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How to Pick Skateboard Wheels

Learn about skateboard wheels and how to use them to customize your skateboard from SHUT Skateboards's Michael A. Cohen in this Howcast video.


Hey guys, what's up? We're here to discuss skateboard wheels. Different sizes, shapes and hardness.

Right away, let's go right to the smallest. This from Spitfire. This is the 50mm. 50mm is the measurement on the wheel, then we're also going to have a durometer. Durometer is going to tell us the hardness and softness of the wheel.

As far as this wheel's profile, this is considered a standard street skating profile wheel. When I say profile, I mean the look and feel around the outside of the wheel.

The 50mm being one of the smallest sizes that most shops will carry. I've seen these go down to 46. When you get down to that size you're basically looking at a bearing cover. The bearing goes right in here.

You can imagine that if this were to get smaller, it would just be like a bearing cover.

Another size that is a lot more popular and more commonly used is the 56. The main difference between the two sizes, these are the same hardness. This wheel here is better for technical, low-level skate tricks, not too common with guys really bombing hills or riding in bowls or parks.

But, then again, when it comes to skateboarding, everything is done on anything. So, it is possible but it just hinders a bit.

With the bigger wheel, it is more terrain. Able to go over bigger crevices and nooks and crannies that are in the streets.

When it comes to skate parks, the wheel size sometimes doesn't matter because the skate parks are just so smooth and perfect.

With the hard wheel too, the benefit that you get is a power slide because the wheel doesn't have that super grip like a soft wheel. We'll get into the soft wheels in a second.

Like I said, this 56, 55, 54 is your average skate size. Then, going up, a lot of your bigger skaters, when I say "bigger skaters", I mean the maneuvers that they are performing. Transition, bowls, prefer a bigger wheel, anywhere from a 57 to a 60mm.

The other thing, also with these, when you are going down large hills, you will be a lot more stable on a bigger, bigger wheel than you would be, say, on this 50mm wheel. You'll also go much faster with this bigger wheel.

What I was talking about with power slide and gripping, this soft wheel, this is a Schutt wheel, 57mm and an 85a. The 85a is the durometer. 80, 78 is a real soft durometer. And the durometer on the hard wheels is about 95 and over; it goes up to 101 with the Spits and they are extremely hard whereas this one is super soft, a little more cruiser-style, better for entry level. If you're learning how to push, I highly recommend a soft wheel.

This style of wheel came out because of a lot of kids that liked to film, so it's a quieter wheel behind the skater as well as a little more stable. So when you're holding a camera, you are able to maneuver the board a little bit better than you would with the hard wheel.

As far as street setups, you can run this soft wheel. You can even, on your cruiser boards, or maybe a long skateboard, you can run a very large wheel, all the way up into the 60's and 62mm. This one here, a custom shut deck, Gullwing trucks. This one has the old OJ's that were brought back. A lot of companies are bringing back some of these cruiser-style wheels as a resurgence in skateboarding.

What I highly recommend is, for the beginner or someone new into it, going with a Filmer style wheel.

With the wheel size, when it comes to this Filmer wheel, for the new person into skating, I highly recommend this 57mm. 57, 58, something under 60. You'll also have to compensate the wheel size for when you have to step off the board to push, so it will bring your center of gravity lower to the ground so you can get a better push and be more stable while skating.

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