In addition to wheels, skateboard bearings allow you to roll smoothly over a large variety of surfaces, sustain speed, and take harsh impacts. Not all of them are created equally. Although there is an ABEC rating associated with most of them, some of the best forgo this rating in favor of something more skateboard friendly. The system generally measures the precision of the bearing being used. Lower-priced bearings are rated as ABEC 3. As you get into more expensive models, ABEC 5 and 7 are usually smoother-operating and longer-spinning. Due to extra moving parts that break easier, expensive bearings with higher precision don't always last as long as the cheaper ABEC 3.
Bones Bearings scrap the ABEC system in favor of their own, skateboard-tested formula. This allows Bones to craft its bearings to the specifications needed to withstand the rigors of everyday skating. Bones can replicate the abusive, dirty environments skaters undergo to create a product that is superior to just about any skateboard-specific model on the planet. Bones Reds, Bones Swiss, and Bones Swiss Ceramic dominate the skateboard market within their respective price ranges. Check out Bones entire line for the most popular and highly acclaimed bearings available anywhere.
Although Bones leads the industry, other companies produce some great quality bearings. Element, Girl, Shorty's, and Lucky produce great skateboard bearings at relatively affordable price points. Diamond makes long-lasting, high-quality bearings with ABEC 3, 5, and 7 ratings.