What Skateboard Wheels Originally Were Made Of

Without 'em we'd be snowboarding on concrete

Skateboarding has come a long way since its early days in the 1950s. The sport has evolved over the years, and one of the key elements that has contributed to its growth and development is the equipment used. One such piece of equipment that has undergone significant changes is the skateboard wheel. Originally made of clay, skateboard wheels were replaced with rubber in the 1970s, marking a major milestone in the history of the sport.

Cay Wheel (1950s)

The clay wheel was the original skateboard wheel. It was first introduced in the 1950s and was made by molding a mixture of clay and other materials into a wheel shape. The clay wheel was hard and heavy, which made it challenging to maneuver and control on the skateboard. However, at the time, there were no other options available, so skateboarders had to make do with what they had.

Polyurethane Wheels (1960s)

In the 1960s, the first polyurethane wheels were invented. These wheels were an improvement over the clay wheels as they were lighter, more durable, and provided better traction. However, they were still relatively expensive and not widely available.

Rubber Wheels (1970s)

It wasn't until the 1970s that the rubber wheel was introduced, and it quickly became the standard for skateboard wheels. The rubber wheel was much lighter than its predecessors and provided excellent traction, making it much easier to control the skateboard. Additionally, rubber wheels were less expensive to produce, which made them more affordable for skateboarders.

The introduction of the rubber wheel in the 1970s marked a significant milestone in the history of skateboarding. The new wheels allowed skateboarders to push the limits of what was possible on a skateboard, leading to the development of new tricks and styles of riding. The lighter weight of the rubber wheels made it possible for skateboarders to achieve greater speeds and more impressive airs. As a result, the sport grew in popularity, and skateboarders began to push the boundaries of what was possible.


In conclusion, the evolution of the skateboard wheel from clay to rubber has been a crucial factor in the growth and development of the sport of skateboarding. While the clay wheel was the original, it was heavy and challenging to control. The introduction of the rubber wheel in the 1970s changed everything, making skateboarding more accessible and allowing skateboarders to push the limits of what was possible. Today, skateboard wheels continue to evolve, with new materials and designs being introduced to help skateboarders achieve even greater heights.

Related: Wheels , 1950s , Skateboard Wheels , Skate history , 1960s , 1970s .