Skateboarding is not just a sport, it is a way of life. Skateboarders take their gear seriously, and one of the most important components of a skateboard are the wheels. Choosing the right type of skateboard wheels is crucial to the overall performance of the board. In this article, we will discuss the different types of skateboard wheels available in the market and their characteristics.
What are the different types of skateboard wheels?
There are three main types of skateboard wheels – street, park, and cruiser wheels.
Street Wheels: Street wheels are designed for technical skateboarders who perform tricks on urban surfaces such as stairs, ledges, curbs, and rails. These wheels are usually made of harder polyurethane (90-101A durometer) and are smaller in size (49-52mm) than other types of skateboard wheels. Street wheels provide a solid grip and stability for landing on hard surfaces.
Park Wheels: Park wheels, as the name suggests, are designed for use in skateparks. These wheels are larger in size (53-56mm) and softer (78-87A durometer) than street wheels. Park wheels allow skaters to gain more speed and provide a smoother ride on the ramps and bowls found in skateparks.
Cruiser Wheels: Cruiser wheels are designed for skateboarders who want to use their board as a mode of transportation. These wheels are usually larger in size (56-60mm) and are made of soft polyurethane (78-87A durometer) to provide a smooth ride on rough surfaces. Cruiser wheels also have a wider contact patch for better traction on the road.
How do durometer and size affect the performance of skateboard wheels?
Durometer and size are two important factors that affect the performance of skateboard wheels.
Durometer: Durometer refers to the hardness of the wheel and is measured using a scale called the Shore A scale. The higher the number, the harder the wheel. Wheels with a higher durometer are faster and more durable but provide less grip and are harder to control. Wheels with a lower durometer are slower but provide more grip and are easier to control. Softer wheels are ideal for skateboarders who want to ride on rough terrain such as asphalt, while harder wheels are better for cruising on smoother surfaces.
Size: Skateboard wheels come in various sizes depending on the type of skating you do. Smaller wheels (49-52mm) are best suited for technical street skating as they are more responsive and provide greater control, while larger wheels (53-60mm) offer more speed and a smoother ride and are best suited for park and cruising.
What is the difference between conical and symmetric skateboard wheels?
Skateboard wheels come in two shapes – conical and symmetric.
Conical Wheels: Conical wheels have a tapered shape with a wider diameter at the top and a smaller diameter at the bottom. These wheels provide better control and stability, making them ideal for street skating.
Symmetric Wheels: Symmetric wheels have the same diameter and width all around the wheel. These wheels offer a more balanced performance making them ideal for park and cruising.
What is the impact of color on skateboard wheel performance?
Color does not affect the performance of skateboard wheels. The color of the wheel is just a cosmetic feature that adds a style element to the board. Skaters can choose any color wheel they like without worrying about their performance.
What are the advantages of using transparent skateboard wheels?
Transparent skateboard wheels are a recent trend in the skateboard industry. These wheels are made of high-quality materials and are popular because of their unique look. They offer the same performance as regular skateboard wheels but give the board a sleek and modern look. Skaters who want to stand out from the crowd prefer transparent wheels.
Are there eco-friendly options for skateboard wheels?
Yes, there are eco-friendly options for skateboard wheels. Some skateboard wheel manufacturers use recycled materials to make their wheels, which is a sustainable option. There are also companies that make eco-friendly skateboard wheels from environmentally friendly materials such as bamboo, which is a renewable resource. Skaters who are environmentally conscious can choose these eco-friendly options without compromising their performance.
In conclusion, choosing the right skateboard wheels is crucial to the overall performance of your board. Street, park, and cruiser wheels are the three main types available in the market, each designed for a specific type of skateboarding. Factors such as durometer, size, and shape determine the performance of the wheels. Color and transparency are cosmetic features, while eco-friendly options are for environmentally conscious skaters. By understanding these factors, skateboarders can choose the best wheels for their style of skating.