Spitfire wheels was founded in 1987 by Jim Thiebaud. Also involved in creating most skate brands in the Deluxe Distribution such as Venture and Thunder trucks. The Californian wheel brand, recognizable by its flaming head logo, didn’t take long to blow out. As it benefited from the aura and advertisement power of the Deluxe Distribution.
For the wheels themselves, Spitfire advertises the “unbeatable lasting performance” of their products. The brand put a strong suit on speed and control, using high-quality urethane to produce a variety of shapes. All Spitfire wheels are manufactured in the USA; and guaranteed against defects of any kind.
- Spitfire Wheels Performance
- The 3 main types of Spitfire Wheels:
- Spitfire Durometer Explained
- Everything about the 7 different Spitfire Formula Four wheels
- Final Thoughts:
Spitfire Wheels Performance
Despite paying a premium for the wheels, no one ever I spoke to regretted buying them. Sure sometimes it takes some time to get used to new wheels but their performance is unmatched (though on par with Bones).
Currently, the locals over here are riding a bunch of different Spitfire wheels and they haven’t flat-spotted even after numerous powerslides. We are 6 to 8 months in and if I had to guess they lost 1 or 2 millimeters after skating 5 days a week. That’s impressive!
Some coning of the wheels is noticable but swapping them around would solve this issue. I’ll make sure to update this part soon and show some wear.
How long do Spitfire Wheels last?
Spitfire wheels last for a very long time depending on how often you skate and the surface you ride. If you ride every day on asphalt they can last over two seasons. If you just skate concrete they will last for many years.
Always swap around wheels to make them last longer, coning will impact performance.
Why Spitfire Wheels So Expensive?
Spitfire wheels may seem expensive but they are one of the most durable skateboard wheels you can get. Because of the polyurethane quality they last 2 to 3 times longer compared cheaper brands.
The 3 main types of Spitfire Wheels:
Since 2010, Spitfire commercializes 3 main types of urethane wheels to appeal to different type of skaters:
- Spitfire OG Classics
- Spitfire Chargers
- Spitfire Formula Four
Spitfire wheels are the best you can get though Bones wheels are the main competitor, not much of a difference in quality if you compare the two brands.
You’ll have a hard time flat-spotting Spitfire wheels, it’s not impossible but you really have to power slide rough concrete or asphalt extensively to get flat spots.
The Spitfire OG Classics
The Classics were the first wheels ever released by Spitfire back in the 90s. Since then, they’ve got plenty of editions, but the OG Classics kept the same winning formula throughout the years: a hard wheel with a wide riding surface and clean cutaway shape.
The OG Spitfire wheels were designed specifically for the practice of street skating, but they’re widely praised by transition and bowl riders. The OGs are available in two different hardness: 99a, ideal for street skating, and 101a, best suited for park skating.
The Spitfire Chargers
The Chargers are the softest wheels out of the whole Spitfire Catalogue. Coming in 80HD Durometer and 54, 55 and 56mm, they’re the ideal wheels for cruising downtown, riding over cracks and skating through long distances.
The specificity of these wheels comes from their anti-flex technology. See, most soft wheels are very flexible, which is good for cruising around but not so great when it comes down doing tricks. The Charger is a lot more rigid than other wheels of the same Durometer, so that you get the best of both worlds.
The Spitfire Formula Four
The Formula Four is the latest release of Spitfire. Available in 7 different shapes, this series of wheels provide high-end abrasive resistance to prevent flat spot—ideal for technical street skating and park skating all together.
With the Formula Four, the brand put a strong point on speed and control. Guaranteeing a wheel that can sustain high speed while providing control.
Spitfire Durometer Explained
Durometer can be a hard concept to grasp for new skaters. Seeing all these numbers and letters can be quite intimidating, but in reality, it’s not that complicated. Let me show you.
Spitfire Durometer Numbers and Letters meaning:
In skateboarding, the manufacturers use a unit called Durometer to measure the hardness of a wheel. The Durometer is usually on a scale of 1 to 101. The higher the number, the harder the wheel. Skateboarding wheels usually go from 60, considered very soft, and 100+ considered very hard.
The letters are used to show the scale. The letter A designates the standard scale of hardness, while they only use the letter B for very hard wheels. Spitfire wheels go from 80a Durometer, which is soft, to 101a Durometer, considered very hard.
Spitfire Durometer Color Code Meaning
Although Spitfire always engraves the Durometer on their wheels, the brand came up with its own color system to help customers better identify their desired hardness. Here’s a quick table to sum it all up:
|Spitfire Wheel Color||Durometer||Designed for|
|Light Blue Spitfire Wheels||80a Durometer (also called 80HD on some wheels)||Cruising (and minor tricks)|
|Light Blue/Light Red Spitfire Wheels||92a-95a Durometer||Transition and park skating|
|Yellow Spitfire Wheels||99a Durometer||All around skating|
|Blue Spitfire Wheels||99a Durometer||All around skating|
|Red Spitfire Wheels||101a Durometer||Street skating|
|Green Spitfire Wheels||101a Durometer||Street skating|
Everything about the 7 different Spitfire Formula Four wheels
With the Formula Fours, Spitfire launched 7 different shapes of wheels at the same time. Each wheel designed to excel in a specific area of skateboarding, so that every skater finds its perfect match.
Let’s analyze each one of them by highlighting their strengths and weaknesses.
Spitfire Formula Four Classic
To make it all a bit more confusing, Spitfire called the first wheel in the Formula Four catalogue the Classic as well. The wheel takes all the winning ingredients from the Classic Spitfire shape, with its round edge design and responsive slide.
The Formula Four Classic shape has by far the narrowest riding surface out of all Spitfire wheels—going from a 19mm surface for the 52mm model, to 21mm for the 56mm one. All-in-all, the classic is the safest choice for technical street skating. “The number 1 shape in skateboarding worldwide” as Spitfire promotes it.
Spitfire Formula Four Lock-In
The lock in shape has been specifically thoughts off for skaters that can’t get enough grinding in their life. The wheel has an asymmetrical shape to facilitate locking in into grinds. It has a cut profile on the inside to match the coping perfectly while keeping a round edge on the outside to help with scoop heavy tricks.
Available in 53, 54 and 55mm, the Lock Ins are the street wheels by excellence. But they can also be an amazing choice for mini ramp aficionados, because of their unique shape that eases getting in and out of the coping. A must try.
Spitfire Formula Four Tablet
The Spitfire Tablets differentiate itself from the other Formula Four by having a straight cut and thin profile, yet wide riding surface. Sold in 51 to 55 mm, the Tablets established themselves as one of the wheel that provide the longest-lasting speed.
Great for park and transition, loved by bowl riders, the wheels come in 99 or 101 Durometer to match your preferences. The Formula Four Tablets have a noticeably high ability to slide, which makes them ideal for power slide or lip slide type tricks. Their slickness guarantees no flat spot even after hundreds of slides against the concrete. Definitely unique.
Spitfire Formula Four Radial
The Formula Four Radial is one of the roundest wheels on the market. The almost seamless edge of the Spitfire Radial provides high control and responsiveness, which makes for a very easy to maneuver set-up.
The Radials are great for flat ground and technical skating—the round cut helping scoop tricks effortlessly. They particularly shine when skating gaps. The Radial handles impact very well, while the round silhouette helps limit wheelbytes.
Spitfire Formula Four Radial Slim
As its name suggests, the Radial Slim is a thinner version of the Formula Four Radial. With a lighter hand cut round edge design, the Radial Slims provide more control and speed than its bulkier counterpart.
Available in more sizes than the Radial (51mm to 56mm), the Slim version allows for ultra-responsive slides which will delight street and technical skaters all together.
Spitfire Formula Four Conical
The Formula Four Conical is the lightest wheel ever released by Spitfire. Its hand-cut conical shape provides an amazing responsiveness and a smooth ride. Only available in 3 sizes: 51, 52 and 54, the Conical shape helps better protect the bearings from popping out.
The Spitfire Conical is the perfect wheel for ledge and manual skating because of their lightness. The wheel can also be a brilliant choice for small and/or light skaters having difficulty popping their tricks high off the ground.
A go-to wheel for any skaters who thrive for a light set-up.
Spitfire Formula Four Conical Full
The Formula Four Conical Full has the widest riding surface out of any Spitfire wheels. They provide the longest speed and durability out of the Formula Four catalogue, which makes them very popular among bowl riders.
Not only bowlriders love them, these wheels are about the best you can get when you’re a beginner. The wider contactg patch provides a very stable ride.
Available in 52mm up to 58mm, the Conical Full shape is a great option for transition and park skaters. It does a pretty good job for cruising down the streets as well because of its width that provide long-lasting speed on any terrain.
The vast catalogue of wheels from Spitfire can make selecting the right wheel a daunting choice. If you’ve never ridden Spitfire wheels before, you can’t go wrong with the Classics. Spitfire wheels are about the best skateboard wheels you can get.
Most team riders from Spitfire seem to ride OG Classics or Formula Four Classics. Mason Silva, Grant Taylor or Pedro Delfino all took the Classics for their respective pro-wheel. It shows how deeply ingrained the traditional shape of wheel is among skaters. Once again, “The number 1 shape in the world”.
I’m an aged skateboarder and I still shred responsibly. I started skateboarding 25 years ago but also love surfing, snowboarding, or anything that involves a board.