Longboard Wheels Size
The general idea is that the bigger the wheels, the easier it is to roll over rough terrains. With longboard wheels, you’ll typically find the size range of 54 – 59 mm. Those numbers measure the wheels’ diameter. Getting wheels in that range would be great for beginners and big riders skating in skate parks, bowls, and skate street.
The smaller the wheels, the longer it takes to cover the same distance. In other words, smaller wheels are slower than bigger ones. However, with smaller wheels, you’ll be able to accelerate much faster than bigger ones. The advantage of big wheels is that once they get up to speed, they are much more stable than smaller ones.
Your height and weight may also affect the feel and speediness of the wheels to some extent. As a quick recap, see the short list below:
54-59mm: good for beginners and big riders cruising, carving, etc.
60mm+: excellent for downhill racing and tough surfaces.
If you’re looking for a longboard to cruise around over long distances, the first size range would be suitable. This size range is very beginner-friendly.
If you want a longboard for downhill racing and other extreme stuff, definitely go with bigger wheels. Those offer the best racing experience and stability.
Longboard Wheels Durometer
The size of the wheels is not the only thing you should consider when buying a longboard. The next thing you should care about is the durometer of the wheels.
In simple terms, durometer is the hardness of the wheels. Softer wheels have a more grippy feel to them. And hard wheels are great for gliding and other pro tricks.
Usually, you’ll find longboard wheels quite soft, especially those for downhill racing. They measure the hardness of the wheels using an A scale. For example, 78A wheels are softer than 99A wheel. The scale goes from 1 to 100.
Sometimes, you’ll find manufacturers measure the hardness using the B scale as well. The B scale is 20 points off compared to the A one. That means an 80B wheel is the same as a 100A wheel.
We know, right? These can be quite confusing sometimes. But, focus on the A because the B is less common.
Check out these specs below:
78 – 87A: soft wheels, great for cruising, downhill racing, and rolling over rough surfaces
88 – 95A: harder wheels, less grippy, good for street skating and rough terrains.
96 – 99A: very good speed, good for beginners skating in skate parks or streets.
Longboard Wheels Shape
It gets even more interesting when it comes to choosing the right shape for your longboard wheels. Many riders call these the lips of the wheels.
So, what are they?
If you look at the wheels sideways, the lips are the edges of their contact patch. There are two types of lips you’ll usually find.
The edges of these wheels are straight. They are best known for their grip. Which is why square lipped wheels are great for downhill racing. They provide the best stability riders can’t generally get on round lipped wheels.
Beveled lipped wheels are the balance between square and round ones. They are not too flat at the edges and not too round either. These wheels are great for taking turns when racing downhills. You won’t get wheel bites.
Round lipped wheels have more round and curvy edges. Thus, they provide less friction with the surface in contact. This makes transitions smoother. These round lipped wheels are the go-to choice for freerides or slides.
Contact patch size
Simply, the contact patch is the surface of the wheels which comes in contact with the road. Longboard contact patch size falls between 29 – 70mm.
You’ll typically find patches around 38 – 55mm. A wider patch size means more surface on the road. Thus, it’s much more grippy. With wider patch size, you’ll have to push a little harder to get the board up to speed. And once it does, man you’re going to love it!
A narrower patch size, on the other hand, is less grippy. You’ll find sliding on those wheels much smoother and easier. Speeding up on these is also quicker than the wider ones. However, these are not highly recommended for extreme downhill racing. Because of the small surface area, they may be wobbly and dangerous at high speeds.
The wheel core
Although this is a tiny point, it’s a highly important one. The main purpose of the wheel core is to dissipate heat from the bearings created when you’re going at crazy high speeds. A strong and high-quality core will prevent the wheels from melting or deforming.
There are 3 most common types of cores you’ll find:
Backset / Offset: These are placed slightly towards the back of the wheels. They are good for sliding and carving.
Centerset: These cores are evenly placed on the center of the wheels. This helps spread heat and weight evenly across the available surfaces.
Sideset: These core types are located near the side of the wheels. They are super grippy. Because they distribute weight over to the outside of the wheels. You can’t flip these around, however. They are set from the factory.
We hope all these ideas have helped you a bit in considering the best longboard wheels size for your need. If you’re a beginner, we recommend getting 54-59mm wheels with the hardness of around 78 – 87A. If you’re a true daredevil, go for the bigger, soft wheels with larger patch size. These will certainly cater to your need for speed!