Longboard! One of the most exquisite marvels you can explore in your life. But do you know the actual reason behind the fun of such board? Obviously, it’s the wheels. Today you are going to read our complete best longboard wheels reviews. They add that life to the longboard so you can taste all the flavors of riding and sliding.
So if you think you got a decent deck and you will just need wheels to kick-start your longboarding, then this article will help you a lot in this. Not only you will get to know about, the 7 best longboard wheels but also realize a lot of its characteristics other than just rolling around. So, here you go:
7 Best Longboard Wheels Reviewed!
In this section, we reviewed 7 of the best longboard wheels for you. What are these? Let’s see the list:
- Orangatang Kilmer 69 mm, 80a
- Orangatang in Heat 75 mm, 83a
- Bigfoot Longboard Wheels Stalkers, 70mm by 51mm
- Shark Wheel Mako Longboard Wheels 70mm, 80a
- Rider Approved Designs Release 72mm 80a
- Fireball Beast 76mm Longboard Wheels
- Shark Wheel Sidewinder 70mm, 78a
We also have a detailed review on Best Longboard Trucks review in case if you want to check that out.
The Kilmer by Orangatang is basically a freestyle focused wheel so if you are someone who enjoys free-ride longboarding then this is a must-have.
We also have a detailed review on Orangatang Kilmer Review in case if you want to check that out.
This is a 69 mm center-set longboard wheel that seems decently large enough to offer good speed and rolling above obstacles with ease. Coming light in weight, you will find it awesome for slides and tricks.
Coming in orange, it has a durometer rating of 80a which means you can explore a great amount of speed that it offers.
Moreover, the Kilmer comes with slightly beveled sidewalls and has a rounded lip so it can ease the break into sliding.
The brand has stone ground the 39.5mm contact patch so it can ensure a smoother ride. However, you might still find it a little unpredictable as it sometimes slides with moderate resistance. But that’s not a big deal.
Not only the wheel offers a balanced blend with its Peachy Thane urethane formula, but also promotes even wear with a 3 mm center-set core and a deep valley-shaped cross-section which supports the lip firmly.
- Great for slides and tricks.
- Peachy Thane formula promotes fast and even wear.
- Kicks out effortlessly.
- Medium resistance in slides causes unpredictability.
This is another entry from the same brand and offers a similar level of quality. Meet In-heat, another one of the best longboard wheels to give a try.
We also have a detailed review on Orangatang Wheel Review in case if you want to check that out.
This particular one comes in purple tint and the brand has given it a durometer rating of 83a so you can guess how much speed you can get from the wheel.
The brand boasts it to offer great grip so it happens to be ideal for downhill, pumping, hard carving, and long-distance pushing.
Being 75mm in diameter, the purple tire rolls smoothly over all kinds of obstacles over the pavement. So, it promotes a satiating balance. It’s just you will need to avoid riding on wet concrete, the wheel would perform worst on it.
Moreover, the wheel brags to provide progressive rebound with its rippled urethane pattern. And it comes with a sharp, square lip so it can offer the highest grip with smooth sliding. Speaking more of its smooth sliding, you can also give credit to its encapsulated core that maintains that as well as supports the lips for crisp slides and amazing tractions.
A little gripe is that it might take a lot of your energy for pushing around but other than that, it’s worth buying.
- Great for downhill, pumping, hard carving, and long-distance pushing.
- Offers great grip.
- Provides crisp slides and amazing tractions.
- Not ideal for wet concrete terrain.
- Might take a lot of energy to push around.
Bigfoot Longboard Wheels Stalkers, 70mm by 51mm
Stalkers might give you a bad vibe whenever you come around them, but when it comes to the Bigfoot Stalkers, the matter becomes completely different.
At a very reasonable price, you can have 4 stalkers in your hand. Which means you will get a set of 4 wheels that has all the traits to be the best longboard wheels.
They will come in white and offer you 70 mm diameter with 48 mm contact patch. So, it explains a lot about how the much smoother ride and controllable grip it will offer just to experience. You can also give credit to its square lip profile for this trait.
With 78a rating of durometer, it happens to fall on the slightly short side, so it will give slower slides comparatively.
The core of the wheels is placed off the center so the wheels are able to offer a fine balance of grip and slip as well.
- Offers great grip.
- Wheels let you have a fine balance between grip and slip.
- Gives off a decent speed.
- Might not offer you a quicker slide.
Are you craving to have the best longboard wheels as soon as possible? Then why not have a look at this one by Shark Wheel which has been designed only for you.
Although the look of the wheels has been designed very differently unlike other traditional rivals, they are able to give the same benefit.
The big plus is that this wave pattern will give you nothing but an adequate amount of speed and a wide footprint.
Being 70mm in diameter, the wheels make a great choice for riding and sliding.
It has a durometer rating of 78a which means the white wheels will offer great grip and control by being on the soft side. Not just that, they also offer speed and easy sliding with their 3 lips of the Shark Wheel Mako formula to give you the best experience of longboarding.
However, the rider who is into harder wheels might not prefer this set of 4 pack. But, if you love the softer ones, these are the wheels for you.
The only gripe you might have is that the wheels don’t do a great job dampening rough pavement. But, it has certainly proven its worth on smoother roads with little debris on them.
- Great for its speed and easy sliding.
- Offers great grip and control.
- Comes in a set of 4.
- Gives amazing performance on smoother roads.
- Not ideal for people preferring harder wheels.
- Might not work well with the rough roads.
Present yourself the pack of 4 best longboard wheels that has set the stage for downhill rides. Rider Approved Designs have given the wheels all the traits that make them the best of all.
If you are looking for a set that will offer extra-grip with a lower durometer, then this is the wheel for you. With an 80a rating of durometer, the wheels provide fair grip with awesome speed.
You will get the wheels 72mm in size which is big enough for rolling on the surface with ease and control.
Not just that, its ultra-sticky hold also enables you to drive through the rough pavement no matter how the surface has cracks and pebbles lying on.
The wheels include 51mm contact patch that is another proof of them being grippier than most of its competitors.
However, the wheels might not be meant for cruising and carving, so make sure you think of your requirement at first before jumping into buying it.
- Great for the downhill ride.
- Offers great grip.
- The wheels can roll with speed.
- Performs great on rough pavement.
- Not for cruising and carving.
These Fireball wheels do not only look life fireball but act like it too. The brand has made it in such so that it can blend free-ride and grip to give a perfect combination of longboarding.
The wheels come in 76mm diameter and the quality of the wheels is great to impress.
For offering the optimum slide and grip, its Beast Urethane has been specially formulated.
It happens to come with offset core having beveled lips so it can let the wheels swivel over cracks and debris with ease.
The brand has also boasted it has Slide prepped which happens to be their trademarked stone grinding process. This process removes the mold from the wheel contact patch so you can experience great slides right after unpacking it.
The white ones have the softest durometer rating with 81a so you can control the wheels just like the way you want.
- Performs great on cracks and debris.
- Great for free-ride.
- Offers great grips.
- The wheels have been Slide prepped.
- Comes in a set of 4.
- No drawbacks have been found.
Yet again, a new entry by the brand Shark Wheel. If you want the best longboard wheels and if smoke black is your color then you must think of taking it.
We also have a detailed review on Shark Wheel in case if you want to check that out.
You will get a set of 4 wheels and all of them tend to provide crisp slide just like you desire.
They are fairly big with 70 mm diameter, so you can expect them to give a decent ride.
If you have a bigger deck such as pintail or long-drop, the set will make a great pick.
Another plus point to note down is that the wheels let you experience more traction with a durometer rating of 78a no matter whatever terrain you ride on.
However, the only drawback is that the wheels will be a little slow on its speed, other than that, the wheels will be great to have.
- Roll over obstacles impressively.
- Offers grip.
- Provides a smooth ride.
- Might offer slow speed.
Longboard Wheels Buying Guide:
The first factor that you will need to chase down while looking for longboard wheels is their size. When it comes to longboard, most of the wheels come in between 64 mm to 80 mm in diameter with 70 mm being the most mainstream size. The rule of thumb says that the bigger the wheels, the slower the acceleration will be. However, these bigger wheels also offer higher top speed and you can roll over rough terrain like a breeze. Contrary to that, smaller wheels tend to have quicker acceleration yet you will find them having slower top speed.
One of the most vital things that you must note down while selecting the size is that if they’ll fit on your setups without causing any kind of wheel bite. Longboards basically come with reverse kingpin trucks that tend to be taller so they can provide you with more wheel clearance than the standard ones.
If you longboard features larger cutouts, then you can fit any sized wheels. Nonetheless, if your deck features smaller cutouts or even there is none, then you might require to add one or more riser pad of about ¼-inch to you can fix wheels that come in a bigger size than 70 mm. It would be great if you opt for 65 mm wheels with a ¼-inch riser pad as they work wonderfully in turning a park board into an all-city cruiser.
The rating of durometer basically measures the hardness of a wheel. Majority of the longboard wheels come with durometer from 75a to 88a that makes them somewhat softer compared to ordinary skateboard wheels having a durometer rating of 90a to 101a. So, generally, the lower the rating of durometer, the gripper the wheels will have and the slower they will roll. In contrast, the higher the rating of durometer, the lesser grip the wheels will have and the quicker they will roll.
The hardness of wheels also impacts slide traits. The harder wheels around 83a to 88a would usually slide faster and they will slow you down less. Besides, wheels in such range tend to glide across the surface of the pavement. As for the softer wheels around 75a to 80a, they will slide slower typically and will slow you down fast. Moreover, these ranged wheels tend to smear urethane across the surface of the terrain.
Wheels that come with soft smeary slides are commonly described as buttery. Although they tend to wear out fast but you will find they very easy to maneuver and control.
Whenever you look for longboard wheels, it is recommended that you opt for a range between 78a to 80a as the range offers a satiating grip, decent speed, and great slides.
The contact patch of the wheel is the rounded surface that swivels and makes contact with the terrain. Longboard wheels comprise of contact patch ranging from 29 mm to 70 mm. Although, the most common range is found to be in between 38 mm to 55 mm to be precise. The wider the contact patch, the gripper the wheel will be. The narrower the contact patch, the lesser grip the wheels will be. However, while the wider contact patch is stated to be ideal for the downhill zone, the narrower one is generally preferred to free-ride.
Speaking more of the wider contact patch, it also tends to slow you down quick and offers you more control over the deck. Not just that, it also comes with a quicker transition from grip to slip and tends to be fairly difficult to kick initiate.
Stone ground contact patch has grabbed great popularity for free-ride wheels within these years. You will find shiny coatings on the surface of the wheels when they newly come out of their molds. It has been referred to as the skin or mold release of the wheels. The skin of the wheels tends to be very grippe that makes them extremely tough to slide. It happens to take a couple of few slides just so that it can wear the skins off and enable you to slide smoothly and quietly. That’s why now many manufacturers stone grind the skins off the patches so the wheels can slide well even right after out of the box. It is highly recommended for beginners to look for wheels that have already been stone ground if you want to learn to slide efficiently.
The lip of wheels is referred to the outer edge of the contact patch. The lips’ shape explains a lot regarding the way it will ride. While the sharp or thick square lips allow the wheels to have great grips, the rounded ones enable the wheels to break tractions more effortlessly providing a smooth transition from grip to slip. Thus, people tend to prefer rounded lipped wheels for free-ride and sharp lipped wheels for downhill.
If you are someone who uses longboard for carving or regular riding, then you can skip this factor. However, in case if you are not planning to slide the wheels, then you can take lipped wheels into account as they will let you carve deeper and corner lighter minus worrying about losing tractions.
The core refers to a circular hard plastic ring that happens to seat the bearings and provide rubbery polyurethane a place for attachment. If you are an average rider, then the size and shape of a core will make a slight difference. However, you must note that opting for bigger core will cause less deformation of the urethane and boost the slide-ability of the wheels.
The importance of core is its placement within the wheels and its influences on tractions. The wheels will bear most force put in the inner lips when you will be going into the slides. It’s the placement of the core that will determine how much urethane is available for supporting the grip of the wheels. There are generally 3 placements for this:
Center-set: This core found in wheels has been made exclusively for making slide tricks. The reason is, center-set core makes the wheels flip around with symmetrical urethane shape while prolonging their life. Such wheels also come with the most efficient grip. Moreover, it has also been seen that these wheels possess high rating of durometer and small contact patch.
Offset: The offset cores are placed off center that is nearer to the internal side of the wheels. Or you can say this is a combination of side-set and center-set cores. The majority of the wheels come with offset core as they provide a fine balance of slip and grip so they can fit most of the rides. If particular characteristics of the wheels are preferred, the durometer, shape, and thickness of the urethane are modified so they can fulfill a designer’s purpose.
Side-set: Side-set cores are placed extremely close to the inward lip of the wheels. However, they are greatly popular for providing effortless slides caused by minimal urethane on the inner lip that you would use for tractions. Not only they help you control drift but also offer a comfortable and easy ride.
Longboard wheels come with a lot of perks that make them deserving to make a purchase. So, we have answered the reason that why should you buy longboard wheels over other ones.
- Wheels add great stability to the speed so there will the lesser chance of wobbles if you have good pairs. However, you will still need to keep your center of gravity low if you want to have the control.
- Longboards usually demand wheels of about 78a to 85a durometer to be fixed on their truck. Such wheels in this range of hardness tend to be harder and harder wheels mean higher speed.
- You can get to enjoy the grip of the longboard once you understand the use of wheels properly.
- Longboard wheels can be used in skateboard as well that define the versatility of their use.
- Such wheels are able to absorb bumps smoothly so you can have a smoother ride with ease.
- You will find them to use lesser energy than skateboard wheels which allow you to ride the board more energetically.
- Longboard wheels will not require you to kick often especially if you are someone who prefers riding overtricks.
Although you will find a variety of designs when it comes to the type of wheels, there are definite patterns that are dominant for different styles of riding. Here, I have highlighted 4 general types of wheels depending on the riding styles so you understand how they are different from each other:
Such kinds of wheels tend to be smaller and harder. It’s because, with this, the riders will be able to accelerate quickly and perform more tricks easily on smooth surfaces. The hardness of the wheels provides you some slighter give on landings with lesser hang up on ledges or rails.
Specification of such wheels are:
- Height: 50mm to 60mm
- Contact Patch: 15mm to 20mm
- Durometer: 90a to 100a
- Round lips.
- Basically elliptical.
- Center-set Core.
Whatever someone prefers in a longboard cruising wheels would vary greatly from person to person. However, the majority of you will agree to opt for larger height and width wheels with softer durometer will give you more benefits as they are able to tackle any kinds of pavement or surfaces. Not just that, such kinds of wheels also come with the fair amount of grip.
Specification of such wheels are:
- Height: 70mm to 80mm
- Contact Patch: 45mm to 55mm
- Durometer: 75a to 80a
- Square/Round lips
- Basically thick.
- Side-set or Offset Core.
These types of wheels change a little relying on the application. The rider who wants sheer speed would opt for something bigger and harder. If you demand more technical downhill zone, then slightly smaller and softer ones will make a great option.
Specification of such wheels are:
- Height: 70mm to 80mm
- Contact Patch: around 55mm
- Durometer: 78a to 83a
- Square or Sharp lips
- Offset Core.
Majority of the free-ride wheels basically resemble traditional ‘short-board wheels’ in shape. However, they are bigger and possess softer durometer urethane. You might find them center-set but in fact, they tend to be slightly offset so they can boost a decent balance between slide and grip. Free-ride wheels, in general, possess the biggest spectrum of versatility in durometer, shape and core position. It’s because the way riders slide is very reliant on the size, riding style and weight of an individual. However, there will be a risk of sliding poorly if you go over 75mm for free-ride wheels. Because the urethane at the height will deform and grip which will make the slides less predictable and hard to kick start.
Specification of such wheels are:
- Height: 65mm to 70mm
- Contact Patch: around 45mm
- Durometer: 78a to 86a
- Rounds lips
- Offset, Side-set, Center-set Cores.
Wheels on Different Terrains:
In addition to all the stuff highlighted in the guide, the performance of longboard wheels is directly correlated to the terrain you ride on. For instance, the wheels will roll remarkably different on smooth asphalt terrain than a rougher cement terrain. So in this section, you will be enlightened about how wheels act differently on different surfaces and how the terrain affects the wheels.
- Smooth asphalt: Very grippy generally and need lesser grippy wheels for sliding.
- Rough asphalt: Lesser grippy than the previous.
- Smooth cement: Fairly less grippy but will slide faster. Wheels on smooth cement have a coating so they can make easy slides.
- Rough cement: Lesser grippy than all the previous ones.
- Brick or stone: Very less grippy but the wheels will have a groove to cause drag and friction while sliding.
- Wood: Least grippy but extremely easy to make slides particularly with Masonite that is generally found on skate ramps.
- Sand or dirt or grass: It would be extremely tough to move over these terrains as they are filled with obstacles. So, if you actually want to roll the longboard, it is advised to avoid these surfaces.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q: What are the shark wheels?
A: Shark wheels happen to be one of the innovative ideas of the manufacturers. Such wheels are equipped with a mix of both rounded and squared shapes. These peculiarly shaped wheels provide traction even on the wet surface while offering seamless rolling and sliding. In addition to this, the wheel also comes with a unique look that will draw your attention at very first. When it comes to longboard ride, these oddly shaped wheels have revolutionized the field of cruising.
Q: What is Thane?
A: Thane is regarded as the urethane or polyurethane formula of an individual company. As the main characteristic of the wheel ride is derived from a urethane material, majority of the riders end up valuing it more due to its secret formula.
Q: Which of the wheels will be suitable for a beginner when it comes to longboarding?
A: If you are a beginner, then you should go for softer and wider wheels for longboarding since they come with a better grip and also offer a smoother ride.
Q: What is the role of durometer in wheels of a longboard?
A: Durometer is a gauge that measures the hardness of the wheels. There is a range of durometer rating that serves a different purpose. Understanding the role of durometer for better wheels. Here is the guide of the durometer so you can relate well to its purpose:
- 78a to 87a: Great for rough terrain and riding over obstacles and offers great grip as well as easy swiveling.
- 88a to 95a: The wheels are found to be a bit harder, yet they will still have a softer feel. The wheels in this range are great for streets and rough surfaces.
- 96a to 99a: This one happens to be a range where all-rounder wheels fall into. The wheels offer great speed as well as satiating grip. They also perform amazingly on ramps and smooth surfaces.
When it comes to the wheels of a longboard, you will find the market to be very vast and mixed. And that’s a big plus as it gives you a chance to explore all kinds of options. Although at some point, it might end up confusing you about what to take once you note down your preference and opt for matching the wheels with the list, it will get a lot easier.
Also, we have managed to narrow down this vast market so it can clear your confusion even a little. So, when you step out to buy one, you can have options of the ones that are literally ruling the market.
It’s just you need to decide at the very onset what purpose your longboard must serve. This decision along with the information in this article will help you have the right choice.