Things to consider when buying skateboard wheels
The wheels are essential to your skateboard, and no matter how well you treat them, you’ll need to replace them eventually. But wheels come in all kind of sizes and colours of the rainbow; So how to choose, well it’s actually rather easy.
Teamrider: Bjørn Nicklas Pettersen Trick: FS Smith.
Whether you’re a newcomer or a pro, you’ll need to choose the wheel size that fits your style of riding, and actually, it’s not that complicated. Start by asking yourself the question. “What am I into. Street, Vert/bowl or maybe a little of both”.
Into shredding curbs or jumping stairs in the street? Then you want a smaller pair of wheels between 50-53mm. This gives you a low centre of gravity, which gives you stability, control and makes it easier to pop the board. Smaller wheels will also make it easy to grind edges.
This wheel size is also great for street-inspired parks.
Teamrider: Noah Graetsch, Trick: FS Smith
If you’re spending most of your time on the vert or in the bowl, you want a bigger wheel that provides you with the speed you’ll need to get up the ramp or racing the sides of the bowl. We recommend that you choose a wheel with a diameter in between 54-60mm.
Can’t decide if you’re spending most of the time on the street, the vert or the bowl? No worries. Choose a wheel with a diameter in the range of 53-56, and you’re set to do a lot of both street, park and even cruising.
Soft, hard or in-between?
Another essential thing to consider when you’re buying wheels is hardness, or the durometer, as it’s also called. (You can cut it down to these two rules of thumb when we’re talking about skateboard wheels.)
- Harder wheels provide higher speed and a longer lifespan and are super responsive. The grip is decreased compared to soft wheels, but this can be an advantage if you’re into power sliding.
- Softer wheels give you more shock absorption and have more grip. The increased shock absorption will give you a little lose in speed and a shorter lifespan but is worth it if you’re looking for a smooth ride.
For riders who are into street skating, we would recommend getting a pair of wheels with a durometer in between 95a-99a. Hard wheels are favored by many riders because they’re super responsive, holds up well on rough surfaces.
Teamrider: Jamie Manning - Trick: FS Blunt
Be aware the harder the wheel you choose, the less forgiving it will be when you’re rolling over cracks in the pavement and pebbles on the road.
A hard wheel provides you with a great power transfer which means that the pressure you apply transfers directly into your deck and wheels, giving you more speed.
Some skatepark and vert riders prefer to choose a wheel with a hardness between 97-100a. These wheels are great for skating in parks with a smooth surface and on verts, where you want control over vibration reduction and grip.
Building your first custom skateboard? Then you might want to check out our video on what to consider when you're putting together a custom skateboard.