Skateboarding isn’t confined to smooth concrete anymore. With the rise of off-road and all-terrain boards, exploring new terrains has become a thrilling part of the sport. However, venturing off the beaten path demands specific gear, and your wheels play a crucial role. Let’s dive into how to choose the right ones for your off-road adventures.

Understanding Off-Road Skateboard Wheels

Unlike their street counterparts, off-road skateboard wheels are designed to conquer rough surfaces like dirt, gravel, grass, and even light trails. They differ in several key aspects:

  • Size: Generally larger (65mm+ in diameter) for better obstacle clearance and maintaining speed over uneven terrain.
  • Durometer: Softer (75a-85a) for improved grip and shock absorption on bumpy rides.
  • Tread Pattern: Often features knobby or deep treads for enhanced traction on loose surfaces.
  • Width: Wider contact patch for increased stability and control.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Off-Road Wheels


  1. Dirt & Gravel: Wheels with aggressive treads and a wider profile are ideal.
  2. Grass: Softer wheels with rounded profiles and moderate tread depth can help prevent getting stuck.
  3. Trails: Larger, softer wheels with deep treads are best for absorbing bumps and maintaining traction on uneven surfaces.

Riding Style:

  1. Cruising & Carving: If you’re looking for a smooth ride over moderate terrain, opt for softer wheels with a rounded profile.
  2. Freeriding & Downhill: For faster speeds and aggressive riding, choose wider wheels with deep treads for maximum control and grip.
  3. Slalom: Consider smaller, harder wheels with sharp edges for better grip and agility on winding paths.

Board Type:

  1. Longboards: Generally benefit from larger wheels for a smoother ride and better stability.
  2. Shortboards: Smaller wheels offer better maneuverability and responsiveness.
How do I know what wheels to get for my skateboard?

Image Source

Personal Preference:

Consider your weight and riding experience. Heavier riders may prefer softer wheels, while experienced riders may feel more comfortable with harder ones for better control.

Popular Off-Road Wheel Options

  • MBS All-Terrain Longboard Wheels: These are a popular choice for longboarders venturing off-road, known for their smooth ride and good grip on various terrains.
  • Shark Wheels: These uniquely shaped wheels offer a balance of off-road capabilities and street performance, making them versatile for riders who switch between terrains.
  • Trampa Wheels: Designed for mountainboarding, these large, soft wheels provide excellent traction and shock absorption on the roughest trails.
  • Orangatang Caguama Wheels: A popular choice for longboarders who enjoy a smooth ride on both paved and unpaved surfaces.

Additional Tips

  • Riser Pads: Using riser pads can help prevent wheel bite (when the wheels hit the deck) and provide additional clearance for larger wheels.
  • Bearings: Invest in quality bearings to ensure a smooth and efficient roll on all surfaces.
  • Maintenance: Regularly clean your wheels and bearings to remove debris and prolong their lifespan.

Related: Demystifying Skateboard Trucks: A Beginner’s Guide to Your Skateboard’s Foundation

Safety First: Remember to always wear a helmet and protective gear when skateboarding, especially when venturing off-road. Familiarize yourself with the terrain and start slow to build your confidence.


Choosing the right wheels is key to enjoying your off-road skateboarding adventures. By considering factors like terrain, riding style, board type, and personal preference, you can find the perfect set of wheels to conquer any path. So, gear up, head off-road, and experience the thrill of skateboarding in a whole new way!

Featured Image Source