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Skateboard Wheels Guide

In this guide we will try to explain something about skateboard wheels and what is important to mind about when choosing yours.

Material

Almost all the wheels nowadays are made of polyurethane. It is a material that resists the abrasion very well, and has nice grip properties so, since it has been used for skateboard wheels, all the manufactures preferred it.

Any wheel with a minimum quality of those you can find in a skate shop must be made of polyurethane.

Measurements (diameter)

The diameter must be the first and most important decision when choosing your wheels.

The brands measurements usually are the wheel’s diameter in millimeters.

The bigger it is, the more speed the wheel can achieve, so it is faster. Bigger wheels also have less acceleration, but it is not easy to notice that with a skateboard.

Another important point is that with bigger wheels it is easier to start and land grind tricks.

 In the other hand, smaller wheels are lighter and give you less height and a lower gravity center, so they are better for street technical tricks.

Based on the size and kind of skateboarding, wheels can be classified in the following groups:

Less than 49 mm

Wheels with less than 49 mm in diameter are not recommended, because they are not effective on almost all surfaces. They were very popular in the 90’s, but nowadays aren’t much used.

From 50 mm to 56 mm

This range is the most common for the present street skate wheels.

Their small size makes them ideal for smooth surfaces, and are the most preferred for street skating, because they are lighter so technical tricks are easier with them.

In this range, the bigger ones are better for ramps and if you will use your skate to move yourself in the city, because you will have more speed and will save better the ground irregularities. The smaller ones are better for smooth surfaces and technical tricks.

If you want to do a little bit of everything, 53 mm are the most useful and popular measurement for street nowadays.

From 56 mm to 60 mm

These big wheels are the preferred for those skaters who look for speed.

They are very used for ramps, where the maximum speed is needed to get height, and for moving around the city, because they are good for irregular roads.

Hardness (Durometer)

Another important thing when choosing your wheels is the hardness.

Most skate wheels are made of, as we said before, a very resistant polymer called polyurethane. Since its introduction in the market of skate during the 70s, it became virtually the only material used for making wheels until today.

This is because it is a very durable material, and it’s resistant to abrasion, while relatively quite cheap.

The polyurethane can have different degrees of hardness, it will be better or worse, depending on the use that you will give to the wheels, and the surfaces you will go skating regularly.

To measure the hardness, the ‘durometer’ classification is used.

The durometer, is a scale that has several categories. To skate wheels, it is commonly used the "A" scale.

That is why you can see in every wheel an ‘A’ following a number.

The higher the number, the greater the hardness of the wheel.

Generally speaking, the harder wheels offer greater speed and less grip, so are preferred for ramp, skate parks and performing technical tricks. They should always be used in more or less smooth terrain.

By contrast, soft wheels develop slower but offer much more grip and are preferred by skaters skating on a wider variety of grounds and using the skate as a self-transporter, because soft wheels absorb much better the ground irregularities.

Most street skate wheels to have a hardness between 95-101A, that means hard wheels, and it is because the harder ones are better for doing tricks.

‘A’ scale is imprecise in their highest values, so 101A would be an imprecise measurement as it exceeds the limit of the scale.

Therefore, many manufacturers use the scale B, or D, which are scales under A scale, in due to try to be more accurate in higher values.

Although the comparison is not exact, here you have a table to have an idea about the relation between A and B scales.

A

B

100

85

95

81

90

76

85

71

75

62

If you are looking for a skateboard wheels, see our section in the store where you have about 200 different models. See Wheels Skate

And if you have any questions, feel free to contact us, we will be glad to help you.