Skateboard wheels play a big part in your overall feel of the skateboard. Any small changes to the hardness, size or design of your wheels can impact your overall riding experience drastically.
Back in the 1970's, skaters used to use plastic wheels for skating however, nowadays majority of brands make their wheels from polyurethane (PU) which provides much better durability and grip than plastic. Despite the PU wheels being extremely strong, they do tend to wear out after few months depending on the hardness.
Skateboard Wheel Sizes and Hardness
Skateboard wheel size is measured using it's diameter and it can affect your overall riding experience. Smaller wheels will not allow you to go as fast as the bigger wheels would however they will give you more maneuverability.
The hardness level of a wheel is measured using durometer. The higher the number, the harder is the wheel. If you are a park rider, you should probably go with harder wheels raging from 101A-103A as harder wheels can sustain more damage and the ground on a skatepark tend to be smooth enough to allow for a smooth ride. Softer wheels are more suitable for street skating as they absorb more shock and provide more grip however, they do wear out faster.
What Skateboard Wheels Should I Go With?
Generally speaking, you should choose your wheels accordingly to your style of skating.
If you are a technical street skater, you might have an interest in a small and slightly softer wheels that will absorb more shocks and won't be too big making them easy to maneuver.
Vert and bowl riders on the other hand would be more into harder, medium sized wheels that will allow for more grippy and stable riding experience.
Last but not least, if you are more of a cruiser type of skater, you should go with softer and larger wheels that will maximize the comfort of skating.