ABEC is a method of defining a tolerance grade for a bearing.
Typically skate bearings that are contacted are generally between ABEC ratings of 1-9. Manufacturers usually use this rating to describe how wet the bearing is. Generally speaking, bearings with an ABEC of 9 are the fastest and conversely bearings with an ABEC of 1 are the slowest. This is the easiest place to make a mistake.
ABEC does work, but not for skateboards. Even if the bearings we used were rated and manufactured to ABEC, the results would only be impractical and too expensive to use in a skateboard. In fact, our bearing experts say that bearings above ABEC 5 are already aerospace grade, so they are very expensive. Also, if you do some research, it’s not hard to find that most of the bearings sold are between ABEC 1-3.
Even if ABEC has a reference value for us, it only measures part of the performance (the roughness of the raceway surface, etc.), and does not fully explain how good the bearings are, much less how they perform on the skateboard.
The bearings of a skateboard are subject to many different forces and are used in different environments and conditions. These are not considered in the ABEC.
Overall, the ABEC classification of skateboard bearings is a gimmick. Most manufacturers use this to hype their products. I often see bearings on the market that are labeled ABEC 5 or higher. The conclusion I got was that all the ABEC 7 or even 9 bearings you see sold in the market are definitely fake.
ABEC does work in industrial grade bearings, but it is out of the scope of application for skids. So it is not appropriate to use ABEC to evaluate how a bearing will perform on a skateboard.