Wheeling Wisdom: Do You Need Washers on Skateboard Wheels?

Davis Torgerson

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Need Washers on Skateboard Wheels

Skateboarding is a dynamic sport that hinges on the synergy of various components. Among these, the often-overlooked skateboard wheel washers play a pivotal role in optimizing performance. 

In our exploration of “Do You Need Washers on Skateboard Wheels,” we delve into the significance of these seemingly small elements. 

Skateboard wheel washers, situated between the wheels and trucks, are essential for reducing friction, enhancing stability, and customizing your ride. 

As we navigate through the reasons behind using washers and their impact on skateboard maneuverability, we uncover the nuanced world of skateboard maintenance and performance customization. 

Whether you’re a seasoned skateboarder or a newcomer to the scene, understanding the role of washers is key to unlocking a smoother, more controlled ride. So, stay focused. 

Do You Need Washers on Skateboard Wheels?

No, washers are not necessary on skateboard wheels. Skateboard wheels typically come with built-in bearings and spacers that fit directly onto the axles. 

These components allow the wheels to spin freely without unnecessary friction. 

Adding speed washers to skateboard wheels can create unnecessary complications and may hinder the proper functioning of the bearings. 

It’s important to ensure that the wheels are securely attached to the trucks and that the bearings are properly seated. 

Regular maintenance, such as cleaning and lubricating bearings, is more crucial for optimal skateboard performance than adding washers to the wheels.

Vibration Dampening

Washers can act as vibration dampeners, reducing the impact of vibrations transmitted from rough surfaces. 

This subtle benefit can enhance rider comfort and contribute to a smoother overall ride.

Aesthetic Customization

Beyond their functional role, colored or uniquely designed washers provide a platform for skateboarders to express their personal style. 

It’s a small but noticeable detail that adds a touch of individuality to the skateboard setup.

Preventing Corrosion

For skateboarders who ride in wet or humid conditions, washers made of corrosion-resistant materials like stainless steel can help prevent rust and corrosion, extending the lifespan of the skateboard components.

Influence on Slide Characteristics

The type of washers used can subtly influence the characteristics of slides during tricks. 

Experimenting with washer configurations can provide riders with a nuanced way to fine-tune their sliding experience.

What are Skateboard Wheel Washers?

What are Skateboard Wheel Washers?

To clear clearly the importance of washers for skateboard wheels, you should first know what washers do. 

Skateboard wheel washers are small, flat, metal, or plastic discs that are placed between the skateboard wheel and the truck hanger. Here are a few key points about skateboard wheel washers:

Spacing and Alignment

Wheel washers help maintain proper spacing between the bearings and the hanger, ensuring that the wheels are correctly aligned on the axle.

Reducing Friction

Washers can reduce friction between the wheel and the truck hanger, allowing for smoother and more consistent wheel rotation. 

This can contribute to a smoother ride and improved overall performance.

Preventing Wheel Bite

In some cases, wheel washers can prevent “wheel bite,” which occurs when the wheels come into contact with the skateboard deck during sharp turns. 

This can lead to sudden stops or falls, and washers can help minimize this issue.

Enhanced Stability

Using washers can provide added stability to the skateboard setup, especially when riding at higher speeds or on rough terrain. 

They contribute to the overall structural integrity of the wheel-truck assembly.


Skateboarders may choose to experiment with different washer configurations to fine-tune the performance of their setup. 

Adjusting the number or type of washers can influence how the skateboard responds to turns and maneuvers.

The Function of Washers on Skateboard Trucks

Need Washers on Skateboard Wheels

Skateboard truck washers play a crucial role in optimizing the performance and functionality of the trucks. Here are several key functions:

Reducing Friction and Wear

Washers are positioned between the bushings and the hanger on each side of the trucks. 

They serve to minimize friction between these components, promoting smoother turns and preventing premature wear on the bushings.

Enhancing Responsiveness

By providing a smooth surface for the bushings to pivot against, washers contribute to the responsiveness of the trucks. 

This is particularly important for skateboarders who seek precise control and maneuverability during tricks and turns.

Preventing Binding

Washers help prevent the binding or sticking of the bushings against the truck hanger. 

This ensures that the trucks respond consistently to the rider’s movements, allowing for a more fluid and controlled riding experience.

Customization and Tuning

Skateboarders often experiment with different washer setups to fine-tune the feel of their trucks. 

Adjusting the number and type of washers can impact the tightness of the trucks, influencing the level of resistance and turnability based on personal preferences.

Overall Stability

Properly configured washers contribute to the stability of the skateboard trucks. 

They aid in maintaining a balanced and controlled ride, especially when cruising at higher speeds or performing tricks that require precise weight distribution on the board.

Pros and Cons of Using Skateboard Washers

Pros and Cons of Using Skateboard Washers

Skateboard washers can impact the performance of your setup, offering advantages and disadvantages that riders should consider:

Pros of Using Skateboard Washers

  • Reduced Friction: Washers contribute to smoother wheel rotation by reducing friction between the wheel and the truck hanger.
  • Enhanced Stability: Properly installed washers can add stability to your skateboard, especially during high-speed rides or on uneven surfaces.
  • Customization: Washers provide a means of customization, allowing riders to experiment with different configurations to achieve the desired level of responsiveness and turnability.
  • Prevention of Wheel Bite: In some cases, washers can help prevent wheel bite by ensuring that the wheels have sufficient clearance from the skateboard deck during tight turns.

Cons of Using Skateboard Washers

  • Added Complexity: For beginners, dealing with washers might introduce an additional layer of complexity to the assembly and maintenance of skateboard trucks.
  • Potential for Over-Tightening: If not used correctly, washers can lead to over-tightening of the trucks, limiting the board’s ability to turn smoothly.
  • Extra Weight: Though minimal, the addition of washers contributes to the overall weight of the skateboard, which might be a consideration for riders focused on achieving a lighter setup.
  • Maintenance Requirements: Skateboarders need to periodically check and maintain washers to ensure they are in good condition and functioning properly.

Understanding these pros and cons can help riders make informed decisions about whether to use washers and how to incorporate them into their skateboard setups.

Importance of Replacing Skateboard Wheels

Importance of Replacing Skateboard Wheels

Replacing skateboard wheels is crucial for maintaining optimal performance and safety. Here are key reasons highlighting the importance of timely wheel replacement:

Improved Traction and Control

Over time, speed washer skateboard wheels wear down, leading to decreased traction. 

Replacing worn wheels enhances grip, providing better control and stability during maneuvers, especially essential for tricks and high-speed rides.

Enhanced Ride Quality

Worn-out wheels can result in a rougher and less enjoyable ride. New wheels with smooth surfaces and proper hardness contribute to a more comfortable and responsive skateboarding experience, absorbing shocks from uneven terrain.

Safety Concerns

As wheels wear, the risk of flatspots increases. Flatspots, flat areas on the wheel’s surface, can compromise ride quality and pose safety hazards. 

Regular replacement helps prevent flat spots and ensures a consistent and secure ride.

Optimal Performance

Skateboard wheels play a vital role in the overall performance of the board. Fresh wheels provide better speed, responsiveness, and maneuverability. 

Regular replacement ensures that your skateboard performs at its best, meeting the demands of various skateboarding styles.

Longevity of Bearings

Worn wheels can put additional stress on bearings, leading to faster deterioration. 

By replacing wheels before they become excessively worn, skateboarders can extend the lifespan of their bearings, reducing the frequency of bearing replacements.

By recognizing the importance of replacing skateboard wheels, riders can maintain a safer and more enjoyable skateboarding experience while also preserving the longevity of other crucial components.


Do I need washers on my skateboard wheels?

Yes, washers are essential for optimal skateboard performance. They reduce friction between the wheel and truck, enhancing smooth rotation and stability. 

Additionally, washers help prevent binding and contribute to a more responsive ride.

What happens if I don’t use washers on my skateboard wheels?

Without washers, increased friction can occur, leading to uneven wear on components and reduced wheel performance. 

It may also result in the binding of bushings, affecting the skateboard’s responsiveness and overall maneuverability.

Can I use any type of washer for my skateboard wheels?

It’s recommended to use skateboard-specific washers designed for the purpose. 

These flat discs, usually made of metal or plastic, are sized to fit skateboard trucks and ensure proper spacing and alignment. Using the right washers is crucial for optimal performance.

How often should I check and replace skateboard wheel washers?

Regularly inspect your skateboard setup, including the washers, during routine maintenance. Replace washers if they show signs of damage or wear. 

It’s advisable to check and replace washers as part of your overall skateboard maintenance routine.

Can washers affect the tightness of my skateboard trucks?

Yes, the number and type of washers can impact the tightness of your trucks. Experimenting with different washer configurations allows you to customize the feel of your setup. 

Finding the right balance enhances stability, responsiveness, and overall skateboard control based on personal preferences.

Wrapping Up

In the realm of skateboarding, every component contributes to the overall experience, and skateboard wheel washers are no exception. 

As we wrap up our exploration of the importance of washers on skateboard wheels, it becomes evident that these seemingly minor elements play a major role in ensuring a smooth, responsive, and safe ride. 

Whether you’re seeking enhanced stability, reduced friction, or the ability to fine-tune your setup, the use of washers proves to be a valuable aspect of skateboard maintenance. 

Regular inspection, understanding their functions, and experimenting with configurations allow riders to tailor their skateboarding experience to their preferences. 

So, the next time you hit the pavement, remember that the unassuming washers beneath your wheels contribute significantly to the fluidity and control of your skateboard journey. Keep rolling, stay safe, and enjoy the ride. 

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Davis Torgerson

I am a professional skateboarder who has been involved in the skateboarding industry for over 10 years. I have had the opportunity to travel across the world and compete in various competitions. I live in New York City and work as a professional skateboarder. I also work as an assistant editor at a company called Skateboard Mag, where I contribute to articles about street skating, traveling, and other related topics. I have always been passionate about skateboarding and writing. I am currently working on my first book which will be published soon! LinkedIn

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