How Tight Should Skateboard Wheels Be? Expert Guide

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Skateboard wheels are one of the most important parts of a skateboard, so it’s important to know how tight should skateboard wheels be. 

Each wheel has a single (1/2″) nut holding it to the axles.

The nuts should be tightened as much as possible without preventing the wheel from spinning. If you try to move the wheel from side to side, you should typically feel only a very small amount of play. 

Sometimes, a nut may adjust itself to be tighter or looser than initially set, in that case, it should simply be adjusted.

As a general rule of thumb, you want your skateboard wheels to be as tight as possible without causing any damage to their bearings and spin freely. That’s it.

How To Tighten or Loosen Skateboard Wheels?

You’re probably wondering how to adjust skateboard wheels if you are a beginner at skateboarding. It’s actually super easy to tighten or loosen skateboard wheels

You just need a skate tool or socket wrench. Let’s get started     

  • 1. Put the skateboard on its side with the wheels facing up (so you can see what you’re doing). You’ll need to stabilize the skateboard while tightening the axle nut with your other hand.
  • 2. Attach your skate tool or socket wrench to the axle nut, and then turn it until it’s securely tightened. Don’t worry about getting it perfectly tight just yet, you’ll adjust that next.
  • 3. Now, take your skate tool off the axle nut and look at how much space there is between them (if there’s too much space, tighten it again). Repeat until there’s no more room for tightening.
  • 4. Spin each wheel by hand to check for proper tightness.
  • 5. Repeat this process for the remaining three wheels.
  • 6. Spin all the wheels at once to check their tightness, if they’re too loose, tighten them with your skate tool or socket wrench until they stop moving freely.
  • 7. Take your board for a test ride and make sure it’s rolling smoothly.

Pros Of Tight Skateboard Wheels:

  • Better grip and control
  • Less wheel bite
  • More responsive when carving
  • More durable and long-lasting
  • Easier to learn tricks on

Cons Of Tight Skateboard Wheels:

  • Tight skateboard wheels are hard to turn
  • Tight skateboard wheels can be hard to push
  • They’re harder to control
  • Too tight wheels can cause the bearings to wear out more quickly

Related: how to make your skateboard wheels spin longer and faster.

How to Adjust your Skateboard Wheels and Trucks

To adjust your wheels and trucks, watch this video to find out how tight should skateboard wheels nut be.

How Long Should Skateboard Wheels Spin?

It’s always a good idea to check the tightness of your skateboard wheels before you start riding. 

The best way to check your skateboard wheel tightness is to grab your board with one hand and try to spin the wheels.

If your skateboard wheel does not spin freely for around 10 seconds, then it is a sign that it is too tight. You need to loosen them slightly by adjusting the spacers or washers on the hub.

If your skateboard wheel spins for more than 30 seconds, then it means that they are too loose, I.e., you need to tighten them slightly by adjusting the spacers or washers on the hub.

Should My Skateboard Wheels Be Loose Or Tight?

There’s a lot of talk about the tightness and looseness of skateboard wheels when it comes to skateboarding. Should your wheels be tight or loose? 

Well, It depends on your personal preference and comfort, but you should try both ways to find out which works best for you.

First, get on your board and ride around for a bit with tight wheels. See how it feels when you’re grinding or doing tricks. Then try riding with loose wheels, you’ll probably notice that the turning radius is much wider.

After that, try adjusting the wheels accordingly so that they’re as tight or loose as you want them to be. 

Make sure you use the t-tool when adjusting your skateboard wheels so that they don’t come loose while riding.

How Do You Fix Wobbly Skateboard Wheels?

If your skateboard feels wobbly when you’re riding it, this is a common problem that can be fixed with some simple adjustments.

The most common cause of a wobbly skateboard is loose axle nuts, which are the nuts on top of each truck that hold the wheels in place. 

If you don’t know how to adjust these nuts, you can always take your board to a shop and have them do it for you. However, if you want to give it a go yourself, here’s how:

You’ll need a skate tool or another type of wrench that fits into the nut and can turn it counter-clockwise (the opposite direction from how you would normally turn something). 

To tighten an axle nut, put your wrench into one of the holes in its center and then turn it clockwise until it’s as tight as possible without stripping the threads out of the nut or breaking anything in half.

How To Avoid Over-Tightening Skateboard Wheels

To avoid over-tightening your skateboard wheels, You’ll need to loosen them up by turning each wheel counter-clockwise. You can do this by hand or use a skate tool if you have one handy.

The goal here is to loosen them up just enough so that they will spin freely.

You can read here How To Loosen Skateboard Wheels Without Tools

Wrap Up On How Tight Should Skateboard Wheels Be?

The general rule of thumb is that your wheels should be tight enough and loose enough to spin freely.

Different people have different preferences.

But generally speaking,

You want your wheels to be tight enough so that they don’t come off while you’re skating. If you have loose wheels or the bearings aren’t tight enough in the trucks, your board will wobble around as it rolls over obstacles, making it hard to control.


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