What Size Skateboard Wheels Do I Need?
Skateboard wheels are usually made from polyurethane and are available in different colours, sizes, shapes and durabilities. Skateboard wheels are measured by diameter (size) and durometer (hardness) and change the way your board feels and rides. Always choose a wheel that suits your style and the type of skateboarding you intend to do, baring in mind your height and weight can also affect what size wheel feels right for you.
Diameter affects how quickly you accelerate and how tight you can turn. Smaller wheels offer more stability, accelerate faster and are lower to the ground, which means the board should be easier to control, ideal for street and technical skateboarding. Larger wheels are faster but slower to accelerate, perfect for cruisers or old school boards. We recommend beginners and commuters opt for larger wheels, as they offer speed and balance, ideal for rougher ground.
Stable for trick riding, smaller street skaters, skate parks and bowls.
Average wheel size for beginners and bigger street skaters, skate parks, bowls and vert ramps.
Specialty riders skating longboards, old-school boards, downhill and dirt boards. These larger wheels are ideal for speed and rougher surfaces.
What Durometer (Hardness) Do I Need?
Durometer measures a wheel’s hardness. Harder wheels are faster whereas softer wheels are slower but grip more. Durometer is traditionally measured on the A Scale which ranges from 1-100a however, there are companies who use the B Scale. The B Scale measures 20 points fewer than the A Scale in order to allow the scale to extend another 20 points for the hardest wheels. For example, a 100a durometer is the same as 80b durometer. The average wheel durometer is 99a.
Soft wheels, great for cruising and offer the most grip and smoothest ride.
Soft. Designed for smooth rides, cruising, longboards, street boars, hills, and rough surfaces. They have a lot of grip and can easily roll over bumps and cracks.
Slightly harder and faster with a little less grip. Good for street skateboarding and rough surfaces.
Nice speed and grip. Ideal for beginner street skateboarding, skate parks, ramps, pools, and other smooth surfaces.
Hard and fast wheel with less grip. Ineffective on slick and rough surfaces.
Extremely hard and fast with very little grip.
Riding Surface/Contact Patch
Riding Surface is the area of the wheel that makes contact with the surface you are skating. A larger riding surface distributes your weight over a larger area, reducing the compression of the urethane in your wheels and decreases rolling resistance which can slow you down. A smaller riding surface has the opposite effect.
Wheel shape affects the size of your riding surface and are specific to the type of skateboarding you want to do. Below is a quick guide to wheel shapes.
A normal shaped skateboard wheel, with a slim riding surface and curved bevelled edges.
Wider riding surface and sidewalls that cone slightly inwards. Good for skating ramps and locking into coping easier.
The opposite of conical, with a more bevelled edge and larger riding surface, for a smoother ride even on the hardest of durometers.
Asymmetrical shape and design featuring a conical cut profile opposite a straight edge side to lock your wheels and trucks into grinds better.
Some skateboard wheels feature a separate inner area, usually made of plastic, to host bearings, designed to provide a softer durometer wheel without compromising the bearing’s stability. This also means they can be lighter than other skateboard wheels.
Very low durometer for a smoother ride for cruisers, old school setups and longboards, but not usually intended for skateboarding that involves tricks.