Factors that influence the selection of longboard wheels

January 17, 2019

The longboard wheels of the skateboard ensure that you can move smoothly and contributes to the speed. All longboard wheels including Shark Wheel longboard wheels are polyurethane wheels and available in a range of colors and sizes with varying durability that matches with your preference and skateboard style. The choice of wheels depends on whether you are using traditional shortboard skateboards or longboards that need softer and larger wheels than the former to ensure a smoother ride on rough terrain. The white wave longboard, a sturdy bamboo cruiser, can be paired with very good wheels for a perfect flex.

However, the large wheel size of longboards makes it more prone to wheel bite. It happens due to the rubbing of wheels against the deck when landing on a trick or during hard turns. Wheel bite can leave an indent or mark where the deck meets the wheels. To reduce wheel bite, you can equip your longboard with riser pads and if necessary also use mid to high longboard trucks depending on your style of skating.

The pros and cons of longboard wheels

Whether you use traditional skateboard wheels or longboard wheels, both are specified by the wheel diameter and durometer. For longboard wheels, the shape of wheels is also a part of the specification. Rounded wheels are suitable for facilitating ease of sliding, cruising and freeriding.  However, this can be detrimental when racing downhill because the edges will not grip the pavement as hard when you are turning. For better control at high speed, straight-edged wheels are better. Keeping these aspects in mind will help to make the right selection.

Wheel size selection

The size of the wheel that you use for the longboard depends on what you want to achieve in terms of speed because smaller wheels mean slow ride and vice versa. So, if you love speed and want to commute fast, you must use larger diameter wheels. Wheel diameter also impacts the rate of acceleration and the speed of turning. Longboard wheel sizes range between 54 mm to 60 mm in diameter, and the right size depends on your height and weight too.  

The average rider like beginners and bigger riders skating bowls, streets, skate parks, and vertical ramps use wheels up to 59 mm while the wheel size 60 mm are for specialty riders on longboards when skating dirt boards and going downhill as it is suitable for rougher surface and speed.

Longboard durometer choice

Durometer represents the hardness of wheels. Soft wheels are slower but have better grip, and hard wheels are faster. Ideally, for longboards, you must have larger and softer wheels that provide stability to riders while small and hard wheels are suitable for shortboards.

Choosing wheel shape

The wheel shape is important for better gripping when racing downhill and when advancing after taking a perfect turn. Wheels can have a square edge, beveled edge and rounded edge and each type offer a specific benefit like gripping, more contact surface and smooth sliding.

While the above are the broad choices to select wheels, the wheel core and contact patch size are other factors to consider.

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Andi Perullo de Ledesma

I am Andi Perullo de Ledesma, a Chinese Medicine Doctor and Travel Photojournalist in Charlotte, NC. I am also wife to Lucas and mother to Joaquín. Follow us as we explore life and the world one beautiful adventure at a time.

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