What Are Skateboard Wheels Made Of? Let’s explain A to Z

Skateboarding has captivated a global audience with its compelling blend of artistic expression and athletic capability. Among the delights of this rapid pastime, one frequently disregarded but critical component is the skateboard wheels. These simple components have a huge influence on a skateboarder’s performance and street experience, evolving from rudimentary materials in the sport’s infancy to the sophisticated polyurethane compounds of today. But what are skateboard wheels made of

Exploring skateboard wheel composition reveals a story filled with inventiveness and accuracy. We peel back the layers that propel skateboarders forward in their pursuit. Providing a detailed grasp of the wheels beneath their boards. Join us as we explore the history, science, and significance of skateboard wheels, revealing what converts them into a seamless blend of flair and efficiency.

What Are Skateboard Wheels Made of?

Skateboard wheels are commonly made of polyurethane, a flexible synthetic material recognized for its durability and robustness. This combination delivers an excellent blend of hardness and grip, which is essential for skateboarding maneuvers. The urethane is manufactured to precise durometer levels, which indicate the hardness of the wheel. 

what are skateboard wheels made out of

Skateboard Wheel

Softer wheels provide better grip and are ideal for street skating and cruising, while harsher wheels excel in skate park situations. Furthermore, the size and design of skateboard wheels affect performance, altering speed, stability, and the ability to perform tricks. Understanding these wheel properties enables skateboarders to adjust their setup to their particular riding style and terrain.

Material Breakdown

what are skate wheels made of

Wheel closeup

Skateboard wheels are a symphony of materials, each playing a crucial role in defining the ride. Let’s dissect the composition of these wheels, unraveling the science behind their performance.

Polyurethane (PU): The Dominant Material

what are skateboard wheels made from

Wheel on grass

Polyurethane, a resilient and versatile polymer, reigns supreme in the realm of skateboard wheels. Its chemical makeup provides the perfect balance of durability and grip, essential for navigating diverse terrains. 

With varying hardness levels measured on the durometer scale, polyurethane wheels offer a spectrum of options catering to different riding styles. Softer wheels grip better but wear faster, while harder wheels slide more easily but may compromise on traction.

See also: How Long Should Skateboard Wheels Last

Bearing Materials: Ensuring Smooth Rotation

Behind every smooth ride are high-quality bearings, crafted from materials like steel, ceramics, or hybrid combinations. These materials dictate the bearing’s durability and resistance to friction, influencing the overall efficiency of wheel rotation. Proper lubrication further ensures consistent performance, preventing wear and tear that could hinder the skateboarder’s experience.

Core Materials: The Wheel’s Backbone

Wheel cores, often overlooked but integral to stability, come in various materials such as plastic, aluminum, or a combination of both.

The core’s role extends beyond structural support, impacting the wheel’s weight and overall performance. The right core material ensures a perfect balance, contributing to a skateboard’s agility and responsiveness.

Other Materials: Enhancing Wheel Functionality

Beyond the mainstays, skateboard wheels incorporate additional materials for enhanced functionality. Urethane additives and core inserts serve specific purposes, from improving grip to dampening vibrations. The strategic use of these materials allows skateboarders to customize their wheels, tailoring them to individual preferences and styles.

However, understanding the intricate materials composing skateboard wheels reveals a world of customization and performance optimization. From the dominance of polyurethane to the nuanced choices in bearings, cores, and additional materials, each component plays a pivotal role in shaping the skateboarder’s experience.

As riders roll through the streets or perform tricks in the skate park, the wheels beneath their boards stand testament to the harmonious blend of science and sport.

Factors Affecting Wheel Material Selection

Selecting the ideal skateboard wheels involves a delicate dance between personal preferences, riding styles, and the intricacies of wheel performance. Let’s break down the key factors influencing this pivotal choice.

Skateboarding Style and Terrain

Skateboarding isn’t a one-size-fits-all pursuit, and wheel material selection reflects this diversity and gives you a skateboarding style of your own. Whether you’re navigating the streets, conquering the park, or soaring in the mountains, your choice of wheels matters.

Different riding styles demand specific wheel attributes, from the hardness required for precise street tricks to the softer composition ideal for absorbing impact in the skatepark. 

Similarly, the surface you ride on be it concrete, asphalt, or wood-profoundly influences the optimal wheel material, ensuring a harmonious match between board and terrain. Ultimately, individual riding preferences and skill levels are pivotal considerations in this tailored decision-making process.

Wheel Performance Parameters

Enter the realm of wheel performance parameters, where the delicate balance of hardness, grip, and durability takes center stage. Understanding these key metrics is crucial for informed decision-making.

Hardness, measured on the durometer scale, determines how a wheel responds to surfaces. Softer wheels grip more, while harder ones slide with ease. 

The grip is essential for control, and durability ensures longevity. Exploring the vast array of wheel materials and compositions allows riders to fine-tune these parameters based on their preferences and the demands of their chosen style.

This section serves as a guide, empowering readers to navigate the trade-offs and select wheels tailored to their specific needs.

Personal Preferences and Brand Reputation

Beyond technical considerations, personal preferences, and brand reputation wield influence in the decision-making process. Recognizing the subjective nature of skateboard wheel selection, readers are encouraged to embark on a journey of experimentation. 

Researching various brands and materials, coupled with seeking insights from experienced skateboarders and shop staff, can illuminate the path to finding the perfect set of wheels.

The symbiosis between personal inclination and trusted brand reputation ensures that the chosen wheels not only meet technical requirements but also resonate with the rider’s unique style and preferences.

In essence, the process of selecting skateboard wheels is an art as much as it is a science. By considering riding style, terrain, performance parameters, personal preferences, and brand reputation, Skateboarders can embark on a customized journey.

Ensuring that their wheels become a seamless extension of their individuality and passion for the sport. Watch this video on how to choose skateboard wheels for a better perspective.


Skateboarding is a dynamic realm where the composition of skateboard wheels plays a crucial role in shaping the rider’s experience. The ideal wheel selection is influenced by riding style, terrain considerations, and performance parameters. Personal preferences and brand reputation add subjectivity to technical decisions resulting in a personalized journey. 

Skateboarders’ wheels represent the fusion of science and sport. Allowing them to stand as a testament to their unique style and passion. Experimentation and finding the perfect set of wheels are essential in the evolving landscape of skateboarding. In this blog we tried to give you a perspective on Skateboard wheels and what are skateboard wheels made of. Happy skating.

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