Never have wheels had as much importance in longboarding as they do today when freeride and downhill skaters defy gravity while bombing and sliding down some of the world’s biggest hills.
Wheels are classified by three main characteristics: size, shape and durometer (how hard the wheel is).
For size, wheels with a smaller diameter will accelerate off a start line faster and grip well in corners, but wheels with a bigger diameter will roll faster on a straight path.
When it comes to shape, wheels with a lip will grip; and wheels with a rounded edge will slide with ease when you command it sideways. These different shapes can be “center set” to maximize symmetry while freeriding or “side set” to assist in the grip of a turn.
As for durometer, choosing the right “hardness” of wheel will make all the difference in your ride. The majority of skateboard products are created on the A scale, a scale that is designated for softer products. A lower number signifies a softer wheel, and a higher number signifies a harder wheel. For longboarding, a common soft durometer is anywhere from 78a-84a and for street skateboarding, the common hard durometer is between 98a-101a. There have been a few ventures into the harder ‘B’ category for some tech sliding wheels --- and with technology constantly advancing in these fields, we are excited to see what will come.