There are many types and brands of wheels to skate on, but which one is best? Does it matter what type of wheels the skates wear? As long as the wheels work it shouldn’t matter right? When it comes to wheels, it’s all a personal preference. Not everybody has a specific wheel they enjoy skating on, but some people do.
There are a few factors that should be taken into consideration when deciding on the perfect wheels for those perfect skates: the hardness or softness of them is one thing. The hardness of wheels is determined by numbers; for example if the number is between 90A and 101A the wheels will be harder. If the wheel is between 78A to 84A the wheel will be noticeably softer. It’s best to pick the softer wheels if they will be used outside often. Softer wheels can be flexible with rugged terrain and acquire a better grip to the surface one is skating on. The harder wheels are often used for inside purposes such as jam skating or roller derby, but a harder wheel doesn’t grip as well either. The hardness and softness of a wheel also depends on the type of floor at the local skating rink. Rinks that contain a wood floor tend to have more grip; try using a harder wheel. For a concrete floor, try using a softer wheel to get a better grip to the floor.
A lot of jam skaters have a personal preference on the wheels they like best. Nate Snow of Team VNLA admits: “My favorite wheel would have to be the VNLA Phenom’s. Skating on those wheels are so heavenly! I like how roll and grip on the floor.” While Dylan Morton of Kounterfit Klothing said: “I prefer the Radar Speed Ray wheels on my skates because of the grip and overall smoothness of the wheel.” The best set of wheels to one person may not be everyone’s favorite wheel to skate on. Some people like a super good grip when they skate, but some people prefer to glide across the floor. It doesn’t matter which wheel one decides; as long as they love their wheels that’s all that matters!
The shape of the wheels is also something to take into consideration when creating the perfect skate. Some people are probably thinking “wheels can have a shape? Aren’t they all circles?” Yes! All wheels are circles, but some wheels are thinner and smaller compared to the wider style. The smaller wheels will often be seen on outdoor skates as well as rhythm skates. These small wheels make it easier to make precise and swift turns when necessary. Wide-track wheels are used on most jam skates and speed skates because the wider surface of the wheel will provide more grip for the skater.
Deciding on which wheels to get can be as easy as just picking the color, but it can also be tricky when it comes to the hardness, softness, type of floor, and how one skates. Finding the best wheels to skate on is all a personal preference, but all options should be taken into consideration.
What is your favorite wheel to skate on?!