Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels: Complete Guide

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.

Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

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 AFeatures
75A – 87ASoft and good grip.
Easily tackle rough roads.
Ideal for cruiser boards, standard skateboards, and longboards.
Best suited for cruising, commuting, and downhill.
88A – 95AMedium hard, faster, and less grip
Still soft enough to cruise over bumps.
Suited for street skating in urban areas.
96A – 99AHard 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 BFeatures
80B – 84BHardest wheels on the market.
Only for professional skateboarders for street and park skating.

Soft Vs Hard skateboard wheels

So far, we have discussed the uses and hardness of wheels. Next let’s examine the benefits and disadvantages of soft and hard wheels.

Soft Wheels

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.

Pros
  • Superior for cruising
  • Easily handles rough roads
  • Less effort in pushing
  • Fast
Cons
  • Not suited for tricks
  • Not for skatepark

Hard Wheels

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.

Pros
  • Great to perform tricks
  • Ideal for smooth surfaces
  • Less bouncing
  • Good at speed
Cons
  • Not suited for rough roads
  • Poor for commuting

Related article: Different types of skateboard wheels

Conclusion

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.

Happy Skateboarding!

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