Posts Tagged ‘longboard wheels’

Purchased from your local hardware store!

What will you need?
-5/16-18×2″ bolt
-5/16-18 wingnut
-Two old skate bearings
-Skate Tool

But why?
Sure, you could just mash the wheels into the bearings using your trucks…but that has the drawback of putting all of the force onto the inner bearing races, which can cause brinneling, and lead to increased friction, premature wear and tear, and ultimately, slower speeds and less longevity. A commercial, shop-quality bearing press works on the principle of pressing the outer race into the wheel core, which means that there isn’t any inadvertent wear-and-tear on the innards of the bearing, and that the bearings will be properly seated, as perpendicular as possible to the axle. Oh yeah, that’s another thing too: Mashing the wheels onto the bearings, especially when using high-quality wheels like Spitfire or Bones can mean that the bearings don’t sit perpendicular to the wheel core. Using a press will alleviate that concern, at least a little. I like buying quality and taking care of my goods, so I devised this bearing press of my own accord.

Take your old bearing and slide it onto the 2″ bolt…This will act as a support for the new, good bearing that you’re going to install:

As pictured above, when the old bearing is on the bolt, get your good bearings (the blue ones) ready to go. We’ll be including a spacer here for good practice. Slide the good bearing onto the bolt, so that the blue part is touching the old bearing, then slide the bearing spacer onto the bolt as well. This provides an interface for the wheel to slide onto as well. Don’t worry about tightening the wheel too much at this point.

Once you get the wheel snugged onto the first good bearing, slide the second one onto the wheel, as pictured above. If you spend some time getting these lined up properly, that’ll provide a good, solid, secure interface between the wheel core and the bearings. What this translates to is faster speeds and less wear and tear on your bearings.

Get your second old bearing set up in place on the bolt, then get the wingnut snugged into place Shouldn’t be too hard, the length of the bolt should allow a thread or two to stick out and grab onto the wingnut.

From there, bust out your skate tool. My trusty Alpha Micro helped out taking these pictures. Use the leverage from the skate tool on the bolt’s head as well as the wingnut to press those good (again, blue) bearings in place. When they’re properly seated, remove the wingnut and enjoy your handiwork.

Again, compiling some tidbits and information from various sources around the internet.  Edits and clarifications are highlighted in bold:

 

Kryptonics were an OG downhill longboarding wheel that came in a few different shapes.  There had almost always been others, but Kryptos have been a constant in longboarding since the 1970’s. They were among the first rollerskate core wheels that performance-oriented longboarders (that’s you) turned to for things like downhill and slalom racing. Hence, the 8mm core spacing, which varies from the standard skateboard wheel spacing of 10mm.

The Kryptonics vented Racecore wheels spawned (or shared the same mold with) many newer, contemporary wheels throughout the years: Landy Hawgz, Landy Aqua Hawgz (same as 85mm Hawgs, only with rain grooves lathed into the wheel surface), Gravity Fu Manchus, Freebord Slashers, Soda Factory Hesher Snowballs, Satori Movement Goo Balls, and undoubtedly several others.

The smaller Kryptonics Classics were modernized and given a modern skateboard (10mm) core with Gravity Drifters and Cult Converters. Though, racking my brain, I can’t honestly confirm if the Drifters and various Cult wheels were actually taken from the Krypto Classic shape, or simply “inspired by.”

Kryptonics C62’s were one early slalom choice (early as in “early revival”…’98 to ’02). Abec11 Stingers were one of their first performance wheels, to be replaced later on by Grippins. Stingers were, as I understand it, built around yet another 8mm Kryptonics core.  Even in 2019, you can still buy rollerskate wheels that are nearly identical to the Abec11 Stinger, even though the Abec11 wheel has been out of production for a long-ass time:

The lips are obviously different, but those are often adjusted in the factory post-production

 

Hyper Wheels made rollerskate wheels that were adapted to longboard use as well, also with the 8mm core. The Hyper Super Mundo was the wheel that Gary Hardwick set his Guinness World Speed Record on (of a paltry 62mph or thereabouts…many DH’ers left his record intact and didn’t pursue Guinness approval for almost a decade after his death to honor his memory). The Super Mundo was based off of a wheel called Pakololo, from Germany, which had some kind of connection with Cliff Coleman. The Super Mundo had square, sharp lips…and Gravity marketed the same wheel with rounded corners as the Super G. Gravity left sharp lips on the wheel and had it poured in either 95a or 97a and sold it as the Super Slider. These cores resembled the Kryptonics Racecores, but the Hyper cores were a little more squared off and exaggerated. Now, Gravity redid the Super G’s and Super Sliders in 2006 or 2007 and closed off the exposed cores.

Hyper and Kryptonics are still making rollerskate wheels, so even in the deepest darkest (which I don’t think we’ll hit anytime soon) (though according to some, we have), we’ll have some sort of performance wheels available.

Various tidbits collected from around the internet and curated right here.  Direct quotes from NCDSA.com are italicized, my notes are in bold, and the plain print are attributions to the sources of the quotes:

Per Chris Chaput on NCDSA:
It appears that TA has a tendency to pick wheel duros that work better on the round wall than the flatlands. As a matter of fact, he really likes the VertZ (96a). He put them onto some boards that he brought onto the set of Lords Of Dogtown and Fox Studios. So if you see the green wheels in the TA/Stacy interview that appears on the new special edition Dogtown & Z-Boys DVD, or you saw the Best Damn Sports Show with TA and Stacy, you know where they came from.

There were a bunch of 3dm wheels made to look like Road Riders and/or Powerflexes. You can see them in some pool scenes, HB and LB. What I still don’t get, is why the book, the trailer, and even the movie featured this shot of Adam Alfaro on a concave double-kicked deck with little white radiused wheels. Adam rips, but this was the biggest lapse in “authenticity” that I could see. maybe they just wanted to see if we were paying attention…

96a Vertz and the translucent red 3dm (Seismic) wheels were made as movie props for Lords Of Dogtown

 

From Jack Smith:
I coordinated the production of the original run of “prop wheels”, which were supposed to be poured in a low to mid 80’s durometer. However, at the last minute TA told the props department that wheels should be in the mid 90’s. Thus creating the slipping and sliding that Chris writes about.

3DM Cambrias were also poured in translucent colors for use in the film. My friend Adrian Pina and I spent many hours in my garage lathing the name off the wheels. Actually, I watched, while Adrian did the work.

Dan at 3DM just poured a bunch more of these in translucent red.

Mark, I’ve seen the film numerous times, the “wow” wheels you speak of, clearly have loose ball races.
A number of different wheels were used in the movie. It’s difficult to say for sure from the pictures and movie clips, but I believe that the wheels in the Zephyr shop that are being held up do have loose ball races in them. Other “reissue” types of wheels were used, some of which had loose balls and some of which had precision bearings. Whenever precision bearings were used on a board in a closeup, we’d have the shields removed from the bearings and the cages orientated to resemble loose ball bearings.

The prop wheels were pretty hard and slippery, making it really difficult to perform some of the tricks on the ramps at Del Mar and Huntington Beach. I had choreographed routines for the freestyle competitions, and I wanted us to be able to carve and spin without sliding out. I made the first Retro wheels by cutting down some 60mm NO SkoolZ in 81a and dying them yellow, which had them turning out a brownish amber color. I showed Alva how we were able to stick the turns on the slippery freestyle area, and he asked to try my board. After a couple of laps he came back and asked me if I had any more for Victor and Adam, the actor and double who play Tony. “I just happen to have a couple extra sets in my bag”. The next day, I was distributing wheels for the Stacy’s, the Jay’s, and the props department. They’d use the hard wheels for some of the slides, and my wheels for everything else. They even spray painted mine to look like clay wheels for the early scenes including the one behind the bus.

Trust me on this point, NO ONE MISSES LOOSE BALL BEARINGS. Or stripping out baseplates, or solid oak cracking down the bolt holes… II coordinated the production of the original run of “prop wheels”, which were supposed to be poured in a low to mid 80’s durometer. However, at the last minute TA told the props department that wheels should be in the mid 90’s. Thus creating the slipping and sliding that Chris writes about.

3DM Cambrias were also poured in translucent colors for use in the film. My friend Adrian Pina and I spent many hours in my garage lathing the name off the wheels. Actually, I watched, while Adrian did the work.

Dan at 3DM just poured a bunch more of these in translucent red.

Mark, I’ve seen the film numerous times, the “wow” wheels you speak of, clearly have loose ball races.

 

More from Chaput:
A number of different wheels were used in the movie. It’s difficult to say for sure from the pictures and movie clips, but I believe that the wheels in the Zephyr shop that are being held up do have loose ball races in them. Other “reissue” types of wheels were used, some of which had loose balls and some of which had precision bearings. Whenever precision bearings were used on a board in a closeup, we’d have the shields removed from the bearings and the cages orientated to resemble loose ball bearings.

Somewhere on NCDSA, there’s a post about how NoSkoolz were a modern reproduction of the Bel-Air Lip Bombs, which were Chaput’s pro model wheel from the 1970’s.  Above, we learn that those were used in 81a urethane for Lords Of Dogtown.  I was unable to find the direct quote, but I found some pictures:

Darn close, eh?

On the wheel that became Retro Bertz:
They are going to be ready in one week, barring any disasters at the factory. The molds are done. The artwork is done. We’ll commit to the color and pour enough for everyone.

These work really well with older and/or narrower trucks like a MidTrack, Indy 101 or Invader. That setup is really fun on a single kick deck with little to no concave. They make for really “zippy” little cruisers. You can do old-school tricks and slalom on them too. I’ll report back when I have them in my hot little hands.


Also part of that conversation was a little blurb about how Tony Alva himself commissioned the old amber 95a Cadillac wheels that were reissued up until about 2009.  And, for those who haven’t seen LoDT a thousand times like I have, the wheels that Mitch Hedberg presents to the shop in the “urethane…it comes from oil…and it grips,” are Abec11 Bertz.  The Cadillacs are seen in a few of the scenes where Alva is getting pictures taken for a magazine.

And the post that started it all:
From the webmaster..

The Lords of Dogtown movie will be released to widespread distribution on 03-Jun-2005, and I believe it will have a significant impact on old school skateboarding, possibly (and finally) upsetting the undue dominance that street and vert skating have enjoyed of late.

This forum will serve as a space to discuss the movie and its impact.

www.sonypictures.com/movies/lordsofdogtown/
Lords Of Dogtown debuted in 2005, in the swirling flotsam of a bunch of stoked old guys getting together and forming all these skate sites and forums that we all grew to love (Mile High Skates was opened as a source for old guys to buy pool boards and LoDT reissue gear), which of course set into motion the events that led to LONGBOARDING as we knew it in 2014.

As mentioned in a few previous posts, I was fortunate enough to be able to compare 70mm 80a wheels from both Orangatang and Abec11, on identical setups, on a controlled course.  Couple of key notes from my head-to-head comparisons:
-Abec11 Reflex urethane has a LOT of residual energy in the wheel.  With Urethane, as noted in one of the “Hi Kids” articles, you’ve got compression and rebound.  Compression, in a wheel, is how soft the leading edge is.  This’ll help you ride smoother.  Rebound is how quickly the trailing edge pops back into shape, and helps you hold speed better.  During carving and sliding, compression will let the sharp lips lift up and let you slide easier; rebound will keep those lips firm and maintain their structure, giving you tons of grip.  Abec11 Reflex urethane is VERY rebound-forward, to a point where it almost feels out of control compared directly to Orangatang.
-Orangatang urethane is the opposite side of the coin:  Very compression forward and drifty.  The shape is grip oriented, but the urethane is drifty.  The leading edge of the wheel deforms more than Abec11 urethane, and softens and mellows the ride…It’s a lot more forgiving on urban sidewalks, but gets a little weird when you try to push it onto drifts and slides.

And now, onto the main event:  My actual words that were posted on Silverfish circa 2008 (shortly after Orangatang wheels hit the market):

zig vs. otang…70mm, 80a for both…that’s lime zigs and otang 4-prez for you unsofistimicated folk

 

first impression…just kicking around, the otangs feel less “squirrely.”  to me, on zigs you have to consciously maintain your foot position on the board, or else it might go a bit wonky if you have a less-than-perfect kick in there.  with the otangs, i didn’t feel that…i felt like i could comfortably throw most caution to the wind and kick like a fool. also, the otangs seemed to roll farther on the shitty stretch of road on my commute…bear in mind, the road still felt just as shitty and rocky, if not moreso, but the board rolled farther with every kick.

 

my conclusion:

the otangs feel big and smooth like a luxury yacht; the zigs feel fast and nimble, like a ski boat.  if you’re stuck between lime zigs and 4-prez just on a STRICTLY cruising board, it’s not really worth the extra money for the otangs.

 

further reviews and conclusions to come

The comments on “squirrely” were about the rebound-forward feel of Abec11.  And, mentioned in my Orangatang Equipment Review, these posts were written through the lens of me being bitter and jaded at the Silverfish Hype Machine, and not making Orangatangs be the best wheel I’d ever ridden.  As I’ve grown and matured, I realize the shortsightedness of that perspective, and have tried to change my way of thinking.  And, I’m diggin’ way back here, but if I’m remembering right, the first review was kicking around town for an hour or so with each wheel.

welp…just got back from a little ol’ DH seshy-sesh.  like everyone’s been saying, the o-tangs are easier to drift out…but, it seemed to me like the zigs held their speed a bit better.  the o-tangs felt like they accelerated quicker, but skived off more speed in the turns (a product of the drift, perhaps).

 

one weird thing i noticed was that it seemed harder to keep control in turns with the otangs.  it’s kinda hard to describe; like the otangs didn’t want to turn. idk what was up, but i found myself consistently nailing lines through the turns on zigs, but on otangs, i was all over the turns (one time even touching a wheel into the grass on the inside of the turn then swinging way wide).  i guess it makes sense, as the zigs are slalom wheels, and therefore meant to be as “turny” as possible, and the otangs were designed just to be a fun wheel.

 

i thought the o-tangs felt a little more enjoyable altogether, but apart from a few small differences like i mentioned above, both wheels did feel quite similar.

 

conclusion?

zigs:

-hold speed better

-hold lines in corners better

-don’t slide as well

 

otangs:

-accelerate quicker

-weird turning (???)

-easier to drift, and control the drift

Part deux!  There was a quarter mile downhill S-curve I’d go to when I wanted to test gear in a controlled environment.  It topped out at maybe 25mph, and had progressively tighter turns; as you got farther down the hill and faster, the turns got tighter…just fast enough to have most every piece of equipment come to life and give just enough insight into how it would react in a downhill setting.  The best description I’ve come up with for the O’tangs being hard to control (especially on those tighter turns) is understeer:  The front wheels (presumably due to the drifty nature of the wheel) had a hard time staying planted, and wanted to go straight.

It’s funny, what you’re saying about the ‘tangs feeling less twitchy [I]sounds[/I] a bit ridiculous to me, but that’s exactly what I first noticed when I switched to purple 4prez from lime BZ’s on my Dervish. While the BigZigs seemed to turn really deep and quick, the 4prez really narrowed up my carves and seem to turn much more gradually.

And that’s a cool bit of insight from Kyle Chin, former brand manager of Loaded Longboards, and was sponsored by Orangatang wheels.  He agreed on the first few points that Zigs felt rocky and a little weirder to push on.  Carving down a hill, like he noted, is where O’tangs shine, as when you’re carving, you’re balanced and centered on the board…My hitch with a more downhill/racing oriented position is that your entire weight is above the front truck.  With all your weight on those front 2 wheels, they’re gonna drift out and pull you straight.

And, a final thought:  My reviews and forum posts are negative towards Orangatangs.  But, results speak for themselves.  I put the 70mm 80a Orangatang 4Presidents onto my commuting board and rode them every day…to and from work, to and from classes, all the way through college.  They got a LOT of love from me.  I sold my 70mm 80a Abec11 Zigzags to a friend and never replaced ’em.

really, they’re overpriced and over hyped on this site…sure, they are good wheels, but they’re not THAT good

 

Equipment Review

How long have you ridden them?

a few months

What Setup are you running them on?

Revenger, Zealous proto trucks, rock’n’rons

Superglider, RTX/S, reds

Typical Discipline?

drifting or cruising

How much did you pay for them?

tradesies

Where did you buy them?

tradesies

What are their weaknesses?

when you’re not drifting a corner, they feel weird like they can’t hold a line. their durability is not worth it, and they’re quite overpriced.

What are their strengths?

really good and solid feeling while pushing; clean, smooth drift

What similar equipment have you ridden?

zigs, flywheels (yeah i’m throwing these in there), 66 and 76mm EW superballs

Would you recommend them?

No
The Silverfish Hype Machine was a very powerful force on the market for several years there, much like Reddit and Instagram are today.  These wheels were one of the first hypeworthy products that I bought, and found out that there’s no possible way for them to be as good as they were hyped to be.  Thus began my long, bitter crusade against anything new and exciting.  And, as a result, this entire review isn’t fair.  I was reviewing the wheels through a lens of disappointment, instead of giving them an objective look.  They’re a drifty urethane that’s poured into a grippy shape, so as mentioned in the review, the front wheel tends to push out and cause ‘understeer’ in certain downhill situations, but that was truthfully the only negative I’d ever experienced on these.  Hell, they were good enough for me to put them permanently on my Superglider, which as noted in that review, is the one board I’ve been actively trying to buy back since I sold it.  If you take one thing from this post, please take away that the review is skewed and is not my best work.

I’ve always wanted a scientific analysis of which pavement is best for sliding…which, I’ve done myself, in a non-scientific way, when I was working in an asphalt lab. But, I presume I’m one of about…oh, one longboarder in the entire country who cares about such things. Based on what I saw in the lab, coupled with my own observations after skating all kinds of roads, the best asphalt is “theoretically” a 5e10 aged about 10 years due to the aggregate content (better for sliding on) and how the binder wears off over the years.  There’s a LOT to grapple with, between the oil-based asphalt binder, and the oil-based urethane of a skateboard wheel.  So, let’s unpack this a little:

Urethane, as shown in the Bushing and Wheel posts, is a complex compound made up of chains of molecules.  It’s the result of a few chemical reactions, similar to baking bread or frying an egg…you can’t just re-heat it and mold it into something else.  You gotta chemically undo those changes, which isn’t exactly possible.  But, that’s what makes urethane so bouncy, slidey, and wonderful.

Rebound is an important aspect of urethane.  The durometer (hardness) of a urethane product, be it a wheel or a bushing, measures how much it’ll deform under a load.  Lower durometer means it’ll deform more…and, as a wheel deforms more over a rough road surface, it’ll dig into all the imperfections and GRIP!  But wait, you ask, what about those molecular chains?  Well, with a soft urethane formula, with weak chains, that’ll make the wheel disintegrate easier…which means it’ll break into a slide easier than a wheel with tougher urethane chains.  And, those weak chains are key to leaving those ‘thane lines on the road that the kiddies love so very, very much.  As far as rebound goes, that’s how fast the original shape reforms after the initial deformation…that’ll make bushings feel a little harder, and wheels feel a little faster (as the wheel deforms and squishes on the front edge, rebound helps the wheel spring back into it’s original shape on the back edge of the wheel, returning energy to rolling, and ultimately feeling faster).  Per the Wheels post (linked above) the “Great wheels” are going to be high rebound, grippy, racing wheels…something akin to an Abec11 Zigzag or a Seismic Speedvent.  And, because urethane plays into retaining the original shape, they’re typically grippier, since the durometer allows them to deform over a rough road surface, but the rebound snaps it back into shape before it begins sliding.

Confused yet?  Hold onto your fillings, man, we’re just getting started!

Wide wheels grip like a mofo…look at Abec11 Centrax, Sector9 Steam Rollers, or Nersh Money Hax.  More real estate between your feet and the road means that more urethane can deform over the road and give you, dear rider, more grip.  So, given that assumption, common sense says smaller contact patch is slidier than a wide one…yet, it’s incredibly difficult to slide an inline skate wheel. Seriously, try it sometime! Fast as fuck, squirrelly like you wouldn’t believe, and grips like there’s no tomorrow.  Comparing rollerblade wheels to longboard wheels, the bearings are the same, the spacing of the hub is the same, hell, the damn core is the same…Labeda’s big money-makers are rollerblade wheels. The first runs of Orangatangs had the same hubs that were in my rollerblades in high school (and people were PISSED at coring their wheels within 10mm of use). I know for a fact that several other longboard brands use rollerblade hubs; there was even a rumor that Earthwing‘s Slide A formula was borrowed from an inline company. So, at least component-wise, rollerblade and longboard wheels are pretty identical. The big difference is shape, which affects the contact patch and overall ride feel.  The rollerblade wheels I used were a fairly typical longboard size and duro (76mm, 80 or 81a), fairly similar to Zigzags or Orangatang 4Presidents. I hit my local hill and tried to slide the board.  I’m sure we’re all familiar with trying to force something to slide and going *TURN*TURN*TURN*HOLYSHITI’MBACKWARDS*.  The rollerblade wheels, at least on the setup I tried, simply would not slide. It was *TURN*TURN*TURN*IFELLOFFTHEBOARDBECAUSEITGRIPPEDTOHARD*   On a rollerblade wheel, the contact patch is only a few millimeters, but it’s located directly underneath the bearings (where the rider’s weight is concentrated), so there’s an immense amount of pressure under that little tiny area. Once you add a sideways component (from sliding), that’s still not strong enough to overcome the insane PSI under the wee little tiny contact patch, so it grips like a mofo…if we extrapolate that out, there’s a going to be a constant battle between the sideways pressure, the downward pressure, and the whole darn wheel oscillating, which probably means it’ll slide like a wet fart…er, not in a good way

So, if wide-ass wheels grip like a mofo, and so do narrow-ass wheels, surely that leaves the shape of the wheel to account for.  Centerset wheels are grippiest, because the rider’s weight is centered exactly in the middle of the wheel, leaving both the inner and outer lips to dig in and grip on the road.  But, sideset wheels are grippiest, because the rider’s weight is concentrated on the inner edge (as we learned from the Wheels post, that’s where the grip comes from), and the outer edge deforms to dig in and grip the road.  But, offset wheels are the grippiest, because it’s got a little flex and deformation to dig into the inner lip, as well as a lot of flex and deformation to dig into the outer lip.  Buuuut, centerset wheels slide the best because the inner and outer lips deform equally and lift up to shed urethane nicely on the road, with the added benefit of being able to rotate the wheels to ensure even wear.  Buuuuuuut, sideset wheels are best for sliding, because the rider’s weight is only concentrated on the inner edge, leaving the rest of the wheel free to glide sideways over the road surface.  Buuuuuuuuuuuut, offset wheels are best for sliding because there’s a little give in each direction, allowing the wheel to dump urethane off of each lip.

Now, where does this leave us?  If every shape of wheel on the market is simultaneously the best and the worst for sliding, how can you know if the wheel you’re looking at is good for sliding?  The answer, not surprisingly, is rather complicated.  But, it’ll help to look at it from the opposite point of view:  Identify what makes a grippy wheel, then eliminate those characteristics to find a slidey wheel.  Grippy wheels are typically (not always) offset or center set, with sharp, machined inner and outer lips, and are made with a long-chained, high-rebound urethane formula.  High-rebound urethane (grippy) is brightly and uniformly colored, while low-rebound (slidey) urethane is a little more subdued, and maybe even a little milky looking.  In Abec11’s line, their Reflex stuff is high-rebound and grippy as hell, identified by bright lime green, lemon yellow, or atomic orange; whereas their Classic urethane in green, pink, or amber, is almost translucent.  Sector9’s Race Formula is high-rebound, and available in bright yellow, orange, or blue; whereas their classic Ghost Thane is very faint, Butterball or Skiddles formula has the same milky quality as classic Abec11 ‘thane.  Orangatang’s purple and yellow offerings are higher rebound than their orange 80a urethane, which is why the 4President and InHeat wheels don’t work as well as they should in 80a (the shapes are grippy as hell, but the urethane formula is slidey)…80a 4prez’s are the only longboard wheel that I’ve ever experienced understeer on, where the back of the board wants to turn, but the front keeps going straight.

And, onto durometer, as though this blog post isn’t convoluted enough already.  Generally speaking, lower durometer (being softer) will grip harder, and a higher durometer (being harder) will slide out easier.  But, when a wheel is too soft (below 77a or so), it’ll just deform and dump ‘thane…meaning, that it’ll slide easier.  On certain perfect surfaces (such as a smooth sidewalk, or a manmade skatepark), a higher durometer (85a or above on a sidewalk, 99a or above in a skatepark) will hold its shape against the perfectly smooth riding surface and grip hard!  When you get a rough surface, the hard wheels will bounce and glide across the surface.  The “sweet spot” for soft wheels is between around 78a and 85a…below that range, you’ll get the urethane dumps and lose grip, and above that range, you’ll get the skidding and sliding.  Between 86a and 94a, wheels are too soft for perfect surfaces, yet too hard for imperfect surfaces.  95a and above is great for ditches, street skating, park skating, and downhill techsliding.

A wise man once told me “If you can ride it, you can slide it,” which is absitively, posilutely true…but, there are myriad options of wheels out there that’ll make it easier on you to slide.  The most important thing is experimentation, and finding what works for you.  Longboarding is still relatively cheap, so save your lawnmowing money and buy a few sets of wheels.  I can’t tell you which specific product to buy, as there are SO many other factors that we didn’t even explore here, that’ll impact grip/slide characteristics.  Wheels are important, yeah, but they’re a small fraction of the chaos that is a longboard.  So, take some of the general guidelines I’ve set forth above, and attack the skateshop with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind!

Hi-Im-a-wheel-1Hi-Im-a-wheel-2Hi-Im-a-wheel-3Hi-Im-a-wheel-4Hi-Im-a-wheel-5

Below, we have an example of centerset and sideset from Abec11’s wheel lineup:  Left to right, we have the Noskool shape, the Grippin shape (basically a Noskool shape with square lips…move the core to the very edge of the wheel for a Flashback shape, as seen in the red sideset wheel above), a Striker or Freeride shape, and a Flywheel core.  Though, looking at the diagrams from SteveC, it looks a LOT like he borrowed from the Abec11 diagrams as well.

coresHi-Im-a-wheel-6Hi-Im-a-wheel-7Hi-Im-a-wheel-8Hi-Im-a-wheel-9Hi-Im-a-wheel-10Hi-Im-a-wheel-11Hi-Im-a-wheel-12

Below, we have some heavily worn wheels from Mig at Fullbag Skates, so you can see how wheels wear directly under the bearing seat.

1509722592_04ba1dfbeb_o