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Polyurethane wheels come in various sizes, colors, and durability.

How do you pick one out from all the various specs and sizes? Which is right for you?

Besides color, consider 2 other important attributes:

  • Diameter - Measurement of the width or size of your wheels.
  • Durometer - Measurement of the “hardness” of your wheels.

Choosing the Diameter of the Skateboard Wheel

Shopping Guide for Buying Skateboard Wheels

The diameter of skate wheels is measured by millimeters (mm). Sizes available are from 50mm to 75 mm. The small wheels (50-53 mm) are recommended for kiddie riders who skate street, skate parks and bowls. The medium size wheels (54-59 mm) are the average size for usual beginners who are teenagers and adults skating street, skate parks, bowls and vert ramps. Large wheels (60mm and bigger) are usually for specialty riders who skate longboards and cruisers for downhill skating.


Diameter of Wheels:

  • 50-53mm – Recommended for younger children under 12yrs of age.
  • 54-59mm – Recommended for Teenagers and Adults (Most Popular Sizes)
  • 60mm+ - Recommended for large skateboards, long boards and cruising.

Fun Facts on how the diameter of the wheel affects your skating performance.

  1. Smaller wheels result to a slower ride, larger wheels make you go faster.
  2. Technical tricks are easier on smaller wheels.
  3. Larger wheels give more balance and acceleration especially good for longboards and cruisers.
  4. Large wheels will endure rougher surfaces better and give more speed. Can more easily ride over rocks, pebbles and objects on the street.

Choosing the Durometer of the Skateboard Wheel

Shopping Guide for Buying Skateboard Wheels

In choosing the hardness of your wheels, there are two point scales to choose from: Durometer A or B Scale. Most wheel manufacturers use the A Scale which has a maximum hardness of 100a+. The B Scale is 20 points less to allow a wider range by adding an extra 20 points. (but why is this? – maybe the manufacturers were high on something when making up this scale?)


Therefore, skate wheels with a durometer of 80b are the same hardness with a durometer of 100a. (confused yet?)

The average preferred durometer is 99a.

So generally speaking, just buy 99a or 79b.


Here are some generalizations regarding the hardness of the wheel

  1. Harder wheels are faster.
  2. Softer wheels offer more grip and cushion.
  3. Harder wheels are better for smooth surfaces such as in the skate parks.
  4. Softer wheels are best to use for street skating, uneven surfaces and riding over pebbles and rocks.

Soft wheels in the range of 78a-87a are good for rough surfaces.

They are good to attatch to long boards or street boards that need stability over cracks and pebbles.

Slightly harder wheels in the range of 88a-95a are faster with a less grip.

They are ideal for streets and rough surfaces. A durometer of 96a-99a is a good hardness for versatile wheels ideal for use in streets, skate parks, ramps, pools and other smooth surfaces.

Wheels with 100a+ durometer are the hardest and fastest but are not effective on slick and rough surfaces. These are usually the reserved for ProSkaters and advanced riders.


Durometer Summary:

  1. Harder wheels are faster.
  2. Harder wheels are more slippery and provide less grip.
  3. 78a to 87a is considered soft.
  4. 88a to 99a is considered hard.
  5. 100a and up are reserved for advanced skaters
  6. If you plan on skating on uneven surfaces with a lot of gravel, pebble and rocks, then choose softer wheels, under 87a.

Shop For Skateboard Wheels

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