Identifying & Fixing Noises From Your Skateboard

No skateboard is completely silent. A skateboard has many moving parts and will always make some noise. Parts that often cause a noise are:

  • Pivot cup: Can cause squeaky noises, especially when brand new. Adding a bit of wax will solve the issue.
  • Bearings: A rattling sound indicates they need to be cleaned or replaced.
  • Wheels: a ticking sound can indicate you have flat spots which will go away eventually.
  • Bushings: can also cause a bit of a squeaky sound but will go away when broken in.

Less common parts that sometime can cause an annoying sound are:

  • Loose bolts on your base plate that cause vibration. Tighten the bolt buts.
  • Washers can cause a ticking sound because of deformation, damage, or the wrong size.
  • Loose or broken risers can cause vibrations.

Before you start taking your skateboard apart, narrow down the cause of the sounds. There are a couple of different types of noises. Often you jump to conclusions but the solution is always simple.

Here’s a short overview of the most common sounds and causes.

Type of soundCauseSolution
Creaky soundDeck, or hardwareTighten the baseplate
Rattling soundDirty bearings Clean or replace the bearings
Squeaky SoundPivot cup, bushings, bearingsreplace old bushings, wax pivot cups, clean bearings
Ticking soundflatspots on wheels or washersSwap wheel around. Ride it out untill it’s gone

Grab a Skate Tool Before Identifying The Sounds

First thing you should do is grab a skate tool and make sure all parts are properly tightened and aligned.

  • Check if the bearings fit properly. They can be slightly misaligned.
  • Tighten the axle nuts if your wheels have a lot of wiggle room (not too tight!).
  • Tighten the nuts and bolts that attach the trucks.
  • Stand on the board and lean from left to right, and take it for a ride to see if the noise is gone.
  • No dice? Time to inspect other parts.

Fixing the Squeaky Noise Coming From The Pivot Cups

The most common cause is because of a pivot cups making a squeaky sound. Sometimes there’s a little bit of space between your hanger and pivot cup. The noise is caused by the rotation in the rubber cup. Here’s how you fix it!

truck pivot cup filled with candle wax
  1. Get your tools and open the kingpin nut. Part of your truck will come off.
  2. Make sure you remove your hanger from the cup and put it aside.
  3. Take out your pivot cup and inspect it for wear and there. Cracks and tears? Replace it.
  4. Clean the pivot hole it with a little bit of soap and lube or wax the pivot.
  5. If you use wax, use a grader to peel off a candle and fill the pivot hole. Not too much, though.
  6. Re-assemble your skateboard and check if the noise is still there.

If the noise is still there, it could also be the bushings. If they are fairly new, the noise will go away once broken in. If they are old and crumbly, replace the bushings (which could also squeak, but we covered that).

Rattling/Rumblling Or Squeaky Noises From Bearings

This one is easy to fix, bearings don’t last forever and collect dirt which slowly builds up. It’s best to get all your bearings out and lube them but you can also identify which bearings are causing the issue.

Just spin your wheels and see which ones are making noise. Dirt finds its way in more easily once cleaned.

  1. Grab your tools, remove the nut from your truck’s axle and pop out the bearings.
  2. Remove the bearing shields.
  3. Clean them using either acetone or nail remover to get the dirt out. Just soak them.
  4. Wrap them in toilet paper and shake them a couple of times. Dry the bearings using toilet paper and make sure the dirt and dust or gone.
  5. Use some oil or silicone-based lube and the noise should go away. If not, get a couple of new bearings.

Ticking Noise and a Bumpy Ride

Flat spots on your wheels will make your ride very uncomfortable. Inspect the surface of your wheels for flat spots. They are usually caused by power slides and can be quite annoying.

Not much you can do about it other than riding it out. Swapping the wheel around speeds up the process of evening out the surface of the wheel in question.

Fixing Clicking Sounds From The Washers

Often the washer between your kingpin and the nut is the cause of clicking sounds. It could also be the other washer which is closer to your base plate (the second one from the top).

The reason for the clicking sound is that the washer overlaps the kingpin and bushings. It may happen to shift from side to side when you lean on your skateboard. This is pretty much an edge case but in case nothing else works…

There’s a couple of things you can do but if it doesn’t fit on your kingpin properly you should get new washers. They’re really cheap anyway.

Anyway if you want to fix it while awaiting your new washers do the following.

  1. Grab your tools and unscrew the kingpin nut.
  2. Wrap the threads of your kingpin with Teflon tape (the ones plumbers use). Or use duct tape or any other tape to make your kingpin thicker until it fits your washers. This will only work for a short while as the friction will cut your tape so be aware.
  3. Another option is to use some strong glue and stick it to the kingpin nut.
  4. Ignore it and wait until the washer bends around your kingpin and it will go away. If not get new washers or get used to being the loudest skateboarder.

Fixing a Low Pitched Sound Coming From The Wheels

The noise could be caused by the wheel seats, it’s the space between the outer ring of your bearings and the inside of your wheels.

The seating can develop gaps allowing for bearings to move. The bearings shift a little when you ride but more so when you make a turn.

It’s really easy to fix, get the lube ready.

  1. Clean your bearings and clean the inside of your wheels.
  2. Let ‘m dry and put some lube on your outer bearings and the core of your wheels. It won’t fix the shifting but the noise should be reduced.

The Type Of Surface Can Cause More Noise

Riding on slick surfaces will result in less noise, especially when you ride on harder wheels. The same wheels will make a lot of noise on rough surfaces because they don’t absorb shocks and cause vibrations. Softer wheels on rough surfaces make less noise and also provide a smoother ride.

Skateboards make noise in general, which is pretty normal. getting softer wheels will reduce the noise a lot, but also makes doing tricks harder. Look for cruiser wheels around 78A if you just want a quiet peaceful ride.

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Ruben Vee

I love skateboarding but my age is catching up. I decided to use my experience to skate less and write more. 20 years of skateboarding allows me to offer original and unique insights for many styles of skateboarding.