When doing research for the best longboarding wheels, it is important to recognize that longboard wheels are a product that are in a constant state of evolution. Riders constantly have new ideas and are trying new styles of wheels.
Because of this, they are always formulating new conclusions. This has led to innovation on an unprecedented scale when it comes to longboard wheels.
The other thing that must be when looking at a longboard wheels guide like this is that the best longboard sliding wheels are not necessarily the best longboard wheels for speed.
So, what would like to do with this guide is examine some of the characteristics that all longboard wheels have in common. Then we are going to leave it up to your discretion to make a good judgment based on these characteristics. Your decision will be influenced by your longboard of choice and your riding style.
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Defining Characteristics of Longboard Wheels
There are nine key wheel characteristics that determine how a wheel will ride.
These characteristics are:
• Lip Shape: This is the shape of the edge of the wheel. The lip of the wheel dictates how easily the wheel can move sideways.
An acute angled lip has an acute angle on the side of the wheel. These wheels are designed for the slalom course. Because of their design, they are able to stick turns harder than any other wheel style out there. The edge of the wheel is designed to conform to the surface they are being ridden on, and they give riders unprecedented traction. This style of wheel is not designed to slide.
Square lip wheels are some of the most popular products available. The bottom of the wheel is flat and makes a 90 degrees angle. The lip goes straight up and down before turning to head to the core of the wheel. These wheels provide unbelievable traction.
They are especially good for carving, as the force of the turn is pushed to the edge of the wheel. This causes the wheel to flatten a little bit and stick the turn. These wheels will improve in performance as they are broken in. Downhill racers prefer square lip wheels. They are some of the top longboard wheels for speed.
Beveled lip wheels share a shape that is similar to square lip wheels. However, one edge of the wheel has a sharp 135 degree angle, and the other edge is rounded off to 90 degrees. These bevels improve the comfortability and smoothness of the ride, especially when riding over bumpy or rough roads that have cracks and small curbs. Many consider these to be the top longboard wheels for cruising.
Rounded lip wheels are the classic style of skateboarding wheels. This style has proven itself to be predictable when sliding. Also, it can easily ride over objects such as cracks and curbs. They perform well on a bowl or while doing ramp riding.
• Durometer: This is the softness of the urethane. Longboard wheels usually have a classification of “A.” The softer the wheel is, the better it grips the pavement. The harder wheel is, the easier it will slide and the faster it will travel over hard surfaces.
• Size: The size of a wheel or the size of the diameter of the wheel is going to affect acceleration, momentum, how easily you can roll over things and how high up off the ground you will ride.
• Core size: The core size is going to determine the way the wheel interacts with the road. It is going to set the ratio of grip versus slip that the wheel has. Acceleration and ability to maintain speed is also determined by the core size. Larger core wheels will accelerate faster but will take some time to decelerate. Conversely, smaller core wheels take a little while to reach maximum acceleration but will decelerate quickly.
Other factors that are going to have a bearing on a skateboard wheel’s performance is core position, contact patch width, contact patch finish and the urethane formula.
Longboard Wheel Reviews
Orangatan in Heat Orange Wheels
These wheels are designed to provide the rider with excellent grip and minimize their chances of losing traction while on the road.
With a height of 75 millimeters and a hardness rating of 80a, these wheels provide the perfect mix of ground grip and slide. It’s thick lip design allows the rider to maintain speed while exerting minimal energy.
These are some of the top longboard wheels for carving. The popularity of these wheels can be seen by the five out of five star rating that they receive on Amazon. Individuals who have purchased these wheels say that they are simply amazing.
Shark Wheel 72 mm 78a Longboard Wheels
At 72 millimeters in height and with the durometer measurement of 78a, these wheels are simply some of the most progressive and best freestyle sliding wheels available. They are designed to provide superb traction and allow the rider to have controlled releases on their slides.
They offer good slide control and less friction. If you are riding on an uneven pavement or rough road, then these wheels may be the right for you. Individuals who purchased these wheels said, “These wheels are a dream.”
Sector 9 Slide Butterballs
These wheels are designed for individuals who are looking to get on the road and have an unbelievable riding experience. These are the types of wheels that can transform a board from being good to being great. Ready to use out-of-the-box, these wheels improve with age as they are broken in.
Riders comment that they are able to get a decent amount of sliding in them once they are broken in. Their smooth design and large-size allows them to provide a fast, smooth ride even on bumpy areas and over cracks.
FREEDARE 70mm Longboard Wheels
For years, these wheels (70mm diameter x 51mm width; 83a durometer polyurethane wheels) have served as the standard for freeride longboard. They can handle the demands of the most experienced rider.
They are designed to take whatever the rider gives out. They roll pretty smooth. Riders will have no worries about getting stuck in cracks or having rocks get stuck in their wheels and bring them to an unceremonious stop.
These wheels have ABEC-7 bearings and spacers. They have been balanced to give the rider that burst of acceleration that they need to get going. These are unquestionably some of the best longboard sliding wheels.
Bigfoot Longboard Wheels
These wheels are exceptionally popular on Amazon. With a 4.6 out of five star rating, it is clear to see that individuals who use them are happy with the results.
Sitting at 76 millimeters high with a 78a durometer measurement, these wheels promise to give riders the acceleration and durability they need right out-of-the-box.
Many are attracted to these wheels because of the perfect balance they give of price and quality. Users have commented, “Fantastic wheels, I love them!” Designed to be exceptionally smooth and quiet, riders are able to enjoy the experience without worrying about vibrations on the slide.
So, there it is in a nutshell. There are wheels that are designed to meet the needs of every single style of riding. In order to find the perfect wheel for your style, you may need to go through a little bit of a trial and error process. However, once you find the wheel that works best for you, you are going to see improvement in performance, and you will definitely enjoy riding a lot more.