However, there are a few adjustments you’ll need to make. Your odd hybrid board will also have some serious limitations which you need to consider.
To be honest, it brings to mind that scene in Jurassic Park where Ian Malcolm gives the scientists a good earful for asking ‘can I?’ instead of ‘should I?’
Let’s make Ian Malcolm happy by looking at both questions.
How to Fit Longboard Wheels to a Skateboard
The difference between longboard wheels and skateboard wheels is their size and shape.
Longboard wheels are bigger because they are designed for speed. The increased wheel diameter means you can go faster with fewer pushes.
Also, as bearings rotate they cause friction. With bigger wheels, the bearings do fewer rotations and cause less friction.
The larger size isn’t a problem for longboards and cruisers because their trucks are designed to accommodate the wheels.
Skateboard trucks are not designed for big wheels.
So, the first thing you’re gonna need is a set of risers.
Risers are pads that sit between your deck and your truck and are designed to raise your deck up and away from the wheels.
This is super important because a deck that is too close to the wheel runs the risk of wheel bite.
Wheel bite, for those of you lucky enough not to have experienced it, is when your deck hits your wheel mid-ride. As you can imagine, this does not end well.
What happens is your board stops but you don’t. If you’re lucky, you get some nasty scrapes. If you’re unlucky, you get a lovely trip to the ER.
You’ll need ½” riser pads to make this work. You’ll also need longer bolts to make sure everything is screwed in tightly. 1 ½” bolts will be fine.
In terms of wheels, you shouldn’t get anything over 70mm because they will be too big for your deck even with risers.
Ideally, you want something between 63 and 66mm.
Always go for quality wheels. Cheap wheels will give you a bumpy and laborious ride no matter what you do to the rest of the board.
For longboard wheels, consider brands like HAWG or Ricta. They might be a bit more expensive but they will at least make this Frankenstein board rideable.
Ok, assembly. The good news is that you can use your skate multitool for the whole process. No fishing around for a screwdriver or wrench.
The first thing you need to do is take your old wheels off.
After you’ve removed the wheels, you need to remove the four bolts that hold your trucks onto your deck.
Slip the risers in between the deck and the truck and put the longer bolts through the hole. It can be a bit tricky to get all the holes to line up. Once you’ve got one bolt in the rest should be easier.
Make sure you really tighten the bolts. You don’t want any loose or wobbly elements. That will seriously mess up your ride.
Repeat this process for the other truck and then put your longboard wheels on.
If you skate with a loose truck normally, you will need to tighten them up. Loose trucks just won’t give you the right level of control and stability you need for cruising.
Over tightening your trucks will mean that you aren’t able to carve easily so you need to strike a balance. Try your board out between adjustments to make sure you get it right.
Should You Fit Longboard Wheels on a Skateboard?
The answer to this question is going to be found in the ride.
With a decent set of wheels, nice tight trucks, and good quality bushings you can have a fairly decent cruise.
Your choice of wheels will have the biggest impact on your ride. Cheapo wheels will let you feel every bump, stone, and twig you come across. This is true of every setup.
The major difference between a real cruiser and this sort of hybrid board is your center of gravity.
The risers increase the height of your deck and take your wheelbase further away from the center of the wheels. This means your center of gravity is higher and it will feel really awkward at first.
If you’re an experienced skater you’ll probably be able to figure it out after a few tries. Beginners will find it harder to adjust. It will also be much more difficult to learn to skate on this hybrid board.
The difficulty arises from the fact that these parts just weren’t designed to fit together. You’ll notice a disconnect between your deck and your wheels which can really throw you off.
The combination of a smaller board and big wheels also makes this a really speedy board. Again, this is going to be an issue for beginners. You don’t want to hop on a lightning-fast board when you don’t know how to stop it!
It’s not all bad though.
With the right wheels and some practice, you can have a pretty smooth cruise. You’ll also be able to hop a few curbs and maybe pull off a few simple tricks. The tricks will be dependent on the durometer of your wheels.
Too soft and you’ll get lots of bounce back which will throw you off. Too hard and you’ll find it difficult to control the speed.
Another great thing about this mashup board is that it’s much more portable than a cruiser or longboard. The smaller deck is much easier on the arms when carrying it. You’re also less likely to bash it on something accidentally.
If you were hoping to get the best of both worlds by putting longboard wheels on your skateboard, you’ll be disappointed.
You won’t get the smoothest, quickest, or most comfortable cruising experience. Nor will you be able to pull off technical tricks like you would on a normal skateboard.
What you will get is an ok cruise on a more portable board. Again, this is dependent on the wheels you buy.
If you’re a beginner hoping to make a longboard before splashing out on a real one, you’re going to find this difficult.
The hodgepodge design really upsets the feel of the board and makes it quite uncomfortable to control. You are better off getting a longboard and learning on that. Otherwise, you’ll have to relearn how to ride.
So, yeah, you can put longboard wheels on a skateboard. But, for the best ride, you probably shouldn’t.