Skateboard wheels are the most important part of the board, but what if you choose the wrong size?
Picking the wrong size skate wheels will take away all your riding pleasure and make your riding a hassle. Skateboard balance and speed are influenced by the size and quality of the wheels. Also, the wrong size wheels can result in a wheel bite, meaning that the rider will fall off the board when the wheel touches the deck in tight turns.
Here we will guide you what size skateboard wheels you need. Thus, you will be able to replace old wheels or assemble new skateboards with the right size wheels.
Here are a few useful links for assembling new skateboards or replacing old skateboard parts:
What Size Skateboard Wheels Should I Get
You must know your preferred riding style before moving on to the skateboard wheel size guide. You can’t choose the right size wheels without knowing your riding style.
There are a variety of types and sizes of skateboard wheels available today for different riding styles.
If you like to perform tricks such as Ollie and kickflip, the small size wheels (50mm to 53mm) will be ideal. Moreover, pro riders also prefer small wheels since they are lightweight and provide a faster ride.
However, if you enjoy cruising and riding over rough surfaces, then bigger wheels are best. It is recommended to use wheels between 54mm and 60mm on rough roads. In addition, if your deck part above the wheels is not cut, you might need to use riser pads with bigger wheels in order to avoid wheel bite. The big size wheels are also suitable for beginners as they allow them to ride on all surfaces.
Skateboard Wheels Diameter
When choosing skateboard wheels, you should know what each skateboard wheel diameter is used for so that you can pick the right one according to your riding style.
Since the skate wheels diameter range from 50mm to 75mm, we have listed all wheel diameters in one place with their uses to make it easier for you.
Also, note that skateboard wheels are usually measured in millimeters.
50 – 53mm: The smallest skateboard wheels. Best for tricks, skatepark, bowls, and street skating.
54 – 59mm: Medium size wheels. Suitable for beginners, rough roads, street skating, cruising, and basic tricks.
60mm +: Only suitable for longboards and old school boards. Ideal for daily commutes, rough surfaces, and downhill skateboarding.
So far, we have answered your question regarding what size skateboard wheels should I get. But is that enough to make a wise decision? Not at all. The hardness of wheels is just as important as their size.
Skateboard Wheels Durometer
The hardness of a wheel is measured in durometers. The higher the number, the harder the wheel.
The hardness of wheels decides the riding surfaces as they control the grip and speed on surfaces.
The durometers for skate wheels range from 78A to 104A, making it difficult to make the right choice. Therefore, we have compiled all of the durometers and their uses in one place in order to give you a better overview.
Also see: Soft vs hard skateboard wheels
75a – 87a: The softest wheels. It works best on rough surfaces such as rocks, cracks, and pebbles. Since the wheels have more grip, they can handle rough roads with ease. Further, its smoothness makes it perfect for cruising.
88a – 95a: Medium hard wheels with high speed. Having a little less grip. Suitable for rough roads and street skating.
96a – 99a: Hardest and the fastest wheels. Suitable for tricks and smooth surfaces like skate parks, ramps, and swimming pools. It is also suitable for beginners to learn the basics of skateboarding.
100a+: For pro and expert skaters only. For beginners, it’s not easy to handle because the wheels are hard and fast with little grip.
Wheel Sizes for Specific Riding
Those who want to cruise around town choose wheels between 54mm and 60mm in diameter. Additionally, you should consider the hardness for cruising, which ranges from 78a to 87a.
If you’re a street skater, choose wheels between 50mm and 54mm. Street skating requires a wheels hardness of 88A to 95A.
For mini ramps and bowls, 50mm to 56mm wheels with a durometer of 96a to 99a work well.
When it comes to tricks, you should look for something between 50mm and 54mm, and 96a to 99a durometer.
It can be challenging to pick the right size skateboard wheels, but if you plan accurately for what kind of riding you want, the process will go smoothly.
You should always keep in mind that even a small difference in the size or the durometer of your wheels can make a big difference in your riding experience. Thus, never pick the wheel based on how it looks; always choose a wheel based on its features.