Skateboard wheels aren’t just there to hold the board up. They come in different designs to suit different styles of skating, and picking the right set can make a big difference to your performance.Skateboard Wheel Attachment
Without wheels, a skateboard is just a tiny, useless snowboard. A lot of skateboards are sold as separate parts rather than completes, so unless you are buying a pre-assembled skateboard you will need to choose and install your own wheels. Skateboard wheels are mounted on skateboard bearings which in turn connect on to the truck or axle. This allows them to rotate on the axle with minimal friction, letting skaters get up to high speeds.Skateboard Wheel Size
Skateboard wheels come in different sizes. The inner surface of the wheel has to fit onto the bearing, which tends to come in a standard size with a 22 millimetre outer diameter but this can vary. The rest of the wheel can vary more in size. Typically a skateboard wheel will measure between 48 and 60 millimetres across, while longboard wheels can be even bigger. Smaller wheels are lighter and can accelerate more quickly, but also slower at top speed and less stable over rough terrain. Large wheels are faster and handle bumps better. Technical street skaters tend to prefer small wheels, while vert skaters and cruisers usually go bigger.Skateboard Wheel Hardness
Skateboard wheels are often rated in terms of their hardness or durometer, usually on the A scale. The higher the number, the harder the wheel. A 100A wheel would be hard, while something like a 78A would be about as soft as most skateboard wheels get. Some very hard wheels are rated on the B scale instead, which is 20 points lower than the A scale. Depending on the kind of skating you like to do, you might prefer softer or harder wheels. Hard wheels are faster and great for technical skating on dedicated surfaces, while softer wheels are grippier and more cushioned for comfortable street skating or cruising. Soft wheels also tend to wear out faster.Skate Wheel Designs
Like decks, skateboard wheels come in a huge range of designs. Plain blank wheels in solid colours like black or blue are very common and go with anything. A lot of skate companies get flashier with their wheels though, using bold logos and printed designs.