What wheels should you pick?
So you need new wheels? Well, we are here to help you pick your next set. Wheels are probably the second most crucial part of your setup. Wheels help determine how fast you can go, what kind of surfaces you can skate on, and most importantly, how cool your complete looks. Generally made from polyurethane, skateboard wheels come in various sizes, colors, and durability ranges. The diameter determines skate wheel size, and the hardness is measured by durometer. Both of these factors are a matter of personal preference, but some combinations are better at some things than others.
Skateboard wheel diameter is measured in millimeters (mm); most wheels range from 50-75 mm. The lower the number, the smaller the wheel. Wheel diameter also affects how quickly you can accelerate and how tightly you can turn. Smaller wheels tend to be slower but fast in acceleration, and larger wheels are faster with slower acceleration.
Smaller wheels have a tendency to get "stopped" by pebbles and other debris. Since smaller wheels are lower to the ground and easier to control, smaller wheels are great for park and street skating. These are the wheels you want if you want to learn a lot of tricks. Larger wheels are heavier and, more often than not, softer, making them great for cruising. The more giant, softer wheel tends to get hung up less on pebbles, sidewalk cracks, and other things that would stop smaller wheels. Most longboards use larger, softer wheels. They work great for standard twin-tail/popsicle decks; you just may need to add some raisers depending on the size and how loose your trucks are. If you're someone who uses a skateboard as daily transportation, check out some larger wheels. Their larger diameters offer speed and balance all in one, making them perfect for cruising or vert skating.
50-53mm Small, slower wheels; good for tricks and skating street, parks, and bowls.
54-59mm Average wheel size; great for skating street, parks, bowls, and vert.
60mm + Specialty wheels for longboards, old-school boards, downhill, and dirt boards; great for rougher surfaces.
Lastly, skateboard wheels also come in different shapes or cuts, such as narrow or wide lip and cruiser wheel shapes. A narrow lip wheel is a great choice; they're much more responsive to quick movements. Some beginners and commuters will be better off with cruiser wheels because they tend to have the best grip. If you want an option that includes the best of both worlds, take a look at standard wide lip wheels; though less inclined for speed than the narrower wheels, these are sturdy and balanced, making them invaluable to the average skater both around the skate park or on the street.