How to choose your skateboard wheels?
Choosing the right skateboard wheels is crucial for a smooth and enjoyable ride. Skateboard wheels come in various sizes and hardness levels, each suitable for different styles of skateboarding and personal preferences. Here's a guide to help you choose the right skateboard wheels:
1. Wheel Diameter (Size):
- Skateboard wheels are typically measured in millimeters (mm). The most common sizes range from 49mm to 60mm, with variations beyond that for specialized purposes.
- Choose smaller wheels (49mm-53mm) for street and technical skating. Smaller wheels are lighter and offer quicker acceleration, making them ideal for flip tricks and street obstacles.
- Opt for medium-sized wheels (54mm-56mm) if you're into all-around skating, including park, ramps, and street. These wheels provide a balance between speed and maneuverability.
- Select larger wheels (57mm-60mm or more) for cruising, downhill, and transition skateboarding. Bigger wheels maintain speed better, roll over cracks and pebbles more easily, and offer a smoother ride.
2. Wheel Hardness (Durometer):
- Wheel hardness is measured on the durometer scale, typically ranging from 78A to 101A and beyond. The "A" scale is used for skateboard wheels, with higher numbers indicating harder wheels.
- Softer wheels (78A-87A) provide more grip and are suitable for cruising, longboarding, and rough terrain. They absorb shocks and provide a comfortable ride.
- Medium-hard wheels (88A-95A) are versatile and suitable for all-around street and park skateboarding. They offer a good balance of grip and slide.
- Hard wheels (96A-101A+) are ideal for technical tricks, street skating, and sliding. They have less grip but provide excellent slide control for tricks like power slides and reverts.
3. Surface and Terrain:
- Consider the type of terrain you'll be skating on the most. For rough and uneven surfaces, softer wheels are better for a smoother ride. On smooth skatepark surfaces, harder wheels offer better control.
4. Skateboarding Style:
- Your skateboarding style influences wheel choice. If you prefer flip tricks and technical street skating, go for smaller, harder wheels. If you enjoy cruising, transition skating, or downhill rides, opt for larger and softer wheels.
5. Personal Preference:
- Ultimately, your preference plays a significant role. Experiment with different wheel sizes and durometers to find what suits you best. Some skaters like a mix of hard and soft wheels, known as "hard-soft" setups, for versatility.
6. Brand and Quality:
- Choose wheels from reputable skateboard brands. Quality wheels are made from durable urethane and perform better, providing a more consistent ride.
7. Wheel Shape:
- Skateboard wheels come in various shapes, including conical, radial, and square-edged. The shape can affect how the wheels perform during tricks, so experiment to find what feels best for your style.
8. Wheel Graphics:
- While not directly related to performance, the graphics on wheels can add a personal touch to your skateboard setup. Choose wheels with designs that resonate with your style and personality.
9. Replace Worn-Out Wheels:
- Regularly inspect your wheels for wear and flat spots. Replace them when they become too worn, as this can affect your performance and safety.
Remember that skateboard wheels are a personal preference, and what works for one skater may not work for another. It's essential to try different combinations of wheel size and hardness to find the setup that suits your skating style and terrain. Experimentation and practice will help you discover the perfect skateboard wheel setup for your needs.