How Do Skateboarders Select The Ideal Wheels For Sliding And Power Slides?

Have you ever wondered how skateboarders choose the perfect wheels for sliding and power slides? It turns out that selecting the ideal wheels is a crucial decision for skateboarders, as it directly impacts their ability to effortlessly glide and execute powerful slides. Skateboarders consider various factors such as wheel hardness, size, shape, and durometer to ensure maximum performance and control. So, if you’ve ever been curious about the science behind skateboard wheels, keep reading to discover the secrets behind selecting the perfect set for your sliding and power sliding adventures.

Factors to Consider

When it comes to selecting the ideal wheels for sliding and power slides on a skateboard, there are several factors that skateboarders need to consider. These factors include wheel diameter, wheel hardness, wheel shape, and the suitable terrain for the chosen wheels. Each of these factors plays a crucial role in determining the performance and capabilities of the wheels, and understanding them is essential for achieving the desired skateboarding experience.


The diameter of skateboard wheels refers to their size, specifically the distance from one side of the wheel to the other. Different wheel diameters offer distinct advantages and drawbacks, and it’s important to understand how they impact your skateboarding experience.

Impact on Speed

The wheel diameter directly affects the speed at which you can ride and perform various tricks on your skateboard. Larger wheels have a faster top speed due to their increased circumference, allowing skateboarders to maintain higher speeds when performing slides or power slides. On the other hand, smaller wheels have a slower top speed but offer quicker acceleration and responsiveness.

Impact on Stability

Wheel diameter also plays a significant role in determining the stability of your skateboard. Larger wheels provide more stability at higher speeds, making them suitable for downhill and high-speed sliding. Smaller wheels, while offering less stability at high speeds, provide increased maneuverability and control, making them ideal for technical and freestyle skateboarding.

How Do Skateboarders Select The Ideal Wheels For Sliding And Power Slides?


Wheel hardness, often referred to as durometer, measures how soft or hard the wheels are. Understanding wheel hardness is crucial as it directly affects grip and durability, two essential factors for sliding and power slides.

Impact on Grip

The hardness of skateboard wheels determines the amount of grip they have on different surfaces. Softer wheels have more grip, making them suitable for sliding on smooth surfaces and providing better control during slides. However, they may wear out faster and slow down the skateboard’s speed. Harder wheels, on the other hand, offer less grip, allowing slides to be initiated more easily, especially on rougher surfaces.

Impact on Durability

Wheel hardness also affects the durability of the wheels. Softer wheels tend to wear out faster, especially when used on rough surfaces or when performing power slides regularly. Harder wheels, while offering less grip, are more durable and can withstand the wear and tear associated with sliding and power slides. It’s essential to strike a balance between grip and durability based on your personal preferences and the type of skateboarding you enjoy.


Skateboard wheels come in various shapes, each designed with specific purposes in mind. Two common wheel shapes are cored wheels and square-lipped wheels.

Cored Wheels

Cored wheels have a hollowed-out core, resulting in a lighter wheel. This reduces rotational mass, making it easier to initiate slides and maintain control during power slides. Cored wheels are preferred by skateboarders who focus on freeriding and sliding techniques.

Square-Lipped Wheels

Square-lipped wheels have a 90-degree angle at the edge of the wheel, providing more grip and stability. This shape is commonly used by downhill skateboarders and those who prioritize speed and maintaining control while sliding at high velocities.

How Do Skateboarders Select The Ideal Wheels For Sliding And Power Slides?


Different terrains require different types of wheels to achieve optimal performance. Skateboarders need to consider the type of terrain they skate on most frequently to select suitable wheels for their sliding and power sliding needs.

Smooth Pavement

For smooth pavement, such as skate parks or well-maintained roads, wheels with a harder durometer and a smaller diameter are ideal. These wheels offer less grip, allowing slides to be initiated more easily and providing a smoother and controlled slide.

Rough Pavement

When skating on rough pavement or uneven surfaces, wheels with a larger diameter and softer durometer are generally recommended. The increased grip and shock-absorption capabilities of these wheels provide better control and stability, minimizing the impact of rough surfaces on your slide.

Parks and Skateparks

Skateparks often have a combination of smooth and rough surfaces, with opportunities for technical tricks and power slides. In such cases, skateboarders may opt for all-around wheels with a medium durometer and diameter to strike a balance between grip and slide initiation.

Sliding Techniques

To achieve the ideal wheels for sliding and power slides, skateboarders need to consider the different sliding techniques they prefer and fine-tune their wheel selection accordingly.

Power Slides

Power slides involve drifting and sliding the skateboard sideways while maintaining control. For power slides, wheels with a harder durometer and a square-lipped shape are ideal. The harder wheels provide less grip, allowing for controlled slides, while square-lipped wheels offer increased stability and traction during the slide.

Controlled Slides

Controlled slides require precision and maneuverability to execute tricks smoothly. For controlled slides, wheels with a softer durometer and a cored shape are often preferred. Softer wheels offer better grip, allowing for increased control when initiating and maintaining the slide, while cored wheels reduce rotational mass, making it easier to control the slide.

How Do Skateboarders Select The Ideal Wheels For Sliding And Power Slides?

Wheel Recommendations

Based on the sliding techniques discussed earlier, certain wheels are better suited for specific types of slides. Here are some recommendations for the best wheels for power slides and controlled slides.

Best Wheels for Power Slides

When it comes to power slides, a popular choice among skateboarders is the Orangatang Stimulus wheels. These wheels have a 77A durometer, providing a softer ride and increased grip for controlled power slides. The square-lipped shape ensures stability, making them great for executing high-speed slides with confidence.

Best Wheels for Controlled Slides

For controlled slides, the Loaded Slide wheels are highly recommended. With a durometer of 80A and a cored shape, these wheels strike the perfect balance between grip and maneuverability. They offer improved control when initiating slides, allowing skateboarders to execute technical tricks wi