Skateboarding has been an exciting activity for folks of all ages since the mid-1900s when the craze started to gain momentum across the world. Arguably the most critical component of a skateboard is its wheels, and these come in distinct sizes, shapes, and hardness levels. But have you ever stopped to think about what skateboard wheels are made of?
We’ll take a deep dive into their composition and explain what makes them different from one another. So, buckle up and get ready to learn everything there is to know about skateboard wheels.
Material used in Skateboards Wheels
The primary material used for manufacturing skateboard wheels is polyurethane, a polymer resin that’s impact-resistant and durable. The use of polyurethane has enabled skateboard wheels to withstand various weather conditions and maintain their shape, allowing for optimal performance. Thanks to advances in technology, polyurethane wheels are now available in different levels of hardness, which means you can select the right fit for your skating style.
The shape of skateboard wheels is another crucial aspect that affects their performance. One of the most common shapes is the round wheel, which is perfect for performing tricks like ollies and kickflips due to their high level of grip on the skateboard. Square-edged wheels, on the other hand, are ideal for cruising and provide better stability and more speed. Like the hardness levels, skateboard wheel shapes come with unique pros and cons that you need to consider when selecting your wheel shape.
There is a vast variation in the size of skateboard wheels, affecting your skateboard’s speed, grip, and stability. The bigger the wheels, the faster you’ll go, but you will experience less maneuverability. Additionally, the size of the wheels affects your skateboard’s balance and stability, so, if you’re a beginner, it’s advisable to opt for smaller wheels for more control and stability.
Another critical factor to consider is the bearing size that goes into the skateboard wheels. Bearings are what allow your skateboard to roll and give the wheels the power to spin and maintain their speed. The standard size for skateboard bearings is 608, and most skateboard wheels have a diameter of 52 mm-56 mm, which means they are compatible with 608 bearings. Remember, when choosing your bearings, you need to consider your skateboard wheel size to ensure that you choose appropriate bearings.
Check out some best cheap skateboards.
Check out the best skateboards for heavy riders.
Understanding Material and Composition for Skateboard Wheels
Skateboarding is a thrilling and challenging sport. To excel at this highly technical discipline, one must have a good grip on the board, maintain balance over it, and control its movements with precision. Skateboard wheels are one of the essential components of a skateboard, and they play a vital role in determining your performance on the board. Skateboard wheels are made with different materials and compositions, each with its unique properties and benefits. We will discuss the various materials and compositions used in skateboard wheels, their advantages and disadvantages, and how to select the right ones for your skating style.
Polyurethane, commonly known as PU, is the most popular material used to make skateboard wheels. It is a synthetic polymer that offers a perfect balance of hardness, durability, and grip. PU wheels come in various durometer ratings, which measure the hardness level of the wheels. The higher the rating, the harder the wheels. Harder wheels are faster, more durable, and slide easier, making them suitable for smooth surfaces, and street skating. Softer wheels have better grip, absorb shock, and offer a more comfortable ride, making them ideal for cruising, longboarding, and skating on rough terrains. PU wheels are versatile, affordable, and easy to customize, making them the go-to choice for most skaters.
Urethane is another synthetic polymer used to make skateboard wheels. It is softer and more elastic than PU, which makes it more shock-absorbent, quieter, and smoother rolling. However, urethane wheels wear out faster and tend to flatten over time, reducing their speed and stability. Urethane wheels are less popular than PU wheels and are mainly used by cruiser riders, longboarders, and downhill skaters.
Ceramic is a high-performance material used in premium skateboard wheels. Ceramics offers superior durability, strength, and speed. Ceramic wheels are more resistant to heat and friction, which reduces wear and tear, increases speed, and provides a smoother ride. Ceramic wheels are also more expensive than PU or urethane wheels and are mainly used by professional skaters or expert riders who demand the best possible performance.
Selecting the right skateboard wheels can make a significant difference in your performance and overall skating experience. It is essential to consider your skating style, skill level, and the terrain you skate on when choosing your wheels. PU wheels are the most versatile and commonly used wheels, while urethane and ceramic wheels cater to specific needs and preferences. Always check the durometer rating, size, and shape of the wheels to ensure that they are suitable for your skating style. Proper maintenance and regular replacement of your wheels will extend their lifespan and help you achieve better results on your skateboard. Remember to have fun, stay safe, and keep rolling!
FAQ,s related to :what are skateboard wheels made of:
1. What are skateboard wheels made of?
Skateboard wheels are typically made of polyurethane (PU) plastic. Despite being made of similar materials, skateboard wheels are not the same as roller skate or inline skate wheels. They come in varying degrees of hardness, size, and shape, all designed to cater to different styles of skateboarding.
2. How do I choose the right skateboard wheel size?
Skateboard wheel size is measured in millimeters (mm). The most common sizes for skateboard wheels range from 49mm to 75mm. Smaller wheels are ideal for street skating, while larger wheels are better for cruising and downhill riding. The size of the wheel also impacts how well your board can perform tricks. Generally, the larger the wheel, the slower your skateboard will accelerate, and the harder it will be to perform tricks.
3. How do I choose the right skateboard wheel hardness?
Skateboard wheels come in various levels of hardness, which are measured on a scale called the durometer. The hardness of the wheel determines how well it performs on different terrains. A softer wheel with a lower durometer rating (78A-87A) is ideal for cruising, while a harder wheel with a higher durometer rating (97A-101A) is best suited for street skating and to perform tricks.
4. What is the importance of the shape of skateboard wheels?
Skateboard wheels come in a range of shapes designed for specific types of riding styles. The two most common wheel shapes are round and square. Round wheels offer a smooth ride and are excellent for cruising and carving, while square-shaped wheels provide more grip to the pavement and are better suited for skating on rails and vert ramps.
5. How often do I need to replace skateboard wheels?
The lifespan of skateboard wheels depends on usage and terrain. If you skate every day on rough surfaces, you may need to replace wheels every two to three months. If you are a casual skateboarder who only uses their board occasionally, you can expect your wheels to last longer. General signs that indicate that it’s time to replace your skateboard’s wheel include flat spots, chipping, and cracks.