Longboarders associate longboarding with soft wheels. Soft longboard wheels provide greater mobility on rough riding surfaces, better grip, and a faster roll. If you're new to the sport, choosing the right wheels might seem like a challenging feat. It doesn't have to be. Understanding a few basic parameters of longboard wheels allows you to find the perfect set. You'll want to determine where you're boarding and the type of longboarding you'll be doing.
Cruisers will opt for different wheels than downhill riders. You can't outride a lousy set of wheels. You want to experience the freedom of riding downhill or landing that first trick on your longboard. To make this happen, you can't overlook the importance of choosing the best wheels above all else. There are hundreds of wheels available, so it's important to understand their functions and best riding purposes. Free-spirited riders want to maximize their experience on the board. Choosing the right wheels is step one towards achieving that elusive kick-flip or smooth downhill glide when riding.
How to Choose Longboard Wheels
Before investing hundred bucks, or more, on longboard wheels, riders should familiarize themselves with specific features of different products. Depending on the riding style, and experience levels, different longboarders will choose different wheels. High-quality wheels will cost more than an average, or below-average set. However, this doesn't mean riders have to overspend to find the best pair. These are some aspects to help longboarders decide on the best wheels, for their longboard and their riding style.
The first decision riders will make deciding on the wheel size for their longboard wheels. 64 mm to 80 mm is the average size, with 70 mm being the most common diameter size. Larger wheels typically accelerate slower, however, achieve higher top speeds. They are better for rolling over cracks, debris, and uneven terrain also. Smaller wheels accelerate faster and fit more longboard setups easily.
When deciding on wheels, riders must choose a set that won't cause wheelbite. Boards with larger cutouts can typically fit any size wheel easily. For smaller cutouts, it's possible that owners will have to add a riser pad to install larger wheels.
The durometer is the next factor to consider when purchasing longboard wheels. This term refers to a gauge that measures the hardness of riding wheels. Softer wheels feature greater grip and are more reliable; however, larger wheels tend to achieve higher speeds. Long, softer wheels are most reliable, because they're capable of reaching the highest grip levels. The durometer A scale ranges from one to 100, with lower numbers correlating to softer wheels. Ratings range between:
The contact patch of longboard wheels indicates the height of the wheels. The piece determines how much of the wheel contacts the road while riding. Wheels with higher contact patch ratings, also have higher grip levels. Higher friction generation occurs when the wheels contact the ground, meaning they afford riders more grip when riding.
For sliding, lower friction levels are pivotal; however, for cruising, higher friction levels are desirable. That's why it's so important to determine the type of riding owners will use the longboard for when choosing wheels.
Edges and lips
The profile of the sides will impact longboard riders significantly. There are different edge and lip designs, for different longboard styles. A square edge is unprogressive and affords riders higher grip levels. For fast carving, this is possibly the best wheel design. A beveled edge is another popular shape. With these wheels, manufactures mold them at an angle, to create the distinct form. These wheels typically remain the same shape until riders wear them down to the bottom slope. This edge design doesn't have as much grip as a square wheel. However, it has higher grip levels than a radiused edge.
A third edge design is the radiused edge wheel. It features a circular configuration, and travels over roads sideways, a little more comfortable than the other wheel shapes. For lower speeds of drifting or sliding, this is the perfect wheel edge to choose. These wheels, however, don't feature as much grip as the other shapes. Larger radiused wheels don't wear quickly, so riders won't have to replace them often.
How We Reviewed Longboard Wheels
In comparing the best longboard wheels, we considered several essential features. Some things we discussed in our review process include size, type of riding, and types of longboards. We also broke down the best wheels, for different riding categories/styles. Additionally, our review includes the best wheels, for varying price points and experience levels. This information, along with reviews written by other riders, provides insight into helping consumers find the best wheels.
Average Price of Longboard Wheels
Longboard wheels vary in price for multiple reasons. A set of two wheels is cheaper than four wheels. However, other factors also play a role in pricing. The type of wheel and shape, brand, and where consumers buy them, affect pricing. On average, the best longboard wheels run between $-$$. Of course, cheaper and more expensive wheelsets exist. So, it's important to compare several sets, before choosing the best ones.
The Best Longboard Wheels Available
Before choosing longboard wheels, it's essential to compare the best brands and varieties. These are some of the best sliding, cruising, and downhill riding wheels available.
Built for speed and long rides.
4.3 of 5 stars
These wheels come in orange, purple, and yellow color variations. They are great for carving and racing on high-traction riding surfaces. For general cruising and commuting, the size of the wheels is a perfect fit on most longboards. At 70 mm in diameter, they are fast and light.
This set carries longboards quickly and is great for inside rubber making turns or directional adjustments while cruising. The urethane formula creates a plush and grippy surface. The soft texture is reliable and can withstand multiple surfaces for fast speed riding.
One reviewer indicates they weren't happy with the quality of the product. They state the inside rubber of the wheels began to come apart slowly, and eventually tore apart.
The price of these longboard wheels is $-$$. The average ratings are 4.3 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
4.6 of 5 stars
This set of wheels is one of the fastest for longboards. When cruising for longer distances or on rugged paths, it is one of the best products consumers can find. The wheels are also extremely grippy, making it easy to lock into tight corners and adjust going downhill.
For long stand up slides, this is also one of the best set of wheels available. Defcon is super explosive and increases grip for cruising, and smooth urethane finish ensures durability. The wheels are available in BlackOps, Clear, or Defcon formula varieties.
Depending on the formula and size longboarders choose, quality varies between one set of wheels to another. This reviewer indicates certain distinctions between the different wheel formulas.
The price of this set is $-$$. The average ratings for this product are 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
4.6 of 5 stars
These wheels are available in 75 or 80a durometer rating varieties. They feature plenty of grips, however, are also great for sliding on different surfaces. The Cosmic core ensures that the wheels wear down evenly. So, a smooth surface remains intact until they need a replacement set.
A 38 mm contact patch also ensures a large portion of the wheels contacts the ground. For beginners and intermediate longboarders, this helps with stabilization on the board. The round lip also provides greater traction and smooth downhill mobility.
One reviewer indicates the wheels are excellent. However, the paint and exterior finish will wear down quickly.
This set costs $-$$. The average ratings are 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon for this product.
For the high-friction, high-speed rider.
4.7 of 5 stars
The versatile longboard wheels are perfect for downhill riders. They are 75 mm in diameter, and can easily plow over rough terrain. Rocks, dirt, debris, and other patchy surfaces aren't a match for these wheels.
A square lip affords riders maximum traction when mobilizing quickly on the longboard. The encapsulated core is durable and provides high levels of support. A rippled urethane pattern also ensures progressive rebounding on different surfaces.
Most reviewers indicate the wheels are excellent quality and finish. However, one reviewer notes that their set tore after several uses.
This set of longboard wheels cost $-$$. The average ratings are 4.7 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
4.4 of 5 stars
This set features an 83a durometer ratings and is 76 mm in diameter. The high rebound level helps stabilize longboarders, on different surfaces, while skating downhill.
Once skaters break in the wheels, they are grippy and maintain high speeds. The hardness rating doesn't slow longboarders down, regardless of the surface's decline. The large 76 mm diameter maintains full contact with the riding surface, enhancing overall stability also.
The wheels do not include bearings. This product is something that riders will have to purchase separately to install the new longboard wheels.
The set of wheels costs $-$$. The average ratings are 4.4 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
4.6 of 5 stars
The smooth urethane finish on these wheels is perfect for downhill longboarding. They are large, stable, and can easily roam down uneven riding surfaces. The buttery smooth finish helps longboarders glide, slide, and move downhill at the fastest speeds.
The durometer ratings are available in 80a, 82a, and 84a sizing. The diameter options also vary from 60 mm to 70 mm, so each longboarder can accommodate their riding style.
Although the product description claims they're good for sliding, some reviewers disagree. This reviewer notes that it isn't a good set of longboard wheels for sliding.
The price of this wheelset is $-$$. The average ratings are 4.6 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Experienced rider and trickster specials.
4.5 of 5 stars
The longboard wheels feature a 70 mm diameter and 83a durometer rating. They easily slide around tight corners and feature a reasonable grip level. They're great for urban riding, and can comfortably accommodate skaters who want to perform tricks.
The high-quality, SHR urethane material, will last for several riding hours. The wheel design, also ensures that the longboard wheels are going to wear down evenly. So, no uneven riding surface when using these wheels.
One reviewer notes they had to move the wheels. Doing too many slides in the same position, causes the longboard wheels to wear down prematurely.
This product costs $-$$. The average ratings are 4.5 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
4.2 of 5 stars
The set of four wheels features an 82a durometer rating. A stone ground contact patch, and 70 mm diameter, ensures smooth downhill riding with this wheelset.
The smooth, round finish, is perfect for fast-paced, downhill longboarding. The wheels are grippy and are best for smooth pavement or street riding. They are capable of achieving fast speeds, on flat surfaces also. Skaters can appreciate the quality finish and affordable price of this set.
One reviewer indicates the wheels include a tiny bearing slot attachment. You'll have to add a pad or otherwise modify the grip pad, to install these wheels on standard longboards.
The price of this set is $-$$. The average ratings are 4.2 out of 5 stars on Amazon.
Where To Buy
Our Choices For The Best Longboard Wheels for Cruising, Downhill Riding, and Sliding
Longboard wheels come in many shapes, sizes, and riding styles. For every longboard, there's a perfect set of longboard wheels. Considering all the critical elements will help you find the best pair for your longboard.
The best longboard wheels for cruising are the Orangutan 4 President. The urethane material finish is smooth and rides well on multiple surfaces. The larger diameter covers more ground, helping with grip and stability while cruising. The wheels are also the fastest of the different sets available. And, they're great for performing tricks or cruising off different paths/surfaces. The solid material finish and lightweight design make this a great set of longboard wheels for cruising.
The best longboard wheels for downhill riding is the Bigfoot Mountain wheels. They feature a large diameter and hard durometer rating. They're perfect for downhill, fast speed riding. They're also grippy, and maintain contact surface with the ground at all times. Larger wheel size is ideal for fast longboarding, and maximum traction on any riding surface.
For sliding, the best longboard wheels are the Magneto sliders. This set features a low durometer rating and large diameter. They're perfect for downhill, fast-paced, sliding. They feature plenty of grips as well. The smooth surfaces wear down evenly. The wheels feature a round design, so they're great for longboarders of varying levels.
Do you have a favorite set of longboard wheels? Share your experiences in the comments below.