wheel and the axle nut.

9. Damaged wheels


The wheels deal with most of the friction from the ground or your skating surface. Undoubtedly, they will always be susceptible to wearing out and gradual shrinkage.

One of the ways to prevent hastening these adverse effects on the wheels is to swap their positions. However, if you see the wheel significantly reduced in size, it’s time to have it replaced.


The slowing down of skateboards is inevitable. But that does not mean we can’t counter it. And with the wheels being where this issue manifests, we must know how to identify problems relating to these parts and solve them.

Hopefully, you’re no longer asking “why is one of my skateboard wheels spin slow?”

Is the issue on the trucks, bearings, wheels, or with you? It’s time to find out.

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