The Difference Between Hard and Soft Skateboard Wheels

Ever since the first skateboard made its debut in 1959, skateboarding as a sport has been growing steadily, both in popularity and innovation. A crucial part of many cultures and movements, skateboarding has always been something young people enjoy, with it becoming an official profession and a way to earn money for many.

However, as cool as it is, skateboarding isn’t simple. It requires a lot of learning, trial and error, and a bunch of equipment for both you and your board. There can be a big time gap between you learning how to balance yourself on the board and casually cruising around to you actually doing tricks with your board at the skatepark.

Still, no matter what you use your board for and how much time you need to get from point A to point B to point C, gear is crucial and it dictates a lot for your style, quality of ride, what you can do with your board, and so on. Out of all the skateboarding gear, skate board wheels seem to make some of the most significant differences for riders. Here’s why.

Skateboard Wheels: What’s The Deal?

Skateboard wheels

As I said, the wheels you have on your skateboard matter as much as your deck, bearings, and other parts. There are two types of skateboard wheels you can choose from – soft wheels and hard wheels. Both of these have their own intricacies and are used for different purposes. If you can’t really figure out what the big deal is, I’m here to explain it to you, so next time you buy quality skate board wheels you’ll know exactly what to look for.

Soft Skateboard Wheels

Soft skateboard wheels

Soft or hard, skateboard wheels affect many more aspects than just the look of your board. Sure, you can get all kinds of cool-looking wheels nowadays, with every design imaginable available out there, but that’s not really the point unless you want a board that’s going to sit at home. The main thing about skateboard wheels is how they affect your ride.

Soft wheels are wheels for beginners and professionals alike. They have the same composition as hard wheels but differ in density and elasticity if you will. However, soft wheels are the wheels you should get if you’re a beginner skateboarder as you won’t really be heading for the skatepark for a while. It’s because of their softness and bounciness that they are perfect for cruising and thus, for learning.

They stick to the surface they’re on, giving you much more grip and a smoother, easier ride than hard wheels ever could. They’re also great for maintaining a desirable speed and make the skateboard easier to push, which, of course, results in a sleek ride, no matter which surface you’re riding on. Soft skateboard wheels are also pretty quiet because of their composition, so you’ll be able to avoid making too much buzzing noise while cruising around. However, you won’t be able to perform tricks with them because of their softness and their being as bouncy as they are.

More bounce means less control, which isn’t something you can work around when trying to land an ollie.

Hard Skateboard Wheels

Hard skateboard wheels

You probably guessed it already, but hard skateboarding wheels are the ones you should look for when trying to learn and land tricks.

Never start out with hard wheels as they don’t stick to surfaces like soft wheels do, which means they won’t be as stable as you need them to be as a beginner, which might result in falls and injuries. Hard skateboard wheels are much denser, which gives them an advantage when trying out tricks and successfully landing them.

In comparison to soft wheels, they’re great for technical things you’d like to try out and they’re much easier to control than their soft cousins. Because of their composition, they don’t stick to surfaces, which means they won’t cause any issues at the skatepark. It’s much easier to accelerate when riding on hard wheels, and with speed being something you most definitely depend on when doing certain tricks, it’s easy to understand why these guys are much better than soft wheels when it comes to this subject.

Furthermore, lacking bounciness, they are less likely to throw you off your path or ruin your landing, but you will, however, need practice with them as they aren’t as stable i.e. they can roll off easily since they lack the grip aspect. However, as great as they are for tricks, hard skateboard wheels are just dreadful when it comes to cruising. Quite uncomfortable for long rides, they will send vibrations throughout the board and your legs, depending on the surface they’re on, making the whole ride very noisy and very hard. They’ll also make the board harder to push.

To Round Things Up

Skateboard wheel

For comfortable, long, and safe cruising always go with soft skateboard wheels. For tricks at the skatepark, or anywhere else really, go for hard. That’s the bottom line. One thing you should always take into consideration, though, is that your wheels, no matter if they’re soft or hard, should always be quality-made and properly installed.

It’s the only way you can successfully ride your skateboard without breaking an arm or a leg. Look for wheels in skate shops around Australia that sell brand-named gear you know you can trust.

Also, pay attention to your skateboard, take care of it, always replace parts when their time has come, and mind traffic when cruising. It’s only fun as long as it’s safe! Daredevil stuff is for the skatepark, and even then, make sure you have the proper experience, proper footwear, and some friends around to help you out.