Wheels play a crucial role in how longboards perform. No matter how good your longboard is, you won’t get the most out of it if you don’t have the proper wheels. There is also the danger of damaging your deck if you equip it with the incorrect type of wheel.
I set myself a project to look for wheels that would make my longboarding a more enjoyable experience. In this article, we take a look at some of my findings and some of the best longboard wheels available on the market.
Our Top Choices
Orangatang Durian 75mm Freeride Longboard Skateboard Wheels
If you love freeriding or cruising, then the Orangatang Durian wheels may just be an excellent choice for you. These are large all-purpose wheels that will serve you well if you use your longboard for commuting, freestyle dancing, or even for high-speed downhill freeriding.
At 75mm in diameter, these wheels are fat enough to allow you to roll smoothly over cracks on the pavement or even small debris like rocks, sticks, or gravel. Riders who frequently ride on rough roads should find these wheels to their liking.
In addition, these wheels are designed with rounded lips and a stone-ground contact patch that ensures smooth and predictable slides. Thanks to its tall and moderately wide internal cores, there is enough support for a clean ride.
It would be nice if they had color options available though. Orangatang Durians are currently available in just three colors, each with their hardness, namely: Orange (80a), Purple (83a), and Yellow (86a).
Seismic Speed Vent Longboard Wheels for Cruising, Downhill
If you’re looking for longboard wheels that are made for high-speed rides then the Seismic Speed Vents might be what you need. These large wheels are ideal for long-distance pushing and cruising. What is nice to know about these wheels is they can be used for electric skateboards as well. Riding enthusiasts who own a longboard and an electric skateboard can use these wheels for either of their rides.
These wheels have excellent gripping ability when they are new. The grip that these wheels provide allows riders to take steep corners with ease. Once these wheels are broken in, they allow for a very smooth ride. Seismic Speed Bubblegum wheels come in three different formulas.
The Defcon variety is intended for explosive speeds with a predictable grip that riders can use for sliding. The Blackops variety is the one that riders need if they want to get the most when it comes to speed. The Blackops don’t offer as smooth a ride.
One thing that I didn’t like about the Seismic Speed wheels is their choice of colors. The use of light and pastel-shade colors can make the wheels prone to dirt and stains. Scratches are also very evident in these kinds of colors and it might make the wheels look worn out after just a few rides.
The first thing that drew my attention to the Shark Wheel Sidewinder is the wide variety of color options that they offer. Call me superficial but having longboard wheels that look great is always a plus for me. Other longboard wheel brands come in limited colors and the 14 color options that Shark Wheel Sidewinder offers is a definite advantage for me.
Beyond its looks, the excellent grip and control that these wheels offer is another reason why they should be included in any rider’s list. The sine wave design that they incorporated into their wheels allows for superior lateral grip.
Aside from the tremendous gripping prowess it gives to these wheels, the wave pattern also means that the wheels have a thin contact area. A thin contact is means that there is less friction while you ride, meaning you get more speed while you ride.
This is something that I can attest to because the amount of additional speed I got when I started using these wheels was quite noticeable. Further proof is the fact that Shark Wheels have been used in international competitions and was the wheel of choice by winners of 7 of these competitions.
These wheels are also designed for use on rough terrains. They are designed to push small objects away as they roll. We all know how dangerous it is to ride over small rocks, loose gravel, or pebbles and these wheels can help make your ride safer.
Slick Revolution Skate Wheels: 85A 110mm Rough Terrain Longboard/Electric Skateboard Wheels
Another excellent option for riders who often ride on rough terrains is the Slick Revolution Skate Wheels. These are some of the largest longboard wheels available in the market today. These wheels are 110mm in diameter.
I was able to try these wheels and they performed amazingly on bumpy roads. I was able to ride over pebbles and gravel without losing control of my board. Longboarding can be dangerous even when you have the proper gears; decreasing the risk posed by road obstructions and hazards will go a long way towards making longboarding much safer.
The size of the wheels let riders cruise over cracks or bumps without the extra jarring vibrations. Fewer vibrations also means that you won’t put too much stress on your joints while longboarding. These wheels are as sturdy and durable as they can get.
The heavy-duty Polyurethane materials used in these wheels help them withstand punctures which may result from riding over rough roads. If you want longboard wheels that will last you a long time then these wheels may be perfect for you.
They are ideal for beginners because of the sturdy ride they give. Beginners will appreciate how easy it is to balance in a longboard equipped with Slick Revolution wheels. These wheels also come with ABEC 7 bearings that can make your ride even smoother.
Another good thing about Slick Revolution is that they are not just for longboards, riders can also use these for skateboards and electric skateboards.
Bigfoot Longboard Wheels 76mm 80A SHR Mountain Cruisers
If you’re looking for great longboard wheels that won’t make too much of a dent on your budget then the Bigfoot Mountain Cruisers might be a good option for you. Being affordable doesn’t mean that these wheels are of low quality.
They have Super High Rebound hardness so you are guaranteed a good grip and stability while riding at high speeds. High speeds usually mean less control while riding and the grip that the Mountain Cruisers provide gives riders additional stability to make riding safer.
Better control of your board also means that you have a better chance of avoiding dangerous speed wobbles. The added grip makes turning corners easier. In addition, these wheels can make sliding more predictable and more controlled.
The Bigfoot Mountain Cruiser comes in 4 different colors at varying prices. You can get these wheels in black, blue, green, and red.
Among the wheels listed above, the one that stood out for me is the Shark Wheel Sidewinder. It provides excellent grip while riding. The additional grip that it provides does wonders when riding during high speeds.
I always have a hard time controlling my longboard when I go at a certain speed; these wheels allowed me to ride with more confidence because I know I can easily control my board. The design of the wheels is also something that I love. The wave design means that there is less contact between the wheels and the road.
Lesser contact translates to less friction and higher speeds. The same wave design helps me navigate through rough terrains since the wheels effortlessly push away small debris that might interfere with my ride. Lastly, I love the varied color choices available with the Shark Wheel Sidewinders.
Black can get boring and the multitude of color options presented by the Shark Wheel Sidewinders let me choose a color that is lively and works well with any longboard.
What are the things to consider when buying longboard wheels?
Diameter refers to the size of the longboard wheels you are purchasing. The rule of thumb is that you need to get bigger wheels if you have a longer deck, and smaller wheels if you have a small longboard deck. That is not to say that you cannot use smaller wheels in longer decks because you can.
It’s just that larger wheels on longer decks will give you better performance. However, it is not advisable to use large wheels on small decks. When you use large wheels on small decks, you are increasing the risk of the wheels rubbing against the underside of the deck while carving. This is when wheel bite happens. Wheel bites can damage your deck and shorten its life.
If you have a short deck, 34 inches and shorter, it is important to choose a wheel that is in the range of 60-67mm. One thing to keep in mind when you have a short deck is that it also has a small wheelbase. This is why it will be better to get a smaller wheel.
Putting a large wheel in a small deck will make the board too high and might make it more unstable. You’re also increasing the risk of getting wheel bites when you equip your 32-inch deck with 75mm wheels. If you want more speed out of your longboard, it will be better to look for smaller wheels.
For decks between 34 and 40 inches in length, go for wheels that are between 68-72 mm in diameter. On the other hand, if you have a long deck, longer than 40 inches, then wheels in the range of 70-75mm should work best for you.
Durometer refers to the hardness of a whee. There are two things that you should consider when selecting the hardness of the wheel that you will use: your weight and your personal preference.
Soft wheels make it more comfortable to cruise because they easily roll over bumps and cracks without much vibration. Hard wheels are ideal for high-speed rides. When it comes to the rider’s weight, the heavier a rider is, the harder the wheel should be. Soft wheels for heavy riders mean that you’ll be riding slower and your ride will be rougher.
The Shark Wheel Sidewinder is the best longboard wheel for me because it has the properties that make my personal riding experience a great one. The excellent grip makes me feel more secure while riding. I know that I can easily control my board because of the grip provided by the Sidewinders.
I can make turns at ease and without the added fear of wiping out. The reduced friction because of the wheel’s wave design is also a great addition. Truth be told, I am not too fond of high-speed rides but it’s great to know that you are equipped to handle high speed rides if needed.
These wheels are built to handle rough terrains; I often ride on unpaved roads so this is also a definite plus for me. Lastly, I just love how these wheels come in a wide variety of colors. This is just a bonus but if you can have a great performing wheel that also looks good, then you know that you have a winner in your hands.