A proper skateboard wheel will transform how you lock into grinds and how a board responds when cornering turns.
The fastest skateboard wheels are Bones STF V3. A skinny wheel reduces contact surface, providing less resistance which increases slide performance for blazing top speeds. A wheel that’s good for popping tricks and blasting down streets.
Skateboard wheels have various profiles. They develop specific formulas to integrate all territory, at the park, or on the streets. To clarify their differences, let’s review how to choose the best ones.
How To Choose The Best Skateboard Wheels
What type of skateboarding are you into? Do you like street skating, practicing at the park, or cruising? A great skateboard wheel encompasses 4 critical factors.
- Wheel Profile
Fastest Skateboard Wheels For Street
The sidewalks and streets in Burlington are rough, and I love street skating. I’ve been a great fan of Rictas and Spitfires, although time occurred to investigate something different. My current wheels felt chalky and heavy, after researching reviews, these have outperformed any other wheels I’ve had for street skating.
Bones “Easy Streets” STF (Street Tech Formula)
Bones “Easy Streets” are new technology released in 2019. Without delay I included these to one of the best wheels I’ve had in a minute. They design harder wheels which form a faster wheel unlike spitfire. Although I have preference over how others felt when cruising.
- Wheel Profile: Medium
- Formula: Street Tech Formula
- Shape: V1 And V5
- Durometer: 103a And 99a
Two variants are available
- V1 standard (classic shape) good for all-around skating. They arrive in either 103a and 99a durometers.
- V5 sidecuts (Conical shape). The V5’s are wider for better surface contact which increases speed and versatility. These wheels are best for ledge, rail, and bowl skaters. The sidecuts are available only in 99a durometer.
Softer urethane than the previous STF 103A, constructed with softer plastic that differ from the competition. Between the Spitfire Formula fours I had previously, the ride quality is quieter, smoother, and faster. The Easy Streets don’t flat-spot, and considerably more durable than Spitfire F4s.
Remember, the best skateboard wheel for street skating allow for perfect grip and slide without diminishing speed and performance on rough cement or asphalt surfaces.
Quick Wheels For Indoor Parks/Smooth Surfaces
During frigid winters, I put in loads of time at Talent skatepark. Without TALENT, I’m positive my motivation to skate again come springtime would be non existent. The atmosphere was mellow, the flow of the park with the slick surface was challenging but not overbearing.
One issue that affected my skating was chewed up wheels. Eventually, the shop owner suggested a set of park wheels. At the time this made no sense because I didn’t experience the differences.
I saved up for park wheels, and another for street skating for summertime. This saved me from burning through wheels.
Best Performing Skateboard Wheels For Parks
I was a high school student only working a couple hours a week. Every week tossing money in a jar for skateboard parts. One time after school, one local I knew offered a ride to Burlington to skate.
At this point I was pretty taken aback by his offer, but Cody is an awesome, respectful human being. His skill level in skating were on the way to pro-level, this was a moment to talk ladies, and skateboarding! At the end of the day, I obtained insight, and excellent suggestions to try out. To this day, these have been two wheels he suggested that I’ve had major benefit with, and will share here now.
Spitfire Formula 4 Classics
The Spitfire OG are a classic are a staple in the skateboarding industry. A brand with true dedicated followers so passionate they have Spitfire logo tatted on their chest. There’s a great reason to LOVE Spitfire- their formula is top notch and original.
- Wheel Profile: Medium
- Formula: Formula Four
- Shape: Classic
- Durometer: 99a And 101a
First off, let’s remember cruisers are utilized for two reasons. This is vital to choose the appropriate wheels for either setup.
- First is for commuting from point A to point B pushing and carving only.
- Second, is a cruiser setup as close to a proper setup to perform tricks.
In addition, you might prefer a wheel that’s useful for sliding, or a wheel that sticks to the ground with excellent traction.
You can also use longboard wheels on a typical setup if you are seeking bigger wheel (60mm+)
An excellent option for the #1 case will take on rough road conditions, with larger sizes 60mm-65mm. In this situation opt for Santa Cruz Slimeballs. This is a highly versatile wheel that slides well, great rebound, and would recommend these to any filmers out there.
Second option we can consider for all around skating are Ricta Clouds. The Ricta crystals were the first wheels I’ve ever had. Although the see-through appearance didn’t last long, the ride was even better. These are one of my favorite wheels because they are a perfect balance for the territory I’m accustomed to. What’s even better is size options ranging from 52mm-60mm.
The quality produces a pleasant ride that soaks up bumps without sacrificing popping tricks.
Fast Wheels for Transition Skateboarding
Transition skating (ramps & quarter pipes) call for a good size wheel. A smaller profile wheel is tough to sustain speed, therefore bigger wheels are best on steep ramps/pools. The perfect fit would be a 54mm (most popular size).
Tips For Choosing wheels for transition skating
Bigger wheels increase chances of wheel bite, and by increasing the center of gravity, causes a hassle. A solution would raise the board by inserting riser pads.
Bones are one of the fastest wheels and offer tech for both skatepark and street skating. Their SPF (Skatepark Formula) durometers are 84b (hardest) and a softer 81b. Major differences between the two are, a step up in grip, and control. The 81b are comparable to Spitfire F4 99’s.
Few reviews I could locate on other than fourms, but a good solid wheel for transitions.
Don’t Forget Upgrading Deck And Trucks
Start off with a wider board (8.5+) to increase stability and grip carving through transitions. You will want to have greater control pumping corners and up ramps without flying off your board.
Others may recommend basing size by shoe size or height. If you have smaller feet (size 7-10) a size 8.0 fits well.
Consider “hi” trucks to avoid against sticking to the coping.
A longer board has benefited me by supporting more room so my feet aren’t stuck at the nose of the board the entire time.
Spitfire VS Bones
Many debate between two most popular brands, and this doesn’t matter. However, what matters is trying them out yourself, and long behold you will sway preference between one or the other… or both! Let’s review what they offer.
Known for their classic style wheel, Spitfire come with 2 durometers and 7 shapes.
- Faster than a 53 or 54 Classic and 53 Conical and weigh less than both. Superb when trying to lock into grinds and slides.
- Radials are Spitfires widest wheels with round edges for maximum grip and longer roll time.
- Conical fulls keep you glued to the ground. You’ll mash through rough terrain better than the Classics.
- They feel heavier with extra weight towards the edge of the board which feels weird doing flip tricks.
- For those that like longer slides and grinds without slipping out, locking asymmetrical shape proves to get the job done.
- Taking it back to the beginning where it all began with Spitfire OG Classics. We know them for classic shape, feel and all around skateablility. Although, the originals (non-F4) aren’t as durable and are prone to chips and flat spots, in this case, always go formula four.
A harder wheel with tons of diverse riding platforms.
Street Tech Formula
Made for street skateboarding and arrive in 6 shapes.
- V1 Standard for all-around skating
- V2 Locks are tighter profile for slides
- V3 Slims narrow wheel for speed and best for trick skaters
- V4 Wide for ultimate stability
- V5 Sidecuts larger profile than V2 locks
- V6 Widecut are Bones widest wheel
- Skatepark Formula
- Sidecut reduce drag for longer grinds
- Fatties wider profile
- All-Terrain Formula presents a softer design ready to battle any terrain even with the softer format.
- Rough Riders great for cruising, although few reviews mention them falling apart too soon.
- 100s are a main entry level wheel, many suggest continuing with STF formula instead.