How To Choose & Measure Skateboard Wheels (Explained)
Skateboard wheels are measured in millimeters (mm) which are usually labelled on the package. With that in mind, the most common sizes of skateboard wheels range between 50mm and 58mm. However, they can go as large as 70mm which are usually used on cruisers, longboards, or skateboards with riser pads.
Pro Tip: Riser pads will allow you to add larger wheels to your board without risking wheel bite. Find out how you can eliminate wheel bite.
If you ever need to measure a skateboard wheel by hand you can use a ruler or measuring tape and measure from one side to the other, trying to keep the ruler in the center of the axle hole. As long as the measuring tape is centered over the hole, it should be an accurate measurement.
Most likely, your wheels would measure between 50mm and 60mm.
Now that you know how to measure skateboard wheels, let’s find out which size will work best for your style of skateboarding.
Choosing The Best Skateboard Wheel Size (Diameter)
The diameter of the wheel will affect how quick you can accelerate and how tight you can turn. Small wheels are slower but lower to the ground, giving them more control. Smaller wheels are ideal for street and technical skateboarding.
Larger wheels give more speed and more balance. Large wheels are great for beginners or anyone who uses their skateboard for daily transportation.
Another factor that may affect the size of wheels you should get is your height and weight. The smaller you are, the better smaller wheels will be for you. Whereas, the larger you are, the larger your wheels should be.
50 to 53 mm: Small, slow wheels that are meant for performing tricks and smaller riders.
54 to 49 mm: Average size; perfect for beginners and larger riders (6’0”+) that ride street, park, and bowls.
60mm and above: Large; meant for longboards, cruisers, and filmers.
Choosing The Hardness Of Skateboard Wheels (Durometer)
A Durometer is the measurement that scores the hardness of rubber skateboard wheels. Most skateboard manufacturers use the Durometer A or B Scale. Sometimes, brands will use D instead of A but they will be the same hardness.
The A scale is measured on a 100-point scale that scores the hardness of a wheel – the higher the number, the harder the wheel. That being said, the average wheel durometer is 99A.
The companies that measure on the B Scale are 20 points lower than the A Scale. For instance, a skateboard wheel with 80B Durometer would be equivalent to a 100A Durometer.
When thinking about how hard your wheels should be just remember that hard wheels are faster and soft wheels have more grip. Harder wheels are typically best for skateparks, whereas soft wheels are better for skateboarding the street.
78A to 87A: Soft wheels meant for rough surfaces such as the street, longboards, cruisers, or filming boards. These wheels are created to make the ride as smooth as possible and able to conquer hills and rough surfaces.
88A to 95A: These wheels are slightly harder and faster but have less grip. Still, the grip’s good enough for street and rough surfaces.
96A to 99A: The perfect wheels for beginners. These are great all around, whether skating streets, skateparks, ramps, or pools.
101A + : The hardest and fastest wheels with the least amount of grip. Any wheels ranked 101A or higher are considered pro wheels and are typically used when riding parks or vert.
83B to 84B: Wheels using the B scale are extremely hard, measuring 20 points fewer than the A Scale in order to allow the scale to extend another 20 points for the hardest wheels.
What Wheel Size Is Best For Your Skateboard?
When you think about which wheel size will be best for you it’s best to think about what you plan on doing with your skateboard. The smaller the wheels, the better they typically are for tricks, whereas the larger they are, the better they are for transportation and cruising.
If you are brand new to skateboarding then I suggest getting wheels between 53mm to 57 diameter.
If you want wheels that will be better for the skateparks then aim for 50mm to 55mm.
Or if you want wheels that will be good for transportation or cruising, take a look at wheels that are 60mm or larger and get yourself some riser pads.
The larger wheels will let you cover longer distances much faster and the riser pads will prevent you from getting wheel bite. If you don’t know what wheel bite is, in short, it is when the wheel grips against the board causing it to stop abruptly. Wheel bite can damage your board over time and is known for causing injuries.
Top Selling Wheels
Here are the best wheels to add to a skateboard whether you’re cruising, skating the streets, or shredding the parks.
Best Wheels For Street Skateboarding
In my opinion, the best skateboard wheels for the street are the 52mm Bones 100’s. They’re 52mm in diameter with a 100A durometer, making them great wheels for beginners, skaters riding in the streets, and skaters shredding the parks.
At $27.95, these 52mm Bones V5’s are an incredible deal and a great addition to any skateboard.
Best Wheels For Skating At The Skatepark
The Bones Retro V5 actually ranks in at 103A durometer and has a diameter of 54mm. These are the perfect wheels for the skatepark. At 103A, they’re higher than most A Scale wheels, meaning they’re hard, fast, and full of control.
Learn more about the Bones Retro V5 skateboard wheels.
Best Wheels For Cruising Or Filming
The 54mm Ricta Clouds will be the best wheels for cruisers and filmers because they’re extremely soft (78A durometer) but still within the average size of skateboard wheels.
The Ricta Clouds are so easy to transition to because they’re the same size as regular skateboard wheels but feel more like a longboard wheel.
Learn more about the 54mm Ricta Cloud skateboard wheels.