Skateboards and their parts come with various dimensions to suit specific skater ages, levels, and skating styles. This way, we get to experience safe and quality rides.
One of the components whose size we should be mindful of is the wheels. Does skateboard wheel size matter? Absolutely! Brands never deliver diversely sized wheels for nothing.
The good news is this article will explain why skateboard wheels have sizes and why they matter. Eventually, we will appreciate what a minor size difference can make.
Table of Contents
- Skateboard Wheels: Different Types, Sizes, and Uses
- Benefits of Using the Right Size
- Tips for Choosing the Right Wheel Size
- Recommended Wheel Size
Skateboard Wheels: Different Types, Sizes, and Uses
Skateboard wheels do not only vary in size but style and purpose, too. These three always go together. Let’s explore them below.
1. Skateboard wheel types
Currently, we have three normal skateboard wheel types commonly used: park and street, cruising, and longboard rollers.
The skateboard wheels for street and park are those often seen in skate parks or urban obstacles. These are small, fast, and roll smoothly on almost any technical skating surface.
Wheels for cruising have better resistance against rough skating grounds. They are soft and can neutralize vibrations caused by uneven surfaces.
Ultimately, longboard wheels are the ones used in fast road rides. These skate tools are often for downhill skating or speed racing.
2. Skateboard wheel sizes
Although some skateboard wheels of the same type bear almost no sizing difference, comparing at least two styles will reveal why their diameters vary.
Skate wheels sizes range from 50mm to 75mm. Of course, each skateboarding style only fits a specific coverage in the size chart.
When skateboarding in the streets, 50mm to 53mm wheels will suffice. And not too far from this range are park skateboard rollers, specifically those suited for ramps and bowls. Wheels for this setup should be 54mm to 56mm.
Large wheels keep momentum the best. Hence, cruiser wheels have a bigger size than park and street rollers. Specifically, these wheels have a diameter range of 56mm to 60mm.
However, note that big skateboard wheels also entail more height. So, the chances of the contact patches reaching the bottom of the deck are high. What do we do? We should install risers to increase the gap between the board and the wheel.
Like cruiser boards, longboards also need larger wheels. But they have a minimum diameter of 60mm. Besides speed racing and downhill skating, we can also use these wheels for transition skating or riding over rough surfaces.
3. How does wheel size affect skateboarding?
In a skateboard wheel size comparison, the areas most affected by the differences among skateboard wheels are speed and acceleration.
So, what wheel size accelerates faster, and which one maintains speed longer?
Small skateboard wheels are faster in acceleration. Why? Technically, these wheels have a shorter overall contact patch length. Hence, the more we push, the more wheel revolutions we complete. And that makes the skateboard accelerate sooner than one with larger wheels.
On the other hand, speed is where larger skateboard wheels excel. Of course, constant pushing, regardless of the wheel size, can yield some velocity. But it is through these wheels that we can keep the skateboard’s momentum for longer.
4. The importance of wheel size and hardness in skateboarding
The wheel’s hardness and size are the most significant aspects to secure when choosing skateboard wheels. Why?
First, the skateboard wheel’s size determines our speed and acceleration. Also, different wheels dimensions suit a specific style, whether parks and rough terrains or tricks or casual cruising.
Second and coincidentally, hardness also affects speed. Specifically, the hard wheels go faster, leaving the softer rollers smoother and grippier. Another affected area of wheel hardness is their skating places.
Soft wheels are perfect for rough grounds, where they can neutralize road cracks and debris. Contrarily, stiffer rollers ace smooth surfaces like ramps better.
Benefits of Using the Right Size
Of course, landing on the appropriate skateboard wheel size entails advantages. Here are some we can draw from the discussions above.
- An appropriate wheel makes our desired skating style more bearable. Whether skating in the parks, streets, or long roads, knowing what size to use will help us pull off moves more efficiently.
- It frees us from potentially damaging our skateboards. We don’t want to use large wheels on technical skating boards. We could risk grinding the deck’s bottom side against the urethane roller.
- We can save from buying new wheels every time. Correct wheels mean appropriate setups. Hence, skate wheels are likely to wear out slower.
Tips for Choosing the Right Wheel Size
Perhaps, there isn’t much to remember when choosing the right skateboard wheel size because this aspect vastly depends on our preferred skating style.
So, when going to the parks or skating on the streets, remember to bring 50mm to 53mm skateboard wheels. This size range allows sharp and fast turns and better maneuverability around obstacles.
If you plan to cruise or commute on a skateboard, always use larger wheels at 54mm to 56mm. They are more adaptive to different terrains, especially rough ones.
Ultimately, find the large wheels at 60mm and higher should you go for speed or downhill skating. A skateboard with big wheels can hold its velocity longer.
Recommended Wheel Size
What skateboard wheels should I get?
We already know what size ranges work best for specific skating styles. Here is a short skateboard wheels guide of our recommended rollers for specific riding setups.
|Flat grounds – Small 48mm to 51mm wheels||Best Example – Spitfire Bighead Wheels – $26.36 – $74.63|
|Street and transition – Medium 52mm to 54mm wheels||Best Example – Powell Peralta Dragon Formula Skateboard Wheels – $41.95 – $54.95|
|Ramps and verts – Large 55m to 60mm wheels||Best Example – FREEDARE Skateboard Wheels – $23.99|
|Smooth cruiser and longboard rides – At least 60mm wheels||Best Example – Fireball Tinder 65mm Longboard Wheels – $43.94|
Skateboarding is not only about pushing the board a few meters and doing ollies all day. It’s also about efficiency, comfort, and successful rides. And one of the ways to achieve these is by choosing the appropriate wheel size.
Does skateboard wheel size matter? Yes! Standard skateboard wheel sizes are not only for display or aesthetic purposes. Instead, they make technical skating, cruising, and longboarding more sustainable.
Hence, always know your preferred skating style, skateboard type, and overall purpose to assess what wheels work best. From there, skateboarding will be more comfortable, smooth, and fun.
Hi, I am Charles Harris. I opened this site to write as much as I can about my biggest passion – skateboarding!
I started as a clumsy yet passionate rookie 10 years ago to now a still passionate yet much better skateboarder! But I have to tell you, the whole journey has always been fun and rewarding, indeed not without hardship.