Longboarding is one of the most thrilling extreme sports out there and, perhaps, the best thing about it is that it is extremely versatile – you can achieve amazing speeds, do tricks and use it for an eco-friendly form of transportation.
However, if you want your longboard to perform at its best and provide you with an amazing experience, you have to consider the parts that will go into it. Every longboard part is important, though some have a bigger effect on performance than others.
One of such parts is the wheels, so it is essential to find the best longboard wheels. And to make this important task easier for you, we present you some of the best wheels in the market.
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The essential part of your board
Picture having to jog in shoes with no soles – it wouldn’t be very fast, it will certainly be extremely uncomfortable and probably even painful. The wheels of a longboard are pretty much what soles are for skate shoes – absolutely essential and their quality and properties determine how pleasant, comfortable and effective the experience will be.
Just like with shoes, there is a huge variety of longboard wheels – different shapes and sizes, manufacturers and even colors. Most importantly, longboard wheels differ in quality and that is something that should be considered very carefully before choosing them.
Even though there is no one type that could be called the absolute best longboard wheels, certain things definitely make some wheels better than others. Just like with any other product, it is very important to consider the manufacturer – companies that have traditions in quality almost always produce worthwhile gear.
Secondly, wheels must always be chosen according to the longboarding style as every discipline requires wheels with different specifications. Not coordinating the shape and purpose of the longboard with the wheels will only lead to poor performance and disappointment.
Size, hardness, shape
When choosing wheels, every skater should consider three main parameters – their diameter (size) and durometer (hardness) and shape – every style requires different indicators in those categories.
This is important because wheels that are bigger and softer tend to be slower but will definitely provide higher stability, especially when riding tough terrain, while small, hard wheels will gain high speed faster, yet they won’t give you the absolute feeling smooth riding. While the shape, is more responsible for traction and speed.
Another thing to consider is the color. Color-coding a longboard does not always guarantee good results, as some companies use different colors on their wheels to indicate different durometers and so basing the wheel choice on color alone can turn out to be a mistake.
So, let’s start with freeriding – perhaps the most adventurous and dangerous discipline in longboarding. In freeriding it is absolutely essential to have a perfect grip with the road, otherwise controlling the board might become difficult and that might lead to injuries.
That is why low durometer (soft) and large wheels are most suitable. The wheels should not be very small because that would mean they will wear off very quickly from the high speeds and friction with the road. The best downhill shape is usually sharp-lip as, again, it provides more stability and guarantees a thrilling experience and amazing speeds.
A great, super effective option for downhill longboarding are the Orangatang In Heat Longboard Wheels. They are quite large – 75mm, and come in three different colors, according to durometer, so every skater can choose what he or she finds most comfortable.
These wheels, which are also sharp-lipped, provide amazing grip and stability. They are made out of high-grade urethane, which means that their reboudn properties are some of the best out there.
What’s more, every downhill rider knows that sometimes there are large cracks in the road that can lead to serious problems – well, the Orangatang in Heat wheels make rolling over the imperferctions in the road a breeze!
Orangatang In Heat Longboard Wheels
Crusing might not always be as thrilling as downhill, yet it is one of the most popular longboarding styles and rightfully so – crusing is an extremely versatile discipline, which can fit any mood, terrain and preferences.
Choosing the most suitable wheels for cruising, means going with large, soft, sharp-lipped ones. Large wheels are really great because they provide for a smoother ride, despite the roughness of the road.
However, the diameter must be coordinated with the size of the board – large wheels on a small board will lead to wheels bite – the wheels carving the bottom of the board.
Thane Big Zigs
For larger decks (40” and up) one of the best options are the ABEC 11 Reflex ‘Thane Big Zigs Longboard Wheels – they are large and come in four different durometers.
These wheels are extremely popular among longboarders as they feel very comfortable, provide a truly excellent grip and ensure a smooth ride at all times. A incredible options for small decks (34” and below) are the ABEC 11 NOSkoolZ Longboard Skateboard Wheels.
They diameter is only 60mm and come in an unbelievable variety of six different durometers, which means that skaters are able to choose with extreme precision which type feels most comfortable for their board.
These wheels are also extremely lightweight, which makes them very practical and comfortable.
ABEC 11 Big Zigs Longboard Wheels
When talking about freeriding, the wheels are an absolute crucial part of choosing the best longboard. As freeriding includes a lot of tricks, the wheels need to meet certain specifications in order to make it easy for skaters to be flexible and quick, but also stable. Freeriding wheels shouldn’t be too large – 68-72mm is the perfect size, as large wheels will cause wheel-bite and small ones will wear off too quickly and will have to be replaced often. Also, these wheels should not be too high in durometer. It is true that harder wheels speed up faster, but they can also be too difficult to control.
Ride on the Clouds
Getting everything out of freeriding is made super easy with the Cloud Ride Freeride Longboard Skateboard Wheels – they are 70mm in diameter, which is the absolute perfect size, and also come in three different durometers. What’s more – these wheels were specifically designed for nothing but freeriding so they really to an incredible job. These wheels guarantee amazingly smooth slides and predictable drifts and so they transform the freeriding experience into something even more special.
On top of it all – they look super cool!
Cloud Ride Freeride Longboard Skateboard Wheels
Choosing the best longboard wheels is not an easy task, but making the choice carefully is essential for achieving some great longboarding sessions. Holding off on good wheels is a rookie mistake that no skater who wants to achieve amazing results should make.