Even without prior experience, you can slide your way down to the streets through a longboard. It provides better stability and safety than skateboards thus, enjoying the ride does not impose a lot of risks. However, when you try to make your own longboard, you have to remember that having a quality equipment is necessary to stay safe. All components especially the wheels, should be considered because it one of the moving parts that play a vital role in one’s longboarding experience. If you choose a substandard component, the other parts will be greatly affected. So to guide you in choosing the best longboard wheels, this article will give you an idea on which type of component is suitable for your needs.
Aside from the deck, the bearings and other hardware parts, it is important to choose the right wheels when you make a longboard or even replacing the existing ones. Longboard wheels are quite larger than the standard skateboard wheels, and it usually provides a better ride on bumpy surfaces. Riders love to use longboard because they can easily reach the high top speed because of its larger wheels than those with skateboards.
Whenever you buy the longboard wheels for your deck, there will be a lot of colors and sizes that will be offered to you. Longboard wheels come in varieties by which most of them are made of polyurethane. However, you have to take note that the durometer and diameter of the wheels can affect the way you ride the longboard. Whether you are a first time user or an expert longboard enthusiast, there are wheels appropriate for your skating style and personal preference.
The diameter of the longboard wheels are known by measuring from top to bottom. The unit of measure used is millimeters (mm) and the smaller its number, the smaller its wheel. For beginners the average wheel size would be 54 to 59 mm. This wheel size is a bit slower but it can be perfect in skating through parks, bowls, vert ramps and streets. Meanwhile, for expert riders who can skate downhill with a maximum speed, a 60mm or more longboard wheels are appropriate.
A durometer is measured through the wheel’s hardness. If you want a faster longboard ride, harder wheels would be best, but if you want to have a slower ride with a better grip, the softer wheels are beneficial. Most of the time, the durometer of longboard wheels are measured by its Durometer A Scale that goes from 1 to 100, but there are some companies that use B scale which is 20 points lower than the A scale. For instance, a 100a durometer is equal to 80b durometer, which sometimes give confusion to first time longboard users. So to help you in choosing the right durometer, here are points that you have to remember.
78a to 87a are softer wheels good for smooth rides, longboards, cruising, hills and rough surfaces.
88a to 95a are slightly harder and faster wheels with less grip yet better for street and rough areas.
96a to 99a wheels have considerable speed and grip which is great for beginners in skating street, ramps, pools, skate parks and other smooth surfaces.
101a+ have the fastest and hardest wheels with a minimal grip. It is not effective on rough surfaces but it is considered to be the best wheels for expert riders.
83b to 84b are extremely hard wheels which measures 20 points lower than the A scale.
Longboard wheels have different shapes that are suitable for various riding styles. Wheels having rounded lips are good for sliding, freeriding and cruising, but not for downhill racing. If you use this kind of wheels, you can slide and ride with ease, but will definitely create issues upon turning because the edges do not grip easily. On the other hand, wheels with straight edges gives a better grip and control that is why it is best for downhill racers.
Furthermore, wheel bite is very common when you turn hard, land a trick or you stop immediately. This can leave an indent between the wheels and the deck so to prevent it from happening, the longboard should be assembled with riser pads or you can make use of medium to high skateboard trucks.
You can always have the best longboard if you invest on the right wheels. Just know the appropriate diameter and durometer, and consider some other factors to have that smooth and flawless ride.
My name is Vincent Quinn, I live in the suburbs of Dallas Texas and I’ve recently retired and sold off my lawn mowing business. My wife and I have 3 kids that are all old enough to be out of our hair for now. Interesting stuff, I know, but I with so much time on my hands I’ve decided to share my industry knowledge online to give me a project to work on and and to try and help some people out. Enjoy!
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