Longboard Wheels vs Skateboard Wheels – Which One Rolls to Victory?

As a passionate skateboarder, I’ve always been fascinated by the different components that make up a skateboard. One of the most crucial elements is the wheels. They play a significant role in determining the overall performance and ride quality of the board. In the world of skateboarding, there are two main types of wheels: longboard wheels and skateboard wheels. In this article, I will delve into the key differences between Skateboard Wheels Vs Longboard Wheels, as well as the factors to consider when choosing between them.

Longboard wheels are specifically designed for longboards, which are larger and more stable compared to traditional skateboards. These wheels are typically bigger in diameter, ranging from 65mm to 85mm, and have a softer durometer or hardness rating. The larger size and softer durometer of longboard wheels allow for smoother rides and better shock absorption, making them ideal for cruising and downhill riding. Additionally, longboard wheels often have a wider contact patch, providing more traction and stability.

On the other hand, skateboard wheels are designed for traditional skateboards, which are smaller and more maneuverable. These wheels are typically smaller in diameter, ranging from 50mm to 60mm, and have a harder durometer. The smaller size and harder durometer of skateboard wheels offer a higher level of control and responsiveness, making them perfect for tricks and technical maneuvers. Skateboard wheels also tend to have a narrower contact patch, allowing for quick and sharp turns.

Skateboard Wheels vs Longboard Wheels
Skateboard Wheels vs Longboard Wheels

Key Differences: Size, Hardness, and Shape

Now that we’ve established the importance of wheels for both skateboards and longboards, let’s get into the nitty-gritty! Here are the three main areas where skateboard and longboard wheels differ:

1. Size (Diameter):

This is a big one (literally!). Longboard wheels are significantly larger than skateboard wheels. Typically, longboard wheels range from 60mm to over 100mm in diameter, while skateboard wheels usually fall between 50mm and 54mm. Why the size difference? It all boils down to what each board is designed for.

  • Longboard Wheels: Those hefty longboard wheels provide a smoother ride. Their larger size allows them to roll over cracks and pebbles more easily, making them ideal for cruising and carving. Plus, the increased diameter contributes to a higher top speed, perfect for those exhilarating downhill runs.
  • Skateboard Wheels: The smaller size of skateboard wheels prioritizes control and responsiveness. This is crucial for performing tricks and navigating tight spaces. While they might not handle rough terrain as well, they allow for quicker flicks and sharper turns on skateparks and street obstacles.

2. Hardness (Durometer):

Durometer (sometimes shortened to “duro”) is a unit used to measure the hardness of a wheel. The higher the durometer number, the harder the wheel. Here’s a breakdown of how longboard and skateboard wheels typically differ in hardness:

  • Longboard Wheels: Longboard wheels tend to be softer, ranging from around 75A to 83A on the durometer scale. This softness provides better shock absorption for a comfortable ride, especially on uneven surfaces. Softer wheels also offer more grip, which is helpful for carving and maintaining control while cruising.
  • Skateboard Wheels: Skateboard wheels generally lean towards the harder side, typically falling between 95A and 101A durometer. This increased hardness allows for faster rolling and less grip, which is desirable for grinding on rails and coping mechanisms. Harder wheels are also more durable and can handle wear and tear from intense tricks better.

3. Shape:

While size and hardness are the main differentiators, shape can also play a role, particularly for longboard wheels. Some longboard wheels have a rounded profile for smooth rolling and cruising, while others might have a more pointed or squared-off shape for freeride and downhill disciplines where stability and control at high speeds are crucial. Skateboard wheels generally have a more uniform shape for consistency when performing tricks.

Stay tuned for the next section, where we’ll explore how to choose the best wheels based on your riding style and the terrain you’ll be conquering!

Choosing the Right Wheels: Ride On in Style!

Now that you’re familiar with the key differences between skateboard and longboard wheels, let’s put that knowledge to good use! Here’s how to choose the perfect set of wheels for your shredding adventures:

A. Riding Style:

  • Longboarding:
    • Cruising: If smooth, comfortable rides are your jam, prioritize larger (around 70-80mm) and softer (78A-83A) wheels. These will provide excellent shock absorption and grip for a relaxed carving experience.
    • Carving: For those who love to carve and maneuver with precision, mid-sized (60-70mm) wheels with a slightly softer durometer (75A-80A) offer the perfect balance of control and comfort.
    • Downhill: For high-speed downhill runs, prioritize stability and control. Opt for larger (75mm+) wheels with a slightly harder durometer (80A-83A) for a confident and safe ride.
    • Dancing: Dancing on a longboard requires flexibility and grip. Choose softer (75A-80A) wheels of a comfortable size (around 65-70mm) to ensure smooth movements and control.
  • Skateboarding:
    • Street Skating: Here, durability and responsiveness are key. Choose harder wheels (95A-101A) that can handle rough terrain and impacts from tricks. The size can vary depending on your preference (typically 50-54mm), with smaller wheels offering quicker flicks and sharper turns.
    • Vert Skating: Vert skating demands speed and momentum. Opt for harder wheels (99A-101A) for maximum rolling speed and minimal grip while grinding on ramps and bowls. Wheel size can range from 52-54mm, depending on your desired balance of control and speed.
    • Park Skating: Park skating requires versatility for a variety of tricks and terrain. Choose wheels with a balance of hardness (around 95A-99A) and size (typically 52-54mm) to ensure you can handle both grinds and technical maneuvers.

B. Terrain:

  • Longboarding: For rough surfaces and uneven terrain, prioritize softer wheels (78A-83A) for better shock absorption. When cruising on smooth pavement, consider slightly harder wheels (75A-80A) for a balance of comfort and rolling speed.
  • Skateboarding: Skateparks with smooth surfaces are best tackled with harder wheels (95A-101A) for maximum speed and efficiency. If you’re venturing onto rougher streets, consider slightly softer wheels (90A-95A) for a smoother ride without sacrificing too much rolling speed.

Remember, these are just guidelines! Experimenting with different wheel sizes and hardnesses can help you discover the perfect setup for your individual riding style and preferences. So, grab your board, hit the pavement, and have some fun exploring the world of wheels!

Skateboard Wheels vs Longboard Wheels
Skateboard Wheels vs Longboard Wheels

Pros and Cons of Longboard Wheels


  1. Stability: Longboard wheels provide a more stable ride due to their larger size and wider contact patch.
  2. Smoothness: The softer durometer of longboard wheels absorbs vibrations, resulting in a smoother ride over rough terrain.
  3. Grip: Longboard wheels offer excellent grip, allowing for confident turns and slides.


  1. Limited Maneuverability: Due to their larger size and softer durometer, longboard wheels are less maneuverable for technical tricks and quick turns.
  2. Slower Acceleration: The larger size and softer durometer of longboard wheels require more effort to accelerate quickly.
  3. Limited Versatility: Longboard wheels are specialized for cruising, downhill riding, and carving, making them less versatile for other styles of skateboarding.

Pros and Cons of Skateboard Wheels


  1. Maneuverability: Skateboard wheels are smaller and offer better maneuverability, making them ideal for tricks and street skating.
  2. Speed: The harder durometer of skateboard wheels provides faster acceleration and higher top speeds.
  3. Versatility: Skateboard wheels are suitable for various riding styles, including street skating, park riding, and technical tricks.


  1. Less Stability: The smaller size and narrower contact patch of skateboard wheels result in less stability, especially at higher speeds.
  2. Harsher Ride: Skateboard wheels with a harder durometer transmit more vibrations, leading to a rougher ride on uneven surfaces.
  3. Limited Grip: The harder durometer of skateboard wheels provides less grip, which can be challenging when taking tight turns or riding on slippery surfaces.

Popular Longboard Wheel Brands and their Features

When it comes to longboard wheels, there are several popular brands known for their quality and performance. Let’s take a look at some of these brands and their notable features:

  1. Orangatang Wheels: Orangatang Wheels is a well-known brand that offers a wide range of longboard wheels. Their wheels are known for their high-quality urethane, which provides a smooth and predictable slide. Orangatang wheels are available in various sizes and durometers, allowing riders to customize their setup based on their preferences and riding style.
  2. Sector 9 Wheels: Sector 9 is a brand that specializes in longboards and their components, including wheels. Sector 9 wheels are designed for all types of longboarding, from cruising to downhill racing. They offer a range of sizes and durometers to suit different riding preferences. Sector 9 wheels are known for their durability and grip, ensuring a reliable and enjoyable ride.
  3. Abec 11 Wheels: Abec 11 is a brand that focuses on high-performance longboard wheels. Their wheels are made from top-quality urethane and are known for their speed, grip, and smoothness. Abec 11 wheels come in various shapes and durometers, catering to different riding styles and preferences. Whether you’re a downhill racer or a freestyle rider, Abec 11 has a wheel that suits your needs.

Popular Skateboard Wheel Brands and their Features

Skateboard wheels also come in a variety of brands, each with its own unique features. Here are some popular skateboard wheel brands and their notable features:

  1. Spitfire Wheels: Spitfire is a renowned brand in the skateboarding industry, known for its high-quality skateboard wheels. Spitfire wheels are made from premium urethane and are available in various sizes and durometers. They offer excellent grip, smoothness, and slide characteristics, making them a favorite among skateboarders of all levels.
  2. Bones Wheels: Bones Wheels is another popular brand that produces top-quality skateboard wheels. Bones wheels are known for their durability, speed, and performance. They offer a wide range of sizes, shapes, and durometers to suit different riding preferences. Bones wheels are often preferred by professional skateboarders for their reliability and consistency.
  3. Ricta Wheels: Ricta Wheels is a brand that focuses on innovation and performance. Their skateboard wheels are engineered to provide superior speed, control, and slide capabilities. Ricta wheels are available in various formulas, including their popular “Speed Rings” and “Clouds” series, allowing skaters to choose the perfect wheel for their style and terrain.
Longboard Wheels vs Skateboard Wheels
Longboard Wheels vs Skateboard Wheels

Tips for Selecting the Right Wheels for your Riding Style

Choosing the right wheels for your riding style is essential to maximize your skateboarding experience. Here are some tips to help you select the perfect wheels:

  1. Consider your riding style: Determine whether you prefer cruising, downhill riding, street skating, technical tricks, or skatepark riding. This will guide you in choosing between longboard wheels and skateboard wheels.
  2. Assess the terrain: Take into account the surfaces you will be skating on. If you skate on smooth terrain or downhill slopes, longboard wheels would be more suitable. For rougher terrain or skateparks, skateboard wheels would be a better choice.
  3. Understand the characteristics: Familiarize yourself with the key characteristics of wheels, such as size, durometer, and contact patch. Consider how these factors will affect your ride and choose accordingly.
  4. Experiment and try different wheels: Don’t be afraid to experiment and try different types of wheels. Borrow a friend’s skateboard or rent a longboard to test out different setups. This hands-on experience will help you understand your preferences better.
  5. Seek advice from experienced skateboarders: Reach out to experienced skateboarders for advice and recommendations. They can provide valuable insights based on their own experiences and help you make an informed decision.

Remember, selecting the right wheels is a personal choice that will enhance your skateboarding experience. Take the time to explore different options and find the wheels that match your style, terrain, and preferences.

Conclusion: Which one rolls to victory?

In the battle between longboard wheels and skateboard wheels, it’s important to understand that there is no definitive winner. Both types of wheels have their own strengths and weaknesses, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference and riding style.

If you enjoy cruising, carving, and downhill riding, longboard wheels are the way to go. Their larger size, softer durometer, and wider contact patch provide the necessary stability, shock absorption, and traction for these activities.

On the other hand, if you prefer street skating, technical tricks, and skatepark riding, skateboard wheels are more suitable. Their smaller size, harder durometer, and narrower contact patch offer the agility, control, and maneuverability required for these types of skateboarding.

FAQs about Skateboard vs Longboard Wheels

Q: Can you use longboard wheels on a skateboard?

A: Longboard wheels can fit on a skateboard, but it’s not ideal. They’re bigger and softer, making cruising smoother, but tricks and sharp turns become trickier.

If you’re just cruising around, it can be fun! But for tricks, stick with regular skateboard wheels.

Q: Do longboard wheels make a difference?

A: Absolutely! Longboard wheels are like shoes for your board. They impact how fast you roll, grip the ground, and handle bumps. Bigger wheels roll faster and smoother, while softer wheels grip better. The right wheels can make your ride way more comfortable and fun!

Q: Do you need special wheels to slide on a longboard?

A: Not exactly! Regular longboard wheels can slide, but trickier. For easier slides, look for wheels that are a bit harder (around 85a) than usual. These give up some grip but make learning to slide smoother. Have fun and shred! (Shred = ride awesomely)

Q: Is it harder to do tricks with longboard wheels?

Absolutely! Longboard wheels are generally bigger and softer than skateboard wheels. This makes them awesome for cruising and carving, but for tricks, it can be trickier. Landing feels bouncier and flips become tougher. Skateboard wheels are your friend for tricks!

Norman J. Wells
Norman J. Wells

Hello, my name is Norman J. Wells I am the founder of Get skater which is my blog.

I specialize in skateboarding and offer skateboarding services to businesses of all sizes around the world, ultimately improving their bottom line by teaching creative solutions to their problems. Shoot me a quick email to see how I can help you!

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