Best Skateboard Wheel Brands: How to Choose the Right Wheels

Soft VS Hard Skateboard Wheels x
Soft VS Hard Skateboard Wheels

The best skateboard wheel brands include Ricta, Bones, Spitfire, OJ Wheels, Cloud Ride Wheels, Slime Balls, and Wayward Wheels. However, any wheel that is made from a reputable skateboard company will be better than blank wheels that come with the most complete skateboards.

Choosing the best skateboard wheel brands might seem like an easy task at first, but there are many things to consider. This article will give you the information that you need to decide on what best fits your needs. We’ll go into detail about how different types of wheels affect performance and also discuss some popular brands in the industry today.

Best Skateboard Wheel Brands

Although this article only highlights the 7 best skateboard wheels, some honorable mentions include Element, Primitive, Pig Wheels, Orangatang, Ghetto Child, Darkroom, DGK, and Chocolate.

Ricta

Ricta was founded in 2000 to fill a void in the skateboarding market by creating a top-notch and high-performance urethane skateboard wheel that could withstand professional riders’ rigorous punishment. Ricta has dominated the market for over 12 years, producing some of the best skateboard wheels in the business.

Ricta wheels are available in a range of diameters, hardness levels, pro-model designs, and bright colors for a personal style. For example, the Ricta Mix Up wheels include 4 of their high-end urethane wheels in four different hues. Take a look at these Ricta Clouds, a perfect soft wheel for beginners.

Today, Ricta has a pro skate team that includes Nyjah Huston, Geoff Rowley, Arto Saari, Bob Burnquist, Mark Appleyard, Cairo Foster, Rune Glifberg, Jerry Hsu, Greg Lutzka, Tom Penny, Chad Muska, Ed Templeton, David Gonzalez, and many more. So you know you’ll be skating on Ricta wheels that have been created, tested, and authorized for and by some of the greatest street and vert skaters in the world.

Bones

Bones has been producing skateboard wheels for over 25 years, and they’ve always been a leader in the field. These days, Bones offers better urethane technology with less flatspots. These wheels will slide when you want them to, and grip when you need them to.

George Powell’s wheel designs and formulations revolutionized skateboarding in the 1970s, and the brand has continued to innovate since then. Bones Wheels is still a prominent player in the skateboard industry, with five distinct formulations for various purposes of skateboarding. With wheels developed by world-class skaters, we’re confident you’ll discover the perfect size and form for you, and the performance you want.

The Bones Greenwood Wheels are the perfect starting point for a beginner looking to get new skateboard wheels. Not only are they good for beginners, they’re an all-around great wheel that will provide consistency on the street and in the skateparks.

Spitfire

In 1987, Spitfire Wheels was established as a skateboard wheel manufacturer. Since then, it has supplied high-quality wheels for nearly every form of skateboarding available.

Spitfire Wheels has long taken pleasure in producing a skateboard wheel that can endure the rigorous requirements of street and ramp skating while at the same time keeping things exciting with one of the most prominent skate teams in the business. The Spitfire skate team is made up of many of skateboarding’s top pros, including Brian Anderson, Eric Koston, Shane O’Neill, Andy Roy, Rob Welsh, Peter Ramondetta, Dennis Busenitz, Erik Ellington, Lizard King, Chris Cole, and many more.

The Spitfire Bighead Skateboard Wheels are some of my favorite wheels on the market. They provide the perfect durometer and diameter to skate on every type of surface. However, on the streets and in the skateparks is where they shine.

OJ Wheels

OJ Wheels is a skateboard company that was founded in the 1970s and is owned by NHS, Inc. OJ Wheels first came to prominence in 1977 with the introduction of the OJ Wheels SuperJuice, an orange skateboard that provided skaters a slalom feel thanks to its tiny diameter but wider base than typical wheels. The SuperJuice skateboard wheel offered riders complete control and a smooth ride.

After that, OJ Wheels has continued to develop on their previous style of retro wheels, adding a full range of new “Juice” wheels in a variety of bright hues and sizes. OJ Wheels’ standards, as far as today’s skate world is concerned, are somewhat bigger than the norm, yet still considerably smaller than the old-school vintage wheels that formerly graced Thrasher or Transworld publications.

The OJ Plain Jane Keyframe Skateboard Wheels come in 87A durometer making them the perfect soft wheel for cruising or filming on a skateboard. Still, these wheels can be great to ride on the street or in the skatepark. However, they really shine when they’re used on rougher surfaces.

Cloud Ride Wheels

Cloud Ride Wheels are known for being bigger, bulkier, and made for being an incredible commuting and cruising wheel. These skateboard wheels are incredible for longboards, cruisers, filmers, and commuter boards.

Cloud Ride is devoted to making skating more enjoyable. Every wheel on Cloud Ride is filled with top-of-the-line urethane, and the company provides a wide range of shapes and sizes, ideal for everything from downhill bombing to skating the streets.

The Cloud Ride Slusheez are perfect for longboarding, skateboarding, carving, cruising, downhill, and freeriding. With 62mm diameter and 78A durometer, these are the perfect soft wheels for nearly any setup.

Slime Balls

Founded during the 80s heyday of skateboarding, Slime Balls dares fans to stand out in the crowd with the loudest wheel graphics and brightest apparel. Owned by one of the largest and trusted companies, Santa Cruz, you know you’re getting quality when you shop Slime Balls.

The Slime Balls Winkowski provide the best skateboard wheel for beginners and pros alike. With 60mm in diameter and a 95A durometer, these wheels are incredible for nearly every occasion on your board.

Wayward Wheels

Two friends of ten years, Andrew Brophy and Benny Fairfax, launched Wayward Wheels in 2014. With nothing but a desire to learn and a passion for race car aesthetics, the two began Wayward Wheels.

Lucas Puig, Miles Silvas, and Diego Najera are among the prominent skaters on the team. The wheels’ minimalistic design aesthetic is reflected in the car-like design of the wheels. Wayward Skate Wheels’ colors and designs are intended to complement and accent the wheels’ shape or external appearance.

The Wayward Diego Najera Funnel Cut Skateboard Wheels are great hard wheels coming in at 101A durometer. These are the perfect wheels for those that ride vert and parks.

Guide To Skateboard Wheel Diameter

The diameter of a skateboard wheel is measured in millimeters (mm); the majority of wheels fall between 50 and 75 mm, with smaller sizes representing smaller wheels.

How quickly you accelerate and how tightly you can turn are dependent on the diameter of your wheels. Smaller wheels provide a slower ride, whereas wider wheels offer a quicker one. Because smaller wheels are lower to the ground and easier to control, they are perfect for technical or street skating.

If you’re a novice or use a skateboard as your primary mode of transportation, bigger wheels are preferable. With their greater diameters, they combine speed and balance into one package, making them ideal for cruising and skating vert. Furthermore, your height and weight can have an impact on which wheel size feels best for you.

50-53mm: Smaller, slower wheels make them more stable for trick riding and smaller riders skating streets, skate parks, and bowls.

54-59mm: Beginner and bigger skaters skating street, skate parks, bowls, and vert ramps will appreciate the wider wheels.

60mm+: Longboards, old-school boards, downhill and dirt boards with a focus on speed and rougher surfaces.

Guide To Skateboard Wheel Durometer

The hardness of a skateboard wheel is determined by the durometer, which measures how hard or soft that particular wheel is. The Durometer A Scale, which is a 100-point scale that measures how difficult a wheel is, is used by most manufacturers. The higher the durometer, the harder that the wheel is. However, the average wheel durometer is 99A.

Some vendors may instead use the B Scale, which is 20 points lower than the A Scale and so allows for an extra 20 points on the hardest wheels. An 80B hardness is the same as a 100A hardness. These skateboard wheels have a greater and more precise hardness range than those using the A scale.

Typically, harder wheels are faster and softer wheels are slower, with the additional benefit of improved grip. Harder wheels are better for smooth surfaces like skate parks, while softer wheels are better for street skating. Some businesses even create distinct wheel designs specifically for a certain application or terrain.

Durometer Ratings

78A – 87A: These are soft wheels that are best for rough surfaces, longboards, or street boards that need to easily roll over cracks and pebbles. Soft wheels are designed for smooth rides, cruising, bombing hills, and traveling over rough surfaces.

88A – 95A: The grip is great, even with slightly greater traction and faster acceleration. The grip is still excellent on rough or street surfaces.

96A – 99A: Skate wheels with a good balance of speed and grip. An excellent all-around wheel for skating streets, skate parks, ramps, pools, and other smooth surfaces. These are the ideal starting point for beginners.

101A+: These are the quickest and hardest wheels, however, they have the least grip. They will be ineffective on slick and rough terrain. These are often considered professional-grade wheels.

83B – 84B: The B Scale is used for making ultra-hard wheels. The scale is extended another 20 points for the hardest wheels because they are made of B-scale material, which measures 20 points less than the A Scale to allow the scale to extend another 20 points for the hardest wheels.

Learn more about skateboard wheel durometer.

How To Choose The Right Skateboard Wheels

When choosing the right skateboard wheels for yourself you have to consider what type of skateboarding that you want to be doing. This will make all the difference when looking at the diameter and durometer of the wheels.

Type Of SkateboardingDurometerDiameter
Beginner96A to 99A54mm to 59mm
Street Skating78A to 99A50mm to 59mm
Vert Skating96A+50mm to 59mm
Bombing Hills78A to 87A60mm+
Commuting78A to 95A56mm+

If you’re a taller or heavier-set individual, you may want to adjust those numbers slightly and pick wheels that are a little bit wider. However, once you’ve gotten your legs skateboarding, you’ll have a sense of whether your wheels should be smaller or larger, softer or harder for what you’re trying to accomplish.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which Skateboard Wheels Are Best For Street?

The best skateboard wheels for street skateboarding are harder wheels with a higher durometer. Try something with a 99A durometer or higher. The Bones Retro Slims are great and come in at 103A durometer, making them perfect for the street.

Is It Easier To Ollie With Smaller Skateboard Wheels?

Small wheels make it easier to land tricks, even when they seem sketchy. Even though larger wheels would cause you to fall when you attempt a dangerous trick, smaller wheels allow you to land a trick without posing any risk of hurting yourself.

Are Powell Peralta & Bones Wheels The Same?

Bones is the trademark name used by Powell Peralta for its wheels, bearings, and accessories. It’s named after one of Powell Peralta’s first high-profile team riders, Ray “Bones” Rodriguez.

Are 52mm Wheels Good For Beginners?

52mm skateboard wheels are great for beginners. We suggest that beginners start skateboarding with wheels in between 52-54mm and a medium durometer (in-between 90A to 99A).

Conclusion

There are a lot of great skateboard wheel brands out there, and the best one for you will depend on what type of skating you want to do. When choosing your wheels, make sure to consider the diameter and durometer so that you can get the best performance possible.

For street skating, harder wheels with a higher durometer work best. Vert skating is better suited for softer, wider wheels. And if you’re looking to bomb hills or cruise around town, take a look at some wheels in the 78A to 95A range. Whichever brand you choose, we hope that this guide has helped clear up any questions that you may have had about skateboard wheels!

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