They say that the wheel is man’s greatest invention, this has got to include Skateboard wheels.
Skateboard wheels come in pretty much one shape (duh! They’re wheels, they’ve gotta be round!) but in many different sizes and hardnesses. Size is what’s called diameter, which means how tall the wheel is and is measured in millimeters (mm) for skating wheels.
The other information you need to be thinking about is hardness. Most wheels use the a-scale. It doesn’t really matter if you know what it really means or not, you can still use it. Basically the higher the number, the harder the wheel. For example a hardness of a95 is harder than an a-rating of a70.
I’m gonna give you a quick run down of what’s what, but to be honest you are much better off chatting to some experts that will help you get the right wheel for you or whoever you’re buying for. I’d recommend the people at Native Skate Store online, who will give you friendly, professional advice.
Anywho, saying that here is my brief guide to different wheels:
50-55mm – are just what you want for flip tricks as they are slightly smaller wheels and are lighters and make the board closer to the ground. 97-101a hardness are perfect for street.
64-75mm – perfect for longboards and cruising as they are larger and can go faster. Get soft 78-85a wheels for riding over rough terrain like dodgy pavements etc.
55-65mm – are great for vert as they are larger skateboard wheels and roll a lot faster and when riding ramps this is what you want. A hardness of 95-100a is great for vert.
If you want a bit of everything and the best of all worlds, you’ll want a 52-60mm wheel that’s got a hardness of about 95-100a. This should give you a good balanced compromise between speed and weight.
Here is a little video to wet your skating appetite: (I love the abandoned waterslide park)