When it comes to your board setup, wheels are of course going to be one of your biggest priorities. With longboarding, the types of wheels being used are going to dramatically affect the type of ride you’re going to be getting. All the best longboard wheels are typically made of polyurethane and come in a range of sizes, colors and levels of durability to cater your needs.
Historically, longboards have larger, softer wheels that provide a smoother ride when compared to shortboards that are using smaller and harder wheels. Smaller wheels are going to provide a slower ride whereas larger wheels are going to give you more speed. A typical longboard wheel, ranges from 60-75mm. The durometer of a wheel measures how hard the longboard wheels are, which range from 73A (softest) to 101A (hardest). Harder wheels with higher durometer scores are faster and can be used for power slides down hills.
So, if you’re planning on bombing down a couple of hills and sliding around this weekend, a harder wheel and higher durometer rating is what you should be looking at. If a quiet cruise around the city is more of what you’re after, it’d probably be best to start looking at some smaller and softer wheels. If speed is what you’re looking for, it’d be best to go for a softer wheel with a bigger diameter to give you both control and stability.
Luckily for you, we’ve found a few of the best longboard wheels for whatever you’re after. So, without further ado, here are some of the best and top selling longboarding wheels you can get for either cruising, downhill skating or power sliding. PS: Check out our resource for tips on cleaning your wheels.
Best Longboard Wheels for Cruising
Sector 9 skateboards have always produced very high quality and top selling products. In fact we picked them for our best longboard brands write-up. These wheels are much the same. With a 70mm diameter and 78A durometer, these wheels will accommodate to any needs a quiet cruise around the city would require. The softness of these wheels also allows them to absorb vibration and provide a steady ride without wearing out too quickly.
With a vibrant look that’s sure to grab everyone’s attention, the “Orangutan in Heat” is also even more capable than it is vibrant. With a mid-range wheel size of 75mm and 80A durometer rating, you’ll be sure to gain speed without losing any traction on the road. While not great for sliding, these wheels will be able to handle a couple of sharp turns on your average pavement. Orangatang is well known for making top-notch longboard and helpful videos.
Orangatang In Heat Longboard Wheels, 75mm
- Excellent traction and control for wet conditions
- Made of smooth and durable urethane
- Square lip for providing maximum traction
Fireball Tinder 70mm 81a Wheel Set, Black
A perfect size of 70mm and a 81a durometer, the Fireball Tinder wheels offer its rider a soft, comfortable and smooth ride with predictable drifts as well. They don’t call these wheels “cloud ride” for nothing; perfect for commuting or for a casual Sunday afternoon cruise through your local area.
- Wide contact area for a comfortable grippy feel
- Durable and hard urethane perfect for some sliding
Best Downhill Longboard Wheels
Orangatang Kegel Longboard Wheels, 80mm
Another vibrant and eye-catching wheel that delivers some of the best reviews from its users. An 80mm diameter and 80A durometer provide the perfect combination for the best speed and grip for downhill longboarding. With a wider and more square edge, the wheels aren’t going to be sliding out from you any time soon. Perfect for anyone who is looking at tackling any serious hills with steep curves and debris.
We’ve chosen the Orangatang Kegels as one of our top offroad longboard wheels because of their ability to handle various types of terrain. The Kegels are a solid choice if you plan on riding on a variety of surfaces.
- High strength, stiffness and heat resistant urethane
- Currently available in 80A 83A and 77a
- 56mm contact patch
Best Electric Longboard Wheels
Orangatang Caguama Longboard Wheels, 85mm
A bigger type of wheel that provides the ultimate in balance, speed and control. A 77A durometer on the blue versions is going to make sure your wheels are sticking to the pavement so you can hit those tight bends and not have to slow down at all. It’d definitely be worth keeping this one in mind if you’re trying to break any new speed records or dominate any races in the future.
- Perfect for big electric longboards
- 56mm contact patch
- Made of durable urethane for high speed racing
Best Sliding Longboard Wheels
Sector 9 Butterballs Longboard Wheels, 65mm
One of the most popular sliding wheels, these wheels are able to grip and drift whenever needed. The wheels have a 38mm contact patch and 80A or 75a durometer. Round lips and softened edges allows riders to easily kick out while speeding downhill. While not the best for cruising, these wheels own the competition on massive winding hills and slopes.
- Not available in a huge range of colors
- 38mm contact patch
- Made of durable urethane that gives a smooth feel when sliding
Are Bigger wheels better for longboarding?
Generally we think the longer the longboard the larger the wheels should be. This is a big help when it comes to stabilizing the larger board styles.
Are Shark wheels good for longboards?
Recent wheel innovations made by the folks at Shark Wheels have created a new option for longboarders looking for something different. For an in-depth article and product suggestions, check out our post on Shark Wheels for longboards.
How do you choose longboard wheels?
Like we mentioned at the top of the post, it all depends on your style. Softer wheels grip better while harder wheels roll faster but offer less grip. For a good all-around style, we suggest 78a durometer longboarding wheels.
So, there you have it! These are some of the best wheels out right now, perfect for cruising around town, carving up winding roads and speeding down massive slopes. Make sure you choose wisely and always make sure you’re using the right wheels for the type of skating you’re planning on doing – a decent wheel plays an essential role in having a great ride.
By: Stephan M.