Beyond the Size

Skateboard Wheels: Choosing the Perfect Set for Your Riding Style

Skateboarding is a popular sport that involves riding a board on wheels, performing tricks and stunts in the process. While the board itself is the star of the show, the wheels play a crucial role in the skating experience.

They determine how fast you can go, the kind of surface you can ride on, and the tricks you can perform. This article will explore the various factors that determine the right size, width, and hardness of skateboard wheels to help you choose the perfect set for your skating style.

Skateboard Wheel Sizes:

Skateboard wheels come in different sizes, which can affect the performance and the type of skating experience you will have. The size of the wheel is measured in diameter, which is the distance across the wheel from edge to edge.

Here are some of the different sizes of skateboard wheels and the type of skating they are best suited for. Small (48-51mm):

Small wheels are ideal for flat surfaces.

They provide quick acceleration, making it easier to perform tricks that require sudden bursts of speed. They are also lighter, which helps to reduce the overall weight of the skateboard.

However, small wheels have a lower peak speed, which means they are not ideal for long-distance riding or racing. Medium (52-54mm):

Medium wheels are versatile and can be used on all types of surfaces, including rough terrain.

They have a higher peak speed than small wheels but have slower acceleration. They are ideal for skaters who like to ride fast and perform tricks that require stability and balance.

Large (55-60mm):

Large wheels are designed for skateboard parks, where riders can achieve top speeds. They have slower acceleration than small and medium wheels but can maintain high speeds for longer periods.

Large wheels are also ideal for skaters who like to ride long distances on smooth surfaces. Cruise (61+mm):

Cruise wheels are designed for cruisers and longboards.

They provide a smooth ride and are best suited for riders who want to cover long distances comfortably. They are not ideal for performing tricks, but they offer a stable platform for riders who want to cruise around the city or the park.

Wheel Bite:

Wheel bite occurs when the bottom of the skateboard deck rubs against the top of the wheel. This can cause reduced speed, instability, and even injury if the skateboarder falls off.

Wheel bite can be caused by a mismatch between the size of the wheels and the width of the skateboard deck. Riders can prevent wheel bite by selecting wheels that are the right size and hardness for their skateboard setup.

Skateboard Wheel Width and Durometer Scale:

Apart from size, the width and durometer scale of skateboard wheels can affect performance and the type of skating experience. The width of the wheel refers to the surface area that contacts the ground, while the durometer scale is a measure of the wheel’s hardness.

Here are some of the different types of skateboard wheel widths and durometer scales. Width:

The width of the wheel affects the stability and balance of the skateboard.

Narrower wheels provide greater stability at high speeds and are ideal for downhill skating. Wider wheels, on the other hand, provide greater traction and balance, making them ideal for tricks and park riding.

Durometer Scale:

The durometer scale is a measure of the hardness of the wheel. Softer wheels provide greater shock absorbency and better grip on rough surfaces.

They are ideal for cruising and long distance riding. Harder wheels are more durable and maintain their shape better, making them ideal for trick skating and park riding.

Extremely hard wheels, with a durometer of 100A or higher, are best suited for competitive racing and downhill skating. Conclusion:

Selecting the right skateboard wheels is crucial to achieving an optimal skating experience and preventing injury.

By considering the size, width, and durometer scale of the wheels, riders can choose a set that provides the perfect balance of stability, speed, and grip. Whether you’re cruising around the city or performing tricks in the skatepark, the right set of wheels can enhance your skating performance and make every ride a memorable one.

Skateboard Wheel Shapes:

Skateboard wheels come in different shapes, each designed for specific types of riding and tricks. The shape of the wheel can affect the speed, grip, and maneuverability of the skateboard.

Here are some of the different shapes of skateboard wheels and what they are best suited for. Standard:

Standard wheels are the most common shape of skateboard wheels.

They have a consistent diameter and surface area, providing stable rides and balanced landings. Standard wheels are versatile and can be used for different skating styles and terrains.

They are ideal for beginners and riders who want a simple, reliable setup. Conical:

Conical wheels have a tapered shape, with wider contact patches near the center of the wheel and narrower sides.

The angled sidewalls of conical wheels reduce the amount of surface area that contacts the ground, reducing friction and making them faster. Conical wheels are ideal for transition skating and high-speed cruising.

The narrow sides of the wheel also make it easier to perform tricks that require quick, sharp turns. Radial:

Radial wheels have pronounced beveled edges and a wider contact patch.

The beveled edges of radial wheels provide more surface area for the skateboard to grip the ground, improving control and stability. This shape is ideal for sliding and carving, as it allows for smoother, more controlled transitions.

Radial wheels also provide a comfortable ride over rough terrain, reducing vibrations and shock. Core:

Core wheels have two moving parts, with an internal hub surrounded by the wheel’s urethane.

This allows the wheel to spin independently of the skateboard’s axle, reducing friction and improving speed. Core wheels are lighter than other types of skateboard wheels, making them ideal for tricks that require quick movements and acceleration.

The spinning ability of core wheels also makes them ideal for sliding, as they allow the rider to break traction more easily. Conclusion:

Skateboard wheel shape can have a significant impact on your riding experience.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced rider, selecting the right shape of the wheel can help you achieve better control, speed, and maneuverability. Standard wheels are ideal for general purpose use, while conical wheels are great for high-speed cruising and transition skating.

Radial wheels are perfect for carving and sliding, while core wheels are ideal for tricks and acceleration. Whatever your riding style, there is a skateboard wheel shape that will enhance your performance and make every ride more enjoyable.

In conclusion, selecting the right skateboard wheels is crucial for achieving the optimal skating experience. By considering the size, width, durometer scale, and shape of the wheels, riders can choose the perfect set for their skating style.

Standard, conical, radial, and core wheels offer different benefits and are ideal for different types of skating. With the right set of wheels, riders can enjoy better speed, grip, and control, and make the most out of every ride.

FAQs:

Q: What size skateboard wheels should I choose? A: It depends on the type of skating you want to do.

Small wheels (48-51mm) are ideal for flat surfaces and quick acceleration, while large wheels (55-60mm) are great for skateparks and top speeds. Q: What’s the difference between soft and hard skateboard wheels?

A: Soft wheels (75A-87A) provide better shock absorbency and grip but are slower and less durable. Hard wheels (96A-99A) are more durable and maintain their shape better, making them ideal for trick skating and park riding.

Q: What shape of skateboard wheel should I choose? A: Standard wheels are versatile and can be used for different skating styles and terrains.

Conical wheels are ideal for transition skating and high-speed cruising, while radial wheels are perfect for carving and sliding. Core wheels are perfect for tricks and acceleration.

Q: What is wheel bite? A: Wheel bite occurs when the bottom of the skateboard deck rubs against the top of the wheel, reducing speed and stability, and increasing the risk of injury.

Q: What is the best skateboard wheel setup for beginners? A: For beginners, it’s best to choose standard wheels (52-54mm) with a medium durometer (88A-95A).

These wheels are versatile and provide a balance of speed, grip, and stability.

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