Soft skateboard wheels excel in providing a smoother ride on rough surfaces and better grip for tricks at skateparks. They absorb more road vibrations, making cruising more comfortable.

Skateboarding is not only about performing tricks; it’s also about the quality of the ride. For those who love to glide down city streets or carve up the bowls and ramps at local skateparks, choosing the right wheels is crucial.

Soft skateboard wheels, with their higher ability to grip and absorb irregularities of the terrain, offer a gentler, more forgiving experience. They shine in scenarios where the pavement is less than perfect and when skateboarders prioritize comfort over sheer speed. Such wheels are typically chosen by street skaters and longboarders striving for a pleasant journey or executing technical maneuvers where control is vital. Their popularity is a testament to their functionality in urban environments and versatility in various skateboarding genres.

What are Soft Skateboard Wheels Good for: Smooth Rides & Tricks!


Smooth Skateboard Wheels: An Introduction

The beauty of skateboarding lies in its versatility and the sheer diversity of experiences it offers. This variety extends to every component of the skateboard, with each part playing a pivotal role in shaping the ride. Enter the smooth skateboard wheels, which could be the key to unlocking a new dimension of skateboarding for enthusiasts and casual riders alike. This section delves into the soft side of skateboard wheels, where comfort meets performance on the pavement.

Definition Of Soft Skateboard Wheels

Often referred to as soft wheels, these are skateboard wheels crafted from materials with lower durometer ratings. The durometer scale measures the hardness of skateboard wheels, with soft wheels usually falling in the range of 78A to 87A. These wheels are characterized by their grippy texture and shock-absorbing properties, providing a more forgiving ride on uneven surfaces. Users can easily identify soft wheels by their plush feel and slightly bouncy reaction to pressure.

Importance Of Wheel Hardness In Skateboarding

Wheel hardness, or durometer, is a crucial factor in skateboarding that directly affects traction, speed, and the ability to perform tricks. Soft wheels offer enhanced grip on slick and rough surfaces, making them ideal for cruising and commuting. In contrast, harder wheels are better suited for smooth concrete parks and vert ramps where speed and slide are necessary. Therefore, the choice of wheel hardness significantly influences both the skateboard’s feel and its suitability for different skateboarding styles.

Evolution Of Skateboard Wheels

1950s-1960sSteel/ClayHard, noisy, low grip
1970sUrethaneImproved grip and durability
1980s-todayPolyurethane with varying durometer ratingsWide range of hardness for all styles of skateboarding

The journey of skateboard wheel development is a tale of innovation and technological advancements. From the steel and clay wheels of the past, unsuitable for anything but the smoothest of surfaces, to the introduction of urethane wheels in the 1970s, which revolutionized the sport, the evolution is notable. Today’s wheels offer a spectrum of hardness selections, allowing skaters to tailor their setups to their preferred terrain and skate style. This evolution underpins the ever-changing landscape of skateboarding, responding to the demands of riders for better performance and comfort.

Advantages Of Soft Skateboard Wheels

Soft skateboard wheels offer a distinct set of benefits that can significantly enhance your riding experience. These wheels, often made from polyurethane, come in various levels of hardness, measured on the durometer scale. Typically, a soft wheel will have a durometer less than 90A. Their softer composition makes them ideal for certain surfaces and riding styles. Let’s explore the key advantages.

Enhanced Shock Absorption

One of the primary benefits of soft skateboard wheels is their excellent shock absorption. This feature is especially beneficial for those who enjoy cruising or riding on uneven terrains. The softer wheels compress when they hit bumps or cracks, reducing the impact you feel. This ensures a more comfortable ride, safeguarding your joints from jarring shocks.

Improved Grip On Rough Surfaces

Rough surfaces can be a skateboarder’s nemesis, causing slips and reduced control. Soft skateboard wheels excel in maintaining grip even on challenging terrains. The added traction is invaluable for street skating, where you need that extra stability to navigate obstacles and imperfect pavements.

Smooth And Quiet Rides

The soft composition of these wheels also contributes to smoother and quieter rides. With the wheel’s ability to conform to small pebbles and debris, you get a ride that glides seamlessly over surfaces that would otherwise produce a noisy and bumpy experience. This makes soft wheels perfect for those serene early morning rides or late-night urban explorations.

Choosing The Right Soft Wheels For Tricks

Skateboarding aficionados recognize that the profound marriage between wheels and deck is essential for mastering tricks. With the spotlight on soft skateboard wheels, selecting ones that complement your trick performance is paramount. Swap the hard wheels for soft, and you’ll find a transformed skateboarding experience, especially if you’re aiming for smooth rides and comfortable landings. Yet, to unlock the potential of these soft wonders for tricks, considerations around size, durometer, and quality cannot be overlooked.

Factors To Consider When Selecting Soft Wheels

Choosing wheels tailored for tricks starts with a deep dive into various factors that can influence your skateboarding style and performance:

  • Skating Environment: Soft wheels excel on rough surfaces but consider the skate parks and streets you frequent.
  • Style and Preference: Your individual skating style might benefit from a specific wheel type.
  • Compatibility with the Board: Ensure the wheels fit perfectly with your deck and trucks.
  • Brand Quality: Opt for reputable brands known for durability and performance.

Impact Of Wheel Size On Trick Performance

Wheel size can make or break your trick execution. Generally, soft wheels range in size from small, which offer quick acceleration and agility, to larger ones that provide a stable and swift ride. Smaller wheels, typically in the 50-54mm range, are ideal for technical tricks and street skating where precision is key. Larger wheels, however, could cause your tricks to feel sluggish due to their increased mass and inertia.

Wheel Size (mm)BenefitsTricks Suitable
50-54mmAgility, Quick AccelerationTechnical, Street Skating
55-60mmStability, Higher SpeedCruising, Vert Skating

Best Wheel Durometer For Tricks

When it comes to durometer, a scale that measures the hardness of skateboard wheels, soft wheels generally score lower, offering more grip and shock absorption. A durometer ranging from 78A to 87A is considered soft and is suitable for tricks on rough surfaces where a smooth ride is beneficial. To hit a sweet spot for both comfort and functionality in trick performance, many skaters find wheels rated around 86A to strike the perfect balance.

  • 78A-85A: Great for cruising and filming, these wheels can handle bumps with ease.
  • 86A-87A: An optimal choice for skaters focusing on tricks without compromising on a soft ride.

Maintenance Tips For Soft Skateboard Wheels

Soft skateboard wheels have revolutionized the cruising experience, offering a smoother ride over rough surfaces and exceptional grip during turns. Yet, to sustain their performance, proper maintenance is crucial. The following tips will guide enthusiasts in caring for their soft wheels, ensuring a consistently smooth and safe ride.

Cleaning And Preserving Wheel Integrity

The longevity of your soft skateboard wheels heavily depends on regular cleaning to remove dirt, grime, and small pebbles that can get embedded in the urethane. Start by removing the wheels from the axle and taking off the bearings. Use a soft cloth soaked in soapy water to thoroughly wipe the wheels down. For stubborn dirt, consider using a soft brush. Once clean, dry the wheels completely with a lint-free towel before reassembling. To preserve wheel integrity, avoid harsh chemicals as they can degrade the urethane compound.

Proper Storage Techniques

  • Moisture-Free Environment: Store your skateboard in a dry area to prevent the wheels from absorbing moisture, which can affect performance and accelerate wear.
  • Avoid Sunlight: Prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause the wheels to become brittle. It’s best to store your board in a shaded, cool place.
  • Hang or Lay Flat: Hang your skateboard on a rack or lay it flat to avoid flat spots from forming on the soft wheels due to prolonged pressure.

Replacing Worn-out Soft Wheels

Soft wheels will wear down over time, and it’s important to replace them before they compromise your ride. Regularly examine your wheels for even wear and tear. If you notice significant flattening or if the wheels aren’t rolling as smoothly, it’s time for a replacement. Always replace your wheels with the same size and hardness to maintain the ride quality you’re accustomed to. Installing new soft wheels can reinvigorate your skateboard’s performance and extend its lifespan.

By following these maintenance tips, you should be able to keep your soft skateboard wheels in top condition, providing a buttery smooth skating experience for years to come.

Mastering Tricks With Soft Skateboard Wheels

For skateboard enthusiasts aiming to excel in versatile tricks, the type of wheels they ride can make a monumental difference. Many may overlook the advantages of using soft skateboard wheels for mastering tricks, but their unique properties cater to a distinctive style of skateboarding. Soft wheels offer a smoother ride and can absorb rough terrain, which opens a new realm of possibilities for trick performance. In this discussion, we’ll dive into how soft wheels can enhance your ability to execute and innovate skateboard tricks with precision and flair.

Technique Adjustments For Soft Wheels

Adjusting your technique is essential when transitioning to soft wheels for skateboarding tricks. Since soft wheels grip surfaces more than harder variants, skaters will notice changes in their approach to tricks. Quick snaps and sharp pivots may need refinement to account for the extra traction. Here’s what to consider:

  • Speed management: Soft wheels can slow you down on smooth surfaces, so compensating with a stronger push is key.
  • Pop adjustments: When executing ollies or flips, a more forceful flick counters the wheel’s tendency to stick to the surface.
  • Landing finesse: A softer landing is a perk, but it requires precise balance to maintain control upon impact.

Incorporating Wheel Flexibility Into Tricks

Soft wheels aren’t just about a snugger ride; their flexibility is a treasure trove for inventive tricks. Wheel give can turn an ordinary trick into a spectacle. To incorporate this flexibility, consider:

  1. Embracing the bounce: Use the rebound from soft wheels to add an extra lift or twist to your tricks.
  2. Controlling shifts: During manuals or grinds, soft wheels can deform slightly, allowing for finer control and stability.
  3. Exploring new surfaces: With their shock absorption, soft wheels open up tricks on cracked sidewalks or gritty pavements.

Showcasing The Versatility Of Soft Wheels In Advanced Tricks

The real magic of soft skateboard wheels shines when skaters push the boundaries of advanced tricks. As your skills evolve, so does your awareness of the potential that soft wheels offer. Their versatility becomes evident in tricks that demand adaptability and creative thinking. The key is to leverage the nuanced performance of soft wheels:

Advanced TrickSoft Wheel Advantage
Downhill PowerslidesSoft wheels engage more surface area for smoother, more controlled slides.
Technical FlatlandTheir grip can create intricate footwork without slipping.
Pool and Ramp RidingTheir bounce aids in higher aerial tricks.

The Impact Of Soft Wheels On Skateboarding Culture

Skateboarding has evolved significantly since its inception, with each component of the skateboard making its impact on how skaters ride and express themselves. Soft wheels have made a profound mark on skateboarding culture, offering a completely different experience from their harder counterparts. This segment of the skateboard community has embraced the unique benefits of soft wheels, greatly affecting styles, communities, and events within the skateboarding world. Let’s delve into the influence soft wheels have had on this constantly evolving landscape.

Influence On Skateboarding Styles

Soft skateboard wheels, known for their grip and shock absorption, have opened up a new realm of possibilities for skaters. They’ve notably expanded skateboarding onto rougher terrains, enabling riders to take on surfaces that were once deemed challenging or even unskateable.

  • Expansion of Cruising and Carving: With increased grip, soft wheels allow skaters to cruise with more confidence on uneven surfaces, boosting the popularity of cruising and carving styles.
  • Greater Capacity for Tricks: Their shock-absorbing quality reduces the impact on both the skateboard and the skater, making tricks on higher drops more accessible and enticing.
  • Filming: Aiding in smoother filming while on the move, these wheels have contributed to the production of higher-quality skateboarding videos.

Popularity Among Different Skateboarding Communities

Different skateboarding communities across the globe have adopted soft wheels, integrating them into their local skate culture. These wheels have achieved a universal appeal, cutting across various skateboarding niches.

CommunityPreference Reasons
Street SkatersSoft wheels are favored for their smooth ride over rough asphalt and aid in more silent, stealthy sessions.
LongboardersThe grip and comfort provided by soft wheels align perfectly with the cruising and downhill demographic.
Transition SkatersThough traditionally opting for harder wheels, some are turning to soft wheels for better shock absorption on vert ramps and bowls.

Incorporating Soft Wheels Into Skateboarding Events

Soft wheels are gradually becoming a staple in skateboarding competitions and events. Their presence is increasingly prominent, signifying their role in the advancement of the sport.

  1. Competitions: More skate parks and event organizers are accommodating soft wheel categories, recognizing the distinct style of skating they enable.
  2. Community Jams: Local skate jams and meetups often feature soft wheel divisions, embracing the casual, inclusive vibe they bring to the community.
  3. Exhibition Runs: Professional skaters are often seen using soft wheels during demonstration runs to showcase the versatility and adaptability of their skills on different terrains.

Frequently Asked Questions Of What Are Soft Skateboard Wheels Good For

Why Choose Soft Skateboard Wheels?

Soft wheels provide a smoother ride on rough surfaces. They absorb vibrations and offer better grip, making them ideal for cruising and street skating. Their shock absorbency also makes them quieter on uneven terrain.

How Do Soft Wheels Affect Skateboarding Tricks?

Soft wheels can make executing tricks more challenging due to their increased grip and reduced sliding capacity. They’re not ideal for technical tricks or on slick skatepark surfaces, but they do provide stability for landing.

What’s The Ideal Hardness For Cruising Wheels?

For cruising, soft wheels with a durometer of about 78A to 87A are preferred. These wheels improve ride comfort on rough pavement and can roll over small debris easily, enhancing your cruising experience.

Can You Use Soft Wheels In A Skatepark?

Soft wheels can be used in a skatepark, but they are not optimal. They tend to stick to ramps and ledges due to their grippy nature. Harder wheels are recommended for a smoother park experience.


Soft wheels transform rough rides into smooth ventures. They excel in street cruising and trick landings, making them a skater’s solace on less-than-perfect surfaces. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new on a board, soft wheels offer the grip and comfort essential for a superb skate experience.

Embrace the softer side, and watch your skateboarding evolve.