How To Choose The Best Skateboard Wheels
Skateboard wheels are a crucial part of your skateboard. Your choice of wheels and bearings will determine how fast you go. When buying skateboard wheels, it’s important that you pick wheels to fit your trucks, your deck and most importantly, your ride style! There are many different types of skateboard wheels and they differ in size and texture as well as colour. Just the slightest change in wheel size and wheel durometer, can change how your board feels when you ride it.
We’ve created a full guide on how to choose your skateboard wheels to help you make the right choice and ensure your complete is faultless!
It all starts with the trucks and the deck…
If you haven’t already, head to our Skateboard Deck Guide to get some more assistance on choosing your deck. This is your starting point as the size of your deck will actually determine the size of your trucks, which will then give you a better understanding of the size of your wheels. Additionally, your height and weight can affect your skateboard wheel choice.
Choosing the size of your skateboard wheels
Wheel diameter will affect things like your speed and the tightness of your turns. Skateboard wheel diameter is normally measured in millimetres, and most wheels range from 50-75mm. So if you need small wheels, shop around the 50mm end of the scale. Similarly, if you’re looking for big wheels, shop around the 70mm end of the scale.
Smaller wheels allow for a slower ride. If you’re into technical skating and street skating, it’s best to go for small wheels. They are lower to the ground, which will typically make the board easier for you to control.
Larger wheels will help you ride faster. If you’re using a skateboard for transportation, low key cruising or vert skating, you may want to go for larger wheels. Their increased diameter offers speed and balance all in one.
Small, slower wheels; stable for trick riding and smaller riders skating street, skate parks, and bowls.
Average wheel size for beginners and bigger riders skating street, skate parks, bowls, and vert ramps.
Specialty riders skating longboards, old-school boards, downhill, and dirt boards; made for speed and rougher surfaces.
Choosing the durometer of your wheels
Durometer measures the hardness of the skateboard wheel. Most manufacturers use the Durometer A Scale, which is a 100-point scale that quantifies how hard the wheel is. The higher the number the harder the wheel, although the average wheel durometer is 99a. There are some manufacturers however, that use the B Scale, which measures 20 points fewer than the A Scale, and therefore allows for an extra 20 points for the hardest wheels.
Generally speaking harder wheels are faster, and softer wheels are slower with the added advantage of having more grip. Softer wheels are better suited to street skating, while harder wheels are better for smooth surfaces. Here are some general guidelines for wheel durometer as it concerns your skating preferences and skill level.
Hard Wheels - Park skating, ramps, bowls and other smooth surfaces
Soft Wheels – street skating, other rough surfaces
78a-87a wheels are soft wheels, good for rough surfaces, longboards, or street boards. They have lots of grip to easily roll over bumps and cracks. Designed for smooth rides, cruising, hills, and rough surfaces.
88a-95a wheels are slightly harder and faster wheels, with slightly less grip. They're good for street skating and rough surfaces.
96a-99a wheels provide nice speed and grip. Great for beginners skating street, skate parks, ramps, pools, and other smooth surfaces.
100a+ wheels are the hardest and the fastest pro wheels, with the least amount of grip. Ineffective on slick and rough surfaces.
83b-84b Wheels using the B scale are extremely hard. They measure 20 points fewer than the A Scale. The scale is extended another 20 points for the hardest wheels.
Popular brands to shop
Here are some of the most popular skateboard wheel brands that you can shop.