To get a perfect longboard for a better riding performance, you have to know about the parts of the longboard and their use and maintenance. The wheels are one of the most important parts of a longboard.
Perfect and smooth riding performance depends on the wheel’s quality, type, size, shape, and material. Because wheels are the essential parts for better speed and control.
There are different types of longboard wheels are available in the market and they are most suitable for different types of riding. So, if you want to get better riding performance, you’ve to select the best-fitted wheels according to your riding style and longboard type. We have also Skateboard/longboard wheels buying guide here.
Size (in diameter)
The wheel diameter is referred to the orientation of the wheels. It is measured in millimeters (mm). Large wheels are suitable for speedy riding but small wheels provide better acceleration.
A preferable range of wheel size for both beginners and the experienced skater is 65mm -75mm. The wheel wells are also an important issue to avoid wheel bite. Make sure whether the wheel wells are big enough or not. You can also use a riser to avoid this problem. For cruising, 68- 72 mm wheels are perfect. For freeriding it is 70- 75mm and for downhill, the most suitable range is 75 mm or more.
The durometer shows the hardness of a wheel and the measuring unit is “A”. The grip of the wheel depends on how hard the wheel is. The common hardness of the longboard wheel is 75A – 88A. Wheels with a low durometer rating slide slower but they are stable enough for a smooth ride. For a medium grip and good speed, 78A – 80A wheels are most suitable.
Shape (Edge or lip profile)
Wheel shape depends on the edge. The edge is also called the lips of the wheel. There is 3 type of wheels: sharp edged, beveled edged and round edged.
Sharp edge (Square edge)
This kind of wheel has the most ‘grippy’ texture. It gives great control at high speed. That’s why it is most suitable for downhill.
This one is great for sliding fast and is famous for carving. This one has the least grip so sliding is perfect for freeriding and othertricky techniques.
This one is in between of rounded and sharp-edged wheels. It has a medium grip with a better slide. But these shape is rare to find.
For high performance, the contact patch is also important. A wheel’s contact patch means the area of the wheel that actually makes contact with the ground. A larger longboard wheel has a larger contact patch. It provides a larger grip also. In a larger wheel, the weight of the rider will be distributed in a larger area. So the resistance will be high and the speed will slow down.
Core placement (Hub placement)
Longboard wheels are divided into 3 different core positioning: Sideset, Centerset, and Offset.
In these wheels, the cores are placed directly on the wheel’s inner lip. This type of wheel provides less grip as it supports tiny or no inner lip. It is easy to glide but hard to control and keep the balance. You can choose this one for free riding.
In this wheel, the core is placed at the wheel’s center. This core set provides a better grip than the others. It can flip easily inside out and last long. The Biggie-Hawgs wheel is an ideal example of this type of wheel. For downhill, you can choose this one.
In these wheels, the cores are found in between Sideset and Centerset. For the mixed feature of those two core positionings, these wheels are great for both downhill and freeriding. These wheels also provide the perfect balance of traction and slide.
Wheel performance also depends on the core material. You can find aluminum, plastic and urethane wheels in the market. I’ve compared the core materials with each other in the table below:
|70x51mm 80A PU
|44″ x 9″ x 43″
|Rugged 7-Inch Aluminum
Wood and Plastic.
|Multi-ply hardwood maple
and artisan bamboo.
Finally,the guidelines are provided to choose the most suitable wheels for yourlongboard. But there is no strict rule which should you follow. But, I think now you can select the perfect wheels for your longboard because you’ve finished reading this informative article already.