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Published Mar. 30, 2021

If you want to ride a longboard, one of the most important elements is the wheels. The type of wheels you choose has a significant impact on the kind of ride you will experience. Most longboard wheels are made of polyurethane, and they are available in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and hardness levels, depending on your needs.

In general, longboard wheels are larger and softer than what you would find on a skateboard, which typically has smaller, harder wheels. The larger the wheel, the faster you will go. Most longboard wheels have between a 60 and 75mm diameter. They also have a hardness level (durometer) that ranges between 73a to 101a. The higher the durometer, the faster the board will go. If you’re not sure which wheels you need for your longboard, check out our buying guide below.

The Best Longboard Wheels

The Shark Wheel 72 mm 78a Longboard Wheels are shaped to tackle rough terrain, sidewalk cracks, and wet conditions. Compared to traditional-looking longboard wheels, these produce 60 percent less friction and have less rolling resistance, which makes riding the longboard easier, according to the company’s scientific research. The wheels feature a 30-degree approach angle to better bounce off small objects and minimize impact. These wheels also have a 15 percent longer lifespan than many rival brands and produce 15 percent more rebound, so they get you moving more quickly. They also provide excellent slide control. Overall, they’re great for cruising, provide good grip for carving, and look stylish.

One downside to these longboard wheels is that you may feel a little vibration at higher speeds. Also, some users have noticed bubbles in the wheels.

Key Features
  • 72mm diameter
  • 78a hardness
  • 30-degree approach angle
  • Three colors available
Specifications
  • Brand Shark Wheel
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Less friction and rolling resistance

Long lifespan

More rebound

CONS

May vibrate at high speeds

Some wheels may have bubbles]

The Bigfoot Longboard Wheels 76mm 80A SHR Mountain Cruisers are available in black and translucent blue, green, and red. The 76mm diameter makes them suitable for high-speed longboarding, while the 80a super high rebound hardness maximizes grip and stability. These wheels have an offset core for better turns and cornering. Other features include a rounded lip and a 50mm contact patch. Overall, they grip the road well and provide a soft ride. You hardly notice sidewalk cracks, and they provide a cushioning effect on asphalt. They minimize road vibrations and are fast while cruising and going downhill. Plus, they’re quiet.

However, these wheels are not the best option for sliding because they’re a little too jumpy and grippy. It can also be a hassle to insert the bearings.

Key Features
  • 76mm diameter
  • 50mm contact patch
  • 80a hardness
  • Rounded lip
Specifications
  • Brand Bigfoot
  • Model Mountain Cruiser
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Good for high speeds

High rebound hardness

Good grip, soft ride

CONS

Not best for sliding

Inserting the bearings can be a hassle

The Orangatang Caguama 85 mm Longboard Wheels for Cruising are available in three colors and diameters and with or without Jehu V2 bearings that include integrated spacers and speedrings. These urethane wheels are big, smooth, and fast, making them ideal for carving, commuting, long-distance pushing, and pumping. The large diameter allows you to easily traverse cracks, rocks, and other objects in your path. They have a 56 mm contact patch that promotes grip and rounded edges that help you glide over rough pavement. They also feature an exposed 46mm core that is lightweight for better acceleration. These wheels are also compatible with certain electric skateboards.

Unfortunately, the blue wheels may turn gray after a short period of use. They may also start chunking quicker than you expect.

Key Features
  • Choice of three colors and diameters
  • Jehu V2 bearings included in some options
  • 56mm contact patch
  • Rounded edges
Specifications
  • Brand Orangatang
  • Model Caguama
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Smooth and fast

Great for carving, pushing, and pumping

Compatible with electric skateboards

CONS

Blue wheels can turn gray over time

They may start chunking after a short period of use

The Fireball Beast 76mm Longboard Skateboard Wheels go fast with minimal rolling resistance. The black model has a 49mm contact patch and an 87a durometer, but you can also purchase different colors with different durometers. They are comfortable to ride and are nice and smooth due to the sideset core, surrounded by urethane to provide maximum slide and grip. The company uses a stone grinding process called SlidePrepped to bring out the wheels’ sliding capability. This is aided by the beveled lips, which let you slide over cracks and road debris more easily. They do not flat spot easily and are good for beginners, fast freeriding, or slower technical downhill rides on paths with sharp turns.

One issue is that they may cause wheel/board contact with the top mounts due to their size. Also, they provide a little less grip and stability compared to some other options on this list.

Key Features
  • 76mm diameter
  • 87a durometer
  • Several colors available
  • Beveled lip
Specifications
  • Brand Fireball
  • Model Beast
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Comfortable Ride

Good sliding capability

100-percent satisfaction guarantee

CONS

Wheel/board contact may occur

Less grip and less stable than some other options

The Fireball Tinder 70mm 81a Durometer Skateboard & Longboard Wheels are designed for smaller longboards, double-kick skateboards, and mini-cruisers. They feature a 35mm contact patch to cruise, dance, or freeride smoothly and quickly over bumps, cracks, rocks, and other obstacles. The centerset core is made of strong urethane fiberglass and promotes even wear and dependable slides. Other features include the Fireball SlidePrepped technology and rounded lips, which also enable consistent sliding. Since these wheels slide so well, they’re great for beginners, but they’re also versatile enough for other skill levels. Plus, they last a little longer and are less likely to flat spot because the urethane is a bit on the harder side.

The biggest downside to these wheels is that they are a little pricey. Also, there’s only one durometer option.

Key Features
  • 70mm diameter
  • 81a durometer
  • 35mm contact patch
  • Centerset core
Specifications
  • Brand Fireball
  • Model Tinder
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Wears evenly

Great for beginners and other skill levels

Long lasting

CONS

Pricey

Only one durometer option

The RaceBon 70mm Longboard Skateboard Wheels come with pre-lubricated ABEC-9 bearings and spacers. Designed for mid-sized longboards, these polyurethane (PU) cruiser wheels feature a 78a hardness and are great for dancing, freeriding, and freestyle tricks. They also provide a smooth ride while street skating and skate parks. They’re soft but grippy and hard enough for sliding. The PU material is highly resilient, so they’re durable and wear-resistant. They ride well over rough sidewalks, are easy to install and look good overall. They’re also very affordable and are of good quality for the price.

However, there have been some complaints that they’re harder than what’s listed in the description. Also, while they’re pre-lubricated, you may need to add more lube for less friction.

Key Features
  • 70mm diameter
  • 78a durometer
  • ABEC-9 bearings included
Specifications
  • Brand RaceBon
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Smoot riding

Durable and wear-resistant

Inexpensive

CONS

May be harder than 78a

Additional lubrication may be required for the bearings

If you plan on riding on sidewalks, hard-packed dirt, short grass, or rough roads, the MBS All-Terrain Longboard Wheels will do the trick. Designed for moderate off-road conditions, these 100 mm by 65 mm wheels feature 78a hardness and are made with high-rebound urethane. They also provide more traction than regular wheels on wet surfaces. Available in five bright colors, it can take a week or two for the wheels to break in before they can efficiently tackle trails with dirt and gravel. They ride smoothly and steadily at moderate to high speeds.

However, they ride slightly rough on pavement. While the wheels fit most drop-through style decks, if you have a pintail or a board without cutouts, you’ll need riser pads to prevent wheel bite. They’re also a little heavy, and bearings aren’t included.

Key Features
  • 100mm diameter
  • 78a durometer
  • High-rebound urethane
  • Five colors available
Specifications
  • Brand MBS
  • Model N/A
  • Weight 2 pounds
PROS

Easily tackles rough roads, trails

More traction on wet surfaces

Smooth and steady riding

CONS

Not for pintails or boards with cutouts

Heavy

The FREEDARE 70mm Longboard Wheels include pre-installed ABEC-7 bearings and spacers, saving you time on installation. The 8mm bearings are smooth, and overall the wheels roll smoothly. They’re great for moving at a moderately fast pace and cruising around town or on a college campus. These polyurethane wheels have a durometer of 83a and are 51mm wide. While these centerset wheels are one of the least expensive options on our list, they are pretty durable. They ride well over small pebbles and sidewalk cracks, and they’re stable on wet surfaces. Users also like the look of these wheels, which are available in black, blue, green, red, and yellow.

The biggest downside is the bearings aren’t super fast. Also, the wheels may not extend out past the board, which can affect the look and performance of the board.

Key Features
  • 70mm diameter
  • ABEC-7 bearings included
  • 83a durometer
  • Five colors
Specifications
  • Brand FREEDARE
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Inexpensive

Stable and durable

Smooth riding

CONS

Bearings aren’t the best quality

Wheels may not extend out past the board

The TOBWOLF 70mmx54mm 78A Longboard Wheels are another excellent option for those on a budget. Made of durable, wear-resistant polyurethane, these wheels come with pre-installed ABEC-9 bearings and spacers. They have a 78a hardness for just the right grip and softness, particularly for beginners. The grippy edges are great for street tricks and downhill riding. You can also use these wheels at the park, ramps, freestyling, and technical sliding. In addition to longboards, they’re great for cruisers, penny boards, and standard skateboards. They can take a short period of time to break-in, but once they do, they ride smoothly and can tackle cracks and pebbles with ease.

Keep in mind that the manufacturer does not recommend using these wheels on uneven ground. Also, you will likely need to add additional lube to the bearings.

Key Features
  • 70mm diameter
  • 78a hardness
  • Pre-installed ABEC-9 bearings
Specifications
  • Brand TOBWOLF
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Good for beginners

Grippy edges for tricks, downhill

Fits a variety of boards

CONS

Not designed for uneven surfaces

Additional lube may be required for the bearings

The Sunset Skateboard Co. Pink 65mm 78a Round LED Light-Up Longboard Wheels will take your longboarding game up a notch. These glowing wheels use bright, long-lasting LEDs, which make riding even more fun than usual. The 78a durometer urethane wheels provide a smooth and stable ride. They are soft, durable, and light up using kinetic energy when they spin. Plus, they don’t require batteries and are designed to last 100,000 hours of skating. The wheels include pre-installed ABEC-9 carbon steel bearings, and they’re designed for kids, adults, beginners, and more experienced riders. They look great at night and allow motorists and others to see you more clearly.

However, they’re slightly smaller in diameter than the average longboard wheel, and they’re less designed for performance.

Key Features
  • 65mm diameter
  • 78a durometer
  • ABEC-9 bearings included
  • Long-lasting LEDs
Specifications
  • Brand Sunset Skateboard
  • Model N/A
  • Weight N/A
PROS

Fun, vibrant design

Kid and adult-friendly

Great for night skating

CONS

Slightly smaller than average-sized longboard wheel

More style driven than performance driven

Best Longboard Wheels Buying Guide

Whether you’re a beginner skater or an advanced skater, you need a board that fits your riding style. You also need the right type of wheels to get you where you want to go quickly, efficiently, and comfortably. The best thing about longboard wheels is that they are available in various colors, designs, and styles. However, it can be challenging to choose the right kind for your needs because the market is saturated with options.

We created this buying guide to help people like you make an informed purchase. Our guide includes the various types of wheels, the features to consider, and answers to some commonly asked questions.

The Most Common Types of Longboard Wheels

Vintage Style Skateboard with brown longboard wheels
Longboard wheels are available in various colors

When you’re searching for longboard wheels, you will encounter three different shapes: square edge, round edge, and beveled edge. The type of wheel you need will depend on the type of skating you do. You need a different shape for downhill than you do for riding off-road, for example. Sharp edges are the grippiest, while round and beveled edged-wheels slide further.

Square Edge

If you like slalom, downhill, and carving fast on your longboard, you need wheels with a square or sharp edge. They’re designed to provide a lot of grip, which you need with this type of skateboarding. The square lips are designed to distort when you hit bumps.

After you’ve carved or drifted on the wheels for a while, they will start to round out—the more they wear down, the more they will slide.

Rounded Edge

If you plan on using your longboard for carving and sliding, wheels with a rounded or radiused edge are your best bet. It can be tough to drift in a turn with square edges, so you need a more rounded edge to slide. Round-edged wheels have less friction on asphalt than other types of wheels. They move nicely on the road but let go more quickly.

This type of edge means you will lose speed more quickly when drifting sideways or sliding, and they’re not a good option if you want a lot of grip.

Beveled Edge

In between a square edge and a round edge wheel is a beveled edge wheel. The wheel is shaped at an angle, so the edges are neither flat nor round. The angle provides a contact patch on the wheel’s edge, which helps you turn while riding downhill.

They’re not as grippy as square-edged wheels or as progressive as rounded-edge wheels. When they wear down to the bottom of the bevel, they will lose their shape.

What to Look for When Buying Longboard Wheels

Longboard wheels with backpack on it
Longboard wheels are available in various designs

As you know by now, not all longboard wheels are the same. Several features set them apart, such as their size (diameter), hardness (durometer), and core type. Make sure to consider the following features before choosing your wheels, so you get the right kind for your type of skating.

Diameter

One of the most important features of a longboard wheel is its diameter. They are typically between 64-80mm in diameter, but 70mm is the most common size. Larger wheels are faster than smaller ones. However, they accelerate more slowly and don’t slide as well as smaller and lighter wheels.

The most significant difference between longboard wheels and skateboard wheels is how well they roll over rough terrain. Bigger wheels simply do better when it comes to sidewalk cracks, pebbles, small sticks, etc.

Durometer 

The durometer or hardness of a wheel is another critical element. Longboard wheels are usually between 78a and 85a on the durometer scale. The higher the number, the harder the wheel is. Softer wheels provide more grip on rough surfaces because they compress over an imperfection on the road or sidewalk. A 75a wheel will be grippier and grab more in a slide on a rough surface.—a happy medium is between 78a and 82a.

Core

The bearings rest on a core inside a longboard’s wheels. The core disperses heat to prevent the wheel from melting, which is important because the bearings heat up when you skate at high speeds. The core can be made of either plastic or polyurethane. If you like carving and sliding, you may want wheels with a backset core, which is even with the back of the wheel.

A wheel with a centerset core is designed for street and vert skating because it’s easier to rotate and flip them. In between the two are sideset cores. They are the most grippy, but you can’t flip them due to their location.

Best Longboard Wheels FAQ:

Once again, we must iterate that wheels are a crucial component of your longboard. Below we answer some commonly asked questions you may have about wheels, such as which ones are best for skating downhill, which ones are good for cruising around, and how often you need to replace them.

Q: What are the best downhill longboard wheels?

The best wheels for downhill longboarding feature square edges, a 70mm-80mm diameter, a wide contact patch, and an offset core. They may be a little more expensive than other options, but they provide just the right amount of grip and control.

Q: Are 60mm wheels suitable for cruising?

As we previously noted, longboard wheels are typically between 64mm and 84mm. A good cruiser wheel has a softer durometer, round or beveled edges for rough surfaces, and square lips for optimal grip.

Q: How often should I replace longboard wheels?

You should replace your wheels when you notice flat spots or degradation. It depends on how often you skate and how far you go on a given day or week.

Our Top Pick

Our pick for the best longboard wheels are the Shark Wheel 72 mm 78a Longboard Wheels. They may look slightly different from traditional longboard wheels, but they work well over rough terrain and have less friction than many rival brands. They have excellent grip and are great for cruising and carving.

Final Thoughts

While we like the Shark Wheel 72 mm 78a Longboard Wheels, the Bigfoot Longboard Wheels 76mm 80A SHR Mountain Cruisers are another excellent option, particularly if you’re looking to spend a little less money. Ultimately, any of the options on our list would make a fun and stylish addition to any longboard.

Sources:

  1. Longboard – Wikipedia

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