Picking the right size is necessary if you want to get the most out of your skating wheels. As a beginner, this could look challenging, but it's really not that challenging. How important is skateboard wheel size?
Skateboard wheel size matters a lot. If the wheels are too big you’ll have hard time landing tricks and the wheels might come into contact with your board. Depending on what and where you skate, you should choose wheels with a diameter of 52 to 54 millimeters.
Neither only does the diameter matter, but the hardness and quality of the polymer also have a significant impact on performance. You can't expect a smooth cruising experience if you buy cheap wheels with a large diameter. So, let's talk about what kind of skateboard wheels you need to match your style.
Choosing the Proper Wheel Diameter
The bigger the wheel diameter, the slower you accelerate, but larger wheels keep momentum better. It takes a little more effort to get up to speed on larger wheels, but once you're going at a reasonable speed, it's much easier to keep going.
Smaller wheels are more responsive, making them ideal for technical street skating. They are more forgiving and will not get stuck as easily when grinding a ledge or rail as larger wheels. Smaller wheels allow your board to flip faster and more responsively.
While doing a kick-flip on small wheels, you're less likely to land perfectly when you're not expecting it (landing with both feet on the side of your deck and wheels).
It is not only the diameter; hardness also has an impact on how wheels function and perform.
The Right Durometer or Firmness
Compressive strength is more important than the diameter, and identifying the perfect mix requires some research. On smooth surfaces such as skate parks and concrete bowls, harder wheels perform better. Nonetheless, many professional skateboarders prefer to ride the hardest wheels available from their sponsors.
It makes the ride a little more inconvenient, so the average skateboarder should avoid doing so.
Cruising Skateboard Wheel Size
Wheels of at least 56mm and up to 60mm are required if you like to comfortably just cruise around. To prevent the wheels from contacting your deck when you turn, you will need a set of riser pads if you go over 56mm (wheel bite).
Cruising generally requires softer wheels with hardness varying from 78a to 87a. The softer 78 wheels will provide a more comfortable and smooth ride, but they will also have more friction. They are bouncy, and performing tricks on them is more difficult. 87a will still be excellent for smooth cruising, but you will be able to ride faster.
Lighter wheels are most gentle on rough surfaces, as they will not become stuck when rolling over small rocks and cracks. If you're used to harder wheels, you'll be surprised how much these wheels can handle without causing you to lose control of your board.
Compared to extreme tricks, cruising is much safer and more enjoyable. Carving and down-hilling can still get your heart pumping!
Here, I'm referring specifically to conventional skateboards; longboarding is entirely different, and that is not the topic of this post. Longboards require wheels starting at 60mm and up.
Size of Street Skateboard Wheels
Small and hard street skateboard wheels are required. Small wheels make landing tricks easier, even if they are a little shaky. Bigger wheels will cause you to fall when landing a trick, whereas smaller wheels will allow you to land a trick without risking injury.
When you only have a short distance between you and an object you want to Ollie, like stairs, smaller wheels accelerate more quickly than larger wheels, which is great. You must be able to achieve the greatest amount of speed in the quickest way possible.
For street skateboarding, choose a wheel size between 50mm and 53mm at most. They won't last as long as larger wheels, but technical tricks necessitate smaller wheels. Purchase 97a or 99a hardness wheels. Although 97a is slightly more comfortable on asphalt, 99a is one of the more well-liked durometers among street skateboarders.
Bowls, Mini Ramps, and Vertical Roller Size
In mini ramps and even medium bowls, most skateboarders do just fine with 56 to 56 mm wheels. Verts necessarily require 58 or more wheels and a tight grip.
In comparison to smaller wheels, larger wheels are far more forgiving and lock in better when you grind the coping. Additionally, even if you land a hang-up a little shakily, you can still return without crashing into the ramp.
However, you'll also need some grip. Hardness is crucial here. You need them for speed, but not all hard wheels have good traction, so opt for ones that are at least 100A or higher.
Even though Spitfires are excellent wheels—in fact, they're among the best. Spitfires are fine if you don't mind having less traction because they are still really quick (a bit more expensive).
The Ideal Wheel Size for Trick Riding
Skateboarders frequently prefer to simply cruise and Ollie curbs. If you set up dedicated to that particular style and some adore it. Ride an 8.0′′ deck with 56mm Ricta Clouds with a 92a durometer. They perform well on rough surfaces and have a smooth, grippe feel.
Choosing the appropriate skateboard wheel size for your personal style and preferences is essential. Larger wheels require more effort to accelerate, while smaller wheels gain speed faster.