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10 Skateboard Wheels for Beginners – Bought and Tested

Skateboard wheels look the same to beginners, but there are many differences in quality, performance, and the right wheels for the right purpose.

Before we get to the list of the best wheels for beginner skateboarders, it’s important to have a basic understanding of what makes a good wheel, and what to look for.

I’ll keep it simple since I already wrote a huge guide, but I’ll try to cover the most important stuff and what wheels you should look for if you’re new to skateboarding or started recently and are considering different wheels.

This page contains affiliate links that might earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you.

How To Pick Beginner Skateboard Wheels

beginner skateboard wheels

Before we get to the wheels, I I think it’s important to understand skateboard wheels at a basic level. I’m not going to dive into shapes this time but hardness (Durometer), grip, contact patch (riding surface) and size really make a difference.

I tried to make a diverse list that features wheels for cruising and tricks, technical street skateboarding, and skate parks since these are the most common styles.

The right wheels for you depend on what you want to do, where you ride, and how often you plan to go out there.

Figure Out What You Want to Do

If your purpose it to only learn how to ride, go for big and soft wheels. Softer wheels can handle small rocks, cracks and rough terrain way better than harder smaller wheels.

Big and soft wheels also make it easier to learn how to ride as your board will feel much more stable and the larger riding surface or contact patch provides extra grip and makes it easier to keep your balance.

If you already know how to ride properly and want to get into the more technical side of skateboarding, go with harder and smaller wheels. These types of wheels are less bouncy compared to softer wheels and make it easier to land tricks.

If you don’t really know what to get, 99A/53mm or 99A/54mm wheels, this is always a safe choice. You can go down the durometer scale if the terrain you ride is rough. Softer wheels handle rough terrain way better than hard wheels.

From an economic point of view you could consider buying wheels around 54mm, they will wear eventually so once you’re ready for technical tricks they are the perfect size.

Difference in Quality

Not all wheels are the same, they may look the same, but there is a big difference in quality, performance, and purpose. Brands like Bones and Spitfire offer the best wheels on the market because of their mix of quality plastics (polyurethane).

Bones and Spitfire both have excellent quality control and use the best raw materials and manufacturing processes. They are a bit more expensive than other brands, but you’ll get a decent return on investment. Quality wheels don’t flat spot easily and you probably need new cheap wheels sooner than later.

Buying quality wheels will be cheaper in the long run, so if you can afford it, I highly recommend getting quality wheels. If you are on a limited budget and setting up your first board, I would get cheaper wheels and use the money you save to buy quality trucks like Thunder or Independent.

Contact Patch

skateboard wheels differrent sizes

I’m convinced beginners will benefit the most from a larger contact patch. The contact patch is the surface of the wheel that is in contact with the ground.

It helps to distribute your weight over a larger area. A larger contact patch will decrease resistance and results in a smoother ride. More balance, less stress, and less sketchy landings when you try to do your first tricks.

Durometer

I have to admit, when I first started this site, I had no idea about durometer scales. I always asked my friends what wheels to get. It’s pretty simple, actually. Durometer scale is the way we measure the hardness of objects.

Skateboard wheels are mainly measured with the Duro-A scale, but Bones measures wheels using the B-scale.

The closer you get to the end of the Durometer A-scale, the more inaccurate the measurement (there are 4 Durometer scales, skate wheels only use A or B). So this means not all 99A wheels are the same hardness because of the inaccuracy at the end of the scale.

skateboard wheel durometer a scale

That’s why Bones uses the B-scale, some wheels go over the limit of the A-scale but there is not such thing as 101A or 104A, this is actually 81B and 84B. It’s a marketing thing, I guess.

Softer wheels means you have more grip and a smoother ride. This will help you as a beginner to keep your balance. They also are less noisy and distracting when you ride rougher terrain. My opinion is that learning to ride is easier when your wheels aren’t too hard. Once you get better, you have a better understanding of what works for you.

If you can, try to ride other peoples setups so you can feel the difference. As a beginner, I wouldn’t overthink this stuff too much. Just get some wheels from the list that you think will work for you.

Choosing The Right Wheel Size

The best wheel size depends on what you want to do but in general wheels between 53mm and 54mm are a safe choice.

Large wheels are faster compared to smaller wheels. Wheels over 58mm need riser pads to prevent wheelbite. The reason why larger wheels are faster is obviously their size and that they have more leverage over the truck axle. This helps to overcome friction of the axle and bearings.

skateboard wheel size and speed

Larger wheels or often softer and bounce more than smaller harder wheels. The downside is that larger wheels make landing tricks more difficult. It ads extra weight to your setup and makes it harder tospin your board.

If you are looking or speed and just want to cruise, larger (and softer) wheels are the best option. If you only want to do tricks smaller (harder) wheels are the best choice.

10 Best Beginner Skateboard Wheels

Let’s look at wheels that are decent and even superb. I selected wheels for the most common styles, and I’m sure there’s a set of wheels on this list that are perfect for your needs.

There is no wheel to rule them all, but there are some that come close. I’ve selected wheels for cruising, cruising and tricks, transition skateboarding, and technical street skating all with beginners in mind.

Some of you may already know how to ride properly, I got you covered. I also picked a few wheels for people who are just getting into tricks and more technical skating.

1. Ricta Clouds 54mm/92A

Ricta Clouds Wheels

Even though Ricta Clouds are filmer wheels, they are an excellent choice for beginners. At 92A they are soft (or hard) enough to ride both street and skate parks. You will have fewer issues maintaining your balance because of the wide 34mm contact patch.

They are sticky and provide a smooth ride. Pebbles won’t block your wheels and cracks won’t cause you to get thrown off your board. Great for beginners that want to learn how to ride and move up to basic tricks.

Once you get better, I would recommend replacing them with harder wheels, it’s easier to land tricks on harder wheels because they are less bouncy. Check Amazon for availability (affiliate link).

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM) Purpose
52mm31.878A/92A19.4Kids, rough roads
53mm3486A 20.5Rough roads, short commutes
54mm3478A/92A 18.36Cruising (78A), Street/Park, Film
56mm3478A/92A 21.5Cruising (78A) and/or Tricks (92A)
57mm3586A21.5Cruising
60mm4378A32Cruising, Film, requires risers
Ricta Clouds specifications
  • Diameter: 52, 53, 54, 56, 57, and 60mm
  • Durometer: 78A, 86A, 92A
  • Purpose: Street, park, basic tricks, filming

2. Spitfire Conical Full 54mm/99D

spitfire formula four conicall full skateboard wheels

Let’s move on to some quality stuff, which also means they aren’t cheap. I love the Spitfire Conical fulls for their diversity. You can ride these in bowls, skate parks, street, mini ramp, basically anything but vert.

Spitfire classifies these wheels as 99D and I suspect the D stands for Durometer. Even though 99A seems hard, the polyurethane formula (mix of plastics) is of the best possible quality you can get. They don’t feel like 99A but work very well on both rougher surfaces (to some extent) and slippery concrete.

I picked these wheels because of their grip and large contact patch, and they are very forgiving. These wheels will help you stay on your board because of the 34mm contact patch, which is wider than average.

Another benefit is that once you get into power slides, they will not flat spot. It’s almost impossible to flat spot these wheels unless you power slide onto gritty asphalt for a couple of minutes.

These wheels will last you for a very long time and outlast cheaper wheels 3 times (rough estimate). Sure, it’s an investment, but you’ll enjoy them for years.

If you buy them at 54mm, they will wear down to 50- 52mm by the time you are ready to get into more technical skating. Spitfire Conical fulls are the perfect all around skateboard wheels.

If there are a lot of rough surfaces in your local skate park or the area your ride, consider 97D wheels. These are a bit softer and more forgiving.

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM) Purpose
52mm32.599A/101A21Street and park
53mm33.599A/101A 21.5Street and park
54mm3497A/99A/101A 22Street, park , bowl
56mm3697A/99A/101A 25Park, bowl (97A)
58mm3797A/99A/101A 27.3Bowl, vert
Spitfire Conical Full specifications

Check Amazon for availability (affiliate link).

  • Diameter: Sizes: 52mm, 53mm, 54mm, 56mm, 58mm
  • Durometer: 99A, 100A
  • Wheel profile: wide
  • Purpose: Street, Skate Park, Bowl, Mini Ramp

3. OJ Super Juice 78A/55mm/60mm

OJ super juice wheels on a cruiser board

OJ super Juice are my favorite cruiser wheels because of their price and performance. Somehow they fit every setup and provide a super-smooth ride. These aren’t wheels for tricks because they are very soft, but you can pull off a few ollies though.

Tricks will feel bouncy, so if you’re into that, skip these wheels. I think these are the perfect wheels for those who want to learn how to ride with confidence. I own the 60mm version and they are smooth as butter. Cracks, small rocks, twigs aren’t a problem and they roll over them as if they aren’t even there.

They are fast, stable, grippy, forgiving, and cheap. These are the best cruiser wheels on a budget and they have never let me down.

You can slap these on cruisers and regular boards and so far I didn’t need any risers to prevent wheel bite. I ride my trucks pretty loose, but if you’re unsure, get a set of 1/8” risers and 1” hardware.

OJ also offers these in 55mm, while I haven’t tested them I suspect they speed up a bit quicker and make your board more responsive. Check Amazon for availability (affiliate link).

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM) Purpose
55mm32.578A21Cruising, ollie curbs
60mm33.578A21.5Cruising
OJ Super Juice Full specifications
  • Diameter: 55mm, 60mm
  • Durometer: 78A
  • Contact patch: 38mm at 60mm
  • Purpose: Cruising, hopping crubs

4. Bones All Terrain Formula 56mm/80A

Bones ATF skateboard wheels

Jack of all trades, master of none. Bones ATF wheels are great for those who live in an area with a mix of gritty asphalt and concrete.

Even though Bones designed these wheels for rougher terrain, you can skate bowls, mini ramps and slicker surfaces. Transition skating will just require you to push or pump a bit harder because of their sticky nature.

A friend of mine rides these in his local skate park and he’s a skilled street skater. He also does some pretty gnarly stuff in his local concrete bowl. The park is old, and the concrete has lots of cracks and rough spots. If your local park or area resembles this somewhat, Bones ATF wheels are a solid choice.

Because these wheels are relatively soft, they are also excellent cruising/tricks wheels. Sure they are a bit more bouncy like every softer wheel, but at 56mm you’ll be able to land ollies and flip tricks while still have a comfortable ride. You need to be a bit skilled though, softer wheels increase the risk of landing primo.

Avoid power slides, these wheels can flatspot which feels uncomfortable! Great for short commutes and a custom cruising tricks setup. Still available at Amazon (affiliate link).

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM) Purpose
56mm4080A31Cruising, ollie curbs
59mm4080A33Cruising (consider 1/8″ risers)
Bones ATF Rough Riders full specifications
  • Diameter: 56mm and 59mm
  • Width: 56 diameter
  • Durometer: 80A
  • Purpose: rough terrain, skate park, comfy rides, gritty streets, cruising and tricks.
  • Contact patch: 31mm and 33mm

5. Mini Logo C-Cut 52mm/101A

Mini Logo skateboard wheels

Mini Logo may not be the best wheels, but they are cheap and you get a lot of bang for your buck. For those who don’t want to spend too much Mini Logo are highly recommended.

They aren’t made of the best mix of plastics and tend to flat spot, but beginners won’t notice this much. Get these wheels if you want to skate parks and quickly want to move on to technical tricks. Avoid power slides on rougher surfaces, slick surfaces won’t flatspot them but gritty asphalt will.

The 101A wheels are grippy enough to ride concrete and asphalt but offer less stability because of the small contact patch. Mini logo doesn’t list the contact patch size but after measuring myself they are only 18mm.

Are you looking for a budget setup? Slap these mini logos on them and save some money to get better trucks! Currently available at Amazon (affiliate link).

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM) Purpose
50mm30101A17Street, park
51mm31101A17.5Street, park
52mm31101A18Street, park
53mm32101A18.5Street, park
54mm34101A 19Street, park , mini ramp
Mini Logo C-Cuts Full specifications
  • Diameter: 50mm to 54mm
  • Width: 34mm at 53mm
  • Durometer: 101A
  • Contact patch: ..mm at 53mm
  • Purpose: Street and skate park

6. Spitfire Bighead 54mm/99D

Spitfire Bighead skateboard wheels

Let’s move on to some greet street wheels. These may not be perfect for beginners, but I’m sure there are some of you that already know how to ride properly and are ready to move on to more technical stuff.

Spitfire Bigheads are one of the best street wheels you can get (also check out Spitfire Classics!). Go for the 99D/54mm wheels as they offer more grip and stability than the smaller version you see in the image. They are rather small, which makes flipping and landing your tricks a bit easier.

Spitfire offers the best street wheels and these are no exception. Very high-quality wheels that will last for ages!

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM)Purpose
53mm33.599A17Street, park
54mm34.599A17.5Street, park, mini ramp
57mm3599A18Street, park, mini ramp
Spitfire Bighead full specifications

Currently available at Amazon (affiliate link).

  • Diameter: 52mm, 53mm, 54mm
  • Width: 35mm at 54mm
  • Durometer: 99A, 101A
  • Contact patch: 19mm at 54mm
  • Purpose: Street and skate park

7. Orbs Specter Conical Swirls 53mm/99A

Orb Specters skateboard wheels

Perhaps lesser known, but I noticed the Welcome Orbs Specters have quite a large contact patch for such a small wheel. This makes them perfect for beginner street skaters. Extra stability from the wider surface, and super flippy because of their small size.

They also perform reasonably well in bowls and mini ramps, and are perfect for skate parks and technical street skating. They come in various sizes, the larger the wheel the more stability. In general these wheels already have a relatively large contact patch compared to other wheel brands.

Although these wheels are 99A, they do feel a bit softer compared to Spitfire OG 99A. Available on Amazon (affiliate link).

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM)Purpose
52mm31.7599A20.5Street, park
53mm31.7599A22Street, park
54mm31.7599AUnknownStreet, park, mini ramp
56mm31.7599AUnknownStreet, park, mini ramp
Welcome Orbs Specter full specifications
  • Diameter: 52mm, 53mm, 54mm, 56mm
  • Width: 34mm at 53mm
  • Durometer: 99A
  • Contact patch: 22mm at 53mm
  • Purpose: Street and skate park

8. Spitfire OG 52mm/99A

Spitfire OG skateboard wheels

Another superb street wheel that is both great for transition skateboarding and street. The Spitfire OG’s also have a wider than average contact patch for extra stability. they are fast and super grippy, but still slide great!

I tested the 52mm version and they are outstanding. Spitfire wheels are a bit more expensive but these wheels will last for ages and are flatspot resistant. Comparable to the Orbs Specters in performance and shape but the OG’s come out on top because of the quality and durability.

The larger wheels are also great for bowl skating. Check Amazon for availability (affiliate link).

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM)Purpose
52mm31.399A21.5Street, park
53mm3299A22Street, park
54mm32.599A22Street, park, mini ramp
55mm3399A22.5Street, park, bowl, mini
56mm33.599A23park, bowl, mini ramp
58mm3599A24Bowl and vert
60mm 3699A24.5Bowl and vert
Spitfire OG Classics full specifications
  • Diameter: varies
  • Width: varies
  • Contact patch: 21.5mm
  • Durometer: 99A
  • Flatspot resistant
  • Smooth anti-stick slide
  • More speed and control
  • Superior quality urethane
  • Very durable and hold their shape longer

9. Fireball Tinder 60mm/81A

Fireball Tinder Cruiser Wheels

For those who want to cruise and do a couple of tricks, I can recommend the Fireball Tinder Wheels. They are soft enough (81A) for a comfortable cruising experience and hard enough so you won’t bounce all over the place when you do a sketchy ollie.

These are rather large (60mm) and if you want to get into more technical skating, skip these wheels. Great for those who just want to cruise around town and ollie a few curbs.

Even though 81A seems a bit soft for tricks, they are harder than you expect. This has to do with the plastic core that makes them a bit more sturdy on rebound.

Available at Stoked Ride Shop.

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM)Purpose
60mm4482A35Cruising and tricks
Fireball Tinder full specifications
  • Size: 60mm
  • Durometer: 81A
  • Contact patch: 35mm
  • Purpose: Cruising and basic ollies

10. Bones STF 54mm/99A

Bones STF v1 Skateboarding wheels

Bones STF are superb street skate wheels that last for ages. these durable wheels don’t flatspot easily, are grippy but still slidable.

The are surprisingly comfortable on rougher surfaces and don’t bounce all over the place when you perform flip tricks. Great wheels for the beginner that already knows how to ride and wants to learn tricks.

Bones STF’s are a bit more expensive but they’ll last 3 times longer than cheap wheels.

Bones STF wheels come in 6 different shapes, the STF V4, for example, is a great beginner skateboard wheel because of the wide contact patch. For more stability the STF V6 54mm is a good choice. Don’t get the 103A version, way to hard for beginners!

Size (MM)Width (MM)DurometerContact Patch (MM)Purpose
54mm3499A/103A18.5Street, park
56mm3699A/103A20.5Street, park
Bones STF V6 full specifications

There’s too much to difference to put in one table so I suggest you checkout the Bones website for more details.

  • Bones STF V1 Standard: All-around technical street skating.
  • Bones STF V2 Locks: Superb slides and a good pick if you want to slide or grind rails.
  • Bones STF V3 Slims: Sliding, popping, and flipping. best choice if you want a bit of everything.
  • Bones STF V4 Wide: Wider than the STF V1 and a bigger riding surface (contact patch).
  • Bones STF V5 Sidecut: Perform well in bowl and vert.
  • Bones STF V6 Widecut: Very large contact patch and great for rougher surfaces.

Final Thoughts

I tried to list wheels that serve every style, and I hope there is something on this list that works for you. There is no such thing as the perfect wheel, perhaps the Spitfire Conical Full wheels come close, but you can’t cruise, do technical tricks and shred pools using the same wheels. Sure you’ll manage, but something gotta give.

For those who already know how to ride and want to advance to more technical stuff, go for harder wheels. If you are completely new to skateboarding and are looking for your first set of wheels, get softer wheels for a smoother ride and preferably a wider contact patch.

Just want to cruise? Get big soft wheels for a smooth and forgiving ride. Cruising and tricks wheels are still a bit of a trade-off, you need harder wheels for tricks but softer wheels for cruising. This means you need wheels that are somewhere in the middle.

Skate park riders should look for harder wheels, park surfaces are usually smooth and hard wheels work really well in parks. Looking for more options? Check out my best skateboard wheels article.

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