Guide: Skateboard Wheels

Skateboard Wheels Buying Guide - Wake2o

Guide: Skateboard Wheels

Picking out skateboard wheels can be overwhelming, knowing what size and hardness to get to best suit your riding style. In this post we breakdown the three main points to keep in mind when choosing your next set.

Skateboard wheels vary in colour, size, and durability. The diameter and durometer you choose is your personal preference but remember, each different duro or diameter you pick will change the way your board rides; it's all about trial and error.

Skateboard Wheels Guide - Wake2o


The diameter of skateboard wheels is the size. Measured from the top of the wheel to the bottom in mm. Smaller skateboard wheels are lighter and tend to have more pop making them ideal for street and technical skaters. Smaller wheels have a faster acceleration compared to larger wheels but their top speed is lower. If you are more into cruising and ramp skating then a larger wheel would be more suited to you.

Small, slower wheels; stable for trick riding and smaller riders skating street, skate parks, and bowls.
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.


Skateboard Wheels Buying Guide - Wake2o


The durometer is the hardness of a skateboard wheel. Hard wheels (high durometer) are ideal for street and park skaters as they are smoother than softer wheels and they roll faster over smooth surfaces. If you are into doing slides on your board then skateboard wheels with a high durometer are for you.

Those of you who are wanting to just cruise around and use skate ramps might prefer softer wheels (low durometer), they provide more grip than hard wheels. The vibrations that you get when skating hard wheels on rough streets is reduced when skating wheels with a low durometer meaning they will roll smoother. 

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

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.
Slightly harder and faster with a little less grip, but the grip is still good. Good for street and rough surfaces.
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 Wheels Buying Guide - Wake2o

Contact Patch

The contact patch is the area of your skateboard wheels that has contact with the ground. The size of the contact patch on your wheels does affect the performance of your board. Wheels with narrower contact patches slide a lot easier than those with wide patches, but that also depends on the durometer of the wheel. Larger contact patches spread the riders weight over a larger area which helps to reduce the compression of the wheel which will decrease the rolling resistance.


We hope that this guide has helped you understand the tech behind skateboard wheels and makes the decision of which wheels to add to your setup easier! Remember this is just a guide and we recommend trying different duros, diameter and brands to find the ones that best suit you.

Pop into your local skate shop and check out their range of wheels and try out your friends boards to see if you like their wheels.

Shop our large range of skateboard wheels here