Is it time for you to get new skateboard wheels? Are you confused about soft vs hard skateboard wheels? Do not fret; this article will resolve all your doubts.
Skateboard wheels specifications can be confusing to beginners, so they end up choosing the wrong wheels.
You should know the hardness and diameter of wheels in order to make the right choice out of the various wheels available. Once you know how to identify whether the wheels are hard or soft along with their uses, you can choose the best wheels according to your requirements.
The short answer to your query: soft skateboard wheels vs hard:
Soft skateboard wheels are perfect for cruising and comfortable riding. It is easier to ride on rough roads as it is better suited for handling small objects. But they are not suited for tricks, as they bounce a lot and stick to the surface. Check out here the best soft wheels for skateboard.
Hard skateboard wheels are great for skaters who enjoy performing tricks such as Ollie, flip tricks, powerslides, and more. Because of its lightweight and less grip, it rolls faster on smooth surfaces like ramps, skateparks, streets, bowls, and pools. Our site has a great selection of the best hard skateboard wheels.
Let’s take a deeper look.
Table of Contents
Durometer – Device To Measure Hardness
Wheels that are hard or soft serve different purposes, but to know whether a wheel is hard or soft, you must know how to determine its hardness.
Therefore, a durometer device is used to measure the hardness of rubber and plastic materials items. Albert Ferdinand Shore invented a durometer with an operating range of 1 to 100. As the durometer number increases, the wheels become harder.
To measure hardness, two types of durometer scales are used: A and B. The following is a brief explanation of each scale.
Note: You didn’t have to measure the hardness since the brand measured and listed it on the wheels. You just needed to be able to identify it.
Durometer Scale A
Skateboard wheels are usually marked with an A scale that indicates how hard they are. That’s because both the hard and soft wheels fall under scale A. Scale B is reserved for the hardest wheels whose durometers are higher than 100A.
The wheels with a durometer of 75A are considered soft wheels, and those with a durometer of 100A are considered hard wheels. The hardness of skateboard wheels varies only between 75A to 100A.
Prefer the below table to understand scale A easily:
|Durometer Scale A||Features|
|75A – 87A||Soft and good grip.|
Easily tackle rough roads.
Ideal for cruiser boards, standard skateboards, and longboards.
Best suited for cruising, commuting, and downhill.
|88A – 95A||Medium hard, faster, and less grip|
Still soft enough to cruise over bumps.
Suited for street skating in urban areas.
|96A – 99A||Hard and faster|
Ideal for performing tricks like Ollie, flip tricks, and powerslides.
Great for street and smooth surfaces such as skateparks, ramps, and pools.
Durometer Scale B
Scale B appears when the wheel hardness exceeds 100A. You should also note that scale B wheels are a bit hard for beginners to handle.
The scale B is calculated by subtracting 20 points from scale A. For example, wheels with durometers of 101A and 104A are 81B and 84B on the durometer B scale.
Let’s simplify its use with tables:
|Durometer Scale B||Features|
|80B – 84B||Hardest wheels on the market.|
Only for professional skateboarders for street and park skating.
Soft Vs Hard skateboard wheels
The main difference between soft and hard skateboard wheels is the hardness. Soft wheels are made of softer materials and are less durable than hard wheels. Because of this, different wheels are used for different riding styles, such as the hard wheels, which are suitable for street skating and tricks, while the soft wheels are ideal for cruising and skateboarding on rough roads.
If you’re still confused about hard wheels vs soft wheels skateboard let’s examine the advantages and disadvantages of soft and hard wheels in detail.
Skateboard wheels with a durometer of 75A to 95A are soft. Because they roll faster and maintain speed, they require less effort in pushing and are an excellent choice for cruising around or long distances.
They easily tackle rough roads containing rocks and small cracks. Aside from that, they are comfortable to ride in. The filmers also prefer soft wheels as they come out with a steadier shot.
If you aim to cruise around, soft wheels are superior for you. However, if you’re planning to perform tricks, soft wheels won’t be beneficial. They bounce too much and stick to the surface, so landing tricks become more complex.
Wheels ranging from 96A to 104A (84B) are hard wheels. The wheels are designed for skating and riding on smooth surfaces such as skateparks, ramps, and pools.
If you are a beginner and plan to enter technical skating, hard wheels between 96A and 99A are best for you. The higher the durometer wheels, the more difficult it is to control the board. Only experienced and skilled skaters can manage it.
Harder wheels won’t work on rough roads, as they make more noise and require more effort to push. Soft wheels are best for smooth surfaces and streets.
If you want to buy new skate wheels, check out our review on the best skateboard wheels review. Further, if you’re confused about skateboard wheel types, you can check that as well in our previous articles.
Using either type of skateboard wheel has its pros and cons. Hard wheels provide better balance and stability when skating, which makes them better for tricks and advanced skating techniques. However, they can be harder to control, making them less suitable for beginners. Having soft wheels makes them easier to control, which is why beginners can use them, and even pros can cruise on them. However, they may not provide as much stability on harder surfaces.
Yes, soft wheels are better for beginners because they are easier to control and offer more stability.
Soft wheels are generally better for cruising on streets, sidewalks, and rough roads. However, it is recommended only to use hard wheels on the streets if you are experienced and are familiar with how they work.
No, soft wheels are not harder to control and don’t make tricks easier. However, hard wheels can be more stable and easier to control for tricks.
No, soft wheels are not good for powersliding, because they are not as stable as hard wheels.
So far, I hope your question about soft vs hard skateboard wheels has been answered. As much as we could, the difference between the two wheels was made clear and easy to understand. Of course, you are welcome to comment on any questions or doubts you may have.