Riding your longboard on a smooth surface is all well and good, but if you want to test both your mettle and your skills, taking it off-road is the ultimate challenge.
Not only does rough terrain present you with unique challenges such as cracked pavements, lack of traction on gravel, and little bumpy surprises along the way, but it also offers you an almost unlimited supply of riding places. Let’s face it; there are more off-road paths available today than there are smooth tracks.
To enjoy your ride, you will need to find the best longboard wheels for rough roads. You see, not just any wheel will do if you want to try and bring out your wild longboarding side.
As you would expect, finding the best longboard wheels for off-road riding isn’t quite as easy as it sounds. Even though there is a myriad of options available on the market, each one is different from the next, and in some cases, spectacularly so.
Choosing one instead of the other could mean a different off-road riding experience for you. That’s why you need to exercise a bit of care and caution when making your selection.
Here are some of the best longboard wheels for rough road options to get you started on your journey into the wild.
1. Best Overall Option: Shark Wheel 72mm 78a Longboard Cruising Wheels
Designed to skate on almost every kind of surface, these Shark Wheel 72mm 78a Longboard Cruising Wheels are exactly what you need if you are in the mood to explore the world on your longboard. Manufactured by a reliable brand, these Shark Wheel 72mm 78a Longboard Cruising Wheels have a way of pushing objects and debris on the road to the left and to the right as you cruise past.
Whether you are tearing through the air on backroads or taking hard curves as you pick up speed, these wheels will provide you with a smooth ride throughout.
These wheels are made out of Californian high-rebound polyurethane. Not only does this give your board a little extra speed, but it also provides you with extra comfort as well as range. This material also guarantees 57% less friction once the wheels get into motion.
What makes these wheels so unique is the “sine wave approach angle” design. This gives your longboard a 30-degree approach angle when striking any objects on the road. That, in turn, ensures that you experience less shock.
It’s a lot like approaching a speed bump from a slight angle, so you don’t hit it head-on, reducing the shock. Plus, the design makes the wheels look very stylish, giving you an extra boost of confidence as you ride by.
- Unique design and look
- Offer reduced friction with the ground
- The “sine wave approach angle” offers extra shock absorption
- The wheels offer extra speed
- The inner bearings are a little clumsy
2. Best Option for Stability: Genric Tandem Axle Wheel Kit Set
One of the most basic yet most important skills to master is stability when learning how to skate on your longboard. Consistent stability will be the difference between you and constant falls or safe riding on rough terrain. This Genric Tandem Axle Wheel Kit Set is designed to offer you consistent stability no matter the terrain.
This Genric Tandem Axle Wheel Kit Set is exceptionally durable and doesn’t require frequent changing, unlike its low-quality counterparts. Furthermore, this wheel set features a lean design, making it just as ideal for long distance riding as it is for day-to-day rides.
Finally, the wheels come with a highly detailed instruction manual, making them quite easy to install. The only notable downside is that they offer superior traction, making them less ideal for stunts. However, if you aren’t keen on performing stunts on a daily basis, the superior traction is perfect for riding on rough terrain.
- It offers excellent stability
- Impressively capable off-road
- Easy to set up
- It comes with a user-friendly manual
- Quite heavy
3. Best Option for Beginners: Sector Butterballs Skate Wheels
If you are new to longboarding on rough terrain, these Sector Butterballs Skate Wheels would be ideal for you. Designed to be the most user-friendly on this list, they offer you an easy setup procedure as well as adjustments, meaning that you can learn how to skate on difficult tracks in absolutely no time at all.
These Sector Butterballs Skate Wheels are designed with round edges, which work spectacularly well on rough terrain. The round edges are also helpful as far as stability on bumpy tracks is concerned.
As far as the core is concerned, these wheels have high-quality center sets. This cosmic core is designed to help increase your speed when rolling down rough roads. It also works well with even weight distribution throughout your longboard, meaning that you won’t wobble about as you learn how to skate on rough terrain. Finally, the structure is quite durable and can withstand some abuse.
- Excellent for beginners
- Round edges make for easy sliding
- Doesn’t wobble
- Easy to adjust
- Quite slippery on wet surfaces
4. Best Option for Controlled Sliding: Orangatang Kegel 80 mm Downhill Longboard
These Orangatang Kegel 80 mm Downhill Longboard wheels are exactly what you will need if you enjoy high-speed skateboarding downhill. Designed to offer you maximum grip and speed, these Orangatang Kegel 80 mm Downhill Longboards are excellent for hard carving, racing, long-distance pushing, and pumping.
With their large 80mm diameter, these wheels can roll over almost anything at extremely high speeds. This means that you will comfortably plow your way through cracks, sticks, rocks, and rough patches on the road without a care in the world.
Furthermore, they are designed with sharp and square lips that go a long way in providing you with maximum grip while still giving you a smooth glide over the track.
As far as the core is concerned, these Orangatang Kegel 80 mm Downhill Longboards have a fully exposed 46 mm core, which works well to reduce the weight while providing you with impressively quick acceleration for crisp slides.
- Perfect for riding downhill
- Excellent wheel core
- It offers impressive stability
- Dazzling color variations
- They tend to wobble a bit
5. Best Downhill Racing Option: Bigfoot Longboard Wheels
You will often find that the longboard wheels for rough roads you choose will come with one major disadvantage: they minimize your speed. That isn’t the case with these Bigfoot Longboard Wheels.
Designed for downhill racing, these Bigfoot Longboard Wheels provide optimum hardness on the exterior, giving you excellent support. That hardness, however, doesn’t compromise the smoothness of your ride whatsoever.
One of the main reasons these wheels are perfect for both rough road and downhill racing is that they can achieve top speeds without introducing that tell-tale trembling quality that many of their competitors have. These wheels are equipped with a set of bearings that offer you inner raceways, meaning that you don’t have to buy spacers.
Thanks to the 76mm diameter, these wheels are large enough to offer you sufficient traction while riding on pretty much any kind of surface, regardless of the conditions. Additionally, the wheels feature a square-lip design, enhancing grip.
Finally, they feature an offset core, allowing the wheels to give you an excellent grip on sharp corners and turns while providing you with predictable, controlled sliding characteristics.
- Excellent for downhill racing
- It offers excellent grip
- You don’t need to buy spacers
- Smooth sliding performance
- They don’t hold up well under heavy-duty usage
6. Best Unparalleled Speed Option: MBS All-Terrain Longboard Wheels
MBS is a well-known brand in this industry, and most of its reputation is pegged on the fact that they offer high-quality products that are well-built and quite durable. These MBS All-Terrain Longboard Wheels have gone above and beyond to do the MBS brand name and reputation justice.
Designed to incorporate high-rebound urethane with perfectly balanced hardness, these wheels were meant to be used on rough roads. However, they work very well on sidewalks and other types of paved tracks too.
At 100mm in diameter, these wheels perfectly distribute your weight throughout the longboard, giving you unmatched stability. Finally, these MBS All-Terrain Longboard Wheels have a textured surface that gives you more grip than regular flat-styled wheels.
- Excellent for speed
- A textured surface offers more grip
- It works well for long rides
- Amazing dirt handling capabilities
- They are quite heavy
7. Best Smaller Wheel Longboard Option: Fireball Tinder Longboard Wheels
These 60mm Fireball Tinder Longboard Wheels are the perfect combination for people who prefer to ride small longboards. Thanks to its size, this smaller wheel blends well with small longboards and mini-cruisers, creating an extremely attractive look.
It’s not, however, all about the looks. These wheels are extremely practical and feature super-long urethane lines that help give you consistent grip even when sliding. Unlike most regular longboard wheels, these Fireball Tinder Longboard Wheels offer a high-quality centerset core that not only provides you with predictable slides but also gives you a pleasurable riding experience, even on a bumpy road.
- Excellent for small longboards
- An aesthetic design
- The high-quality centerset core
- Allows for predictable slides
- They come without bearings
8. Best of the Rest: IWONDER Cloud Wheel Discovery Longboard Wheels
The one thing that stands out the most about these IWONDER Cloud Wheel Discovery Longboard Wheels is their core design, which features damping foam technology. That means that you will hardly feel any vibration from the road since the core works to eliminate most of it. As a result, you can enjoy an extremely smooth ride on almost any given surface, whether it be muddy, bumpy, rocky, or even grassy.
The IWONDER Cloud Wheel Discovery Longboard Wheels also feature a curved design that allows you to maintain the right kind of balance when riding over rougher surfaces and maximizes your grip and increases your pace.
Finally, the IWONDER Cloud Wheel Discovery Longboard Wheels have incredible impact resistance thanks to the composite materials found in the core. This makes your riding experience extremely pleasant when you are on rough roads.
- The core eliminates excessive vibration when riding
- Excellent impact resistance
- Outstanding stability
- Compatibility with various types of longboards
- It doesn’t come with built-in spacers
Factors to Consider when Looking for the Best Longboard Wheels for Rough Roads
Of course, some product details may matter to you, such as brand, color, and price. Apart from these details, there are some objective factors that you need to consider when shopping for the best longboard wheels for rough roads.
Here are a few that will help guide you towards the right choice for your needs.
The longboard wheel core directly affects the wheel’s balance and temperature when riding. This means that it has a direct impact on the stability as well as your safety. There are generally three different wheel core types on the market today.
- Centerset cores: These are perfect for rough roads
- Side core: These are the most popular types
- Backset core: These are ideal for off-road riding
Since you will be riding on rough roads, the contact patch, which is the surface of the wheel that makes direct contact with the ground or riding surface, needs to offer you enough grip. Contact patches ranging from 46 to 65 mm will work just fine for rough roads or off-road riding.
Although most people ignore this factor more often than not, it’s important to consider it when choosing the best longboard wheel for a rough surface. For this kind of riding, you need square-shaped wheels that offer the most support since rough roads have different challenges such as crevices, rocks, loose gravel, and so on. Square-shaped wheels will give you excellent balance on such surfaces.
There is no doubt many different types of longboard wheels for rough roads. The options highlighted here are some of the best, but they might not all be necessarily good for you. The idea is to look at all the factors and make the best choice for your needs.
See more: a key list of essential longboard parts and accessories
How do I ensure a smooth ride on my longboard on rough roads?
Start by finding the best longboard wheels for rough roads. If that doesn’t do the trick for you, try replacing all the bearings.
Why can’t I use normal longboard wheels for rough roads?
Normal wheels are designed to take that kind of abuse. Not only won’t they last, but they also don’t have the necessary traction control and hardness to make your rough road riding experience enjoyable.
Do I need more than one type of longboard wheel for rough roads?
Yes, and No. If you intend to put your longboard through heavy-duty use, then yes, you will need more than one set and even one type of wheel for rough roads. Otherwise, a single set will work just fine.
See more: 9 of the best longboards for beginners