Best Longboard Wheels Buyer’s Guide

Best Longboard Wheels Buyer’s Guide

It seems that every part of a longboard is the most important in creating the overall riding experience.

But if we have to single out one element, it’s the wheels.

They are what touches the road and offers you more grip and stability or more crispiness and sliding.

You can adjust your longboard to certain goals, but the wheels decide if you’re going to hold onto the ground or drift like the cars in Fast and Furious or skateboards in your favorite movie.

We’ve gathered 5 best longboard wheels for all kinds of purposes in one TOP list filled with useful info that will help you decide on the purchase.

After the list, there’s a buyer’s guide for those who want to get a bit of technical knowledge before making the final choice.

Top Pick

Shark Wheel Sidewinder

Shark Wheel Sidewinder

  • Wavy Design
  • For Rough Terrain
  • 60% Less Friction
  • 15% More Rebound

Longboard Wheels Comparison Chart

PhotoProductFeaturesPrice

Shark Wheel Sidewinder

Shark Wheel SidewinderDiameter: 70 mm
Durometer: 78a
Aproach Angle: 30°
Check Price

Orangatang in Heat

Orangatang in HeatDiameter: 75 mm
Contact Patch: 56 mm
Durometer: 77a, 80a, 83a, 86a
Check Price

Orangatang Caguama

Orangatang CaguamaDiameter: 85 mm
Contact Patch: 56 mm
Durometer: 80a, 83a
Check Price

Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed Vent

Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed VentDiameter: 85 mm
Contact Patch: 52 mm
Durometer: 75a, 77a, 79a
Check Price

Fireball Beast

Fireball BeastDiameter: 76 mm
Contact Patch: 49 mm
Durometer: 81a, 84a, 87a
Check Price

5 Best Longboard Wheels (as of March, 2021):

1. Shark Wheel Sidewinder Longboard Wheels Review

Shark Wheel Sidewinder

The Shark Wheel Sidewinder can be found on most of the TOP wheels lists as they never stop impressing longboarders with innovative ideas and great design.

The Sidewinder is one of the best wheel models they have ever made, with its wavy design that will catch all the attention.

When you see them for the first time, you might ask yourself whether they even can roll. But hold on, there’s more than just the ability to keep you steady on the ground.

Shark Wheel Sidewinder Review, Pros and Cons

Features

Let’s see some prominent features and guarantees by the manufacturer:

  • Design.
    These wheels have wavy edges that might cause doubts as to their performance. But they look awesome and can become a justified investment in the overall image of your board;
  • All-Terrain Performance.
    The wheels’ structure is suitable for any rough terrain. They will make your ride less shaky and more grippy even if the road leaves much to be desired;
  • Good reputation.
    These wheels are used by a lot of companies from the Fortune 500 list;
  • Optimal dimensions and durometer.
    The wheels are 70mm, suitable for medium and large longboards. Their durometer is 78a, meaning they are quite soft and offer sufficient grip for continuous cruising and downhill riding;
  • Durability.
    A lot of 78a wheels tend to wear out quickly. But these last for a longer time if properly maintained. This is achieved by causing 60% less friction thanks to the wavy pattern of the wheels.
  • Total money-back guarantee.
    Shark Wheel offers a 100% refund for those who aren’t satisfied with their wheels or if a defect is found. This is good news for skeptical longboarders who still want to try new things;
  • Different colors.
    You can choose one of several color options to make sure the wheels fit your look perfectly.
Shark Wheel Sidewinder
Via: @cathrynroache

The Sidewinder wheels can be found in multiple commercials due to their looks and functionality. All the percentage data is backed up by the San Diego State University, Mechanical Engineering Department, according to the manufacturer.

They are soft yet durable enough, offer 15% more rebound, create less friction, and open the “wheel” term from another side.

Going for the wavy design has helped to achieve a much better performance!

Main Features

  • 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

Pros:

  • Accelerates fast
  • Great traction
  • Sufficient balance
  • Durometer offers smooth, grippy ride
  • Durability increased
  • Rebound increased
  • Impressive design

Cons:

  • Last less than harder wheels

2. Orangatang in Heat Longboard Wheels Review

Orangatang in Heat

Orangatang is another leading longboard and skateboard wheels manufacturer.

They have some of the most versatile product variety, offering different sizes, durometer, and other qualities, differentiating them by color.

This Orangatang in Heat set is suitable for cruising and downhill riding, as well as for any other situation where you need a large, super-grippy set of wheels.

Features

There is quite a list of interesting features these Orangatang wheels offer:

Orangatang in Heat Review, Pros and Cons
  • Versatile use.
    The set should be on your must-have list if you’re into cruising, carving, downhill riding, pumping, and pushing on long distances;
  • Extra balance.
    The wheels are 75mm in diameter, which is a suitable option for large longboards. Big wheels offer more balance, making this set a good choice for rough terrains where you have to go over sticks and stones as smoothly as possible;
  • Good traction.
    The wheels have 77a durometer, offering soft rides and premium traction. Sharp, square lips contribute to the grip yet offer good sliding capabilities when needed;
  • Progressive rebound.
    Due to the ripples urethan pattern of the wheels, you get quite a rebound, accelerating to high speeds in no time;
  • Happy Thane formula.
    Orangatang has an original Happy Thane formula that combines speed, plush, and super strong grip;
  • Different durometers.
    You can choose these 77a wheels in blue or 80a (orange), 83a (purple), or 86a (yellow). Choose depending on the grip you want and the style you’re trying to master;
  • Supportive core.
    The cores in these wheels are encapsulated and support the lips, enhancing their grip capabilities, as well as the ability to slide when you need it;
  • Wide contact patch.
    With a large size comes a wide contact patch. This is another quality contributing to the superior gripping capabilities of the wheels.

This is the softest option on the list, suitable for any terrain, from city roads to mountain trails.

The manufacturer uses words like “plushy” or “fluffy,” which is correct when you need maximum grip. However, it doesn’t mean these wheels can’t handle high speeds and rough conditions!

Orangatang in Heat
Via: @orangatangwheels

Main Features

  • For Cruising & Downhill Riding
  • For The Roughest Roads
  • Maximum Speed
  • Excellent Traction & Crisp Slides
  • Progressive Rebound
  • Happy Thane Formula
  • 75mm Diameter
  • 4 Durometers: 77a, 80a, 83a, 86a
  • Encapsulated Core
  • Sharp, Square Lips
  • Rippled Urethane Pattern

Pros:

  • Large diameter
  • The softest durometer
  • Great for any terrain
  • Happy Thane formula
  • Encapsulated core

Cons:

  • Soft wheels don’t last as long as the harder ones

3. Orangatang Caguama Longboard Wheels Review

Orangatang Caguama

If you’re into conquering the roughest roads and are a heavy longboarder overall, Orangatang Caguama might just become your best friend.

They are super large and offer wonder speed capabilities, no matter the terrain.

The biggest work here is for you to make sure your longboard is large enough for the wheels of this size.

Features

With this set of beasts, here’s what you get:

Orangatang Caguama Review, Pros and Cons
  • Large diameter.
    These wheels are 85mm in diameter, which opens a lot of doors stability- and speed-wise, but you have to be careful when choosing them. See if such wheels will bite your deck. If so, you can customize it;
  • Speed gain.
    Larger wheels offer more speed capabilities. If you’re into high-speed cruising, these wheels will provide your board with a ton of new features. A 46mm core provides extra momentum and helps with quick speed gain;
  • Large contact patch.
    The 56mm patch will give you extra grip, contributing to the all-terrain use of the wheels;
  • Durability.
    This set has a durometer of 80a or 83a, depending on your preferences and needs. It isn’t as soft and is expected to offer less grip, but other qualities like the wide contact patch compensate. Besides, higher durometer means less wear over time, which makes such wheels more long-lasting;
  • Happy Thane formula.
    As usual, Orangatang’s original Happy Thane formula contributes to the durability, rebound, and speed on the wheels.

These wheels work wonders for heavy riders who like to challenge their boards. They won’t make your longboard too heavy.

Orangatang Caguama
Via: @kahalaniboards

Main Features

  • For The Roughest Roads
  • Compatible With Any Electric Skateboard
  • High Speed With Grip, Comfort & Momentum
  • Large 85mm Diameter
  • 56mm Contact Patch
  • 2 Durometers: 80a, 83a
  • Fully Exposed 46mm Core
  • Happy Thane Formula

Pros:

  • Fast speed gain
  • Less paddling
  • Sufficient grip
  • Happy Thane formula
  • Large, supportive core
  • Durability

Cons:

  • Pricey wheels
  • Not the best choice for light riders

4. Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed Vent Review

Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed Vent

This Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed Vent is another good choice for those who like heavy rides, uneven terrain, and long-distance cruising.

They have wonderful speed acceleration and more inertia than a lot of wheels in the same category.

Push them once and forget about it for some time – the wheels roll forever, it seems.

This model offers the agility and ability to move like the smaller wheels and the grip and speed of a large, monumental wheel.

Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed Vent Review, Pros and Cons

Features

With these large, speedy wheels, you’re getting:

  • Large contact patch.
    With the 85mm diameter comes 52mm contact patch that offers more grip and stability, given your board is long enough;
  • Various durometers.
    You can choose between 75a, 77a, 79a, and modifications that fall somewhere in-between. Such wheels are great for high-speed downhill riding, and if you’re not accelerating this set to 50mph, you’re losing a lot of fun;
  • Sharp lips.
    Sharp lip profile gets you some extra stability, again, great for long-distance cruising and downhill riding.

This is not the best set for freeride setups or small longboards. So make sure you have a board large enough for these wheels.

Use these for carving, downhill riding at high speeds, and cruising, and you’ll see what it means to have a butter-smooth ride without having to push the board farther all the time. Extra inertia should be one of the priorities when choosing cruising wheels.

These wheels will also lock you into corners without trouble, as soon as you get used to them. Even at low speeds, you’ll still feel the stability the manufacturer claims this model to have due to the heavier weight and size.

Seismic SG_B00W2DIDT8_US Speed Vent
Via: @coboboards

The only downside of this model is the price that might be quite a lot for beginners who don’t know what kind of wheels they need.

Main Features

  • For Long-Distance Cruising & Downhill Riding
  • Extra Inertia & Stability
  • Wonderful Speed Acceleration
  • Good Grip & Balance
  • Butter-Smooth Ride
  • Large 85mm Diameter
  • 52mm Contact Patch
  • 3 Durometers: 75a, 77a, 79a
  • Sharp Lip Profile

Pros:

  • Extra inertia
  • Durability
  • High-quality paint
  • Great for long-distance cruising
  • Good grip and balance

Cons:

  • Pricey wheels

5. Fireball Beast Review

Fireball Beast

High quality and durability are two terms that describe this wheelset in the best way.

Fireball Beast makes sure every wheel is manufactured to be of the top level.

Heavy-duty materials make them tough but not literally heavy to staple you to the ground when you need high speed.

Features

Buying these beasty, tough wheels, you get these qualities:

Fireball Beast Review, Pros and Cons
  • SlidePrepped.
    SlidePrepped is a trademark of the company that implies exclusive sandstone grinding of every wheel, removing the coat and providing great sliding capabilities right out of the box;
  • 3 durometers.
    The wheels are quite hard, and you can choose just how: 81a (white), 84a (red), 87a (black). Such wheels provide more response and sliding ability, which might not be the best choice for cruisers;
  • Beveled edges.
    Another feature for sliding: sharp beveled edges provide consistency and great looks. Such bevels help you get over all kinds of uneven terrain and slide smoothly even there;
  • Sideset core.
    You get sufficient balance and sliding break-ins;
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee.
    The manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee or a full refund if you get a defected wheel or aren’t completely satisfied with the work of the set.

While most aforementioned wheels are more for downhill riding and cruising, these will suit you if you’re into slides and have quite a lot of experience.

Wheels that are good for sliding are also more difficult to control, so this might not be the best choice for beginners.

Main Features

  • Sufficient Balance, Optimal Slide & Grip
  • High Quality & Durability
  • Heavy-Duty Materials
  • SlidePrepped
  • Sharp Beveled Lips
  • Sideset Core
  • 76mm Diameter
  • 49mm Contact Patch
  • 3 Durometers: 81a, 84a, 87a
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Pros:

  • Affordable price
  • Smooth ride
  • Sufficient balance
  • Offset core
  • Various durometers
  • Quick acceleration
  • Satisfaction guarantee by the manufacturer

Cons:

  • Might be difficult to control at high speeds

Best Longboard Wheels Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Option

Here’s a detailed guide on the choice of the best wheels for your longboard. Before we start, hold on for a sec and think about the style you want to master using your new wheels. When you get an idea on the topic, proceed to the guide.

The choice of the best wheels for your longboard
Via: @esk8.brasil

Wheel Shapes

Wheel shape or profile consists of three characteristics:

  • Diameter.
    The golden rule is that larger wheels equal faster speed and smaller wheels equal better acceleration. There’s a small difference in the diameter that may give you one or the other. For instance, 70-75mm wheels are great for medium boards, and a 75mm wheel will provide better overall speed, while the 70mm one will accelerate better. There are wheels up to 101mm, but when buying large options, you have to pay attention to potential wheelbite.
  • Contact patch.
    This is a part of the wheel that actually touches the ground. A narrower patch gives more sliding ability and less grip, while a larger one offers more grip and less flat spots, which is a priority when you’re into cruising and downhill riding.
  • Edge profile.
    Edge or lip profile is also responsible for either more grip or more slide. Sharp lips are quite grippy, good for fast carving and downhill riding. Beveled edges offer a slight angle – the difference between the contact patch and the actual width. They are better for slides yet provide quite a lot of grip as well. If you’re into sliding and hard carving, round edges should be your choice. They provide less grip but are super responsive.

Core Type and Positioning

The core houses the bearings that are responsible for a wheel rolling in the first place. It also works on heat dissipation within the wheel so that the bearings don’t melt the urethane (given they are lubed and cleaned).

External cores are better for that rather than internal cores.

A high-quality core prevents egging and other deformities that might occur after some time.

Core position within the wheel is also important:

  • Centerset cores are in the very middle of the wheel. They allow you to flip the wheels when they start to cone, thus prolonging their life. The overall wear of the wheel is also slower since your weight pushes on it evenly.
  • Sideset cores are very close to the side of the wheel, offering a great sliding ability due to the extra support for the inside edge. Such wheels are usually used for freeriding. They also cone faster and can’t be flipped.
  • Offset cores are somewhere in the middle, between centerset and sideset ones. This type provides a powerful grip, yet finding the right spot might be difficult, so there’s no single proper offset position.

Wheel Durometer

A number with an “a” after it, is the measure of softness or durometer. Higher numbers equal harder wheels. Usually, longboard wheels are somewhere between 75a-85a, while skateboard ones are around 90a-101a.

Longboard wheels have to be softer because:

  • They give more grip;
  • They provide stability;
  • They handle uneven surfaces;
  • They keep you safe at high speeds.

Skateboard wheels, on the other hand, have to provide maximum responsiveness and great speed on smooth surfaces.

If you’re into downhill riding, choose wheels between 75a-78a. They will provide a lot of traction but will also wear quite quickly.

Wheel Durometer
Via: @burningspiderstokecompany

You will also handle rough surfaces better and have less response from the longboard, meaning you can lean a bit, and the board won’t turn like crazy.

If you’re into cruising and carving, go for 78a-82a. They will provide enough grip and ability to turn fast when needed. Also, if cruising around town, there will be more smooth surfaces, for which a harder wheel will be the best.

Stoneground or Finished Surface

The state of the wheel’s contact patch is also responsible for grip and sliding capabilities. Usually, when a wheel is out of the mold, it has a thin finish coat that is very grippy. With time, it wears out, and you start to slide better.

But some manufacturers offer to stoneground the wheels as a finishing touch so that you don’t have to break them in. Such wheels are called stoneground or pre-broken in.

Wheelbite

If the wheels are too large for the deck, they will touch it and create friction or stop the board completely. This may happen at the least suitable moment and become a risk to your safety.

Before choosing the wheels, make sure they are in a proper ratio with the deck. There are several ways to solve the wheelbite problem:

  • Buy a deck with wells and cutouts;
  • Customize your deck with those wells and cutouts;
  • Opt for smaller wheels – every several millimeters will solve the issue;
  • Put risers to make the wheelbase taller;
  • Tighten your trucks.

Maintaining the board and wheels will also help prevent wheelbite due to wear and tear of longboard parts.

Maintaining the board and wheels
Via: @mario_mister50_enriquez

Cheatsheet: What Wheels are the Best for My Board?

Here’s a cheat sheet for those who need to make a decision fast:

  • For sliding and freeriding, you need loose wheels with a predictable slide. Opt for strong, affordable wheels since they aren’t going to last for a long time if you slide a lot. Choose a narrow contact patch, round profile, up to 72mm diameter. If you want flippable wheels, centerset is your best choice. For the best slide, sideset wheels are great. Don’t go for high-end, expensive wheels, since even the highest quality of urethane will be left on the road after lots of sliding abuse;
  • For all-around longboarding and cruising, look for large wheels on the softer side. 70mm+, 78a+ durometer will be great for cruising, and if you need some turns and slides, go for beveled or round profile. Keep in mind, though, that there are no universal wheels that are the best for any style. You have to sacrifice either turnability or grip. Think about your priorities and make a move depending on them.
  • For downhill riding, you need maximum comfort and stability at high speeds. Go for soft wheels (78a and less), 70-80mm in diameter. Keep in mind that such wheels usually wear out quickly, so invest in high-quality urethane. Choose something that will give you all the control, a very predictable set with flexible, square lips, and a sideset core. These will give you maximum traction and comfort. Expect such wheels to be more expensive – they are larger, and the material is of top quality. High-end urethane that allows for amazing traction and smooth, fully-controlled slides are the best for downhill riding.

Why Spend So Much Time Picking the Right Wheels?

Wheels are different for a reason, as well as decks, and even shoes you wear when longboarding! So why choose a random set if you can customize the choice and get something that will make your board perfect for the purpose.

Choosing the right wheels will make it easier to control the board
Via: @_chilistyle_

Here are some points to persuade you:

  • The wheels are responsible for how smooth your rides will be;
  • They are also responsible for your safety at high speeds, providing enough traction to keep you from drifting;
  • A proper set will help you learn how to ride faster, even if it’s your first time on a longboard;
  • Using proper wheels for your riding style will prolong their lifespan, justifying your investment.

See? Choosing the right wheels will make it easier to control the board and achieve the smoothest ride possible, no matter whether you’re a beginner or a professional.

Best Longboard Wheels

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