Choosing Skateboard Wheels
There are many things to consider when choosing your next set of skateboard wheels. Even a small difference in wheel size or hardness can drastically change how your board feels and rides. Finding the best skateboard wheels all comes down to personal preference based on the kind of skateboarding that you want to do.
TIP: If you are beginner, we recommend a mid-sized (52mm-54mm) skate wheel with a medium durometer (90a – 99a).
Here’s what we’ll cover:
There are three main types of skateboard wheels that are fun and functional for different types of riding. Watch the video and read below to decide whether park/street wheels, cruiser wheels, or longboard wheels are the right fit for you.
Park / Street Wheels: Diameter 50-60mm, Durometer 95-101a
These hard wheels are the best skateboard wheels for park and street skating because they are lightweight, roll fast on smooth surfaces, and slide easily. This makes it easier to do ollies, flip tricks, power slides, and other technical tricks.
Cruiser / Soft Wheels: Diameter 54-60mm, Durometer 78-90a
Cruiser wheels, or soft skateboard wheels, are usually slightly bigger and much softer than park/street wheels. Built to fit on any deck and roll fast on any surface, throw on some cruiser wheels for a smooth ride that makes any skateboard a fun and fast way to get around town.
Longboard Wheels: Diameter 60-75mm, Durometer 75-85a
The biggest and softest wheels available, longboard wheels are designed to power through rough surfaces and keep their grip through corners. There's a huge variety of options for everything from carving and cruising to sliding and downhill racing. Check out our Choosing Longboard Wheels page for more info.
There's a few key dimensions to consider when choosing which skateboard wheel size to get. Watch the video and read below to learn how diameter, contact patch and shape affect the way a wheel skates.
Smaller wheels are lighter, weigh less, and give you a quicker, more responsive pop, which is good for street and technical skating. Bigger wheels are heavier, but roll faster and retain speed better, especially on rough surfaces. This makes them great for bowl skating and transportation.
TIP: If you choose wheels larger than 56mm, we recommend adding riser pads to add clearance and prevent wheel bite.
Wheel Contact Patch (Riding Surface)
Also referred to as riding surface, the contact patch is the part of the wheel that actually touches the ground. This affects the amount of grip the wheel will have. Street skaters usually prefer narrower wheels for technical street skating because they slide easier for some tricks. Wider wheels are better for transportation and skating bowls because they keep their grip when skating at faster speeds.
The profile or shape of the wheel’s edge can impact the grip, weight and how the wheel locks into grinds. In general, a more rounded edge will make the wheel slide more easily. A sharper edge gives the wheel more grip and can help you lock into grinds better without slipping out of place.
Skateboard wheels are made from polyurethane (PU) and their hardness is measured in durometer. Most range between 75a to 104a. Any wheel in the 78a to 90a range is considered a soft wheel, 90a to 98a is in the middle, 99a+ is referred to as a hard wheel.
TIP: Bones Wheels sometimes uses the "Shore B scale" instead of the A scale. The measurement is similar, but the rating is 20 points below the A scale. For example, a wheel that is 82b is the same as a wheel that is 102a.
We recommend choosing hard wheels for skate parks and street skating on ledges, rails, gaps and manual pads. Soft wheels are best for cruising, transportation and longboarding. Medium durometer wheels are great for beginners and for street skating on rough surfaces.
Still Have Questions?
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