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How to Choose a Skateboard Wheel: Size, Materials & More


Choosing the best skateboard wheels is an essential part of setting up a board. Whether you are an experienced skater or a beginner, finding the right skateboard wheels can impact your overall riding experience. In this article, we will explore the different factors to consider when choosing the best skateboard wheels for you. We are here to provide you with some tips to help you make the right decision. So, let's dive in and find the best skateboard wheels for you! 

Here is what we will cover

1. Types of Skateboard Wheels 

2. Wheel Hardness & Durometer Explained

3. Skateboard Wheel Size & Shape

Types of Skate Wheels


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. The size and hardness of skateboard wheels are the two most crucial factors that you need to consider when choosing your next set of skateboard wheels.

Park / Street Wheels

Diameter 50-54mm, Durometer 95-101a 

Street wheels are smaller in diameter, ranging from 50-54mm, and have a durometer rating of 99A or higher. These wheels are designed for technical street skating and tricks. The small size of the wheels provides better maneuverability and allows the skater to do flip tricks with ease. The hard durometer rating allows the wheels to slide smoothly, making it easier for skaters to do tricks that involve sliding.


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Cruiser / Soft Wheels

Diameter 54-60mm, Durometer 78-90a

These wheels are designed for cruising, commuting, and carving. The larger size of the wheels provides better stability and allows for a smoother ride over rough terrain. The softer durometer rating provides a smoother ride, absorbing shocks and vibrations.


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Longboard Wheels

Diameter 60-75mm, Durometer 75-85a 

Longboard wheels are larger and softer than standard skateboard wheels. They are designed to provide a smooth and stable ride on longboards, with greater grip and shock absorption than harder wheels. Longboard wheels also come in various shapes, including square-lipped, rounded-lipped, and beveled-lipped, each offering different levels of grip and sliding capabilities. 


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Wheel Hardness & Durometer Explained


Generally, harder wheels are ideal for skate parks and street skating on obstacles like ledges, rails, and gaps; providing a better slide. Softer wheels, on the other hand, are better suited for cruising, transportation, and longboarding, as they offer a smoother ride and better grip. Medium durometer wheels, which fall in the 90a to 98a range, are a good choice for beginners and for street skating on rough surfaces. 

It's worth noting that some companies, like Bones Wheels, use the Shore B scale to measure wheel hardness, which is 20 points lower than the A scale. This means that a wheel with a rating of 82b is equivalent to a 102a wheel on the A scale. Understanding the durometer rating of your skateboard wheels can help you choose the best wheels for your riding style and the type of terrain you'll be skating on. 

Wheel Size & Shape Explained

Wheel Diameter

The diameter of a wheel is a crucial dimension to consider. Smaller wheels are ideal for street and technical skating as they are lighter, provide a quicker pop, and are more responsive. On the other hand, bigger wheels are heavier but roll faster and retain speed better, making them great for transportation and bowl skating. It's important to note that if you choose wheels larger than 56mm, it's recommended to add riser pads to prevent wheel bite and increase clearance.

Contact Patch 

The contact patch, which is the part of the wheel that touches the ground, affects the amount of grip the wheel will have. Narrower wheels with a smaller contact patch are preferred by street skaters for technical street skating as they slide more easily for some tricks. Wider wheels, with a larger contact patch, are better for transportation and bowl skating as they retain their grip when skating at faster speeds.

Wheel Profile

The profile or shape of the wheel's edge can impact grip, weight, and how the wheel locks into grinds. A more rounded edge makes the wheel slide more easily, while a sharper edge provides more grip, helping you lock into grinds better without slipping out of place.

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