skateboard wheels


Skateboard wheels are made of solid polyurethane, though some skateboard companies sell so called core wheels (polyurethane skate wheels with a hard plastic core which makes the skate wheel lighter).


In contrast to skateboard decks the diameter size of a skateboard wheel is measured in millimeters, not inches. Small skate wheels (Ø up to 56 mm) accelerate quicker and – in combination with light trucks – make it easier to shove and flip the board because the center of gravity is closer to the deck. Larger skateboard wheels however roll faster, maintain the speed for a longer time and absorb little cracks in the pavement more easily.


Most skateboard wheels’ hardness is measured on a so called “shore durometer A-scale”: The higher the A the harder the skate wheels (going from about 75 A to 100 A). The A-scale actually stops at 100 but some wheels are labeled 101 A or higher. Some skate wheel companies started using the “B-scale” or even “D-scale”, which have a wider and more accurate durometer-range.

A hard skate wheel is always faster on a smooth surface like a skateboard ramp, because it has a lower rolling resistance (physics again…). A soft skate wheel however is faster on a rough street surface because it absorbs unevennesses better.

Hard and soft skate wheels also differ in grip: Generally a soft skate wheel has better grip but tends to uncontrollable sliding when going fast. A hard wheel looses it’s grip at a lower speed – but steadily and controllable.


Most skateboard wheels come in classic white however some “punks” like to ride black, pink or yellow skateboarding wheels. Colored skateboaring wheels have been thought of lasting less because the dye may affect the integrity of the urethane. But compared with size and hardness the colour of a skateboard wheel should be the last thing to worry about!


The rebound effect is a special property of polyurethane and easy to test: Drop the wheel from one meter height to a hard surface so it lands on it’s tread – a good wheel should now bounce at least 60% of the drop height!


BEGINNER / ALL-TERRAIN: 52mm – 54mm diameter and 99 A durometer.
(skate wheels wear out, so if you choose slightly bigger wheels they will last longer…)

TRANSITION / MINIRAMP / VERT: 55mm – 65mm diameter and 95A – 100A durometer.

STREET / TECHNICAL: 50mm – 55mm diameter and 97A – 101A durometer (a hard skateboard makes wheel nose-, tail- or bluntslides easier on waxed ledges).

LONGBOARDING / FILMERBOARDS: 65mm – 75mm and 78A – 85A durometer.
Longboard wheels can go up to 100 mm although these extreme sizes come usually with a core of hard plastic.
Also serious skateboard videographers started to use such large soft wheels for smoother (and quiter) filming of streetskating lines.


Skateboarding wheels are almost indestructible however there are two things you don’t want to get:

You can get flatspots when the same part of a wheel slides on a hard surface for a respectively long time, for example when doing a power- or bluntslide. The skateboard wheel gets worn down at only one point and serious flat spotting can pretty much ruin your wheels as it causes noncircular rolling and annoying chattering. Hard wheels are more flatspot-resistant and some skateboard wheel companies came up with a “no-flatspots-guaranteed-formula” – we’ll see…

Another sometimes quite dangerous thing is so called “wheelbite”: This happens if your skateboarding wheels are too big or your trucks too loose and a wheel rubs the bottom of the deck when making a turn –  possibly causing an abrupt stop and a slamming rider. This can be avoided though by mounting  riserpads between your deck and trucks. And you can wax the deck a bit right under the wheels!