Freeride - Wanna get sideways? If "drifting, heel side standies, pendulums, and Coleman" are part of your vocabulary you're in the right place. For freeride wheels; a smaller contact patch, a stone ground finish, and rounded lip all help them slide easily, right out of the box.
A word to the wise: if you are just getting into freeride try out a smaller size wheel (think 60mm-65mm) with a harder durometer (82a or harder) because it will be easier to break away into a slide, making it easier to practice. Practice slides with friends and try different setups. Will you flat spot your first set of freeride wheels before coring them? Yes. Will they wear unevenly and leave you with a couple bruises? Absolutely. But, it gives you a whole new look at the hills, a whole new freedom. The great Cliff Coleman (father of downhill slide) says, “If you can crouch down and ride a skateboard, then you can learn this slide" as he talks about the classic Coleman slide.
As you gain experience, and speed, you'll find bigger wheels can be better because they will last longer and will be faster on the hill. Different durometers, center-set vs side-set or offset cores, and different urethane formulas will help in different weather/road conditions so make sure you experiment to find your favorites.
Freeride takes you to a new level of skating. Simply put, it's groundbreaking.
Carving/Cruising - For cruising park trails, taking big turns through your neighborhood, and general transportation riding; carving/cruising wheels meet the needs of many different skate disciplines. They fall in the middle of the size scale so you can ride down medium grade hills with some of the stability bigger wheels offer, but have the faster and larger range of motion of smaller wheels. Often, this category is great for beginners because the wheels tend to be softer, making them grippier. If you are looking to try slides look for wheels with a stone ground finish and/or a rounded lip. If your daily shredding includes a hill or two, try some bigger cruiser wheels with a square lip. No matter what you choose, carving/cruising wheels are going to be fun!
78a - Soft and gooey, this is the most common durometer we see in the longboard/cruiser wheel world. These wheels have great grip for cornering and easily rolls over cracks, small rocks, and rough surfaces without tripping you up. When sliding, 78a wheels have a tendency to smear across the surface of the road, offer great control, slow you down rapidly, wear quickly, and leave thane lines. Ideal for cruising, carving, freeride, and downhill.
Urethane skate wheels generally range from 75a-101a, the numbers increase with the hardness of the wheel.
Centerset - Centerset wheels have cores that are placed directly in the center of the wheel, equidistant to the outer edge of each lip. This core placement style gives the most amount of grip because it creates a very large inner lip.
Another advantage of centerset wheels is that they can be flipped inside out to promote even wear and a longer lifespan. For this reason, many freeride wheels have centerset cores paired with small contact patches and round lips.
Round Lip - Rounded lips allow the wheel to break traction more easily and offer smoother transitions from grip to slide. Round lip wheels are generally preferred for freeriding.
Stone Ground - Stone ground wheels slide much easier than smooth wheels right out of the box. Stone ground wheels don't have an initial break-in period like smooth wheels, and offer predictable slides without having to wear down the wheel surface.
9-Ball Formula - Sector 9's standard formula urethane, perfect for all-around cruising or ripping.