Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels 2023 | Zumiez Wheels

Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

You’ve come to the right place if you’re searching to purchase skateboard wheels and are unsure which ones suit you the best. Learn more about hard and soft skateboard wheels in this guide, including how their durometer is calculated.

It will also list the pros and cons of each style of wheel. People refer to skating on hard or soft wheels, so you can better understand what will suit your skateboarding needs the most.

You should choose soft wheels if you want a skateboard for cruising around weather than hard wheels if you want to learn tricks.

Let’s take a look at Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels. This article provides you with enough information about both types of wheels that will make your decision easier. We also have a comparison between skateboard and scooter if you are looking for some other options.

A and B Scales for Skateboard Wheel Durometer

Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

On most wheels, you can see the wheel durometer and diameter. A wheel’s hardness or softness is measured using a wheel durometer on a range of 0 to 100, with a harder wheel being graded closer to 100.

For instance, you’ll often see a rating on these wheels like 92A or 101A, with the 92A wheel being softer than the 101 A wheel due to the 100-point scale.

It can be seen which scale is being used by the “A” next to the scale rating. The durometer for the 92A and 101A wheels is determined using the A scale.

Manufacturers will occasionally measure the durometer using the B scale, which is 20 points less than the A scale. Hence, a wheel with a 79B rating has the same hardness as a wheel with a hardness of 83B is equivalent to a wheel with a hardness of 103A.

While shopping for a new set of wheels, the A and B scale can be perplexing because, despite 83B sounding like a gentler wheel, It’s actually a fairly hard one. It’s crucial to pay attention to the A or B next to the durometer grade so there is no unpleasant surprise when you start skating.

Hard Skateboard Wheels

Faster skating and skating on smoother surfaces benefit from harder wheels. They also have the propensity to endure longer than softer wheels and make power-sliding simple.

A beginner might struggle more to maintain balance on a board with very hard wheels. If you’re new to skating anything between 95A and 99A is a good pick.

Harder Wheels have the drawback of potentially being more challenging to control, especially for beginners. On rougher terrain, they are also more susceptible to slipping.

Your skating style and the surfaces you’ll be using will determine this. Softer wheels can be the better option if you’re just staring off. Moreover, tougher wheels can be a better choice if you’re an experienced skater who intends to skate primarily on the streets.


  • Less Prone to bounce in an unexpected manner
  • Excellent for technical matters
  • More control in enclosed areas
  • Depending on the quality of the polyurethane, less likely to flatten


  • Rough surfaces are vibrating and make a lot of noise
  • Uneasy for extended rides
  • Less appropriate for newcomers

Soft Wheels

The durometer of a these wheels falls between 78A to 87A, with the lower value being preferable for cruising. If you want to sometimes pop a trick or roll around the skatepark, a harder durometer, like 87A, is preferable.

Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

Softer wheels are safer to ride since they don’t damage your board when it runs into small rocks, cracks, or other obstacles. As you run into something harder wheels often block, sending you flying off your board. We’ve all been there and it will happen again.

When you wish to start performing tricks, soft wheels become a disadvantage. It takes much more energy to slide your wheels on the ground because softer wheels have more traction. This wheel makes it far more difficult to pivot out of stunts or enter a powerslide.

Less balance also results from pushing your board aggressively because it makes it difficult to concentrate on your goal (such as 50-the 50s on a coping, for example). Contrary to rigid wheels, they sort of cling to the ground.


  • Excellent cruise experience
  • Push with little effort to maintain speed


  • prone to flat spots
  • bouncy and more difficult to land tricks on
  • excluding technological matters

Performance Factors of Skateboard Wheels Include

Before purchasing a set of these wheels. Keep these two other factors in mind in addition to the durometer of the wheel.

Size of Wheels

Your wheel size, also known as its diameter, is expressed in millimeters. Bigger wheels hold their speed much better and make it easier to roll farther. The drawback is that they are heavier and accelerate more slowly.

A wider wheel diameter will therefore be problematic when trying to perform technical feats or skating an area with a short run-up. On the other hand, a larger wheel will provide a more enjoyable ride if you’re skating bowls, shredding the skatepark, or taking a tour of the town.

The opposite is true when using small wheel sizes. Tiny wheels have a lower top speed and accelerate more quickly but they cannot maintain speed.

 Also, because these wheels are lighter flipping tricks on your board will feel more tactile. If your primary goal is street-style trick skating, the title trade-off may be advantageous.

Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

Urethane Quality

Several manufacturers of skateboard wheels have varying urethane, durability, and rebound characteristics. A skateboard wheel with higher-quality urethane will often have better durability, be less likely to develop flat areas, and have a decent rebound.

Rebound is essentially the speed at which a compressed wheel returns to its original shape. Your wheels are compressed when you land a trick because of the tremendous pressure being applied to them. A wheel with a good rebound will swiftly return to its original shape, aiding in the wheel’s ability to maintain momentum.

The main difference between soft and hard skateboard wheels is that harder wheels often have greater rebounds than softer ones because they snap back into shape with more energy. But, these buffing wheels will not bounce as high during a drop test since they absorb impact more and rebound more slowly. However, harder wheels require far more energy to compress, therefore dropping both soft and hard wheels from a low height without a load can produce inaccurate results.

Soft vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

We discover the ideal skating conditions for both hard and soft wheels, as well as how to categorize them according to rigidity.

Now it’s time to learn the main difference between Soft vs Hard Skateboard Wheels:


In general, skateboarding is dangerous. Also, utilizing the wrong wheels or safety gear may increase the hazard. When tackling tough conditions, soft wheels are safer since they avoid road debris.

Utilizing hard wheels in these conditions can cause you to fall on your skateboard.


The main difference between the sustainability of soft and hard wheels is that, Although picking soft wheels might be preferred,  Where as hard wheels are a more practical choice for a wider range of riders.

These rollers are beneficial for new skateboarders as they learn to balance and control. Hard skate wheels are also effective for seasoned or expert skaters.

Riding Comfort

Choose the softest skateboard wheels if you want to feel more comfortable. Apart from the fact that we’re probably not using these rollers on difficult ramps, their gentle characteristics contribute to the smoothness of our rides.

More noise and vibration are produced by hard wheels than by the softest skate wheels.


Even if all brands are of the same quality, wheels could degrade more quickly than their counterparts. Hard wheels last longer because flat-spotting is less of a problem for them.

Best Skateboard Wheels

The best skateboard wheels are given below:

Soft WheelsRicta Clouds; 56mm; 78a
Medium WheelsDarkroom Triclops Crush, 53mm; 90a
Hard WheelsSpitfire Formula Four; 53mm, 99a

Spitfire Formula Four

For the majority of skaters, the Spitfire Formula Four classics are without a doubt the best wheels. They are composed of incredibly resilient polyurethane that can withstand a lot of wear, come in a variety of sizes, and have varied durometers.

Almost many street skaters will say they use spitfire wheels if you ask them. The Classic form is ideal for street and park skating. These are hard wheels and are best for skaters who love to ride on skateboard wheels hard.

Soft Vs Hard Skateboard Wheels

Ricta Clouds

These ultra-soft wheels from Ricta have a proprietary urethane composition that provides optimum grip on any surface, and the inner nylon core ensures that the wheel shape stays intact.

With these Ricta Clouds, as with any wheel larger than 55mm in diameter, you should choose mid to high-profile trucks, though if you like low-profile trucks, you might be able to get away with a lower truck if you employ riser pads of a sizeable thickness.

Darkroom Triclops Crush

Darkroom Triclops crush wheels are the best medium wheels. Beginners may also try these wheels if they want. These wheels come in a variety of sizes and durometer.


The process of purchasing wheels is not difficult. To create the optimal configuration, just blend the size and hardness with attention to detail.

You shouldn’t be confused anymore when trying to limit your alternatives now that you understand how soft vs hard skateboard wheels function.

Skate with assurance through parks, streets, and long routes. Your next ride is waiting on the greatest wheels. Hope this article clears your doubt about the promenat differences between soft and hard skateboard wheels.


Is 99a Hard Wheels?

Most of the smaller, tougher skateboard wheels fall between 97A and 101A. The wheels in this category that are the most popular are 99A through 101A. Hard Wheels seem incredibly slick and plastic. On Flat grounds, they move quickly and smoothly, but on rough ground, they rattle and are uncomfortable to ride.

Are 78a Wheels too Soft?

Although 78a wheels are too soft for riding bowls, they are excellent for beginners or skaters who are still getting acquainted with the sport. When learning stunts, 78a wheels provide you with greater grip and reduce some shock.

Are Zumiez Wheels Good for Beginners?

Beginner’s skateboards and wheels from Zumiez let you get into skating in style. There is a great starter board for everyone, with skateboard completes wheels available in sizes ranging from 6.5’’ to 8.5’’ and above. 

Robert Henry-Author Skate Orb

Who Is Roy Harris

Hey there, I’m Roy Harris, and skateboarding is my life.
Growing up in sunny Southern California, I fell head over heels for skateboarding at an early age. From the moment I stepped on a skateboard, I knew it was my calling.

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