Just like skateboard decks have changed their shape over time to what they are now, skateboard wheels have also evolved from clay and steel materials to the urethane ones we see today. Urethane wheels were first introduced to the skateboard industry in the 1970’s which quickly made the old materials obsolete. This new technology offered longer-lasting wheels with better grip and a more forgiving feel. Thus, making it possible for skaters to carve and turn on pavement with better control and comfort.

Urethane itself was the invention that sparked a new era in skateboarding and made it into the lifestyle it is now. Now, nearly five decades later, every skateboard wheel on the market is made out of urethane. The same material is even used in the edges of some snowboards instead of their old steel counterparts.

Nowadays, skateboarders have a huge variety of quality wheels to choose from. The most important factors being the skateboard wheel hardness (durometer) and size. The best skateboard wheels might be hard to find which is why we’ve made this buyer’s guide for you. Read on!

52mm - 55mm diameter is a great place to start for learning the basics.You can also mix-and-match your favorite skateboard wheels and bearings.

Size of the wheels

Choosing the right wheel size can be difficult. A bigger wheel will be faster and a little heavier than a smaller wheel. A bigger wheel also lifts your board a bit higher than a smaller wheel whereas a smaller wheel is easier to control and lighter in weight.

This is why transition skaters usually opt for bigger wheels and higher trucks to keep up with the grip and speed needed for transition skating. Street skaters might want to choose smaller and lighter wheels to help them with flatground tricks and sliding on rails or curbs.

Wheel diameters are measured in millimeters and they usually range from 49mm all the way to 75mm. Different wheel sizes are used in very different ways:

49mm – 52mm Technical street skating
52mm – 55mm All around skating/street skating
55mm – 60mm All around skating/Transition skating
60mm – 65mm Transition skating
65mm – 70mm Transition skating/Longboards & Cruisers
70+mm Downhill longboarding

We suggest to always use a matching set of wheels. Never mix-and-match between sizes or durometers.

Durometer of the wheels

78A – 87A Soft, Smooth ‘n Grippy. Excellent for longboards and cruisers
88A – 95A Harder and Faster but still soft enough for cruising
96A – 101A Hard and Fast. Street and park skating galore!
83B – 84B Hardest & Fastest! Best skateboard wheels for technical street/park experts

Did our skateboard wheels buyer’s guide teach you anything new? Let us know in the comments. 

Subscribe to our newsletter

Skate Season_728x90