We have to talk about wheel size because it’s important and relevant to choosing the best wheels for your needs.
Wheel size is usually measured in millimeters (mm). That’s the diameter of the wheel. You’ll usually find skateboard wheels ranging from 50-75 mm on the market today.
Wheel size affects your speed and acceleration. Smaller wheels are slower than bigger wheels. But speeding up on small wheels is faster than speeding up on big wheels.
Because small wheels are lower to the ground, they make an ideal choice for street skating and doing other technical stuff. For beginners, starting with bigger wheels is a good choice. They give you more stability and balance for easy cruising, commuting, or vert skating.
50-53 mm: small wheels, good for tricks, skate parks, and bowls
54-59 mm: average wheels, good for beginners, good for skateparks and vert ramps
60+ mm: for longboards, high-speed racing, good for rough surfaces
Wheel durometer measures the hardness of the wheel. You’ll usually find most wheels measured on the Durometer A scale.
This scale goes to 100. The higher the number, the harder the wheel. For example, if you see the manufacturer labels a wheel 78A, you’ll know that it’s not way too hard but not way too soft either. Compared to a 99A wheel, the 78A is definitely softer.
Also, there’s a Durometer B scale that you should know about. The B scale is 20 points off compared to the A scale. For example, an 83B wheel is the same as the 103A wheel on the A scale. You simply need to add an extra 20 points. So, make sure you’re in the correct dimension.
Generally, longboard wheels are softer than skateboard wheels. This is usually because you need much more grip when racing downhills on a longboard than doing tricks on a skateboard.