To get the most from your skateboard wheels it’s important to pick the right size. This may seem difficult but it really isn’t that hard. Does skateboard wheel size matter?
Skateboard wheel size does matter a lot. If the wheels are too big you’ll have a hard time landing tricks and the wheels could make contact with the board.
The hardness and quality of the polyurethane has a impact on performance.
Picking the Right Wheel Diameter
Larger wheel diameter equals slower acceleration however larger wheels create more momentum. It’s easier to maintain your speed once your at a reasonable velocity.
Smaller wheels offer more responsiveness and better for technical street skateboarding. They are more forgiving and won’t get stuck when grinding a ledge or rail. Smaller wheels are more responsive and help with board flips.
The Right Hardness or Durometer
Hardness is also important and getting the right combination takes some research. Harder wheels perform better on smooth surfaces such as skate parks and concrete bowls.
Skateboard Wheel Size for Cruising
If you like to cruise around comfortably select wheels that are 56mm to 60mm. You’ll need a set of riser pads if you choose wheels that are 56mm and above. Risers prevent the wheels from coming into contact with your deck when you make turns (AKA: wheel bite).
Cruising requires soft wheels with a hardness at 78a to 87a. Softer 78 wheels offer a comfortable and smooth ride. The down side is that they feel bouncy and doing tricks with them can be more difficult. 87a are still good for smooth cruising but you’ll be able to ride faster.
Softer wheels on rough surfaces are more forgiving, they also avoid getting stuck when you roll over small rocks and cracks. If you have rode on harder wheels before you’ll be surprised how much these wheels can handle without losing control of your board. Longboards should use sizes starting at 60mm.
Skateboard Wheel Size for Street
Street skateboard wheels will be small and hard. Small wheels offer more flexibility when landing tricks. Bigger wheels can reduce the risk of landing a trick while smaller wheels still allow you to land a trick without running the risk of hurting yourself.
Smaller wheels accelerate faster compared to larger wheels which is good for a short distance ride. Its also good for ollies sense you need to be able to get as much speed as possible in the least amount of time.
Wheel size between 50mm and 53mm for street skateboarding. They dont last you as long as larger wheels but technical tricks require smaller wheels. Go with a hardness of 97a or 99a. 97a are a bit more comfortable on asphalt but 99a tends to be the more popular durometers among street skateboarders.
Wheel Size for Bowls, Mini Ramps and Vert
Most skateboarders select 56mm wheels for mini ramps, and even for medium bowls. Verticals require 58mm and above for a firm grip.
If you’re a mini ramp skater go with larger wheels, going from 54mm to 56mm does make a huge difference. Larger wheels will involve less pushing and are more forgiving.
Hardness is important, but you’ll also need some grip. Go with 100A or above, you need them for speed but not all hard wheels provide good grip.
Picking the right skateboard wheel size to fit your personal style and preference makes a big difference. Larger wheels require more push to get up to speed than smaller wheels.
Larger and softer wheels are suitable for cruising, larger and harder wheels are for verticals, bowl and mini ramps.
Smaller and harder wheels are necessary for the streets and technical stuff. The are forgiving with sketchy landings and make it easier to flip the board compared to larger wheels.
If you go for larger sized wheels you need enough clearance between your board and the wheels to avoid wheel bite. Use high profile trucks or riser pads to prevent wheel bite.
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