Skateboards are meant to move effortlessly and quietly, but sometimes you can’t help but get a few squeaks and rattles. You might also ask, “Why is my skateboard so loud?” when the noise is too overwhelming!
Skateboards become too loud because of many reasons. It can be due to loose screws, worn-down bushings and pivot cups, dried bearings, and more. Let’s explore the many reasons why skateboards become so loud and how to reduce the noise.
Why Skateboards Become Too Loud?
Skateboards have a wooden or plastic deck, while the trucks and other hardware are made of metal or alloy. The wheels are polyurethane and can eventually crack and develop pits and scratches after many uses.
No matter how often you maintain your board, this could develop sounds and noise that can be very annoying. And noises are not just irritating; these can also indicate issues in your board’s components.
But before you start dismantling your skateboard or replacing various parts, you must find out where the noises are coming from and why this is happening. Here are the most common reasons skateboards make sounds and some ways to get rid of these noises fast.
Problems with Your Bushings
Most squeaking noises coming from your skateboard are from problematic bushings. The skateboard bushings are part of the truck assembly. There are two bushings per truck, one facing the street and the other one facing the board.
Bushings are typically made of polyurethane; these components help the truck turn or pivot seamlessly. As you ride your board, the trucks grind against these bushings, which can lead to old, worn-out, and squashed bushings after regular use. Once the bushings break or tear apart, the truck will grind on metal, causing terrible noises.
Skateboard bushings are also susceptible to dirt, dust, and grime as these are located near the wheels and the pavement. If you don’t clean and maintain your skateboard, you can end up with broken bushings and a very noisy skateboard.
Another factor is the weather. Extreme weather conditions like too hot or too cold climates can affect polyurethane bushings. In colder temperatures, polyurethane materials can develop a whitish film, while PU performance can be significantly reduced in high temperatures.
How to Check if Your Bushings are the Problem
Inspect your bushings and look for wear and tear, cuts, and openings. These are primarily due to the washers cutting into the polyurethane material. If you find these issues, replace your bushings at once.
How to Remove Bushing Noises?
To remove bushing noises, you can change them or lubricate them. To inspect and change your bushings, follow these steps:
- Remove the nut from the truck kingpin. Use a skateboard tool.
- Remove the bushings carefully.
- Check the bushings for any wear and tear. If you find signs, then you must get new ones.
- Replace the bushings on top and at the bottom.
- Apply wax or a silicone-based lubricant on the bushings.
- Reassemble the truck components. Check if the noise has disappeared.
We recommend using high-quality bushings on your skateboard trucks. Purchase bushings only from reputable dealers and retailers to ensure you buy suitable skateboard components.
Issues with the Bearings
Skateboard bearings are also very susceptible to wear and tear. Bearings are found inside skateboard wheels; there are two bearing sets per wheel, so there are eight bearings on a skateboard.
Bearings make skateboard wheels turn freely. A good set of bearings will make your wheels run smoothly and will make it easier to perform tricks and stunts. Suitable bearings will help you win downhill races and move through urban streets like a pro.
With all these things you can do with a skateboard with suitable bearings, you’ve probably realized how important these components are. This is also why you need to check the status of your skateboard bearings.
Noises that sound like squeaking or sometimes rattling noises could mean there is a problem with your bearings. Any of the bearings sets may have lost some ball bearing parts, causing the noise. Meanwhile, dirt, sand, and other small particles can become trapped inside the bearing assembly, making the components rattle.
Another possible issue is that bearing parts like the inner race and outer race can become damaged. Small particles can become stuck inside the retainer cage and cause a lot of noise.
The average lifespan of skateboard bearings is 1 to 2 years, but wear and tear could happen earlier if you don’t take care of your skateboard. You must care for your skateboard and inspect the bearings at least every month for signs of wear and tear. Also, cleaning your bearings can improve their lifespan.
How to Check if Your Bearings are the Problem
Remove your wheels and take out each of the bearings one by one. Check for missing bearing balls, cracking or bending of the bearing assembly, and broken bearing cases. If you spot these issues, replace your bearings right away.
If you find debris, dust, dirt, or small bits of sand inside the bearing assembly, clean the bearings ASAP. Never ride a skateboard with broken or dirty bearings to keep you safe.
How to Remove Bearing Noises?
Like your skateboard bushings, you can either replace the bearings or clean them to remove noise. Here are the steps to clean and replace your bearings.
- Remove the axle nuts with a skateboard tool. Set these aside for cleaning.
- Remove the wheels and set these aside for cleaning as well.
- Remove the bearings and open the bearing case with a flat tool like a flat screwdriver.
- Inspect the bearing components. You can change the bearings if you find issues.
- Clean the bearings by soaking these in rubbing alcohol together with the axle nuts. Alcohol will loosen the dirt, grime, and grease.
- Use a soft toothbrush to remove stuck dirt. Dry all the components with some paper towels.
- Clean the skateboard wheels in mild soap or dishwashing soap and water. Rinse these and dry with some towels.
- Reassemble the components.
- Apply grease inside the bearing case and seal everything with the bearing case cover.
- Reattach the bearings in the wheels and reconnect the wheels to the trucks with the axle nuts.
- Check if the noise is still there.
- Tighten the axle nuts. Adjust these properly according to your preference. Tight nuts can tighten and slow down your wheels. Loose axle nuts can loosen the wheels and speed them up.
Sounds After Leaning on Your Skateboard
Annoying sounds when you lean on the skateboard trucks could be due to an issue with your pivot cups. These noises could also be due to loose nuts. If you think there are loose nuts, take a quick look at your axle nuts and those found along your trucks. Use a skateboard tool to tighten these nuts.
Your axle nuts must not be too tight or loose, as this can affect how you ride. Make sure to try your skateboard out after you tighten the nuts to make sure these are tight enough for your riding preference.
With the pivot cup, it’s a different thing. The pivot cup allows the hanger of the truck and the wheels to turn according to the baseplate and the deck. Worn-out pivot cups can significantly affect the flexibility of the trucks and can also be dangerous for the rider.
Not only are worn-out pivot cups noisy, the metal parts of the skateboard truck can grind with each other can cause more damage. Pivot cups also come with various degrees of softness and hardness. Soft pivot cups let you increase lean and rebound so you can carve and cruise on your skateboard.
Meanwhile, more challenging pivot cups are great for skaters who are riding at high speeds. Harder cups are also recommended for skaters who ride aggressively.
How to Check the Pivot Cup
To check the pivot cup, you need to remove the kingpin nut and remove the hanger to find it. You must dismantle the truck assembly to fix, clean, or replace the pivot cup.
How to Remove the Pivot Cup
To reduce any noises coming from the pivot cup, you can either clean or replace it. Here are the steps to inspect, clean, or replace the pivot cup.
- Use a skateboard tool to remove the kingpin nut. Once it’s open, a part of the truck will quickly come out.
- Remove the hanger from the truck assembly and set this aside for cleaning.
- Remove the pivot cup and check it for any issues. If you spot problems, this is the time to replace them.
- Before installing the new cup, clean the hole using a small amount of soapy water. Dry the pivot hole with paper towels.
- Apply wax in the pivot hole.
- Install the new pivot cup and reassemble the parts.
- Check if the noise has disappeared.
Small Ticking Noises Together with a Rough Ride
Another annoying sound while you ride your skateboard is ticking. A bumpy ride mainly accompanies these small ticking noises.
The most common reason for having small ticking sounds is your wheels. Sometimes, wheels develop flat spots, which results in a noisy and uncomfortable ride. If you find these noises on your board, check the surface of the wheels for any flat spots.
If you regularly perform tricks such as power slides and other stunts that put a strain on your wheels, then expect this issue time and again. The only way to deal with slight ticking on the wheels and a bumpy ride are to replace your wheels.
How to Check for Ticking Noises
To diagnose these noises, check each of your wheels. It’s not enough to ride your board; you need to check each wheel to determine precisely what happened.
How to Remove Ticking Noises
The only way to eliminate these noises is to replace your wheels. You need to replace all wheels and not just one wheel, as you’ll likely have issues on all wheels. If you replace only one or two wheels, you’ll end up with an uneven and noisier ride. To replace the wheels, follow these steps.
- Use a skateboard tool to remove the axle nuts. Set these aside.
- Remove the washers and set these aside as well.
- Remove the wheels and the bearings.
- Place the new wheel and the bearings.
- Tighten the wheel assembly using the axle nuts.
- Adjust the axle nuts. Tight nuts will tighten the wheels and slow these down. Loose nuts can lead to faster wheels.
Creaking Sounds As You Lean on Your Skateboard
Another annoying skateboard sound you’ve likely encountered before is creaking sounds as you lean in. Experts say that if you find a clicking and creaking sound when you do the lean, this is from the washer that’s in between the kingpin and the nut. Another cause is the washer that’s closest to the base plate.
This sound happens when the washer overlaps the truck kingpin and bushings. This happens when you shift your board from side to side while leaning on the board. Sometimes a local shop may give you a washer that’s too small to fit an oversized kingpin hole.
How to Check for Creaking and Clicking Sounds When You Lean
To check for cracking or clicking noises, try to lean on the trucks as you ride. Look at the board’s underside to check the kingpin and bushings. Unscrew the kingpin nut and inspect the washer for any damage and if it’s the right fit.
How to Remove Creaking and Clicking Sounds
You want to remove this creaking and clicking sound right away. You can do this by following these step-by-step instructions.
- Remove the kingpin nut with your skateboard tool.
- Take the kingpin nut and wrap this with Teflon tape. If you don’t have Teflon tape, you can use duct tape. This will make the kingpin thicker to fit the large washers. This is a temporary solution. It’s still best to use the correct washers for your kingpin.
- You may also use hot glue or strong plastic glue. Stick the glue all over the kingpin nut to make it thicker.
- Reattach the kingpin bolt to the deck using the kingpin nut.
Thumping Sounds from the Wheels
Loud low pitched thumping sounds coming from your wheels could be due to your bearings. But the sound is not precisely from the bearings but the wheel seats or the spaces between the inside of the wheels and the outer ring of the bearings.
The issue usually starts when you start riding your skateboard after you’ve kept it in storage for a while. If you see the bearings moving inside the seating, then this is a sure-fire reason why your bearings and wheels are noisy.
How to Check Thumping Sounds from the Wheels
As we said earlier, you’ll easily find the culprit when you check your wheels. If the bearings move independently, it’s time to lube them up or change your wheels.
How to Remove Thumping Sounds from the Wheels
Removing the dull thumping noises from your wheels is easy. You can lube your bearing seats up or replace your wheels. Here are the steps to do them.
- Remove the wheels and the bearings. Take out the axle nuts first using a skateboard tool.
- Clean the bearings using rubbing alcohol. Soak the bearings in rubbing alcohol and use a soft toothbrush to remove stubborn dirt and grime.
- Dry the bearings with paper towels.
- Use grease or oil to lube up the outer bearings and the wheel core. This will reduce the noise.
- Replace your wheels
- Reinstall the bearings in the new wheels.
- Reinstall the new wheels on the trucks with the axle nuts.
Noises from The Riser Pads
Riser pads are used to avoid wheel bite when using large wheels. It elevates the skateboard deck so you can ride comfortably with big wheels.
Sometimes, the screws used to attach the riser pads can become loose. These screws can cause vibration and unwanted noises. Also, many skaters prefer to use riser pads as force and noise dampeners.
How to Check Noises Coming from the Risers
To find out if your risers are the ones making noise, check these ASAP by taking a good look at the trucks. Check the screws and see if these are coming loose or if there are missing screws. Also, check if there is tearing or cracking on the wood where the risers are attached.
How to Remove the Noises Coming from the Risers
- Remove the noises from the risers by following these steps.
- Take your skateboard tool and tighten the nuts or screws.
- Use WD-40 on the riser screws if these are stuck.
- For missing screws, replace them right away.
- For any issues with your skateboard deck, replace it right away.
Creaking Noises on the Deck
The deck is the most vulnerable part of the skateboard as it’s where you place a lot of force. This is why skateboard manufacturers use strong wood, glue, and hardware to create good-quality skateboard decks.
Over time, your skateboard deck can become warped, cracked, scratched, and damaged. Any of these issues can lead to unwanted noises. Moreover, old and worn-out skateboard decks can be a safety hazard as the deck is not as strong to hold your weight. You can end up getting hurt when the deck breaks or warps.
Noises can therefore be due to the layers of the wood warping or tearing. Also, the wood near the hardware can become significantly damaged as time goes by, and this can be accelerated if you don’t perform any maintenance on your skateboard.
How to Check for Deck Issues
It’s easy to spot issues with your skateboard deck. Simply inspect the top surface, sides, and the underside. Sometimes the grip tape makes it harder to inspect the top part of the board, so your best bet is to remove the grip tape to check the board’s surface.
How to Remove Deck Issues
- The only way to remove noise issues on your deck is to change the deck. Here’s how to do it.
- Remove the skateboard wheels and bearings using your skateboard tool.
- Remove the trucks by loosening the kingpin bolt.
- Remove the risers (if you have any).
- Replace the old skateboard deck with a new one.
- Reattach all the skateboard components.
- Install the new grip tape on the top. Use a flat tool to make sure that there are no air bubbles inside the deck. Remove the excess.
- Adjust the axle nuts to your preference.
Apply Grease, Lube, or Oil
Noise is mostly due to two metal surfaces grinding together. Suppose you’re on the road or at the skate park and don’t have time to take apart your skateboard; apply grease or oil on the noisy part. This will take care of the noise but only temporarily. You still need to clean or change the skateboard part to delete the noise.
What if Nothing Works and The Sound Won’t Go Away?
What if you’ve done everything and still, the sound persists? Your best bet is to lube things up to temporarily eliminate the noise until you can take your skateboard to a repair shop. At the repair shop, your board will be dismantled and cleaned. Parts that are worn out will also be changed.
If you think that repairing your skateboard is too expensive, you may purchase a new skateboard instead. But remember that even a new skateboard could create noise if you don’t maintain it.
Skateboards can create some noise and vibrations. Noises are not just irritating but can help you identify problems with your skateboard. The first step is to inspect your board, especially the metal parts, as the grinding of metal parts creates noises. Next is to clean the piece. Use suitable quality cleaning materials to ensure the best results.
Replacing the part is the last resort. But if all else fails, it would be best to take your skateboard to a specialist. Finally, lubing or greasing your skateboard is only a temporary fix. Regular skateboard maintenance is the key to reducing noise and assessing early wear and tear.