When discussing the most integral parts of a skateboard, there is no way we can deny the fact that skateboard wheels do not come first to our minds.
I am not saying that the other parts that make up a skateboard are useless, but skateboard wheels are among the most significant part of a good and functioning skateboard. And so, ought to be given most attention and care.
Without the skateboard wheels, a skateboard is useless, as the wheels give the whole skateboard the ability to move freely on flat surfaces with ease. The skateboard wheels also determine how fast a skater can go while skateboarding.
Today, we will talk about “how tight should skateboard wheels be.”?
Skateboard wheels are made of polyurethane. They come in different sizes, colors, and durability levels that suit various skaters skating styles and preferences. The skateboard wheels are measured in diameter and durometer to tell the size of the wheel, and also the hardness of the wheel respectively.
Note that the size and strongness of a skateboard wheel are based on personal preference.
Now, back to our topic: How tight should skateboard wheels be?
There have been debates both on and offline on how tight a skateboard wheel should be. I had like to tell you that; just like the sizes and hardness of skateboard wheels, the tightness of a skateboard wheel is also based on a skater’s personal choice.
The tightness of a skateboard wheel/truck is based on how a skateboarder wants his/her skateboard wheel to be like. If you are comfortable with tightening your skateboard truck very hard to give you stability, good for you; if you prefer to ride a loosed truck to allow you to move freely, it is also good for you.
So, it is wholly up to you how you should set up your wheels. But there is more to the tightness of a skateboard wheel than your personal preference.
Let me enlighten you more on the benefits and problems of tight skateboard wheels and loose skateboard wheels.
Benefits of Tight Skateboard Wheels
- The main reason while most skaters adjust their skateboard trucks/wheels is to have a faster skateboard. Tightening your skateboard wheels/trucks provides the skateboard with greater speed compared to when it is loosed. So, if you intend to ride faster than the usual speed when your wheels are loosed, then be sure to tighten your skateboard truck/wheels for more improved speed.
- Another benefit of tightening the skateboard truck/wheels is because it provides great stability to the skater, even when at a very high speed. With tightened skateboard wheels there is very little or no chance of getting caught up with the most dreaded speed wobbles.
- Again, tightened skateboard trucks/wheels are the best for downhill skaters. So, you should make sure to have a tightened wheel if you are considering riding downhill, or if you are considering having a vert ramp session.
- Lastly, tight skateboard trucks prevent wheel bite. Wheel bite can cause a very bad accident, it can slam a skater real bad while riding, but with tight skateboard trucks, wheel bite can be prevented.
Problems of Tight Skateboard Wheels
In life, almost everything with advantages if not all; also has disadvantages. And a tight skateboard wheel is not excluded.
- Although tight wheels provide greater speed and stability, they can also be a hindrance. It is difficult to turn your skateboard swiftly while riding with a tight skateboard wheel.
- Also, you will observe having a press down on the tail of your skateboard while riding with a tight wheel. In this situation, I’d advise you to loosen up your truck a bit.
Tight skateboard trucks make it difficult to have a free flow skateboard ride, as you will have to push hard to perform any type of skateboarding tricks or skills. Click here to know about the best skateboard for tricks
Benefits of Loosed Skateboard Wheels
- Unlike the tight skateboard wheels, loosed skateboard wheels provide you with the necessary flow when skateboarding. It allows you to make quick turns easily and more efficiently.
- When riding a skateboard with loosed wheels-skaters get to enjoy their ride more. The reason is that the rider would not have any issues with any press down on the tail of the skateboard, which in turn gives the ability to ride freely with less or no pushing effort and also be able to perform all kinds of pro skating tricks.
Problems of Loosed Skateboard Wheels
- The speed of a skateboard tends to be slower when the wheels are loosed compared to when they are tight. If you are a skater that derives joy in skateboarding at a very high speed-then you probably would not like it when your skateboard wheels are loosed.
- As a beginner skater, a loose skateboard wheel is not advisable for you. Why because loosed wheels do not guarantee the same stability as tight skateboard wheels do.
Lastly, for pro skaters who tend to ride downhill, you had to be knowledgeable enough to know that loosed skateboard wheels are not best for that kind of skateboarding.
How Tight Should Longboard Wheels Be?
Unlike the normal skateboards where the adjustment of the wheels or tracks depends on the skater’s preference, longboards can only spin freely when the wheels are tight.
So, for you to have free-spinning longboard wheels, the wheels of your longboard need to be very tight to the axle.
How to Adjust Skateboard Wheels
Making adjustments on your skateboard wheels is not that difficult as people have described it to be. All the tools that are needed to make your adjustment are either a 1/2-inch wrench or a socket. It depends on your riding place and style.
With the above-mentioned tools, you can adjust your wheels by either tightening or loosening (according to your preference) the nyloc nut on the axle.
To know whether you did the adjustment right, be sure to first grip one of the wheels, and then shake it. If the gripping wheel shakes sideways then the adjustment is too loosed and needs to be tightened up more.
A loosed wheel will always make a rattling sound when you are skating and performing skateboard skills like the flips and ollies, and in turn, causes imprecise steering or vague. The only way to prevent this from happening is to tighten down the axle nut.
The next step is making sure the wheels are not too tight. To detect the tightness of the wheel, select one of the tightened wheels and spin by hand. If the wheel does not roll for a long time, thereby coming to a sudden stop, then you tightened them too much and need to be loosened a bit.
The above steps are the few and simple steps to make the necessary adjustments to your wheels. Have it in mind that at first, the wheels tend to spin better when the axle is too loose.
But do not let that deceive you, as the bearings of a skateboard can only work fine when the nuts and washer are pushed against the part of the bearing connect with the axle. Bearings roll better and faster when they are well tightened.
I believe with this piece; it is clearer now why the tightness or looseness of skateboard wheels depends on individual skaters. As a skater, you should know the type of wheels that suits your skating style-go for it!
But remember, a skateboard wheel should not be overly loosed in other to prevent the bearing from breaking down quickly.