Skateboarding is a sport that requires a lot of attention to detail when it comes to the equipment you choose to ride. One of the most important components of a skateboard is the wheels. They are the difference between a perfectly smooth ride and annoying friction slowing you down or making you fall off.
Skateboard wheels come in a variety of sizes and hardness levels, and choosing the right hardness can make a big difference in your overall skating experience. In this post, we’ll explore how to choose the right skateboard wheel hardness.
Types of Skateboard Wheel Hardness
Skateboard wheel hardness is measured using the durometer scale. This scale ranges from 0 to 100, with 0 being the softest and 100 being the hardest. The most common wheel hardness levels for skateboarding are between 78a and 101a. Here’s a breakdown of what each level of hardness means and what type of skating it is best suited for.
These are the softest skateboard wheels available, and they are best suited for cruising and longboarding. They provide a smooth ride and are great for rough terrain, such as sidewalks and streets. They also work well for beginner skaters who are just learning how to ride and need a more forgiving wheel.
These wheels are slightly harder than the 78a-87a wheels and are great for skating on smooth surfaces like skateparks and ramps. They offer a good balance between speed and grip, making them suitable for all types of skateboarding.
These are medium-hard skateboard wheels that are ideal for street skating and technical tricks. They offer a good balance between speed and grip, making them versatile for all types of skating. These wheels are also great for skaters who want to do tricks on rough surfaces, as they provide enough hardness to slide and grind on rails and ledges.
101a and above
These are the hardest skateboard wheels available and are best suited for technical street skating and vert skating. They are extremely fast and provide little grip, making them ideal for skating on smooth surfaces like concrete or wood. These wheels are also great for skaters who want to do tricks that involve a lot of sliding, such as board slides and tailslides.
Things to think about when choosing your skateboard wheel hardness
When choosing the right skateboard wheel hardness, it’s important to consider your skating style and the type of terrain you will be skating on. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start with a softer wheel, as it will provide more grip and stability. As you progress and become more comfortable on your board, you can experiment with harder wheels to see which ones work best for you.
Another important factor to consider when choosing skateboard wheels is your weight. Heavier skaters require harder wheels to provide adequate support and prevent the wheels from deforming or “flattening out” over time. Lighter skaters can get away with using softer wheels, as they won’t put as much stress on the wheels.
Lastly, it’s important to consider the type of bearings you have in your skateboard wheels. Bearings play a crucial role in determining how smoothly your wheels will spin, and they can affect how fast you can go. If you have high-quality bearings, you may be able to get away with using slightly softer wheels, as the bearings will provide a smoother ride.
Choosing the right skateboard wheel hardness is essential to your overall skating experience. It’s important to consider your skating style, the terrain you will be skating on, your weight, and the type of bearings you have on your skateboard wheels. By choosing the right hardness level when replacing or changing your skateboard wheels, you can ensure that you have the best possible ride and that your skateboard performs at its best.
So, whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, be sure to choose the right skateboard wheel hardness for your needs and enjoy the ride.