Who doesn’t know that wheels are one of the essential parts of the skateboard? The choice you make while selecting skateboard wheels and bearing goes a long way when it comes to determining how fast you want to go on a skateboard. Therefore, it's necessary to pick wheels that suit your riding style.
There are two types of wheels for an electric skateboard, namely; Urethane, and Pneumatic. Just a small change in the wheel size and wheel durometer can make you feel different when riding.
The purpose of this guide is to ensure the next time you are choosing a wheel, you choose the right one. If you are a skater or are getting a skateboard for someone, make sure you take note of what I will discuss in this guide.
Urethane Skate wheels
This type of wheel has been a popular item for urethane since the early '60s. Frank Nasworthy changed the game when he introduced the use of urethane for skateboard wheels. Till this present moment, this material is still used in all aspects of skating. Urethane skateboard wheels can absorb noise and vibration while giving you a long service life.
Pneumatic skate wheels
This is different from urethane in a lot of ways. Firstly, they use rubber for their tires. Secondly, there's an air tube inside the tire.
The most significant advantage of pneumatic tires is that they tend to absorb shock and give you a smooth ride over rough terrains.
Let’s then talk about things you should consider to buy a perfect skateboard.
Choosing the perfect size for your skateboard wheels
Skateboard wheels are usually measured in diameter, and most wheels range from 70-75 mm. So, if you need a small wheel, you can shop for 50mm end of the scale while for the big wheel, check out the 70mm end of the scale.
I will be talking about the wheel type, durometer, diameter, and lots more. Follow me as I walk you through everything.
If you are into street skating or technical skating, I will advise you to go for smaller wheels because it allows for a slower ride. They are closer to the ground, which makes it easier for you to control.
If you use skateboard for transportation or vert skating, you should go for large wheels. Their increased diameter gives you speed and balance that you will be needing.
It is a way to measure the hardness of the wheel. There are several scales, A, B, D…etc. Most manufacturers prefer to use the A scale, which is a 100-point scale, and quantifies how hard the wheel is. You should note that the higher the number, the harder your wheel. Although, some manufacturers use the B scale, which is 20 points fewer than the A scale.
However, the hardness varies with different companies. For example, the hardness of the wheel for company X might be different for that of company Y, even though they have the same hardness of the wheel. This is so because the durometer is not the perfect measure of wheel hardness.
With that said, you should note that hard wheels are faster, while softer wheels are slower with an added advantage of having more grip.
Diameter is one of the essential things you consider when getting your skateboard next time. Diameter measures the width of the wheel from outside edge to outside edge. Just like I described above, Larger wheels offer you stability and helps in holding speed for a more extended period while smaller wheels are easy to accelerate.
Width and contact path
The width refers to the measure of your wheels from edge to edge while the contact path measures the diameter that touches the ground. We can see that both go hand in hand, but they aren't the same measure.
The contact path is a potent factor when it comes to easiness when sliding. So, the smaller your contact patch, the easier the slide while the larger the contact patch, the more the grip.
You might be thinking what does formula have to do when choosing your wheel. It's as essential as the other factors have discussed. It plays a vital role in how a wheel performs.
Let’s take an example to get what formula is. Consider these two sets of the wheel a friend of mine got, a 90a with 24mm contact patch and 89a with 40mm contact patch. With all that I explained since, you will expect the 90a to offer easiness while gliding, but this is false because the larger wheel uses a slide formula. It, therefore, means the company that produced the 90a designed it to initiate slides.
With the example I gave, I'm sure you are considering formulas the next time you are purchasing an electric skateboard.
Skate wheels have shapes that vary from round to square. Although there are some exceptions to this, an example is shark wheels. The square shape gives maximum contact and grip while the rounded shape offers tapered edges to provide a gradual transition into a slide, which allows you to regain control quickly.
The downside of the square shape is once it slips, it creates the “icing out” feeling, and it becomes hard to regain control.
The core is the last thing I will advise you to consider when getting your skateboard. The first thing you need to note is that every wheel has a core, and it has a harder material than the surrounding urethane tire. The core varies in size and material. Let me briefly explain the core's effect on riding.
Having a large core on a wheel will aid a couple of different riding styles in different ways. When you have a wheel with a larger core, your weight will be more evenly displaced throughout the wheel, as the core covers much more of the wheel 's overall width.
Smaller wheels have been around for long, even before the larger cores were implemented in the market. They are used today for several reasons. Although there are many benefits of using a larger core, there are cases where smaller cores work better.
If you want portability, a mini electric skateboard is what you need; an example is the penny nickel board.
Getting an affordable electric skateboard is easier, but knowing what to buy seems to be frustrating. If you follow the guidelines I gave above, you will choose the right mini and small electric skateboard.
If you are a beginner and you need advice on the skateboard, you can start with, and I will advise you to go for the penny nickel board.