Skateboard wheels are one of the most important parts of your skateboard, that allow you to move/roll your skateboard. You are reading this because you want to know " How to choose a skateboard wheel".
Skateboard wheels are usually made of Polyurethane and it comes in variety of Size, Colour and Durability levels. You will have to choose skateboard wheels based on the preferred size, durability and or your Skateboarding styles and usage.
When assembling your own skateboard, Wheels are very important to choose. After you have chosen Deck, Trucks, Grip tape.
Two main measuring factors to measure the wheels of your skateboard are 'Diameter' and 'Durability'.
Durability determines to softness and hardness of the wheels and Diameter determines the size of the wheels.
Choose Skateboard wheels by diameter
Diameter of a wheel is measured from one end to another end, the measuring scale must touch the center of the wheel.
If we measure its size from the center then it will be its radius (1/2 Diameter). Wheel's diameter is measured in millimeters (mm).
Some Companies list the width of wheels, but in general a wider wheel is meant to be providing more balance, speed, and a smoother ride.
You will be getting more detailed information which will help you to choose a good skateboard wheels for your skateboard.
Let's see what size is suitable for you:
48-50mm Smallest size wheels, Used in pro skateboard for technical street riders. It needs skills to balance on these wheels, not recommended for beginners.
50-52 mm Small size and slow wheels ; suitable for trick riding and smaller riders skating street, skate parks, and bowls, Not suitable for beginner due to less stability it needs more skills.
53-60 mm A good, all purpose wheels; most commonly used, Average wheels size, for beginners, bigger riders skating streets, skate parks and bowls.
60 mm+ For longboards, dirtboard, Old school and downhill ; made specially for rough surface and not suitable for tricks.
Choose skateboard wheels by durometer
Durometer is a scale that determines the hardness of a wheels. The higher the number is on durometer the harder that wheel is and lower number is for softer wheels.
Mostly durability is measured on A scale. But Some of the manufacturer use B scale to determine the hardness of the wheels.
The Difference between A and B scale is that, B scale is 20 points harder than A scale ( which means that 70B wheels are as hard as 90A Wheels).
The harder your wheel is the faster it is and Softer wheels are slower in speed while skateboarding. But Soft wheels have more grip and good for rough surface/street riding and Harder wheels are for smooth surface/ground like Skatepark and bowl.
75A-85A Softer wheels ; good for rough surface riding, for longboards, hill, cruising. Easily rolls over cracks and pebbles. Best for street riders.
85-89A Slightly harder than last one, it also has lower grip but it is still good for street riding.
90-97A If you ride everything a bit then you should get wheels between this range; faster, decent grip, Good for beginners, cruising, street, skatepark, ramps, pools. These are best skateboard wheels for Cruising and tricks as well.
98A+ The hardest and the fastest wheels. It has less grip and it is a pro wheels which needs a good skill to balance/manage it, It is suitable for Tricks.
While choosing durability of your wheels, choose wisely according to your riding style and need. As a beginner if you choose very hard wheels then their might be chances of falling and you can stop it easily.
Beginner ? Learn Basics
Choose skateboard wheels by riding style
Still Confused about how to choose skateboard wheels that suits your skateboarding style?
Now we will recommend best wheels size and durometer for you riding style and need.
For Technical Street Skaters
If you are a street skater with technical skating skills like Tricks and you want responsive wheels that are easy to get off the ground. Responsive wheels also helps in grinds, ollies and flip tricks. Consider choosing following wheels:
Durometer : 97A and above
Diameter : 48-52 mm
These wheels are for professional and skilled riders because these are harder and smaller enough to handle for a beginner.
These are best skateboard wheels for concrete park and its hardness makes it unsuitable for cruising.
For Vert Skating
You need mid sized and hard wheels if you are a vert skater. Hard and medium sized wheels provide speed that you need while riding on ramps and half pipes. Harder wheels gives good control over tricks.
Recommended wheels for vert skaters are:
Durometer : 90A - 97A
Diameter : 54mm-60mm
You can also go for bigger wheels if you are comfortable enough.
Large wheels are faster and needs less pushes and softer wheels absorbs bumps and strokes to make your ride more comfortable.
Mostly larger wheels are also wider that makes your board more stable.
Durometer : 75A-85A. 78 is the standard size used commonly
Diameter : 65-75mm
The above given skateboard wheels description is best skateboard wheels for cruising. Skateboard wheels width is responsible for its stability.
Some Companies offer special for purpose wheels, which means you don't need to worry about the hardness and softness of the wheels just buy that company skateboard that suits your style. Some brands like STF FORMULA and Spitfire F1 Street Burners are designed specifically for street terrain, while Bones SPF Formula and Spitfire F1 Park Burners are designed for park terrain. So just choose best skateboard wheels for you based on all of the above criteria and you will get a decent wheel that suits your need and style.