How to Choose Longboard Wheels
When looking into buying new wheels for your longboard, it is easy to get overwhelmed. The purpose of this guide is to explain How to Choose Longboard Wheels. There are so many choices and factors that apply to the process of wheel selection that it can get hard to decide. To start, I would like to make it clear, there is no such thing as “the best wheel.” It all depends on what you are going to be doing with the wheel. There may be a wheel that is the “best” for you (your style and your preferences) and I am making this in hopes that you will find that wheel.
Some factors to consider when choosing a wheel are: discipline of skating, type of pavement you will be using the wheel on, what type of board you are riding, and the type of speed you will be doing on your wheels.
Discipline of Skating: The first thing you should ask yourself when looking for wheels is “What do I want these wheels to do?” There are many different disciplines of longboarding: Downhill, freeride (sliding), freestyle, and cruising to name a few.
If you are looking to do downhill at high speed, you should consider a wheel that has a wide contact patch, above 70mm width, a “durometer” in the lower spectrum, and a sharp or edged lip. The reason for these features is to keep the board from sliding when you don’t want it to, and have a good roll speed.Looking for freeride wheel s is a little bit trickier. If you are planning on doing higher speed freeride, consider wheels in a lower durometer and wider contact patch. The lower the duro and more contact it makes with the ground the less icy it will be. You want your high speed freeride wheels to be “buttery” and smooth; not too icy. If you are doing low speed freeride or tech-sliding you want a smaller contact patch and higher duro. Just remember the higher the duro , the easier it will be to initiate slides, but they may be too icy to make sharp turns or carve. Having hard wheels also makes it more difficult to control the slide at times. However it will not cut off as much speed when freeriding, so you can get more slides in before you run out of speed.
Freestyle wheels and cruising wheels are very similar. Neither needs to be able to slide much, and neither are too terribly important. You will want a softer wheel most likely, to make the ride smoother, and the landings softer. You may want a smaller wheel for freestyle to eliminate weight, where as a cruiser would want medium sized wheels for solid roll speed and to make for a smooth ride.
Consider your board: It is important to think about your board when selecting a wheel, mainly for the purpose of avoiding wheel bite. Wheel bite is when the board and the wheel make contact and the board comes to a sudden stop. Wheel bite can be dangerous and painful. If the manufacturer includes any information on wheel specs, follow them. You may not want more than a 70mm wheel if your board is prone to wheel bite.
Pavement: If all of your favorite spots have poor pavement way to go about it is to try a few, but following these guidelines will help in the quest for the perfect wheel.
Legit Board Shop is less than a year old, this shop was started by fellow longboarder Raffi Garboushian. He wanted to offer the longboard community access to Legit manufacturers that bigger retailers refuse to support!
Author: Rob Green