A skater must consider many aspects like diameter, durometer, material, core, width, bearing, and many other stuff of wheels to find the suitable one according to his style. However, the durometer or the hardness is a massive consideration that can drastically affect your riding experience.
Soft wheels are now prevalent in the skateboarding industry. If you plan street skating with softer wheels, you need to follow some rules and must understand the features of skate wheels.
And that’s why I am going to discuss all the benefits of softer wheels in this article to determine whether it’s a good wheel for street skating.
So, without further ado, let’s begin.
What Is A Soft Wheel
When it comes to skateboard wheels, there are either hard or soft wheels. The durometer of the wheel determines this hardness. The wheel is measured on a scale of 1 to 100. 1 being the softest wheel, the 100 means the most rigid wheel you can get for a skateboard.
Simply speaking, the higher the number and the harder the wheel will be. On the market, you’ll see a durometer range of 78A to 104A to determine this hardness. The hardness of 78A – 87A is typically considered soft. And 78A is the softest wheel available at the market.
Some companies like bones gauge it another way also. They use Shore durometer B scale to gauge the hardness of wheel. Shore durometer B scale reads 20 points lower than shore durometer A and as a result cover the whole wheel durometer range in one scale.
That means 104A durometer in A scale counts only 84B durometer in B scale shore. The lowest the scale the softer the wheel is.
How it works
Softer wheels are made of the same material as a hard wheels. However, the main difference is the softness, which makes the wheels work differently.
Firstly, you’ll notice the wheels sticks well on the surface because of their softness. Also, the softness somewhat works like a suspension for the whole truck setup.
So, if you go over a small object or bump, the softer wheels work as the perfect suspension so that you don’t feel it. These numbers or things are pretty standard on regular surfaces, so soft wheels are known to perform better at street skating.
Can You Do Street Skating With Soft Wheels
Yes, you can do street skating with softer wheels. However, the real question should be whether it’s suitable for street skating. For this, you need to understand what street skating is.
So, street skating involves using objects around you to do tricks. Those objects can be rails, ledges, staircases, or any other obstacles you can find.
These surfaces aren’t as smooth as a skate park’s bowl, transitions, or vets where you can grind and get momentum.
In that case, softer wheels provide better grip and a smoother ride on those street objects. Softer wheels can be an excellent option for your street-style skating if you do more tricks on street objects and hard objects.
Why Soft Wheel Is Suitable For Street Riding
Soft wheels are not only great for street skating, but they are also great for regular street rides too. So, if you plan to go with soft wheels for everyday street riding, here are some benefits.
- More forgiving on rough surfaces
You are riding on the street, so there will likely be bumps or cracks. In those scenarios, harder wheels can be hard to maneuver or control, while softer wheels are more forging, suppressing them.
- Great cruising experience
Street riding means you are going to use the skateboard for cruising. If that’s what you plan to do, softer wheels can be an excellent choice for their balance of grip, comfort, and safety.
Also check: can you use cruiser wheels to skate
- Consistent speed
Consistent speed is another benefit of softer wheels. These wheels don’t have the same aggressive acceleration or speed as hard wheels. Being soft, you can quickly make it consistent and easy to handle on the street.
Benefits Of Soft Wheels In Street Skating
I have stated many times before softer wheels are better for street skating. But do you want to know the reasons?
If you do, here are some compelling ones to encourage you to go with soft wheels for street skating.
Street skating isn’t don’t on controlled spaces like a skate park or vert. So, safety is a must for street skating. In that regard, soft wheels come very handy as they offer excellent grip and control speed so that the skateboard doesn’t slip away from under your feet.
Comfort is another reason you should go for softer wheels when street skating. Remember I said these wheels work as a suspension! When you land after a trick or go over a bump on the street, these suspension-like wheels will make your skating experience more comfortable.
- Good for beginning
If you are starting your journey into skating tricks, you should begin with softer wheels. The reasons behind this are pretty simple; you get controlled speed, comfort, grip, basically everything a novice street skater could ask for in softer wheels.
- Better grip
This is the last and probably the most significant benefit of softer wheels. You get the best grip when you are using softer wheels. Street skating often involves rough surfaces; riding and landing on them can be pretty challenging. In that regard, this grip comes super handy.
Now last part of this article.
Which Durometer Range Is Best For Street Skating
In scale shore A, 88A-95A is best for street skating according to ccs company. But not all companies wheel durometer are the same in case of gauging hardness of wheels. For example in case of Bones company, the best durometer for street skating ranges from 58B-61B (58b is softest).
You may also use 78A-88A wheels for street skating for better jump on bumps and grip on street. Some skaters like softest wheel to street skate because it is considered as all-rounder wheel. You may do tricks with that, slide with the wheel, commute and transition skate and most importantly (to support our title) street skate with it.
So I suggest to use something between 78A-88A for better experience. Don’t go for hardest wheels.
That’s a wrap for today. I hope my article will help you understand all about softer skating wheels. As you can seen, softer skating wheels have a lot of benefits that can help you with street skating.
However, this same set of benefits can be disadvantageous for you if you are trying a different style of skateboarding like free style boarding.
So, before moving for softer wheels, consider both the durometer and your skating style and put off the hard wheel if you are going for street skating.
Hi, this is Jerry, a skateboarder, who loves to talk about micro-mobility and future of that industry. Coming from motion engineering background, I am very enthusiast about speed, motion, balance and technology. I have taken a mission to carry the fuel free, environment friendly micro-mobile industry forward by educating people about micro-mobile products especially skateboards and longboards. I love skating around very much and encourage people to do so. Its a fun believe me.