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Longboard Skateboard Wheels

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The proper longboard wheels can make all the difference in the world. Your ride is vastly dependent on what kind of longboarding wheels you choose to go with. If you want to do more downhill skating, then a wheel like the Orangatang In Heat or the Abec 11 BigZigs would be ideal. If sliding is more your style, then you might want to go with a Sector 9 Butterball, Abec 11 Freeride, or even Orangatang Stimulus longboard sliding wheels. But in general wheel selection is dependent on 3 important factors; size, shape, and durometer (hardness).

Longboard wheels have many different features. A big difference between them is the shape of the lip. Some longboarding wheels have a very defined outer edge, we call these square lipped wheels. They are are ideal for downhill skateboarding or for cruising and provide the most grip, control and comfort. The other option is the rounded edge or round lipped wheel. Longboard wheels with round lips are made for sliding or for tricks. These wheels for longboards can still be used for cruising, but they have less traction than the square lipped wheels so they are more likely to slide out when intentionally drifting the board sideways. With the lip shape in mind there are 3 different hub positions. The hub of the wheel is where the bearings sit. This can also determine durability and grip. Most longboarding wheels have an offset hub, meaning the hub is slightly off center of the wheel. Offset hubs provide for more grip and control. For sliding a center set wheel might be more ideal. Center set hubs provide for more durability and a longer life of the wheel. Finally there are side set hubs. Side set gives you maximum grip as the hub is flushed to one side of the wheel. 

Other things to consider when thinking about longboard wheels are size and durometer. Usually the size is determined based on the amount of clearance available on a certain deck. Larger longboarding wheels will generally spin faster and last longer, but smaller wheels will be more agile and easier to slide. The durometer, or hardness of a wheel, will determine how much grip or slip you will get. For longboard wheels the scale goes from 75A (softest) to 89A (hardest). Softer wheels give you more grip and control. They're deal for downhill or cruising, but harder ones are easier to slide and are good for freeriding or sliding.

 Read our "How-to Choose The Best Longboard Wheel".

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