Can You Fit Longboard Wheels on a Skateboard? From Cruising to Tricks

Fitting longboard wheels on a skateboard? Join me as I turn curiosity into an engrossing, in-depth experiment. Let's ride!

Ever rolled your wheels over bumpy terrain only to wish you had smoother and bigger wheels? Well, it turns out you’re not alone. Many skaters, just like you, wonder if they can fit longboard wheels on a skateboard. In this post, we’re going to take this curiosity and put it into action, experimenting with various wheel sizes, testing different setups, assessing the impact of longboard wheels on ride experience, and seeing how to enhance your skateboarding experience.

What happens when you use longboard wheels on a skateboard?

When you think about converting your skateboard to flex those wider and larger longboard wheels, don’t forget about the clearance issue. On the off chance that your wheels are too close to the deck, you can run into a world of trouble. Imagine taking a sharp turn, only for one of the wheels to get blocked, causing an abrupt stop. Not a pretty sight, right? This is the snag known as ‘wheelbite.’

Image of a longboard on concrete pavement. Source: pexels
Image of a longboard on concrete pavement. Source: pexels

Now, you might say, ‘Well, skateboarding always comes with its risks, right?” Absolutely! But wheelbite is a predicament we really don’t need, don’t you agree? Especially when we have a simple solution – riser pads!

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My favorite wheels (at the moment):

Spitfire Classic Skateboard Wheels

Can you fit longboard wheels on a skateboard? From cruising to tricks | 61cahmq78ml. Ac sl1050 | skateboard salad
My favorite wheels (at the moment):

Spitfire Classic Skateboard Wheels

These are the quintessential street skateboarding wheels. These wheels are very hard and therefore are not great on bumpy roads, but for street skating tricks, they are awesome and really, really smooth.

How do riser pads come into play for wheel clearance?

I know what you’re thinking, “How can a riser pad make such a difference?”. Well, allow me to elaborate! I grabbed a set of old longboard wheels (which, fun fact, used to be a part of a mini-cruiser) and quickly ran into the said problem of insufficient clearance.

To address this hurdle, I attached 1/2“ riser pads, and here’s what happened. The clearance noticeably increased, providing a safe distance between the wheels and the board. Check out this guide to skateboard shoes!

During my test, I used Tensor trucks (which were brand new and pretty tight, that’s important) on the board. Also, the bushings were still brand new, which added to the resistance. However, here’s something interesting – if your trucks are loose or the bushings are soft, this could mean more problems.

What is the role of trucks and bushings in this setup?

Here’s where the trucks and bushings come into play. If you have a “need for speed” and want to accommodate longboard wheels to your skateboard, the verdict is clear: you need to tighten your trucks! To make the setup work, fresh bushings and tightened trucks help maintain the clearance between the wheels and the board.

But what about worn-out trucks or bushings, you ask? Well, once they break in, you’ll need to tighten the nut on the kingpin on both trucks, but remember not to do this too soon, or, sadly, you’ll end up damaging the bushings.

Risers or not, do large wheels make a difference in ride quality?

Well, in theory, larger wheels should offer a smoother ride, but the reality is a bit more complex. After installing risers, I found that, although the board functioned safely, the clearance was about the same as my regular skateboard using shock pads and 58mm wheels.

Image of a skateboard placed beside a wooden fence. Source: pexels
Image of a skateboard placed beside a wooden fence. Source: pexels

However, the ride quality wasn’t as I expected. Tight trucks and stiff bushings made the ride feel unresponsive. The culprit? Poorly created wheels, which were sticky and impeded motion rather than enabling it (I’m looking at you, visually fun-looking wheels!).

Who is this setup best suited for?

To be honest, slapping together parts is not always the best path to progress. Maintaining a proper balance and comfortable ride is vital, and any seasoned skater will tell you this setup falls short. The modified skateboard behaves weirdly, and beginners might find it unsettling. However, all is not lost! There are perfectly tailored boards meant for cruising and hopping over curbs like the Landyachtz Dinghy I recently got.

Final verdict: Is it worth it?

That brings us to the crucial question, “is it worth fitting longboard wheels on a skateboard?” From my perspective as an intermediate skateboarder, it doesn’t feel quite right. Nevertheless, I’m not arguing this experiment is entirely pointless, but it’s not the be-all and end-all solution to enhance your skateboarding experience. These wheels, combined with some riser pads, might work for a casual cruise, but for deep carvings, flips, or ollies, I remain a steadfast supporter of regular skateboard equipment.

“Although consuming curiosity, my experience answers a resounding ‘no’ to the question: is it an amazing idea to fit longboard wheels on a skateboard? But remember, skateboarding is all about exploration, stumbles, and shreds! So, never shy away from crazy ideas and keep the vibe alive!”

Dos and don’ts of putting longboard wheels on a skateboard

So, we’ve explored the “how” of fitting longboard wheels onto a skateboard, but let’s now look at some quick do’s and don’ts that might come in handy if you’re considering doing this. These do’s and don’ts will give you some ground rules to remember.

Do’sDon’ts
Use riser padsUse wheels larger than 70mm
Tighten your trucksApply too much pressure prior to breaking in new bushings
Experiment with different wheelsForget about the importance of wheel clearance
Use harder bushingsNeglect the quality and build of the wheels
Remember to change your bushingsUnderestimate the impact of bushings on your ride
Table showing some key do’s and don’ts when fitting longboard wheels onto a skateboard.

Advantages and disadvantages of using longboard wheels on a skateboard

Having longboard wheels on your skateboard can bring you a unique experience, but like everything else, it comes with its pros and cons. Let’s explore these to help you make a better-informed decision.

Pros

Let’s talk about the upside; the silver linings that could make this experiment worthwhile for you:

  • Increased stability with larger wheels
  • Makes the board easier to handle on rough terrains
  • Satisfies your curiosity and adds a fun element of experimentation to skateboarding

Cons

Now, let’s talk about the downsides — they’re there, and they might be deal-breakers for some:

  • Space constraints leading to wheel bite issues
  • Deemphasizing the efficiency of a skateboard set-up, making it hard to perform certain tricks
  • The unnatural adjustment to the center of gravity resulting in balance issues
  • Decreased speed and agility due to heavier, wider wheels
  • Requirement of additional components like riser pads, tighter trucks and stiff bushings, possibly increasing costs.

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

As with any topic, it’s natural to have some lingering questions. We’ve got you covered! We’ve compiled some of the most frequently asked questions that encompass areas we did not touch on earlier in the discussion. Let’s dive into them, shall we?

What happens if I use bigger wheels (more than 70mm) in my skateboard?

Here’s the thing — the bigger the wheel, the harder it is to accommodate them on a regular skateboard. Using wheels larger than 70mm will need additional adjustments and could possibly still give rise to wheel bite. Additionally, maneuverability and responsiveness would take a hit, making it more difficult for tricks or intense street or park sessions. Discover more about skateboarding tricks here.

Will a modified skateboard with longboard wheels be good for beginners?

Typically, beginners should stick with standard, beginner-friendly skateboards to learn the basics. A skateboard with longboard wheels will have a different center of gravity and altered performance, which might pose additional challenges for a novice. Here are some excellent complete skateboards for beginners.

Can you use longboard wheels on a skateboard for downhill riding?

While larger wheels seem like a good fit for downhill rides because of their stability, the makeshift build of combining longboard wheels with a regular skateboard might not provide the best downhill experience. That’s why longboards are a more suitable choice for downhill riding.

What about using skateboard wheels on a longboard?

Now, that’s an interesting twist! Skateboard wheels on longboards could work for certain styles, especially for certain tricks where smaller wheels are more beneficial. However, for cruising and downhill riding, longboard wheels are the generally preferred choice due to their stability and smoother ride over various terrains. Here’s an interesting read on how different skateboard parts impact performance.

Final thoughts

The journey of fitting longboard wheels onto a skateboard was an interesting experiment, full of trial error, and tons of learning. And while we did manage to pull it off, the trade-off in performance might not make this the ideal choice for everyone. If your thirst for mixing things up still prevails, I’d suggest going for a complete cruiser board like a Landyachtz Dinghy. They’re designed to blend the agility of a skateboard with the smooth ride of a longboard, giving you the best of both worlds.”

Did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep shredding, guys!

Key takeaways

This article covered the process and impact of fitting longboard wheels onto a skateboard. Here are some key takeaways:

  • Longboard wheels can be fitted onto a skateboard, but they shouldn’t be larger than 70mm.
  • Riser pads and 1 1/2″ bolts are necessary to increase clearance and prevent wheel bite.
  • Tightening your trucks and using harder bushings are recommended.
  • Even with riser pads, this setup impacts your center of gravity and can affect balance, especially for beginners.
  • Equipment quality, especially of the wheels, significantly impacts the ride experience.
  • While this experiment can create an interesting ride, standard skateboarding equipment provides a better performance overall.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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