Developing a Bearing Lube for Skateboards has been on our agenda for a few years as we’ve never been completely satisfied with the lubes that were available. When we got serious and started listing the qualities/performance we felt were missing, we knew we had to tap the Long Distance Specialists on our Team as our primary test crew - Andrew Andras, Kyle Yan and Harrison Tucker. The main reason for this was their ability to quickly recognize and quantify what works and what does not work to reduce bearing friction as they endure literally thousands of miles of pushing pumping & coasting, with their bodies providing the propulsion, not gravity. In long-distance training, a lubricant's efficiency becomes readily apparent and is a huge factor in maintaining speed, conserving energy, and increasing the distance traveled. In races, the advantage can be more than enough to result in a win - which all three of our crew have proven time and time again! Additional testing was conducted in very wet conditions where the Wet Formulation has been proven to be extremely tenacious in repelling moisture. The Downhill Specialists on our Team have also confirmed increased roll speed & reduced servicing requirements with both the Dry and Wet formulations and these tests have been conducted throughout Europe and across the USA for the last year.
As for the Science behind the formulations, we went to the best we know of when it comes to lubrication: Mobil. We quizzed their scientists, studied countless research papers and read more MSDS's than can be imagined! After extensive compounding tests, we have comprised the exact combination of components we were looking for, resulting in the two formulations - one for Wet conditions and one for Dry. They are interchangeable in that they can be used for either wet or dry weather with virtually no downside, but they excel in their specified respective environment. They both can be used in extreme conditions, hot or cold, since they have been specifically formulated with a very high viscosity index. What this means is that temperature has very little effect on how easily the product flows - you can actually store our lube in the freezer and it will still apply with the same flow as it does at room temperature! In addition to the multiple types of oil in the blend and the ratio of each in Wet and Dry, we added a submicron dry lubricant that has a far lower Coefficient of Friction (COF) than Teflon. This allows the bearings to stay at peak efficiency longer.
Caring for your bearings:
If your bearings are new or running without any grit in them, just add RipTide Wet or Dry depending on what conditions you expect. If your bearings are dirty, we suggest removing both the inner and outer shields so you can soak the bearings in Kerosene to clean them. (Use rubber, vinyl or latex gloves while doing this and keep away from any source of ignition or open flame!) Hold the centre of the bearing and spin the outer race both directions while submerged in the Kerosene. Then pull each bearing out individually and drain on a paper towel. It is best to use compressed air to blow out the excess kerosene but if you don't have a compressor or a can-of-air that you use for your keyboard, use the paper towel to absorb what you spin out of the bearing by hand. Also, be sure to clean the shields after the bearings in the kerosene (it will not hurt them like Acetone will) as the shields are normally dirtier than the bearings and if not cleaned, they can easily transfer that dirt onto your newly cleaned bearings. Once the bearings and shields are clean and dry, reinstall the outer shield and add RipTide Speed to the bearings. Be sure to shake the bottle really well before use to assure even distribution of the dry lubricant, and then spin the bearings in both directions to properly coat them for maximum performance. Install the inner shield if you like, reassemble your wheels and go skate!