Photo & Words by Connor Poulsen
Skateboard wheels come in all sorts of sizes, durometers, and colors, and they all keep us rolling. Skateboarders have been rolling around on urethane wheels since 1972, when Frank Nasworthy introduced the urethane wheel to skateboarding and launched his company, Cadillac Wheels. Up until that point, skateboard wheels were clay or steel, so thank Frank Nasworthy for your smooth rollers!
The versatility of urethane and the different kinds of wheels that can be made out of it is really quite fascinating. Some wheels are so soft they are nearly bouncy balls, and feel more grippy than duct tape. On the other end of things, there are very hard wheels that can slide about for all your powersliding needs. Both of these types of wheels have their place in skateboarding, and serve a purpose, whether it's cruising on soft wheels or skating a street spot on hard wheels.
The urethane wheel has expanded the boundaries of what can be done on a skateboard, and made skateboarding a lot more enjoyable. We as 21st century skateboarders should make sure to not take our urethane wheels for granted. Give your wheels a pat on the back and throw down some tricks that make you appreciate them more. Thank you urethane, we love you.