ABEC 9 bearings for skateboards are widely considered among the majority of skateboarders as the best skateboard bearings on the market. Contrary to popular belief, this is not always true. ABEC 9 bearings may be some skateboarders' dream come true, but how many actually know what ABEC 9 skateboard bearings actually are?
Even though ABEC 9 bearings definitely have their fair share of advantages, they do have a few negatives as well. In this article we are going to discuss everything you need to know about ABEC 9 skateboard bearings, including what they actually are and what sets them apart from others, where to buy them, the trusted brands that make them, and of course the almighty pros and cons list.
What are ABEC 9 Skateboard Bearings?
Most skateboarders are probably already aware that ABEC 9 bearings are the fastest and smoothest that money can buy (aside from ceramics), but what makes them so different than others? Skateboard bearings are rated on the ABEC scale from 1 to 9 using only odd numbers and are ranked by how smooth they are and how much friction they produce. ABEC 3 bearings and ABEC 5 bearings are usually standard for any complete skateboard that you buy, with ABEC 7 bearings as well as ABEC 9s being upgrades. The higher the ABEC rating, the less friction is involved in the skateboard bearing's rotation, thus making wheels spin more freely with very little drag to slow them down.
Who Makes ABEC 9 Bearings for Skateboards?
ABEC 9 bearings are the highest quality skateboard bearings you can possibly get, and luckily there are several reputable and popular brands to choose from. If you're looking to get the best ABEC 9 bearings for your skateboard, it is highly recommended that you buy from one of these reputable brands:
- Sector 9
Where to Buy ABEC 9 Bearings for your Skateboard
For those of you lucky enough to have a skate shop near them, chances are you're going to find an excellent selection of some of the best ABEC 9 bearings for your skateboard. Skate shops always carry the trusted name brands so you don't have to worry about getting sketchy products.
A better way of finding ABEC 9 skateboard bearings for sale is to check online on any one of the dozens of online skate shops and other sites that sell skateboard products. Some of the best places to look are big reputable online skate shops such as CCS, SkateAmerica, TheSkateboardStore, A1Skateboards, and many others. Online skate shops are not the only places to look, though. You can get some ABEC 9 skateboard bearings from Amazon, and other similar sites like Overstock and eBay.
Buying Cheap ABEC 9 Bearings for your Skateboard
Since ABEC 9 skateboard bearings are pretty expensive, many skateboarders or constantly on the hunt for some cheap ABEC 9 bearings. The internet is a great tool for finding all sorts of cheap skateboard stuff and discount skateboard accessories, but there's also the risk of getting ripped off. Cheap skateboard bearings, no matter what they are rated, can easily be made with very little attention to quality by some shady companies who are out to make a big profit.
It's always best to buy from reputable sites and trusted brands when you buy cheap ABEC 9 bearings for your skateboard; and if you really want the best deal on them then you're going to have to shop around and compare prices. I know that it can be tempting to buy a set of really cheap skateboard bearings, but sometimes absurdly low prices can be a signal to smart buyers that the product is probably not up-to-par in terms of quality and durability.
Pros and Cons of ABEC 9 Skateboard Bearings
If you like speed, then you'll definitely love ABEC 9 bearings for your skateboard. As we found out earlier, they are the highest rated skateboard bearings that you can possibly get. The reduced friction in ABEC 9 bearings allows for a super smooth ride that you immediately notice the second you start rolling. This allows you to relax a lot more before performing a trick. With the lower rated ones, you have to push off a lot more and exert more energy just trying to pick up speed and makes your legs weaker, causing your trick to be a little sloppier than it could be sometimes.
Another great thing about ABEC 9 skateboard bearings is that you really don't have much to worry about in terms of maintenance. With such a small amount of friction occurring in them, they don't wear down as easily and don't need lubricated as often as the lower rated counterparts. They won't lock up as easily and they will last significantly longer than the others as well. ABEC 9 bearings are so durable that even if one or two of them do happen to start to bite the dust, you hardly notice it because of how smooth the rest of them are. They also tend to fare a lot better in when they get wet. While most of the lower rated ones will lock up within days or even hours of getting wet, ABEC 9 bearings seem to be able to withstand the water a little more. This does not, however, imply that you should go skateboarding through puddles all the time.
Even though I listed this as a positive just a few paragraphs ago, the insane amount of speed ABEC 9 bearings offer could also be seen as a negative in some aspects. Having super-fast skateboard bearings can cause you to lose control easier, and it can be harder to land tricks because of how fast your wheels are still spinning with you hit the pavement. ABEC 9 skateboard bearings are not recommended for children or beginners at the sport. They may be the Holy Grail of skateboard bearings, but one needs to work there way up to them. Even a decent amount of experienced skateboarders still prefer lower rated ones just because of how difficult ABEC 9 bearings can be at times.
The prices for ABEC 9 bearings could also be seen as a negative. Not everyone has the means of coughing up that kind of cash for some skateboard accessories, and that is understandable.
Hopefully after reading through this article you have figured out that ABEC 9 skateboard bearings are simply not for everyone, and cannot possibly be considered "the best skateboard bearings". It's clear that is just a subjective opinion. Many skateboarders prefer lower rated bearings and there is a reason for it. Everyone has their own personal style and preferences, and thankfully the skateboard bearing manufacturers know this and make several different kinds to choose from. If you don't think ABEC 9 bearings are for you, or if you're interested in the other types of skateboard bearings, be sure to check out my other InfoBarrel's that I have linked throughout this article.