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A Beginners Guide To Wheels

Class is in session for your crash course in the skateboard wheel!

Buying your first skateboard can be really intimidating. What board is right for me? What trucks do I need? What wheels are best for beginners? Do I get a complete or set one up myself? What is the difference to it all?! All these questions and more will run through your head and with such a big range of parts to choose from it can all be a bit overwhelming! We’ve put together the following guides to give you all the information you need to buy all your skateboard parts with confidence and get out skating sooner! So let’s get into it!

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Wheels

Welcome to the fun, exciting and complex world of the skateboard wheel, the greatest invention since, well, the wheel. Choosing a set that’s right for you can be one of the most difficult decisions when setting up your board, with all kinds of technical jargon that makes us all sound like physicists, but we’re here to break it down for you!

Durometer

Let's get started with wheel hardness. Wheels are graded in hardness by the durometer system, and to put it simply, the lower the durometer the softer the wheel. Now let’s get technical! 

78A to 85A 

These are considered a cruiser wheel that is perfect for transportation, especially on rough surfaces. If you need something to get you from A to B and go long distance, these are for you. Although a smooth quick ride sounds like a dream for beginners, they are quite heavy and gummy which makes it difficult to learn tricks on. Ultimately, it depends on what you want to do with your board.

85A to 95A

This is a perfect middle ground for beginners who want to learn tricks and get a smooth ride on the rough streets. Although they are still a little gummy and not the best to ride at skateparks we consider these a perfect all-round wheel for beginners. 

96A to 101A

By far the most popular, these are for those who are dedicated to learning tricks whether it's in your driveway, at your favourite street spot or at a skatepark.

Something between 96A-99A is perfect if you’re primarily skating rough street spots, but by all means, it is not a cruiser wheel. 100A-101A are preferred by those skating smooth city streets, as they are great for doing tricks on due to the firmness of the wheel. These are also amazing for sliding on, however it can be a little too slippery at some of these new glossy skate parks.

Note: Most brands will use the letter A or D after the durometer however some brands use the letter B. Add 20 to these styles to get the equivalent in the A or D durometer. It’s like they want to confuse us! 

Sizing

Ok! Now we know how hard, let's check out how big! In most cases, it’s all up to personal preference however anything from 52mm-55mm is the most common size for street and park skaters. Smaller wheels sit closer to the ground and are lighter, which makes it a lot easier to maneuver the board. 

 Can just a couple millimeters really make a difference? In skateboarding, yes! If you're mostly skating ramps, bowls and cruising around, anything from a 56mm-65mm will give you that extra speed you need as well as help get you over any big cracks or bumps. Keep in mind, that anything over 58mm will require a set of riser pads. 

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Shapes

Yep, there’s even more! Shapes! Luckily, this isn’t quite as important as the other factors of choosing your wheels, however we want to get the right wheels for you. 

The wider the wheel, the smoother ride you're gonna get, plus it’ll make sliding a bit easier. These are popular with park/ramp skaters and those wanting a big ol’ cruiser wheel to get them over rough terrain on the streets. 

Skinnier wheels are lighter and less slippery, which is attractive for technical, street skaters. If you find yourself somewhere in the middle, take a look at any classic shape to get you going!

Colour

Finally, a less confusing step, choosing your colour! We all want our boards to look rad and in a perfect world we could choose a wheel to match the board precisely. Unfortunately it's not that easy and getting the right colour is something you really shouldn’t worry about. Over time the paint will scratch off, so choosing the right durometer, size and shape is the most important part. By all means, choose something that you like, but don’t sweat it too much, red wheels don't go faster or anything. 

Pricing

The main difference between wheels is the formula that is being used in each product. Better quality formula means that the wheels will last longer, be a lot smoother and faster. You’ll find we have a wide range of wheels in all the duros, shapes and sizes, all of which will give you the best quality for a range of prices and skill levels. 

We hope all that hasn’t left your head spinning like a wheel but has given you enough information to help choose the wheel that's right for you. At the end of the day it’s about getting out there and having fun on your skateboard!

Now get out there and go skateboarding!