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How to Choose the Best Skateboard Wheels

Posted by Carly Quick

How to Choose the Best Skateboard Wheels

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Where Do You Skateboard?

  •   The closest street
  •   The closest skate park
  •   The easiest place I can find
  •   The most difficult place I can find
  •   Anywhere and everywhere

A lot of factors go into choosing the best skateboard wheels and we're here to help! This article will break down what size and hardness of wheel you may need based on where you skateboard, what kind of skateboarding you do, and what kind of skateboard you have. Harder wheels sacrifice grip, but in exchange you get a faster roll. No matter what kind of skateboarding you do, we can help you find the perfect wheels! Take a look at the information and recommendations below and please let us know if you have any questions or suggestions!

 

Surface is a Factor when Choosing Wheels

One of the biggest factors for choosing a wheel is the surface you skate on. Skaterboarding on a hard or very slippery surface will need a softer wheel than those who are using a grippier, or softer surface. The more slip on a surface, the softer the wheel needs to be in order to maintain traction. The same goes for a hard, rough surface like asphalt which you'll need more give in your wheels to go over all the cracks, bumps, and pebbles. For grippier and/or smooth surfaces, a skater will choose a harder wheel. There is one standout pro and con for both hard and soft wheels. The pro for a soft wheel is that you will get maximum grip on the most slippery of surfaces. The trade-off being that the speed of the roll in that wheel decreases because of its compression. For harder wheels, it is basically the opposite.

Body Weight is a Factor when Choosing Wheels

One other factor that people often do not take into account is their weight. Of course your weight effects what type of wheel you should choose, and it effects how it rolls and grips to the surface you decide to board on. It makes sense if you think about it. There isn't a known optimal weight for any particular wheel, but you might try a few different hardnesses to find which is right for you. Just because someone else you know likes a particular durometer (hardness rating) or wheel, doesn't mean that wheel will fit you -- especially if there is a significant weight difference.

Generally, the more you weigh, the harder wheel you want (usually still within or close to the range recommended for your type of skateboarding). This is because a heavier weight causes the wheel to compress and stick more than a lighter weight. Lighter skaters may choose to skate on softer wheels because the softer wheels take less weight to compress. This gives lighter skaters the right amount of grip they need on the track. These principles aside, skaters often have differing preferences as to what they like in a wheel, and many don't take weight into account at all. However, it's something you might want to consider. A beginner may not see a big difference in hardnesses either. The more you master your skills, the more you will want to adjust things like size and hardness of your wheels. Body weight can also play a part in the size of wheels you want. Smaller skaters (especially the kiddos) do well on smaller wheels while bigger skaters tend to get taller wheels.

Skateboard Wheel Matrix

You don't have to take our word for it. You can do your own homework on wheels and try to prove us wrong! The easiest way to do some of your own research is to use this awesome skateboard wheel matrix that will help you find the range of size and hardness you need depending on how and where you're skateboarding! For example, longboarders typically prefer larger, softer wheels while the guys you see nailing all those awesome tricks like smaller, harder wheels. Can't read all the details in this awesome chart? Don't worry, we can't either, just click on it to open a larger (and zoomable) version!

Skateboard Wheels for Beginners

If you're a beginner, we have some awesome options to help you learn how to sharpen your skateboarding skills! Most beginners prefer to start with a 86-99A hardness and a 54-62mm size. The bigger the size, the more stability you can expect. As you get better, you'll want to go down in size. The lower the hardness, the more grip you can expect to have. If you are longboarding or skating primarily on asphalt, you'll want an even lower hardness than 86 so checkout our longboard section.

Spitfire Classic Wheels

Spitfire Classic Skateboard WheelsThe Spitfire Classic Skateboard Wheels are a go to for beginners. Seriously, how can you go wrong with a classic? Spitfire's Classic 99A Skateboard Wheels will have you nailing those tricks with just the right amount of grip to keep you upright...well if you want to be upright...if that's not your goal, their awesome slide will help you with that too! There are multiple sizes in these great wheels so you can find the perfect fit for your skateboarding style and size as you learn some sweet skills.

 

Skateboard Wheels for Cruisers

If you just want to cruise, we know just what you need. Most cruisers like 78-92A hardness and and between 52 and 60mm in size. The softer wheels will ensure you have a super smooth ride!

Girl Happy Skateboard Wheels

Girl Happy Skateboard WheelsThe Girl Happy Skateboard Wheels are a go to option for our cruiser customers. These wheels will give you the smoothness you long for and the fun we all want more of! The larger 56mm Stout shaped wheel will keep you steady and happy over some brutal terrain, and the 80 hardness will make it look and feel easy!

 

Skateboard Wheels for the Longboarders

Many skateboarders love to use longboards, either as their primary board or something to use when they aren't destroying their tricks at the local skate park. Longboards need big, soft wheels to handle the extra board and rougher surface. Most longboarders will use 73-87A hardness wheels that are 60mm or above.

Shark Sidewinder Skateboard Wheels

Shark Sidewinder Skateboard WheelsLongboarders LOVW these Shark Sidewinder Skateboard Wheels.These Sidewinder wheels by Shark offers longoarders a super smooth ride, even over rough terrain including sand, water, pebbles, and debris. You will be rolling so fast, you won't believe the grip and control you're getting. Not to mention, they look so cool that everyone will be asking you where you got them! 

 

Skateboard Wheels for Street

For street skaters, we recommend 99A and above hardness and between 50 and 55mm in size. The smaller size will allow you to nail all those tricks you're perfecting with ease!

Pig Head Conical Skateboard Wheels

Pig Head Conical Skateboard WheelsOur Street skaters LOVE the Pig Head Conical Skateboard Wheels! Do you love taking your board into bowls and pools? These are the wheels for you! The Conical line of Pig Head skateboard wheels are wider than standard wheels which means that they hold better speed. You'll be dying to get these dirty as soon as you open the package!

 

Skateboard Wheels for Vert

If you just love the vert, we know just what you crave. Most vert skaters like over a 99A hardness and and between 55 and 60mm in size. If you are not quite a pro, just aiming to hit that next level (or maybe you're a pro needing to up your game), try out some smaller and harder wheels than you've been using to give yourself the maneuverability and roll you need.

Spitfire Formula Four Classic Skateboard Wheels

Spitfire Formula Four Classic Skateboard WheelsThe Spitfire Classic Skateboard Wheels are a go to option for our pro customers. These wheels will give you the best of the best! The Classic shape is the number 1 shape in skateboarding all over the world. This Urethane will give you everything you desire from a performance wheel. These wheels are available in a variety of small sizes in 99 and 101 Durometers. Both hardnesses will give you unmatched flatspot resistance and a smooth anti-slick slide. The 99 will provide more speed and control on all surfaces and have a high rebound compound while the 101 are formulated for a harder, faster ride.

 

Skateboard Wheels for All-Around Skateboarding

We see you! Those amazing skateboarders out there that would never be caught without their skateboard ready to ride at a the drop of a hat. If you never know where you'll be skating, try to keep 92-97A hardness wheels between 53 and 60mm wheels on your board. They'll hold up no matter what you get yourself into!

Autobahn ABX Torus Skateboard Wheels

Autobahn ABX Torus Skateboard WheelsThe Autobahn ABX Torus Skateboard Wheels are a go to option for our all-around skateboarding customers. These wheels will give you the best option no matter what you're skating! These wheels give unparalleled performance at high speeds, tight turns, and on a variety of surfaces. Our customers love this wheel for flying down the streets or hitting up the skatepark. If you never leave home without your board, these are the wheels for you!

 

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