What Is Wheelbase Skateboard: Your Complete Guide

Jessy Jean Bart

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What Is Wheelbase Skateboard

Skateboarding is not just a sport; it’s an art form, a means of expression, and a culture all rolled into one. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or a beginner taking your first push, there’s a whole world of factors that influence your ride. 

One such crucial element is the wheelbase of your skateboard. But what exactly is a wheelbase, and why does it matter? 

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive deep into the world of wheelbase skateboarding, answering five frequently asked questions to help you gain a better understanding of this critical component of your skateboard setup.

What Is Wheelbase Skateboard?

A wheelbase in the context of a skateboard refers to the distance between the two sets of wheels on the skateboard deck. It is the measurement from the center of the front set of wheels (typically the trucks) to the center of the rear set of wheels (also the trucks). 

The wheelbase is an important dimension because it can significantly affect the skateboard’s stability, maneuverability, and overall riding characteristics. Here are some key points about wheelbase skateboards:

Cruiser Boards

Cruiser skateboards often have longer wheelbases to offer a smooth and stable ride, making them ideal for transportation and cruising.

Street and Park Decks

Skateboards designed for street and skatepark tricks typically have shorter wheelbases to enhance agility, making it easier for skateboarders to pop ollies, flip tricks, and navigate tight spaces.

Downhill and Longboard Decks

Downhill skateboards and longboards typically have longer wheelbases to provide stability at high speeds, as riders need to maintain control during descents.


Some skateboard decks have multiple truck mount holes, allowing riders to adjust the wheelbase to their preference. This allows for customization of the board’s handling characteristics.

The wheelbase of a skateboard is the distance between the front and rear trucks and plays a crucial role in determining how the skateboard handles and performs. 

Riders choose wheelbase lengths based on their riding style and preferences, whether they prioritize stability for cruising or maneuverability for tricks and skatepark riding.

Role of Wheelbase in the Overall Skateboard Design

The wheelbase of a skateboard plays a significant role in the overall design and performance of the skateboard. It is one of several key factors that skateboard designers and riders consider when creating or selecting a skateboard. Here are some of the key roles and considerations related to wheelbase in skateboard design:

Stability vs. Maneuverability

Wheelbase length is a crucial factor in determining whether a skateboard prioritizes stability or maneuverability. A longer wheelbase provides greater stability at higher speeds and during long-distance cruising, making it suitable for downhill riding. 

On the other hand, a shorter wheelbase enhances maneuverability, which is important for tricks and navigating tight spaces in street and skatepark environments.

Riding Style

Different skateboarding disciplines require different wheelbase lengths. Longboards designed for downhill racing, for example, typically have longer wheelbases to maintain stability during fast descents. In contrast, street skateboards used for tricks have shorter wheelbases to facilitate quick turns and tricks.

Trick Performance

Shorter wheelbases are favored by skateboarders who perform tricks because they make it easier to pop ollies, kickflips, and perform other maneuvers that require agility and responsiveness. The shorter distance between the trucks allows for quicker weight shifts and more precise control.

Cruising and Transportation

Skateboards designed for cruising and transportation often have longer wheelbases. This provides a smoother and more stable ride, making it comfortable for riders to cover longer distances without excessive wobbling.

Deck Shape

The shape of the skateboard deck can also influence the effective wheelbase. Some decks have a tapered shape, meaning they are narrower at one end, affecting the positioning of the trucks and, consequently, the wheelbase.

Skill Level

Beginners might find longer wheelbases more forgiving, as they provide greater stability. As riders gain experience, they may transition to shorter wheelbases for more advanced tricks and maneuvers.

Terrain and Purpose

The type of terrain a skateboard is intended for also influences wheelbase selection. For instance, a skateboard designed for a skatepark might have a different wheelbase than one designed for street skating or cruising on rough terrain.

The wheelbase of a skateboard is a critical design element that influences its stability, maneuverability, and overall suitability for specific riding styles and purposes. 

It’s essential for skateboarders to consider wheelbase length when choosing or customizing their boards to ensure they get the performance characteristics they desire.

Different Types of Wheelbase in Skateboarding

Different Types of Wheelbase in Skateboarding

In skateboarding, there are several different types of wheelbases, each designed to cater to specific riding styles and preferences. The choice of wheelbase can significantly affect a skateboard’s performance. Here are some common types of wheelbases in skateboarding:

Short Wheelbase

Short wheelbases are typically found on street skateboards and are ideal for skateboarders who focus on tricks and maneuvers. These shorter distances between the trucks make it easier to pop ollies, kickflips, and other tricks that require quick and precise board control.

Medium Wheelbase

Medium wheelbases strike a balance between stability and maneuverability. Skateboards with medium wheelbases are versatile and can be used for a variety of riding styles, from street skating to cruising. Many all-around skateboard decks fall into this category.

Long Wheelbase

Long wheelbases are commonly found on longboards and cruiser skateboards. They provide maximum stability at high speeds and are suitable for downhill riding and long-distance cruising. Riders who prioritize stability over trick performance often prefer long wheelbases.

Adjustable Wheelbase

Some skateboard decks feature multiple truck mounting holes, allowing riders to adjust the wheelbase to their liking. This adjustability gives riders the flexibility to fine-tune their board’s handling characteristics based on their preferences and the type of riding they want to do.

Tapered Wheelbase

Tapered wheelbases are often associated with old-school or directional skateboard shapes. These decks have a narrower front end and a wider back end, affecting the positioning of the trucks and wheelbase. This design can influence how the board turns and handles.

Top-Mount vs. Drop-Through

The way trucks are mounted can also impact the effective wheelbase. Top-mount decks have the trucks mounted directly beneath the deck, which may result in a shorter effective wheelbase. 

Drop-through decks, on the other hand, have cutouts that allow the trucks to be mounted through the deck, effectively lengthening the wheelbase.

Micro Cruisers

These extremely small skateboards often have an ultra-short wheelbase. They are designed for portability and quick rides, typically on smooth surfaces.

Dance Longboards

Longboards designed for dancing and freestyle maneuvers often have longer wheelbases. This added length allows for more space on the deck for footwork and tricks.

Electric Skateboards

Electric skateboards come in various wheelbases, but they often have longer wheelbases for stability and accommodate the added weight of the electric components.

The choice of wheelbase should align with a skateboarder’s riding style, skill level, and personal preferences. Ultimately, the wheelbase, along with other factors like deck shape, truck type, and wheel size, contributes to the overall performance and feel of the skateboard. 

Riders may experiment with different wheelbases to find the setup that best suits their needs and riding goals.

How to Measure the Wheelbase of a Skateboard

skateboard wheelbase measurement

Measuring the wheelbase of a skateboard is a straightforward process. You’ll need a few basic tools and a flat surface to do it accurately. Here are the steps to measure the wheelbase of a skateboard:

Tools You Will Need

  • A tape measure or ruler
  • A pencil or pen
  • A piece of paper or a notepad

Here are the steps to follow:

Step 1: Prepare your skateboard

Place the skateboard on a flat and level surface. Make sure it’s stable and not tilted in any direction.

Step 2: Position the skateboard

Stand the skateboard upright so that it is perpendicular to the ground. The tail and nose of the skateboard should be touching the ground while the deck is vertical.

Step 3: Locate the trucks

Identify the trucks of the skateboard. These are the metal components mounted under the deck that hold the wheels.

Step 4: Measure from the center

Use your tape measure or ruler to measure the distance between the center of the front truck and the center of the rear truck. 

To find the exact center of each truck, measure from the inside of each truck’s hanger (the part that holds the wheels) to the edge of the deck. Add these two measurements together to get the wheelbase length.

Step 5: Record the measurement

Write down the wheelbase measurement on your piece of paper or notepad. Make sure to record it in inches or centimeters, depending on your preference or the units you are most comfortable with.

Step 6: Double-check your measurement

To ensure accuracy, it’s a good idea to double-check your measurement by repeating the process. Sometimes, small errors can occur during the initial measurement.

That’s it! You now have the wheelbase measurement of your skateboard. Keep this measurement handy, especially if you plan to make any adjustments to your skateboard setup or if you’re shopping for a new deck and want to ensure it has a wheelbase that suits your riding style.

How Wheelbase Affects Various Riding Styles

The wheelbase of a skateboard significantly affects various riding styles and how the board performs in different situations. Here’s how wheelbase can impact different riding styles:

Street Skateboarding

Shorter wheelbases are common for street skateboarding. They provide a snappy and responsive feel, making it easier to perform flip tricks, ollies, and quick maneuvers in tight urban environments.

Skatepark Skateboarding

Medium wheelbases are versatile and can work well in skateparks. They offer a good balance between stability and maneuverability, allowing skaters to tackle ramps, transitions, and tricks.

Vert Skateboarding

Vert (vertical) skateboarding, which includes riding in halfpipes and bowls, often benefits from a slightly longer wheelbase. This added stability helps skaters maintain control and speed in high-vertical terrain.

Downhill and Speedboarding

Downhill skateboarders and speedboarders typically prefer long wheelbases. Longer wheelbases provide maximum stability at high speeds, which is crucial when racing down hills or performing speed-focused runs.

Freeride Longboarding

Freeride longboarders use a mix of sliding, carving, and downhill techniques. They often opt for medium to long wheelbases to maintain stability during slides and maintain control while carving.

Cruising and Commuting

Skateboards designed for cruising and commuting, especially longboards, usually have longer wheelbases. The increased stability and smoother ride make them ideal for covering longer distances.

Dance Longboarding

Dance longboarders require ample deck space for footwork and tricks. Long wheelbases provide this space, allowing dancers to perform intricate moves comfortably.

Slalom Skateboarding

Slalom skateboarders navigate through a series of tight cones, requiring quick and precise turns. Short wheelbases are favored for this discipline because they enable rapid changes in direction.

Electric Skateboarding

Electric skateboards come in various wheelbases, depending on the manufacturer and intended use. The choice of wheelbase can impact the overall stability and handling of the electric skateboard.

Old-School and Cruiser Skateboarding

Old-school and cruiser skateboards come in a range of wheelbase lengths, often tailored to the intended riding style. Some cruisers have longer wheelbases for a smoother ride, while others may have shorter wheelbases for agility in urban environments.

The wheelbase of a skateboard plays a crucial role in determining its stability, maneuverability, and suitability for different riding styles. 

Skaters should consider their preferred riding style and the terrain they’ll be riding on when selecting a skateboard with an appropriate wheelbase length to achieve the desired performance characteristics.

Complete Skateboard Wheelbase Guide

A complete skateboard wheelbase guide can help you understand how wheelbase affects your skateboarding experience. Here’s a comprehensive overview of wheelbase and its implications for choosing the right complete skateboard:

Short Wheelbase

Wheelbase Length: Approximately 13 to 14 inches (33-35.5 cm)

Characteristics: Short wheelbases are ideal for street skateboarding and technical tricks. They provide quick responsiveness, making it easier to pop ollies, flip tricks, and navigate tight spots. Street skateboard decks often have short wheelbases to optimize maneuverability.

Medium Wheelbase

Wheelbase Length: Typically around 14 to 15 inches (35.5-38 cm)

Characteristics: Medium wheelbases offer a balanced mix of stability and maneuverability. They work well for various skateboarding disciplines, from street and skatepark riding to basic cruising. If you’re unsure about your preferred riding style or want versatility, a deck with a medium wheelbase is a good choice.

Long Wheelbase

Wheelbase Length: Generally 15 inches (38 cm) or longer

Characteristics: Long wheelbases are favored for cruising, commuting, and downhill skateboarding. They provide exceptional stability at higher speeds, making them suitable for long-distance rides and maintaining control while descending steep hills. Longboards typically have long wheelbases.

Adjustable Wheelbase

Wheelbase Length: Some skateboard decks feature multiple truck mounting holes that allow you to adjust the wheelbase. This customization feature enables you to fine-tune your skateboard’s handling characteristics to match your specific preferences and riding style.

Deck Shape and Wheelbase

Some skateboard decks have a tapered shape, meaning they are narrower at one end and wider at the other. This can influence the effective wheelbase and how the board turns. Tapered decks may be preferred by riders who want a unique feel to their setup.

Skill Level

Shorter wheelbases can be more challenging for beginners due to their quick responsiveness, while longer wheelbases offer stability, which can be helpful for novice riders.

As you progress in skateboarding, you may want to experiment with different wheelbase lengths to match your advancing skill level and riding preferences.

Riding Style

Consider your intended riding style. If you plan to focus on tricks and technical maneuvers, a shorter wheelbase is appropriate. If cruising, commuting, or downhill riding is your goal, a longer wheelbase provides better stability and control.


The type of terrain you’ll be riding on also influences wheelbase selection. Shorter wheelbases are better suited for urban environments and skateparks, while longer wheelbases excel on open roads and hills.


Don’t hesitate to experiment with different wheelbase lengths to find the one that suits you best. Everyone has unique preferences, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Remember that wheelbase is just one factor to consider when choosing a complete skateboard. Other factors like deck width, concave, truck type, and wheel size also play vital roles in your skateboarding experience. Ultimately, the right wheelbase for you depends on your individual riding style and personal preferences.


Is 14 inch wheelbase skateboard good?

A 14-inch wheelbase skateboard can be suitable for a variety of riding styles, offering a balance between stability and maneuverability. It’s often a good choice for all-around street and skatepark skating, but preferences may vary based on individual riding style and skill level.

How Does Wheelbase Affect Skateboarding Performance?

Wheelbase influences stability, maneuverability, and responsiveness. Shorter wheelbases are more agile and suitable for tricks, while longer wheelbases offer stability for cruising and downhill riding.

What Types of Riding Styles Benefit from Different Wheelbases?

Short wheelbases are ideal for street and technical skateboarding, medium wheelbases offer versatility, and long wheelbases excel in cruising and downhill disciplines. The choice depends on your riding style.

How Do I Measure the Wheelbase of My Skateboard?

Measuring the wheelbase is easy. Place your skateboard on a flat surface, measure from the center of the front truck to the center of the rear truck, and record the measurement in inches or centimeters.

Can I Customize the Wheelbase of My Skateboard?

Some skateboard decks have multiple truck mounting holes, allowing you to adjust the wheelbase to your preference. This customization feature lets you fine-tune your board’s handling characteristics.

Wrapping Up

Understanding the wheelbase of your skateboard is essential for tailoring your ride to your preferences and riding style. Whether you’re cruising through the streets, grinding rails at the skatepark, or racing down hills, the right wheelbase can make all the difference in your skateboarding experience. 

So, the next time you step on your board, remember that it’s not just a plank of wood with wheels—it’s a finely tuned machine, and the wheelbase is your key to unlocking its full potential. 

Now, armed with the knowledge from this guide, you can make informed decisions about your skateboard setup and elevate your skateboarding game. Happy skating!

Photo of author

Jessy Jean Bart

I am a professional skateboarder and I have been riding for over 10 years. I started my career in 2014 when I was only 18. I got into skateboarding because of my brother, who is 6 years older than me, who introduced me to the sport when he was around 8 or 9. He would always bring his board to school with him and we would go outside and ride it together. LinkedIn

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