Longboard Wheels vs. Skateboard Wheels (Core Differences & Similarities)

Many newbie in skateboarding often need clarification about whether they should to try regular skateboard or longboard. To pick the proper discipline, you need to understand the differences between these two types.

While both skateboard and longboard are just two forms of the same thing, there are some differences, and one of the biggest ones is the wheels and trucks department.

In this article, I’ll discuss about the wheels setup for longboard and skateboard, point out the differences & similarities for you.

So, without wasting any time, let’s begin. 

skateboard vs longboard wheels
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Skateboard Wheels Overview

Skateboard wheels are an integral part of the setup made of polyurethane. Skateboard wheels vary in color, size, and durability level.

There are two ways you can measure a skateboard wheel. You either check the diameter or measure it with the durometer. How you measure depends on your style and preferences.

skateboard wheel overview
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The durometer is a crucial differentiating point for skate wheels. It’s the primary parameter to decide whether a particular wheel is suitable for a skateboard or a longboard. You’ll also find a dual durometer wheel used by experienced skaters for a more tailored experience.

Skateboard wheels also have different contact patches. Depending on the size and width of the board, you’ll need a larger or smaller contact patch to divide the weight evenly.

Specialty & Features Of Skateboard Wheels

Now that you know the details of skateboard wheels let’s discuss their specialty and features. This section will give you a better insight into skateboard wheels.

  • Skateboard wheels usually ranges between 50 to 75 mm diameter. The smaller the wheel, the slower it’ll be, with a quicker acceleration.
skateboard wheel diameter chart
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  • The hardness of the skateboard wheel is an essential factor as it affects the speed and grip of the wheel. The durometer usually ranges between 80a to 101a. The higher the durometer, the harder the wheel will be.
skateboard durometer
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  • After the diameter and hardness come the shape and the contact patch of the skateboard wheel. If you rid a big skateboard, you’ll need a wider wheel to distribute your weight evenly.

Longboard Wheels Overview

I have discussed the skateboard wheels above, and the longboard wheels are almost similar. There are different types of material, but polyurethane is widely accepted and the most common on longboards.

longboard wheel diameter
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There are different diameters, contact patches, and widths on wheels too.

Bigger wheels, again, has better top speed and smoothness, while smaller wheels have better acceleration and sliding. The cores are different, too, for longboard wheels. This core maintains the wheel’s integrity and prevents flat spots.

Lastly, you’ll notice different types of grips on a longboard wheel. There are hookups and progressive grip. The first gives you an excellent sliding experience with pre-drift, while the latter has a more predictable slide with better control.

Specialty & Features Of Longboard Wheels

Longboard wheels have the same features and specialties as skateboard wheels. However, the numbers are different here.

Let’s have a look.

  • Longboard wheels have the same diameter range as skateboard wheels. However, most longboard wheels are between 64 to 80 mm, while 70 mm is the most common diameter. This range gives you the perfect balance between acceleration and speed.
  • The hardness of longboard wheels is different too. The durometer usually ranges between 78a to 85a. It provides decent grip and speed on surfaces longboards are used on.
durometer range
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Durometer Range
  • The contact patch refers to the area of the wheel contacting the ground. The longboard wheel’s patch ranges between 30mm to 70mm. However, around 50 mm contact patch is the common range as it provides enough grip and prevents sliding.

Similarities Between Skateboard & Longboard Wheels

Skateboard and longboard wheels are not all that different. That’s why you can use them interchangeably. There are a lot of similarities too. For starters, you’ll notice that most of the wheels on the market are made of polyurethane, whether a skateboard or longboard wheel.

On top of that, you’ll notice that both wheels can have similar cores, be they center set, backset, or offset cores.

The bearings are a crucial part of skateboard wheels, and both types can also share the same rated bearings. This rating ranges between ABEC 5 to ABEC 9, and you can use any of them in your wheels, whether it’s a skateboard or longboard.

What are the core differences between skateboard wheels and longboard wheels?

Longboard and skateboard wheels share the same attributes and can be used interchangeably. But there is little difference between them.

  • Trucks: If we look at the truck setup, skateboards have rigid and narrow trucks for grinding and tricks. On the other hand, longboards have flexible truck setups for a smoother and more flexible ride.
  • Wheels: Longboards are meant for transportation and cruising, so they end with larger and softer wheels for balance and grip. On the other hand, skateboards have smaller and harder wheels for grinding and shredding.
  • Contact Patch: We can see a difference in terms of the contact patch too. Longboards usually have wider contact patches for better weight distribution on the deck. In contrast, the skateboard’s contact patch is relatively smaller.

Can You Use Skateboard Wheels In A Longboard (Or vice versa)

If you look at the features and specialties I discussed above; you can see skateboard and longboard wheels have a lot of similarities. Because of that, you can use skateboard wheels in longboards and vice versa.

However, look for the diameter and durometer as they differ for longboard skateboard wheels.

Last Words

That’s a wrap for today. My comparison between longboard wheels & skateboard wheels should give you a fair idea of the characteristic of each wheel type. Skateboarding has the most variety than ever, and the types of wheels can get confusing sometimes.

Now that you know the differences between the wheels, you should better understand which type of skateboarding will be better suited for you.

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