One of the best aspects of skateboarding is the variety of styles you can choose from. As different forms of arts, there are various forms of skateboarding where skateboarders skates on different surfaces.
Among these different styles, bowl skating is one of the most common and most followed styles of skateboarding. Bowl skating involves skating in a bowl-shaped arena usually made out of concrete. Like every other skateboarding style, bowl skateboarding needs a particular skillset and specific parts to skate a bowl smoothly, and what can be more important than the wheel in a skateboard?
In this article, I will talk about the characteristics of bowl skating wheels, their size, how you choose one, and lastly, a review section to suggest some of the best wheels for bowl skating. Let’s have a look.
What Size of Wheels is Best for Bowl Skating?
Wheels are arguably the most important part of a skateboard, as this is the part that keeps the board running. As much as the wheels themselves, their size is a crucial factor that affects your skateboard’s response to different styles of skateboarding.
Here the size refers to the diameter of the wheel, which is measured in millimeters. Ideally, a diameter between 54mm to 60mm is the sweet spot for bowl skating. As bigger wheels, they tend to have more speed but a slower acceleration needed for bowl skating.
How to Choose the Best Wheels for Bowl Skating?
As we mentioned earlier, different skating skills need their specific kind of parts to ride comfortably. Just like that, when you are bowl skating, the wheels might not be similar in size, hardness, or quality to wheels used for other styles.
What are the best wheels for bowl skating, and how to choose them? These are some tricky questions. As we discussed the size already, the second important aspect of selecting the best wheels for bowl skateboarding is the hardness or the durometer (Measuring the hardness of rubber and plastic materials) of the wheels.
The durometer of 96A to 99A is the ideal hardness for bowl skating, as these harder wheels focus more on the drag instead of the grip, which is crucial for bowl skating. Besides the hardness, you should also check out the bearings too.
#1: Choice Skateboard 99a Wheels
the choice comes at the top of our list with their 99a wheels. the Choice is known for delivering great standards for a long time to match other leading brands in the field. That being said, these wheels have earned the first spot on our list with their excellent quality, ideal size, and hardness.
As we discussed above, 97A to 99A is the perfect hardness for bowling skateboard wheels. And with 99A hardness, this wheelset is ideal for a better drag and grip important for bowl skating. Furthermore, these wheels are durable and made out of quality material, so if you want to do park or street skating too, these wheels have got you covered too.
Apart from the hardness, another vital aspect of a bowling skateboard wheel is its diameter. With a diameter of 58mm, these are some of the best-sized wheels for bowl skating for acceleration and speed you might need for bowl skating. If you are looking for color options, the choice is to offer four different wheels to match your skateboard.
If you are looking for a semi-hard wheel that’ll serve you on the street and skate parks alongside bowl skating with a smooth skateboarding experience, these wheels can be the perfect choice for you.
#2: TGM Skateboard Wheels
The next wheels set we have on our list is from TGM. Because of their diameter and hardness, these wheels can deliver one of the best experiences you ever had with any set of wheels. Not only bowl skating, though, but it can also be used ideally for street skating or by beginner skateboarders looking for bigger wheels.
First off, the diameter of 56mm falls right in the middle part of the diameter range needed for bowl skating. Because of the bigger size, they offer you the speed and balance you need for bowl skating.
As for the hardness, with a durometer of 92A and 99A, these wheels are designed to deliver you a grippy experience with more drag on the bowl.
The bearings that come with the package are another plus side that adds up to the quality of the wheels. The set of eight ABEC 7 bearings perfectly fits with the wheels. Alongside the bearings, the wheels set also has bearing spacers for smoother and more stable turns with an extended lifespan for the bearings.
Overall, you can’t go wrong with these wheels, especially for the price. Considering the ideal size, hardness, quality bearings, and color options, these are some of the best skateboard wheels for bowl skating, and indeed they deserve a try.
#3: Bones Tony Hawk Falcon II Skateboard Wheels
As a skateboard accessories brand, Bones has been around as long as skateboarding started to get popular in the US. Since 1977, they have been delivered some of the most popular wheels with exceptional product quality and the best value for money. We’ve decided to introduce you to its Tony Hawk II SPF wheels among different popular Bone wheels.
Talking about this particular wheel set, the first noticeable thing is using the SPF (Skate Park Formula). Developed and used by Bones for decades for better traction on smoother surfaces like in a bowl or in a skate park without compromising the control and speed.
These wheels also have Bones trademark PS5 sidecut design, making the wheel slimmer and lightweight, allowing a better drag.
Bones has introduced a new durometer of 84B, almost like the hardness of 104A compared to a regular durometer measurement system. These wheels are an excellent choice for tricks on smoother surfaces like skate parks and bowls for more advanced skateboarders with extreme hardness.
You can also use these wheels for street parking too but as harder wheels offer less grip than softer ones, be careful about cracks or loose pebbles on the road. With a wheel size of 60mm, you get more balance and speed all in one place.
If you are interested in doing more advanced stuff, we highly recommend you pick up these wheels to explore newer tricks in the bowl.
#4: Powell Peralta Park Ripper II Wheels
Power Peralta, like Bones, is also one of the oldest manufacturers of skateboard accessories in the US. Since 1978, they have been offering us some top-of-the-line wheels for every type of skater.
Powell Peralta Park Ripper II has retro artwork on it from 1983 that gives the wheels a very stylish look on the white wheel. Apart from the design, the RAT BONE II shape provides better maneuverability. Made with Powell Peralta’s urethane and a durometer of 84B (104A). These are some of the best wheels for skating concrete bowls.
Powell Peralta has done everything right about his wheels, with the design aesthetic to its build quality and performance. Using their park formula, they came up with these wheels with the perfect combination of balance, stability, and speed for park and bowl skating.
Ideally, the Park Ripper II we are talking about has a diameter of 60mm, which is great for old skateboards and dirt skateboarding alongside bowl skating. However, other size options are available to choose between 54mm and 56mm, making it suitable for everyone regardless of their preferred surface and expertise level.
Compared to the other wheels on our list, we admit these wheels are slightly on the costlier side of the spectrum. But if you end up spending the extra bucks, you’re in for a treat with super performance and a cool look.
Are Complete Skateboards Good for Bowl Skating?
To answer this question, first, we need to know the difference between a complete and a custom skateboard. As the name custom skateboard is pretty self-explanatory, complete boards are those boards that come pre-assembled with no control over the parts selection.
If you want to do bowl skating with complete skateboards, you’ll have to find one that checks all the characteristics below.
- The truck has to be loose.
- Grainy grip tape
- Wider than a regular deck, preferably over 8”.
- 54-60mm wheels with hardness between 96A to 99A
- High-quality bearings
What Age is Perfect to Start Bowl Skating?
Like any other form of skating, bowl skating is something best to start at an early age. Yes, you can start learning at an older age, and you might have already seen some of them, but your riding and learning experience will never be like one of a skateboarder started early.
At an older age, you need to take a lot of precautions and consider how to fit you are. I can tell from my personal experiences that we have seen people in their 50s bowl skating like a rockstar, and if you are one of the older people, you are welcome too. Just don’t forget to start slow and wear protective gear all the time. If your age is more than 40 you may check out my recent article on the skateboard for old guys
Whether you are a seasoned skateboarder or just a casual beginner, there are different styles out there for every kind of skater. Among all these styles, bowl skating is like the perfect mid-point, which allows you to do all the tricks in the world, and at the same time, if you are a beginner, let you follow a style easy enough for you to learn.
One thing that’s pretty clear from the article above is that how big of a role wheels play for bowl skating. We hope our article about the best wheels for bowl skating gives you enough insight to decide the suitable wheels all by yourself.
Every set on our list is good, with very positive feedback from their respective users. So pick one according to your budget and expertise level, and you should be good to go.