Wheels are some of the most important things in longboarding at all.
They are what touch the ground, increase speed, take turns, and get impact from every bump of uneven terrain.
While you might be quite knowledgeable as to different kinds of longboard wheels, sometimes it’s difficult to find an option that would suit you perfectly.
A lot of people use their longboards to commute, riding in a relaxed way, appreciating the environment around them.
For that, you need that feeling of a smooth ride, no matter the terrain. Proper wheels in combination with high-quality bearings, trucks, and a deck, can provide you with that feeling.
To help you with the choice, we’ve gathered a convenient TOP-5 of the best wheels that would fit a longboard by size and improve your cruising experience.
There’s also a buyer’s guide after the list to make sure you have all the knowledge needed to make the right pick!
Sector 9 Nine Ball
- 74mm Diameter
- Better Roll Speed
- Sharp Lip Shape
- Offset Core
Longboard Wheels for Cruising Comparison Chart
|Sector 9 Nine Ball||Diameter: 74mm|
Contact Patch: 50mm
|Orangatang in Heat||Diameter: 75mm|
Durometer: 77a, 80a, 83a, 86a
Contact Patch: 56mm
|Shark Wheel Sidewinder||Diameter: 70 mm|
Aproach Angle: 30°
|TGM DECK Big Boy Gel||Diameter: 70 mm|
ABEC Rating: 7
|Cal 7 97mm Wheels||Diameter: 97mm|
Contact Patch: 47mm
5 Best Longboard Wheels for Cruising (as of March, 2023):
1. Sector 9 Nine Ball Longboard Wheels for Cruising Review
When on a quest for a quiet, calm cruise, these Sector 9 Nine Ball wheels are on the top of the list.
They are quite soft, which allows them to absorb a lot of vibration urban terrains produce.
This should give a stable ride so that you can enjoy the journey without having to worry about every bump.
Although these are on the softer side, the wheels don’t wear out too quickly.
With this set of wheels, you get:
- 78A – a great softness rate for cruisers;
- 74mm diameter suitable for medium and large decks;
- High-quality urethane to provide all the qualities to the fullest. Their formula was tested by thousands of longboarders and, most importantly, time;
- Offset core offering the best capabilities for cruising;
- 50mm contact patch suitable for cruising;
- A wide range of designs and colors to fit your style perfectly.
The company is famous and most appreciated for its high-quality longboards and all kinds of gear for it, including these cruising wheels. You can find their products in most TOP lists, and it’s not without a reason.
Besides, they don’t cost a fortune, which is great news since price and quality ratio is crucially important.
As to the disadvantages, like any other model, this one has a slight flaw that is solely determined by the great cruising capabilities. It might be rough on the turns if you’re riding on uneven terrain.
But if we’re talking about regular asphalt, there should be no problem.
This set has every quality to become one of the best for cruising on a medium or a large board.
- Nineball Urethane
- Better Roll Speed
- 74mm Diameter
- Durometer: 78A
- 50mm Contact Patch
- Offset Core
- Sharp Lip Shape
- Natural Finish Provides Extra Grip
- Rolls Over Debris & Imperfections
- Helps Hold Speed Longer
- Great quality to price ratio
- High-quality urethane used
- Suitable softness for smooth cruising
- Suitable diameter for most longboards
- Offset core
- Might feel rough on turns and certain sidewalks
2. Orangatang in Heat Longboard Wheels for Cruising Review
Orangatang is one of the most popular manufacturers when it comes to longboard or skateboard wheels.
Orangatang in Heat are versatile, have different softness options, provide easy navigation by colors.
You get original urethane, stylish looks, the grip you were looking for, and a great contact patch for downhill riding and cruising.
With this set, you’re getting:
- 75mm diameter suitable for large longboards used for long-distance cruising;
- Build that will make every rock, bump, and crack smoother. It’s great for uneven terrains of any kind;
- Square inner lips with sharp edges for the best traction and even more grip that is so important when you’re cruising or downhill riding;
- Rippled urethane pattern gives you innovative rebound;
- 4 durometers to choose from: 77a (blue), 80a (orange), 83a (purple), and 86a (yellow);
- 56mm contact patch that also contributed to the grip;
- Encapsulate core that provides sufficient traction yet allows for smooth slides.
This option is 80a – a powerful balance of solid grip and optional slight sliding. It’s not the best model if you need to slide a lot, but a couple of sharp turns or other obstacles you’ll need to react quickly to avoid are manageable.
The manufacturer values minimalism and quality, great design, and aesthetic looks. This model, in particular, has 90s vibes, which may become an amazing addition to your look.
As to the disadvantages, some longboarders’ reviews state that these wheels wear out faster than others.
This isn’t a surprise considering their grip capabilities, but with enough maintenance (professional or DIY), your wheels and bearings will last longer.
- For The Roughest Roads
- Maximum Speed & Grip
- Happy Thane Formula
- 75mm Diameter
- 4 Durometers: 77a, 80a, 83a, 86a
- 56mm Contact Patch
- Encapsulated Core
- Sharp, Square Lips
- Rippled Urethane Pattern
- Great for wet roads
- Square inner lip
- Original “Happy Thane” formula
- Smooth feel best for cruising
- 4 durometer options different by color
- Might wear out quickly if you’re riding on uneven terrain for a long time
3. Shark Wheel Sidewinder Longboard Wheels for Cruising Review
This option is the best for those who value not only functionality but also aesthetics.
These wheels have a wavy form and look incredible.
They also are great for cruising, both the diameter and durometer.
Shark Wheel Sidewinder will help you get through gravel and water, not to mention more common terrains. The set is very versatile and will make your cruising rides extra smooth.
Buying these wheels, you get:
- 70mm diameter wonderful for medium and large longboards;
- 78a durometer that provides premium grip and holds your board on the ground very well;
- Versatile use: gravel, wet surfaces, common asphalt, even small patches of sand;
- High-quality polyurethane with high rebound qualities contributes to the overall experience and adds durability.
You won’t be able to slide well using these, but if your goal is to find great wheels for cruising on your longboard, then this is one of the best choices.
The set is appreciated for its capabilities of gripping on wet surfaces. You won’t feel any slippage, maybe a minimum when it’s a drizzle.As to the gravel, you might feel a bit of shaking, but the particles will just get out of the way due to the shape of the wheels.
When talking about other surfaces, it grips so hard that even in 5-month use, you still won’t slide.
The company specializes in creating non-standard wheels, and this model is one of the best representatives. Relying on common round shapes is in the past when it comes to Shark Wheel. So, their innovative ideas are definitely worth a try.
This isn’t only about aesthetics but about the functionality as well. A combination of interlocking rings and other shapes provides quite an experience.
Maybe, this isn’t the best option for beginners since they need more newbie-friendly, common wheels, but if you’ve been practicing for a while, these might freshen up your style a bit.
- For Rough Terrain
- Wavy Design & Durability
- More Speed With Less Friction
- More Grip & Control
- Superior Slide Control
- Sidewinder Technology
- Aproach Angle 30 Degrees
- Diameter: 70mm
- Durometer: 78a
- Multitude Of Different Colors
- 30-Day Money Back Guarantee
- High-quality materials
- Aesthetic design
- Great performance
- Increased speed
- Perfect for cruising
- Don’t slide at all
4. TGM DECK Big Boy Gel Review
TGM DECK Big Boy Gel wheels are on the low-budget end, but they don’t miss any quality mark.
Usually, we don’t recommend going cheap on your longboard gear, but this option is an exception.
Besides, there are a lot of beginner longboarders that need budget-friendly options to keep practicing.
This package has 4 wheels, as well as spacers and bearings for them, which adds to the fact that this is a great deal.
With these wheels, you get:
- A full package to update your longboard gear;
- 70mm diameter suitable for medium and large longboards;
- 78a durometer that will provide excellent grip and work best for long rides;
- Offset core that allows for a couple of slides on the way if you need them.
This isn’t a premium-quality offer but a solid choice when you really need new wheels, bearings, and spaces, and don’t have a lot of money to spend.
The wheels do their job right and don’t wear too early. It is a recommended option for beginners who only get into longboarding and want to get a taste for a small price.
The bearings in the package are ABEC-7 – an optimal variant for modern longboards. Although, when you transfer to a more professional set of wheels, consider moving to ABEC-9 bearings.
- Full Package With Bearings & Spacers
- 70mm Diameter
- Durometer: 78a
- Excellent Grip
- Offset Core
- Abec 7 Bearings
- Budget-Friendly Option
- A great deal for an affordable price
- Suitable for cruising and downhill riding
- Come with bearings and spacers
- Sufficient grip with offset core
- Not the best quality compared to more expensive options
- Might be rough on uneven surfaces
5. Cal 7 97mm Wheels Review
If you’re looking for wheels with a larger diameter than usual, try these Cal 7 97mm Wheels.
Remember that you need a large board for them.
Using big wheels with a smaller board will result in deteriorated performance and frequent stopping.
This is a great deal for the price, although their design might not impress for the first time.
With such wheels, you get:
- 97mm diameter, which means the ride will be stable and smooth;
- 52mm width and a contact surface of 47mm. This will provide a better grip and high-end stability of your cruising ride;
- 78a durometer contributed even more to the traction of these wheels, so no matter how uneven the terrain you’re riding on is, it doesn’t matter anymore;
- Center-set core as a finishing element in the excellent traction the wheels provide;
- Bearings and spacers added to the package, which makes these wheels even more beneficial to buy.
Cal 7 wheels are of a similar class that the Big Boy ones. Although the brand isn’t that prestigious, this is a great low-budget choice if you need a full set.
If you’re a beginner and just want to try if cruising on a longboard is your thing, or if you’re operating on a budget and have a very large board, give these wheels a go.
- Size: 97mm x 52mm
- Durometer: 78a
- Contact Patch: 47mm
- Center-Set Core
- Durable Polyurethane
- Great Grip & High-End Stability
- Pre-Lubricated Abec7 Bearings
- Bearings & Spacers Included
- Very affordable
- A reliable company
- Wide contact patch and diameter
- 78a durometer, therefore great grip
- Convenient for cruising
- Not very versatile, only for cruising
Best Longboard Wheels for Cruising Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose
The choice of the best longboard wheels for cruising has two deciding parts to it. The first is that they have to fit your longboard perfectly.
While some skateboard wheels will suit as well, it’s best to check that the wheels aren’t for a penny board, a mini-cruiser, etc.
The second is that they have to be of a necessary softness and other qualities for cruising. And while this might sound silly for professional longboarders, sometimes even they make mistakes. We don’t need wrong investments, right?
When choosing a wheel diameter, there are several easy rules:
- Opt for larger wheels if you have a long deck (40” and up);
- Opt for smaller wheels if you have a shorter longboard;
- Smaller wheels may work with a long deck, but the quality of ride will downgrade;
- Larger wheels won’t work with a shorter deck because they will create friction with the bottom of it, making you stop suddenly.
For large longboards with 40”+ decks, 70-75mm wheels will work just fine. Choosing the right ratio of your board length and wheel size will provide you with the qualities you need. For example:
- By choosing larger wheels from this range, you’ll get overall higher speed;
- By choosing smaller wheels from this range, you’ll get better acceleration.
For medium longboards with 34″ 42″ decks, 68-72mm will provide the best qualities. The same rule works here: if you want more speed, get a larger set in this range.
For shorter boards with 34″ and smaller decks, 60-67mm wheels will fit best. It’s logical to choose a smaller wheel for such a wheelbase so that you can get enough acceleration and don’t feel like you’re driving a heavy vehicle.
There are two main things to consider when choosing wheel softness:
- Your weight;
- Your riding preference.
For most cruisers, the preference is a convenient, smooth ride with a nice grip that will get them around cracks and bumps relatively easily. Let’s say this is your goal as well.
As to the weight, here we have more precise calculations. The heavier you are, the harder your wheels have to be.
If you buy a set that is too soft, you’ll feel every small bump, and wear will start prematurely. The longboard will also slow down more.
On the other hand, if you buy wheels that are too hard for you since you’re relatively light, they won’t provide enough grip with the ground, and you will glide a lot, having less control over the ride.
Here’s a guide:
- If you weigh 135 lbs or less, opt for 78a to 80a wheels;
- If you weigh 135-175 lbs, opt for 80a to 83a wheels;
- If you weigh 175 lbs and more, opt for 83a to 86a wheels.
Remember several facts about wheel durometer to make sure your choice will be the right one:
- Softer wheels give you more grip, so it takes time until you get how to slide with them;
- Softer wheels also tend to wear faster due to continuous traction;
- Harder wheels allow you to slide better from day one;
- Harder wheels also tend to be more long-lasting;
- Harder wheels give you less grip, so riding an uneven terrain might be a problem.
Wheels Material and Composition
Not all 80a sets will behave in the same way. You can see the difference by choosing a proper set and buying a much cheaper one. Here’s some info on wheel composition.
Pay attention to the core set, as every type suits different styles and purposes:
- Center-set wheels.
These have a core in the very center of the wheel, leaving an equal amount of urethane on every side. This type is the best for cruising since it offers the most grip with the surface. It’s also great for downhill and freerides, where you need a fair amount of grip.
- Side-set wheels.
Such wheels have their core near the inner lip, where there’s usually the most grip. With this set, you get a minimum grip and will slide easily, which isn’t the best option for cruising. These are great for freeriding, though, especially if you’re a beginner and are trying to figure out how to break in easily.
- Offset wheels.
This type lays between the first two, so the core isn’t in the center of the wheel, but it’s also not right near the inner lip. You can find wheels with a different kind of offset and choose what fits you and your needs best. This set will provide you with a great grip, yet you’ll be able to slide and break in easily in a moment. The board gets cleaner drifts on-demand with overall great traction.
Once you decide on the size and hardness degree of your desired wheels, it’s time to think about their shape. You may wonder what this means considering that to roll, a wheel must be round.
What other shapes there might be? Well, there are two general shapes:
- Sharp lip.
This one implies the inner lip has edges. It’s the best shape for regular cruising since it provides the most grip. It might also be great for slalom. A sharp lip will help you maintain traction when there’s a serious turn.
- Round lip.
When the inner lip of the wheel is perfectly round just like the wheel itself, you get more space and capabilities for carving and sliding. This isn’t the best option if you’re a cruiser and don’t need to slide or drift.
Also, referring to the shape topic, the contact patch can make a huge difference in your riding experience. This is the width from lip to lip, and the larger this patch is, the more grip you will get.
Sharp-lip wheels usually have wider contact patches, which adds more benefits to this type if you’re looking for a nice set of wheels for cruising.
Round-lip wheels usually have a narrower patch, which allows for more sliding and less grip. They are great for speedy turns, though, while wider contact patches will slow you down.
Skin or no skin is another thing to consider. When wheels come out of molds, they all have a shiny coat on them. It provides a lot of grip from the very beginning, so you don’t need a lot of time to get traction. This is great for cruising and downhill riding.
Choose the Wheels That Will Work on Your Ride
Think about the way you want to cruise through the streets, and it will give you enough for choosing proper wheels. Several millimeters in diameter may change your game forever, and so can a slight change in the softness of the wheels.
There might be some trial and error before you find what exactly is the most convenient combination for you. But this way should start from gaining knowledge on the topic and making the first choice.
For beginners, make sure you know the dimensions of your longboard, have nice riding shoes, and be armed with a buyer’s guide and a TOP list like these as your first guidelines. With the right set, you’ll be able to cruise like they do in movies.