What are Skateboard Wheels Made of ? Unveiling the Secret Ingredients

Skateboarding is not just a sport, it’s a way of life. From the rush of adrenaline to the freedom of expression, skateboarding has captured hearts and minds for generations. But have you ever stopped to think about what are skateboard wheels made of? 

Usually, skateboard wheels are typically made of a variety of materials, including urethane, polyurethane, and plastic. In skateboard wheels, urethane provides good grip and durability. As a soft material, made from  polyurethane also provides good grip and durability. By understanding the material options for skateboard wheels, you can choose a set that best suits your needs! 

The purpose of this post is to teach you What are Skateboard Wheels Made of ? all about skateboard wheel materials and how they affect your riding experience. We’ll also explore the benefits of using higher quality parts for a more enjoyable and successful ride. 

So, if you’re wondering what skateboard wheels are made of, read on! 

How Were the First Skateboard Wheels Made? 

In the beginning, skateboard wheels were made of clay. Kids in California in the 1950s would attach roller skate wheels to wooden boards to enjoy “sidewalk surfing.” However, these wheels were too small and hard, which made the ride bumpy and difficult. 

As early as 1959, a surfer named Bill Bahne was inspired to design a better skateboard wheel. He experimented with different materials and found that clay worked well. The first clay wheels were made by pouring liquid clay into a mold and then baking them in an oven.

Infact, These wheels were larger and smoother than roller skate wheels, which made for a more comfortable ride. 

Later on, in the 1970s, manufacturers began using polyurethane to make skateboard wheels. This material was more durable and provided better grip, which made it easier to perform tricks. Polyurethane wheels quickly became the industry standard and are still used today. 

What are Skateboard Wheels Made of? 

Skateboarding is a popular recreational activity enjoyed by millions of people worldwide. Skateboards have several parts that work together to provide a smooth and enjoyable ride. One of the most important components of a skateboard is its wheels. 

However, While all these parts play a crucial role in achieving different skateboarding styles and tricks, the wheels are the ones that directly interact with the surface. Skateboard wheels are responsible for providing the necessary grip and control, and they come in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials. 

Composition of Skateboard Wheels
Composition of Skateboard Wheels

Skateboard wheels can be made from a variety of materials, including:

Polyurethane (PU) 

One of the most common materials used to make skateboard wheels is polyurethane. It is a type of plastic that is known for its durability, flexibility, and resistance to abrasion. Skateboard wheels made of polyurethane are available in different levels of hardness, measured in durometers. 


In the 1970s, manufacturers started making skateboard wheels out of urethane, a durable and flexible material that revolutionized the sport. Urethane wheels allowed skaters to perform tricks with more ease and provided better grip and control. 

Since then, skateboard wheel technology has continued to advance, and manufacturers now use a variety of materials to create wheels for different purposes.Similar to polyurethane, urethane is a synthetic rubber material that is used for skateboard wheels. It is also durable and provides good grip and control. 


Some skateboard wheels are made from plastic materials. These wheels tend to be less expensive but also less durable and provide less traction compared to PU or urethane wheels. 


Metal wheels are not commonly used in skateboarding due to their weight and lack of grip. However, they can be used for certain types of skating, such as downhill racing. 


Another material used to make skateboard wheels is nylon. Nylon wheels are less common than polyurethane wheels, but they are still used by some skaters. Nylon wheels are lightweight and durable, and they provide a smooth ride on smooth surfaces. 

However, nylon wheels are not as grippy as polyurethane wheels, and they can be slippery on rough or uneven surfaces. 


Some skateboard wheels are made from ceramic materials, which provide a very smooth ride and excellent grip. However, they are also very expensive and not commonly used by most skateboarders.


Some skateboard wheels combine different materials, such as polyurethane and plastic or polyurethane and metal, to provide a unique blend of durability, grip, and speed. 


While not as common as polyurethane or urethane, some skateboard wheels are made from rubber materials. Rubber wheels tend to be more durable than plastic wheels and provide better grip than metal wheels. 

Carbon Fiber 

Carbon fiber skateboard wheels are very lightweight and durable. They can provide a very fast and smooth ride, but are also very expensive. 


Some skateboard wheels are made from bamboo, which is a natural and sustainable material. Bamboo wheels can provide a smooth and quiet ride, but may not be as durable as other materials. 


Composite materials, which are made from a combination of different materials, are sometimes used for skateboard wheels. These wheels can provide a unique combination of grip, speed, and durability. 


Foam skateboard wheels are a relatively new development in the industry. They are lightweight and provide a very smooth ride, but may not be as durable as other materials.

Ultimately, the choice of material for skateboard wheels depends on a variety of factors, including the type of skating being done, the rider’s skill level, and personal preference. Skateboarders should choose wheels that are appropriate for their style of skating and provide the performance characteristics they desire. 

Why Should You Use Polyurethane Wheels? 

Polyurethane wheels are a popular choice for skateboarding for several reasons Long-lasting durability: 

The durability and resistance to wear and tear of polyurethane wheels are well known. This makes them ideal for skateboarding, where wheels can take a lot of abuse from rough surfaces, tricks, and general use. 

Getting around smoothly: 

Polyurethane wheels provide a smooth ride due to their ability to absorb shock and vibrations. This means you can roll over cracks, bumps, and debris with ease, without feeling every little bump. 

Good Versatility: 

Different sizes, shapes, and hardness levels make polyurethane wheels suitable for different types of skating. For example, smaller and harder wheels are ideal for street skating, while larger and softer wheels are better for cruising and longboarding. 


With polyurethane wheels, you can make sharper turns and stop quickly when necessary. This is important for skateboarders who need to control their board and maintain balance while performing tricks.

provide higher speed: 

Due to their low rolling resistance, polyurethane wheels enable you to reach higher speeds with less effort. This is particularly important for downhill skating or when you need to cover a lot of distance quickly. 

comparetively quiter ride: 

Compared to metal or plastic wheels, polyurethane wheels are quieter. This makes them ideal for skating in quiet neighborhoods or areas where noise is an issue. 


You can customize polyurethane wheels with different colors and graphics based on your personal preferences. This is important for skateboarders who want to stand out and express themselves through their equipment. 

Well Availability: 

It is easy to find and purchase it at skate shops and online retailers. They also come in a range of price points, so you can find a set of wheels that fits your budget. 

Suitable for: 

Polyurethane wheels are compatible with most skateboard trucks, so you don’t need to worry about compatibility issues when purchasing new wheels. 

What Were Skateboarding Wheels Made of Before Polyurethane? 

Before the introduction of polyurethane in the late 1970s, skateboarding wheels were made of a hard and brittle material called clay. This material was not ideal for skateboarding as it was prone to cracking and breaking easily.

In the early 1960s, manufacturers started using metal wheels, which were durable but extremely heavy and noisy, making them unsuitable for street skating. In the mid-1960s, manufacturers experimented with different materials, including rubber, plastic, and fiberglass. 

But none of these materials could withstand the rough terrain of skateboarding. It wasn’t until the development of polyurethane that skateboard wheels became lighter, more durable, and able to grip the surface, revolutionizing the sport. 

Can You Make Polyurethane Skateboard Wheels at Home? 

The process of making polyurethane skateboard wheels at home requires specialized equipment and expertise. It is recommended that individuals interested in making their own skateboard wheels purchase them from a reputable manufacturer. 

If you still wish to make polyurethane skateboard wheels at home, here is a step-by-step guide: 

Essential equipment 

● Mold-making silicone 

● Skateboard wheel cores 

● Mixing cups and stirring sticks 

● Release agent spray 

● Polyurethane casting resin 

● Clamps or a vice 

● Sandpaper or a sanding wheel 

● Protective gloves and eyewear 

Making preocess

Step 1: 

Create a mold of the skateboard wheel core. Apply a release agent spray to the core to prevent the silicone from sticking. Pour the silicone over the core, ensuring that it covers the entire surface of the core. Let the silicone cure according to the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Step 2: 

Once the silicone has cured, remove it from the core. You should now have a mold of the core. 

Step 3: 

Mix the polyurethane casting resin according to the manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to add a pigment to the resin if you want to give your wheels a specific color. 

Step 4: 

Pour the resin into the mold. Be sure to fill it completely and tap it gently to release any bubbles. 

Step 5: 

Allow the resin to cure completely, according to the manufacturer’s instructions. This may take several hours or even overnight. 

Step 6: 

Once the resin has cured, remove the wheel from the mold. Sand the edges and any rough spots with sandpaper or a sanding wheel. 

Step 7: 

Install the wheels onto your skateboard, making sure that they are securely attached. Precaution- You must follow!

There are many factors that can affect the quality and performance of the wheels, including the hardness of the polyurethane and their shape. As well as being dangerous, making skateboard wheels at home involves chemicals and specialized equipment. 

So, If you would like to make your own skateboard wheels, purchase them from a reputable manufacturer. 

Is Polyurethane Good For Skateboard Wheels? 

Why Should You Use Polyurethane Wheels 
Why Should You Use Polyurethane Wheels

Yes, it is generally considered to be a very good material for skateboard wheels. Polyurethane offers a combination of durability, grip, and rebound, making it ideal for skateboard wheels. 

Usually, It is a type of plastic that can be molded into a wide range of shapes and sizes, and it is also resistant to wear and tear. This makes it an excellent choice for skateboard wheels, which are subject to a lot of abuse and wear during use. 

In addition to its durability and grip, polyurethane also has good rebound properties, meaning it can spring back to its original shape after being compressed. This is important for skateboard wheels as it helps to absorb shocks and impacts, providing a smoother ride. 

To sum up, polyurethane is an excellent material for skateboard wheels and is widely used in the industry. However, it’s worth noting that not all polyurethane wheels are created equal, and there are different grades and types of polyurethane that can affect the performance of the skateboard wheel.

Durometer ratings of skateboard wheels 

When selecting a set of urethane skateboard wheels, there are several factors to consider. The durometer rating is one of the most important factors to consider. The durometer rating measures the hardness of the wheels, and it is usually indicated with a number followed by the letter A, which indicates the scale used. 

How it affect in skateboarding? 

It can affect your skateboarding experience in several ways- 

● If you choose wheels that are too soft, you may experience a lack of control, especially when performing technical tricks. 

● If you choose wheels that are too hard, you may have difficulty maintaining your grip on the skateboard, especially when carving or cruising. 

However, When selecting skateboard wheels, it is essential to consider the type of terrain you will be skating on. 

For example, if you plan on skating on rough terrain, you may want to choose softer wheels that can absorb more shock. Conversely, if you plan on skating on smooth surfaces, harder wheels may provide the speed and control you need. 

How to use Durometer Rating on a Skateboard? 

Can You Make Polyurethane Skateboard Wheels at Home 
Can You Make Polyurethane Skateboard Wheels at Home

The durometer rating is measured using a durometer tester, which applies pressure to the wheel and measures the amount of indentation it creates. The scale used is typically from 0 to 100, with lower numbers indicating softer wheels and higher numbers indicating harder wheels. 

However, the durometer rating can also vary depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers use the Durometer B scale, which measures about 20 points lower than the Durometer A scale. It’s important to note the scale used when comparing different wheels from different manufacturers.

Durometer measurement techniques 

Skateboard durometer rating refers to the measurement of the hardness of the skateboard wheels. Durometer ratings are measured on a scale of 0 to 100A, with 100A being the hardest and 0 being the softest. 

Here’s a breakdown of how different durometer ratings can affect your skateboard’s performance: 

1. 78A-87A (Soft Wheels: 

Soft wheels are great for cruising around and providing a smooth ride over rough terrain. They are also good for beginners who are still learning to control their skateboard. Soft wheels have a lot of grip, which makes them ideal for carving and cruising. 

2. 88A-95A (Medium Wheels): 

Medium wheels are good for a wide range of skateboarding styles, including street, park, and vert skating. They provide a good balance between speed and grip, making them suitable for all types of terrain. They are also durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. 

3. 96A-99A (Hard Wheels )

Hard wheels are ideal for street and park skating, as they provide a lot of speed and slide easily. They are also good for technical tricks, such as flip tricks and grinds, as they allow the skateboard to slide along surfaces easily. Hard wheels are less grippy than soft or medium wheels, which can make them harder to control for beginners. 

4. 100A+( Very Wheels): 

Hard 0r Very hard wheels are the hardest wheels available and are designed for technical street and park skating. They provide maximum speed and slide easily, making

them ideal for advanced tricks. However, they are not recommended for cruising or carving, as they provide very little grip. 

Note- It’s important to understand that durometer ratings are not the only factor to consider when choosing skateboard wheels. Other factors, such as size and shape, can also affect the way your skateboard performs. 

What to Consider When Choosing a Skateboard Deck Wheels 

What to consider when choosing a skateboard deck wheels 
What to consider when choosing a skateboard deck wheels

When choosing skateboard wheels, it’s essential to consider the following factors: 


The size of the wheels determines the speed, stability, and smoothness of the ride. Generally, smaller wheels are slower but provide more stability and control, while larger wheels are faster but less stable. The most common wheel size is between 50mm and 60mm. 


The hardness of the wheels affects the ride’s grip and smoothness. Softer wheels (between 78A to 87A) provide more grip and are better for cruising and rough surfaces. Harder wheels (between 90A to 101A) are faster and more durable, but provide less grip and are better for smooth surfaces and tricks. 

Typical shape

Wheel shape influences the skateboard’s performance and is mostly a matter of personal preference. Round wheels offer a balanced ride, while square or conical shapes offer more stability for slides and grinds.

Suitable material: 

Skateboard wheels are made of different materials, such as polyurethane, which affects the wheels’ durability and performance. Higher-quality materials tend to be more expensive, but they offer better performance and last longer. 

Surface Type: 

Consider the type of surface you will be riding on when choosing skateboard wheels. When riding on smooth surfaces, harder wheels offer less grip, letting you perform tricks easier. On rough surfaces, softer wheels provide better grip and absorb more shock. 

Riding Style: 

The type of riding you plan to do can also affect your wheel choice. For example, if you’re a street skater who likes to perform tricks, you’ll want smaller, harder wheels that offer less grip and slide more easily. 

If you’re a cruiser who likes to ride around town, you’ll want larger, softer wheels that provide more grip and absorb shock better. 


Although not essential, some skateboarders prefer a particular color for their wheels. Most brands offer a variety of colors to choose from, so you can select one that complements your deck’s design. 

Product brand: 

The brand of the wheels can also affect their performance and durability.

Established skateboard brands produce quality wheels that meet different skaters’ needs. It’s essential to research and read reviews before buying a specific brand. 


Skateboard wheels can vary in price, and it’s essential to choose wheels that fit your budget. Beginners or casual skateboarders can find many affordable options that are equally effective and durable as high-priced wheels. 


Different types of wheels can provide varying levels of grip and speed, so it’s important to choose the right wheel for your style and skill level. Hope, now you are clear about the question- what are the skateboard wheels made of? 

In case you are still confused, please read the entire article again carefully. With the wide range of sizes and hardnesses available today, you’ll easily be able to find a set that suits your needs perfectly.


Are all skateboard wheels made of the same type of urethane? 

No, not all skateboard wheels are made of the same type of urethane. There are different formulas and qualities of urethane used to create skateboard wheels, which can affect their durability, grip, and performance. Skaters can choose wheels based on their preferred riding style, terrain, and personal preferences.

Is it possible to replace skateboard wheels? 

Yes, It is possible! skateboard wheels can be replaced if they become worn down or damaged. It is important to match the size and durometer rating of the original wheels to ensure the best performance.

Do skateboard wheels last a long time? 

well, the lifespan of skateboard wheels can vary depending on factors such as the durometer rating, the size, and the type of skating you do. On average, skateboard wheels can last anywhere from a few months to a year or more with regular use. 

Do skateboard wheels come in different sizes? 

Yes, skateboard wheels come in a range of sizes, typically measured in millimeters (mm). The most common size is around 52mm, but sizes can range from as small as 48mm to as large as 60mm or more. 

How often do skateboard wheels need to be replaced?

The lifespan of skateboard wheels varies depending on factors such as usage, riding style, surface conditions, and wheel quality. On average, skateboarders replace their wheels every few months to a year. Excessive wear, flat spots, or loss of grip are signs that it’s time to replace them.

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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