Yes, the longboard wheels are compatible with the skateboard wheel mechanism. So, if you have spare longboard wheels, you can mount them on your skateboard for a better skateboarding experience. Or you can buy the best longboarding wheels online. But there is more to that. You’ll enjoy a combined, even more, exciting experience when you put longboard wheels on a skateboard.
Longboard wheels vs. skateboard wheels
Different specifications of wheels are responsible for various functions. And combined, it affects the overall performance. So, it would help if you understood how the longboard and skateboard wheels work. In addition, the performance of the wheels will be noticeably different on various surfaces. Therefore, you need to know the type of terrain you will be skating on and what type of wheel is best for it.
There are some fundamental differences between the longboard wheel and the skateboard wheel, which are given below.
Understanding Longboard Wheels:
Longboard wheels are generally softer, larger when compared to skateboard wheels. Here is a detailed discussion on that for a better understanding.
a) Wheel Size ( Diameter)
The best longboard and skateboard wheels have a diameter that is measured in millimeters around the world. However, the size varies greatly depending on the size of the board. The longboard wheels are more extensive compared to skate wheels, measuring from 60mm to 100+mm. However, the most common size you may find is between 63mm to 75mm.
Smaller wheels reduce the overall speed even though it has a faster acceleration. Similarly, bigger wheels will bring you more speed but less acceleration. However, as the longboards have comparatively larger wheels than skateboards, you’re to enjoy a faster ride with them. And they are more shock absorbent in a bumpy road.
b) Wheel Hardness (Durometer)
The hardness of the wheel is measured in the Durometer. Durometers have various numbers to categorize the hardness level of the material. A lower number indicates softer material, and a higher number represents more durable and more rigid material. Note that the alphabet ‘A’ with the durometer number refers to the material used to make something.
Softer wheels are more shock absorbent and have a better grip, but they cruise slower. Therefore, they are more suitable for rough surfaces, like- street skating. On the other hand, harder wheels skate faster, have less grip, and are preferable for smoother skating. However, the softer the wheels, the more resistant the slide will become.
The wheels can be harder or softer based on the condensation of the material. Longboard wheels are relatively softer than skateboard wheels. They are made of polyurethane. They generally have a durometer between 75A to 90A. Smooth and big longboard wheels absorb sudden shock from cracks and pebbles on the road.
However, keep in mind that the 78A to 95A durometer is suitable for longboards and cruisers. Durometer 96A to 100A is great for hard and fast skating over bumps on the parking grounds
c) Wheel Width, Wheel Shape, and Contact Patch.
Longboard wheel width affects the traction and grip of the wheel. A wider wheel has a larger contact patch, and a narrower wheel has a reduced contact patch. Longboard wheels may have a variety of widths ranging from 30mm to 70mm. First, you need to figure out whether you want a faster ride or a slower ride. Depending on that, you should pick the width of your longboard wheel.
You might find either square or wheel shapes in longboards. Round-shaped wheels have less contact with the surface, and square-shaped wheels have more contact with the ground. However, the placement of contact patches on the wheel affects the performance as well.
The contact patch is the surface area of the wheel that touches the ground while riding. It is not similar to wheel width. Both are different things. However, a larger wheel will have a greater contact patch. It is an essential feature for a longboard that determines the wheel’s performance. A wider contact patch will give you more grip, where a narrower contact patch will result in more slides.
Understanding Skateboard wheels:
In comparison to longboard wheels, skateboards have slightly harder and smaller wheels. For a better understanding, go through the discussion below.
a) Wheel Size ( Diameter)
Generally, skateboard wheels have a diameter between 48mm to 60mm which is smaller than the longboard wheels. So, the lower the number, the smaller the wheel you get. As skateboard wheels are on the lower end of the wheel number, they are more likely to give you better acceleration but less speed. And they are less shock absorbent.
Though wheel size ranging from 50 to 53mm is preferable for doing tricks and slower riding in the streets or skate parks. 54mm to 60mm is the average wheel size. It is suitable for beginners and large riders skating on the roads, bowls, parks, or vert ramps.
b) Wheel Hardness (Durometer)
On the 100A durometer scale, the skateboard wheels, on average, have a 99A hardness. However, some manufacturers might use the B durometer scale when they combine a more rigid material, but it happens in some rare cases.
Wheels with a durometer between 90A to 99A are great for skating in the pools, ramps, skating streets, and other smooth surfaces. Wheels with a durometer 100A+ typically have the fastest slide and least grip. However, they are not suitable for rough grounds. And most pro skaters use wheels with a 100A+ durometer.
c) Wheel Width, Shape, and Contact Patch
Skateboard wheel width has a vital role in how the skater moves. It affects the overall performance of the skater. With a broader skate wheel, you’ll enjoy a smoother ride and get a wider contact patch. But a narrow wheel will be less shock absorbent. Therefore, it’ll be more preferred for riding on a smooth surface.
Like the longboards, skateboards have round and square wheel shapes. And likewise, the round skate wheels have reduced contact patches than square wheels. Also, if you’re a heavy person, you should better pick a broader shape that will distribute the weight proportionately.
Wider wheels generally have a bigger contact area with the surface. Rounded wheels have less contact with the surface with a narrower contact patch. But the square wheels have more contact patches. Therefore, it’ll have more grip and will be less resistant when sliding.
Why Put Longboard Wheels on a Regular Skateboard?
You may get some added features when you mount longboard wheels on a skateboard. Longboard wheels are more extensive than skateboard wheels. So they absorb more shock than the skateboard wheels. Moreover, it will require you to kick less than regular on a skateboard. Therefore, you can put longboard wheels on a standard skateboard.
The advantage of larger wheels is that you’ll enjoy a faster ride. So, if you want some speed on your skateboard, do change the wheels. However, the bearings have some contribution in it.
Time to Choose Right Longboard Wheels Skateboard:
The Orangatang 4 is a longboarding wheel that has a 70mm diameter. It comes in a set of four to replace the skateboard wheels. These wheels have a reasonable size to fit the skateboard or cruiser as well. And you can choose the hardness level from 77A, 80A, 83A, & 86A.
How to Put Longboard Wheels on a Skateboard Step by Step
The step by step procedure to mount longboard wheels on a skateboard is given below-
Step 1: Gather the Tools
Tools You’ll Need:
You’ll be needing some specific tools to replace the skateboard wheels. They are as below:
Step 2: Slapping Longboard Wheels On a Skateboard
Slapping longboard wheels is not a hard job if you follow the instructions religiously.
i) To replace the old skate wheels first, you must remove the axle nuts and axle washer from each wheel. Axle nuts are the hexagonal metal bolts that keep the bearing in its place. And the speed washer is the thin metal plate just below the nuts. Now, use the skate tool to unscrew the nuts and axle washer. You’ll have a total of 8 washers, 2 for each wheel, and 4 axle nuts. Keep them aside for later use.
ii) Now, pull the small metal cylinder from the center of the wheel. Then, slide the wheel and hold it at a 45° angle when it is still attached to the central axle. And remove it from the bearing. In total, you’ll get 8 bearings, 2 bearings in each wheel.
iii) Add riser pads. Riser pads are hard plastic pads that are used to raise the height of the skateboard. It is inserted between the truck and the deck of the board. You need to add riser pads to get a reasonable height as the longboard wheels. Otherwise, you’ll get wheel bite when you turn or do tricks. You can place the longboard wheels in place after putting the risers on both sides of the skateboard bearing. Though now, you may need to kick harder to move forward as the skateboard is in a higher place off the ground.
However, skipping this step will be the best if the board height is already similar to the longboard wheel size.
iv) To install the new longboard wheels in the skateboard, you have to hold the skateboard sideways. Now, slide the bearing on the axle while facing the “open” side up. Keep the wheel on the top and press it with your thumbs. The skateboard bearings have a close side and an open side. Therefore, the axles will be facing upwards. You need to clean the bearings before putting them back if they are dirty.
v) As you’ve placed the first bearing, now slide in the second bearing. Now it’s time to install the spacer. The spacer is a thin cylindrical metal piece. Slip it on top of the second bearing and press it in place. However, you may or may not have it on your skateboard. If you don’t, then skip this part.
Slide the second bearing onto the axle when facing the open side down. Flip the wheel on the center of the bearing. Press the wheel, so it grabs the bearing in the center. Then repeat the process with the other wheels.
vi) Now, slip the axle washer on the central axle. And slide the longboard wheel after that. Slide in another speed washer or axle washer. Do the same for the rest of the wheels. It’s better to keep some space for the skateboard to wiggle rather than tightening the axle completely.
You got the longboard wheels assembled in your skateboard. See! Nothing invincible!
Step 3: Check the Compatibility
Now, before mounting the longboard wheels on the skateboard, you have to consider the mounting system whether it’s capable of holding a giant wheel or not. Additionally, if you can cruise through a rough surface or a smooth surface.
What to Avoid?
You need to be aware of certain things when you put the longboard wheels on a skateboard. First, you need to be careful about getting wheel bite. Wheel bite happens when a wheel gets stuck with the board. Most skaters who turn and lean too much end up thrown from the skateboard because of the wheel bite. So, getting a smaller size longboard wheel is recommended if you cannot make the board high enough.
Skateboarding is a versatile sport and fun to play. Hybridizing it may sound cool and exciting, but keeping it original would be rather appreciated. Many skaters have faced issues turning the skateboard into a hybrid with the longboard wheels since you can’t change an airplane into a fighter jet. Just play the game as it is!