Longboard Wheels – One Deck, Four Wheels, One Lifestyle
Even the best longboard will fail you without a good set up! The right pair of wheels is especially important. They are your connection to the asphalt.
Wheels determine your performance and grip while skating, which is why you should allow yourself plenty of time when trying to find the right set. Blue Tomato won’t let you down – when it comes to size, hardness and shape, we offer everything you could possibly need!
The most obvious difference between the different longboard wheels is their size. The diameter of each wheel is expressed in millimetres. You can find just about any size between 60 mm and over 100 mm.
The all-rounders that come with most complete longboards, are usually around 70 mm. The advantage of smaller wheels is that they accelerate faster and more easily, and they are also markedly better for controlled slides. The downside is that they are less smooth on uneven surfaces like cobblestones or dirty asphalt.
Larger wheels (over 70 mm) give you a smooth ride even at high speeds on the street and are very stable. This lessens the pressure on the bearings due to heat building up during long downhill rides. However, the better grip of these wheels makes sliding more difficult. The danger of wheelbites is also higher the larger the wheel diameter. If you choose to go for larger wheels, make sure you choose a deck with a suitable shape to avoid wheelbite.
It’s All About Physics
Harder wheels offer better slide performance and roll faster, whereas softer wheels give more grip and comfort. This is a good guideline for deciding which wheels to buy. But you need to be clear about what you want to do with your new longboard wheels!
A cruiser board, which you mainly use to get around town, usually has wheels of around 80A. If you like to take your cruiser downhill and you want to be able to do some sick slides and turns, you should go for the harder options. A value between 85A and 90A is perfect in this case.
As you can see, the lower the number before the “A” is, the softer your wheels are!
Next to size and hardness, the shape of the wheels also affects your skating experience. The wider the wheels are, the more grip they have. The slimmer they are, the easier it is to slide. What’s important is the edge construction: Orangatang uses sharp edges, for example, that get used up over time, whereas Sector 9 prefers rounded edges to make it easier to initiate slides.
The Hidden Essential – the Bearing Seat
Last but not least, we are going to talk about the link between the trucks and wheels – also known as the Bearing-Seat. The differences here are the position of the bearings in the wheel. The different options are known as Centerset, Sideset and Offset. Centerset-Wheels offer reliable grip, whereas Sideset-Wheels are more comfortable while drifting. These are often used in the freestyle area. The combination of the two is known as Offset and is popular amongst slalom and downhill riders.
Now that we have discussed stiffness, size, width, shape and bearings, you probably realise that all of these specs will affect your riding performance. Your choice should be wheels that suit your riding style. Check out our online shop to find your perfect pair of wheels. Or you can get two different types if you want to really push your longboarding skills to the next level.