Written by Jasper Belhumeur, polished by ChatGPT
When skateboarding, the thing that can make the biggest difference is almost always the wheels.
You may look at your wheels and think nothing of them, but they’re actually very important. Today, I’m going to show you what size, durometer, and brand you should be buying. The measurements used in wheels are millimeters (MM) for size and Durometer, represented by A or D, for hardness or softness. The lower the number, the softer the wheel.
To choose the right wheels, you first need to identify the type of skating you will be doing. There are three main types: cruising, street, and transition. If you’re cruising, then you’re just riding around town, maybe performing an Ollie onto a curb, but almost no tricks. For this, I recommend wheels between 56-70 MM at 78a-86a. Some brands I might recommend are Santa Cruz Slimeballs, OJ Wheels, Orangutan, Shark, and Cloud Riders.
If you’re skating street, then you’re probably doing Ollies, Kickflips, Grinds, Slides, etc. Most street wheels are usually 90a-99a, but if you’re looking for something a little more comfortable, 78a-86a wheels are also available. However, you won’t be able to feel the tricks or slide the wheels. Street wheels should be about 52-56 MM. Wheels I recommend for street skating are Spitfire Formula 4s, Powell Peralta Dragons, Bones Street Formula, Slimeballs Saucers, and OJs elite nomads.
If you’re skating transition, then you’re riding at high speeds up and down ramps and in the bowl. For transition skating, you need huge hard wheels at about 100a+ at around 55-60MM. If you’re buying Bones wheels, then 84B is equal to 104a. Some transition wheels I recommend are Bones Skatepark Formula, OJs Hardline, and Bones 100s.
If you’re confused about anything, go to your local skate shop (not Zumiez or West49). They will help you out. Always buy parts from the local skate shop because they don’t carry low-quality products, they know about skateboarding, and it supports skateboarding in general. Here are some great skate shops in Saskatchewan and Alberta: Propaganda in Prince Albert, Ninetimes in Saskatoon, Calgary and Edmonton, Shredz in Cochrane, and Rumour in Edmonton and Leduc.
*Also, when buying wheels, make sure that if you buy them 55MM+, you also get riser pads. And if you have risers, make sure your hardware (the bolts holding the trucks together) are 1”+; otherwise, the trucks will fall off, and you will fall on your face!*