It’s said that skateboarding is a popular sport, especially among young people, because of how thrilling it is. And the great thing about it is that it’s easy to get into since all you’ll need to start is a skateboard.

But did you know that your gear can also affect how well you can do skateboarding? One thing that can affect your performance is the wheels that you use, and there are different types out there that you may choose from. For instance, you can find all terrain skateboard wheels, cruiser wheels, longboard wheels, and park wheels.

Read on below to better understand how the wheels can impact your skateboarding experience and performance.

1. The Hardness Of Wheels Can Vary Depending On The Terrain

There are all kinds of wheels for skateboards, and the right choice depends on where you plan to use them. So, this means that having different boards and wheels for different purposes can actually be pretty handy.

One of the aspects that can determine what the wheels are for is how hard or soft it is. So, pay attention to the terrain, and then you can check whether or not your wheels would be suitable. The following are the variety of skateboard wheels types used depending on the type of terrain:
  • Hard wheels (with a durometer of 99a and up) are best for streets or trick skating;
  • Medium wheels (90a - 97a) are all around wheels that are great for those who switch it up between skating on the streets and cruising in parks; and
  • Soft wheels (78a - 87a) are suitable for rough terrain.
The reason for this is all about how forgiving the wheels are against uneven terrain. To illustrate, imagine how rocks, sand, or even an inconsistent surface can make it difficult for harder wheels to roll on smoothly. This is because its hardness will just collide against debris and surfaces. In contrast, softer wheels will have a lot more give because instead of causing more shock on impact, it yields and absorbs shock more effectively.

2. Wheel Sizes Can Affect Your Speed

When you consider what kind of board you should purchase, it’s important to think about how you plan to use it. For instance, you might be more interested in doing tricks, or you might also be the type to want to go fast. In this case, the wheels you choose can make a huge difference.

The size of the wheel is measured by its diameter in millimetres. Wheels can typically be grouped into three:
  • Street wheels (52mm – 54mm) - great for street and trick skating;
  • Park wheels (55mm – 58mm) - perfect for ramps, bowls, and generally transition to street skating; and
  • Cruiser wheels (59mm and up) are best for old school boards and longboards that are appropriate for going downhill or off-road skating.

3. The Wheel’s Shape And What It’s For

Another thing to look out for is the shape of the wheel, for it can make it easier or harder to do certain things with your skateboard. The shape refers to several things: the riding surface, the width, and the cut of the wheel. The riding surface is basically the width of the wheel that touches the ground, the width is the measurement between each edge, and the cut is essentially the shape.

Skateboard wheel shape examples include:
  • Classic wheels – narrow wheels that are good for street skating; and
  • Conical wheels are wheels with a larger surface and cut sides that help the wheels lighter and help with tricks like grinds.

4. The Perfect Wheels Also Depend On Your Skill Level

As mentioned, how you want to ride your skateboard will affect what kind of wheel you should opt for. But this isn’t the only point of consideration since your skill level can also affect how easy or hard it is to use certain boards or wheels.

If you’re a beginner who wants to get into street and trick skating, it’s best to go for softer wheels with a wider contact patch. This is for a smoother and more stable ride. But if you’re already an experienced rider, getting harder wheels will be fine.

For those who want to start with downhill cruising, bigger and softer wheels should help the experience become easier and smoother. Meanwhile, if you want to cruise and do some tricks here and there, you’ll want to up the hardness a bit.


Choosing the right skateboard wheels and the board can be rather confusing, especially if you’re a beginner. And between hardness, size, and skill level, there will be differences between different people since everyone has different preferences.

While the pieces of advice mentioned above tend to be the standard, it’s still best to get to know what you’re comfortable with by trying different wheels out. This will help you understand what kinds of wheels you like depending on how you skate and where you’re skating.