Skateboards come with different wheel hardness ratings like soft, medium, and hard. There are 3 main rating systems: durometer (or duro), rebound rating, and stone grind rating. Durometer measures how much a wheel will deform under pressure; rebound rating measures how much a wheel will deform when pressure is removed; and stone grind rating measures the stiffness of a wheel after it has been used.
There are 4 parts to determining hardness: rock well, rock flat, rock hard, and rock steady. Rock well consists of taking 2 measurements: one in the middle and one near the edge (where most boards break). Rock flat measures the wheel when it’s sitting still and rock hard measures the wheel when it is under pressure. Rock steady is a combination of the 3 other ratings.
When you know how to determine the hardness of a skateboard’s wheels, what do you think about doing? Different wheel types are better for different surfaces. Softer wheels are great for cruising around on smooth surfaces, but they won’t work as well on rougher terrain. Harder wheels are better for riding on rougher surfaces, but they can be a bit more difficult to control on smoother surfaces. Ultimately, it’s up to the skater to decide which wheel type is best for them.
When you’re checking out a skateboard’s wheels, look for wheels that are as close to the middle as possible. These will be the perfect addition to any surface and they’re so versatile! You should also consider how durable a wheel is – particularly if it’s an outdoor skate – since softer wheels won’t last as long under heavy use.
A Guide to Skateboard Wheel Hardness
78a to 87a Wheels
78a -87a are soft wheels that provide a smoother ride and grip on rough surfaces. This makes them perfect for sidewalks or roads with pebbles, rocks, etc., making it easier to maintain control over your board in these conditions when compared to hard wheeled longboards which would be too tough if ridden through such terrain.
88a to 95a Wheels
88a to 95a is less grippy but still great for riding on rough surfaces and street skating. They’re just a bit faster and harder than the softer durometers, so they make it easier not to have any kind of abusive rider who wants an all-out attack from their deck!
96a to 99a Wheels
For those just starting, these wheels are a good choice. They’ve got enough grip and speed so that you can use them on both streets or smooth surfaces like skate parks and ramps!
100A+ Skateboard Wheels
101a plus wheels are the fastest and hardest with no traction. They’re only used on smooth surfaces, but they get torn up or develop flat spots quickly so hard wheels might last longer than softer ones if you have rough terrain in your area where longboarding is popular (or skaters who live near harsh city streets).
Soft versus Hard Wheels: Which Ones Should You Get for Your Skateboard?
When you’re shopping around for skateboard wheels, you’ll come across two types of wheel hardness: soft and hard. Which one should you get for your skateboard?
The answer to that question depends on a few factors, such as the type of skating you do and your skill level. Soft wheels are ideal if you like doing smaller tricks and aren’t looking for any speed. They also provide a bit more cushion. Harder wheels, on the other hand, are for those who want speed and look to do higher-level trick skating.
Let’s take a closer look:
Soft: If you’re into grinding and don’t care about how fast you go, then soft wheels are perfect for you. They make it easy to do small tricks and provide a bit of cushion if you fall.
Hard: Hard wheels are great for those who want speed. They’re also better for doing tricks that involve more speed and momentum, like flips and grabs.
In general, the lighter your skateboard is, the harder you should go. The heavier it is, the softer you can get away with it. This is because heavier decks are better at absorbing the shock of hard wheels than soft ones.
You should also consider other factors like terrain and your skill level when choosing wheel hardness to ensure that you’re getting what you need and want out of your wheels.
And don’t worry; you can always switch up the softness of your wheels if they don’t meet your expectations!
Skateboard Wheel Diameter
The diameter of a skateboard wheel is measured in millimeters (mm). Most wheels range from 50-60mm, but some go as small as 40mm or as large as 70mm.
Skateboarders typically use larger wheels for cruising and smaller wheels for doing tricks. Larger wheels provide more speed and stability, while smaller wheels are better for flipping and grinding.
If you’re just starting, it’s best to go with a wheel diameter that’s in the middle of the range (50-55mm). As you progress and get more comfortable on your skateboard, you can experiment with different sizes to see what you like best.
Skateboard Wheel Durometer
Durometer is the measure of a wheel’s hardness and is expressed in A Scale. Wheels with higher durometer numbers will provide you with the most resistance. Most skateboard wheels range from 75A-101A, but some go as low as 49A or as high as 106A.
The A Scale of the durometer measures the “resistance to indentation,” which is basically how difficult it is for a wheel when applying 100 pounds of force, to press into a surface. Softer wheels are malleable enough to allow skaters to perform tricks with all their weight, while harder wheels are for those who need more speed and stability.
Most skateboarders use a wheel durometer that falls in the 75A-85A range. If you’re just starting, it’s best to stick with something in the middle of that range so you don’t have to worry about wheel stiffness and can focus on learning how to ride. As you experiment with different durometer ratings, it’s important to find one that is a good fit for your skating style.