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Which Way Do Skateboard Bearings Face? – A Beginner’s Guide

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

which way do skateboard bearings face

Changing a skateboard’s parts does not always call for the help of a skate store attendant or a professional. Sometimes, you only need some confidence and sufficient knowledge to help you unlock these skills in skateboard maintenance.

And because confusion may remain part of the process, it’s pretty normal to ask questions like, “which way do skateboard bearings face?” or “how tight should my wheels be?”

As a rule, the colored rubber shields of these wheel cores should face out. Keep reading as I share significant concepts in bearing installation.

The Purpose of Ensuring the Bearing Shield Faces Out


Some bearings in skateboard wheels come with shields on both sides, others come one-sided, and some have none. But if there’s a presence of shielded wheel cores, it’s to keep the insides clean.

If you happen to have bearings with at least one shield, then the chances of dirt getting into the balls of these parts are slim on the ground that these shields face down.

Suppose your wheel cores have double-sided shields. Your next concern would probably be which side to use as exteriors.

Which Way Do Bearings Go on a Skateboard


We often see colored shields when looking at skateboard wheels and bearings from one side. But little do some riders know that these wheel cores usually do not come with the same colored shields on the other side.

As mentioned, these colored bearing guards should face out when installing bearings. But that is only a general rule. Let’s answer a few questions to clear things out.

  • What if I got both shields colored?

In this case, we need to check which brand you are using. Let’s say you have a set of G3 Bronson bearings. These come with shields on both sides, but one side has a black and orange combination.

If you ask professionals and other experienced skateboarders, they’ll say you have to put the one with the black and orange accent out.

The key in instances like these is simply checking the product’s instructions or gathering information from others on the best practices.

  • What about Swiss bearings?

Besides color, some shields differ in form. Some double-shielded wheel cores are flat on one and curved on the other side. If you ever encounter these and both are of the same color, use the flat side as the bearing’s face.

Nevertheless, no evidence proves that there are one direction bearings should always face for exceptional results. So, if you ever bought a set of double-shielded bearings with identical ball covers, you can install them with either side facing out.

  • What if I used a shield-less bearing?

Ball bearings on wheels come with a cage, a retainer, and inner and outer races. Whether the wheel core has a shield, these parts are present.

Retainers expose the balls of the bearings on one side only. And this side is what should face out when you install skateboard bearings.

Note that shieldless bearings are not an absolute downgrade for your skateboard. These components come with chemicals that prevent trapping dirt no matter the penetration on the bearings.

Moreover, several known brands produce this bearing type with impact and force resistance. So, it’s still an added benefit on your end.

Friendly Tip

No matter the bearings you use, you still have to consider the overall performance of the skateboard. From there, you will know what you need.


Skateboard bearings play a vital role in maintaining the rider’s speed and precision. And knowing how to install and care for them is an added benefit for you and the skateboard itself.

So, now that you know the answer to the question, “which way do skateboard bearings face?” you can finally be more confident installing and riding with them. Remember, when there are shields, let them face out.

If you have more questions, kindly leave them in the comments section. Thank you for reading!

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