So you want to know how to choose first skateboard wheels. Lets be honest, it can be a daunting experience. You will see many many different styles, sizes and the word ‘Durometer’ thrown at you. But what do they all mean? What makes one wheel so different from the next? This skateboard wheels buying guide is here to help.

What Does Durometer Even Mean?

You will have seen the word Durometer, or Duro, printed in the specs or on the side of wheels, basically, the Durometer is the measurement of how hard the wheel is.

The higher the durometer, the harder wheel – The harder the wheel, the faster the wheel.

Likewise, the lower the Durometer, the softer the wheel, The softer the wheel, the slower the wheel – but they will have better grip and comfort.

Skateboard wheel durometer is usually measured on a Durometer A Scale which goes from 1-100 to measure hardness.

78a-87a Soft wheels good for rough surfaces, longboards, or street boards that need lots of grip to easily roll over cracks and pebbles. Designed for smooth rides, cruising, longboards, hills, and rough surfaces.
88a-95a Slightly harder and faster with a little less grip, but the grip is still good. Good for street and rough surfaces.
96a-99a Nice speed and grip– an all-around good wheel. Great for beginners skating street, skate parks, ramps, pools, and other smooth surfaces.
101a + Hardest and fastest wheel with the least grip. Ineffective on slick and rough surfaces. These are pro wheels.

Skateboard Wheel Size Guide

Skateboard wheels vary in colour, size, and durability. Skateboard wheels are most commonly made of polyurethane. The diameter and durometer of the wheel affect the way the board rides. The diameter and durometer are a matter of personal preference and skating style.

Diameter is the size of the wheel when measured from top to bottom. All Skateboard wheels are measured in millimetres (mm). The smaller the number, the smaller the wheel.

Smaller wheels have slower top speed slower, but accelerate faster

Larger wheels have a faster top speed, but slower acceleration.

50-53mm Small, slower wheels; stable for trick riding and smaller riders skating street, skate parks, and bowls.
54-59mm Average wheel size for beginners and bigger riders skating street, skate parks, bowls, and vert ramps.
60mm + Specialty riders skating longboards, old-school boards, downhill, and dirt boards; made for speed and rougher surfaces.

Remember, this is just a guide, to arm you with the basic knowledge to get you somewhere near to picking the correct wheel. The only real way to find the best wheel to suit your style and ability is to experiment. You should look to try out as many different diameters, duro’s and even brands as possible. Every combination will unlock a different characteristic.

If they have different wheels, try your friends set up, or go down to the skate shop near you and check out what they have.

Hopefully you have found this Skateboard Wheels Buying Guide useful.