Hard Vs Soft Wheels For Skateboarding? Which Should You Choose

Hard Vs Soft Wheels For Skateboarding Which Should You Choose

Choosing the wrong wheels can ruin your skating experience. Therefore, apart from looking at the wheel size, style, material, and brand, you should also consider the durometer of the wheel. Now, what does the wheel durometer depict? This is simply the measure of the wheel’s hardness or softness. Hence, you need to consider a wheel’s durometer to determine its hardness.

You might wonder, how would you know if you want hard or soft wheels. Well, as a general rule, soft wheels are perfect for cruising and skating on rough terrain. On the contrary, if you want to perform technical tricks, then hard wheels will go quite well. Moreover, the hard wheels are perfect for skating on smooth surfaces such as a skate park. This is because they are prone to cracking if they are run over even a small obstacle like a pebble. Therefore, if you skate regularly on rough surfaces, then use a skateboard with soft wheels.

Still, confused between choosing the hard or soft wheels? Worry not, you are at the right place. In the guide below, I will discuss the characteristics of hard and soft wheels and how they are perfect for certain types of skating. 

Hard Skateboard Wheels

The basic difference between hard and soft skateboard wheels lies in the terms of the durometer. The hard wheels have a durometer range of 96A to 104A. Here 96A is the least hard while 104A is the hardest skateboard wheels. In rough terrain, however, the harder the wheel becomes, the louder the sound it produces, and the more uncomfortable the ride. 

Moreover, with hard wheels, speed control is a difficult task. This further makes them an arguable choice for beginners. As for street skating, if you want to go with hard wheels, choose the 99A durometer wheels. On the contrary, 100A to 104A are generally recommended for professional skaters.

Pros and Cons of Hard Skate Wheels


  • Provide good acceleration
  • Perfect for professional skating
  • Do not bounce heavily
  • Recommended for technical skating
  • Fewer chances of having flat spots


  • Make speed control difficult
  • Prone to getting damaged on rough terrain

Skateboard With Soft Wheels

Soft wheels are perfect when it comes to cruising and skating for long hours. Moreover, if you skate on rough surfaces, then soft wheels are an ideal option. This is because they slide easily over small obstacles and do not get damaged. The durometer range of soft wheels is between 77A to 87A. Here 77A is the softest skateboard wheel, while 87A is closest to the hard ones.

Soft wheels also make speed control easier, making them an ideal option for beginners and kids alike. Therefore, if your kids are starting to learn skating, buy them a pair of soft wheels.

Pros and Cons of Soft Skateboard Wheels


  • Easy to ride on a rough surface
  • Can be ridden easily for long hours
  • Less prone to damage even on rough terrain
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Easy to control the speed


  • Quite bouncy and difficult to ride on flat surfaces such as a skate park
  • Prone to get flat spots easily

Hard Vs Soft Skateboard Wheels: A Comparison

As already explained, hard and soft wheels differ in terms of their durometer and this, in turn, determines their individual characteristics. But what other differences are present between soft skateboard wheels and hard skateboard wheels?

Let’s find out!

Hard Sate WheelsSoft Skate Wheels
Durometer range of 96A to 104ADurometer range of 77A to 87A
Do not rebound muchHigh rebound rate
Speed control is difficultSpeed control is easy
Difficult to ride on rough terrainPerfect for rough terrain
Fewer chances of flat spotsHigh chances of flat spots

Key Takeaways

Choosing the right kind of wheels is key to enjoying your skateboarding experience. Hence, consider your skating style before investing in any kind of wheel. It is good that you start with a skateboard with soft wheels and once you have aced all the tricks, only then do you move to the hard wheels. This way you will be able to control your skating speed easily.

Hopefully, the guide above will help you land the perfect wheels for your skateboard.


Are soft wheels better for skateboarding?

Soft wheels are a perfect choice for every beginner. Moreover, if you skate to work or school, then the soft wheels are an ideal choice. Therefore, in certain instances, soft wheels are a good choice. Moreover, if you choose the slightly higher ones, the chance of wheel bite is also reduced.

Do harder skateboard wheels go faster?

The speed of skateboard wheels highly depends on the type of surface. However, hard wheels do spin faster especially on very smooth surfaces such as a skatepark. This is the reason that beginners are recommended soft wheels so they can control their skating speed.

Which wheels are perfect for professional skaters?

As a professional skater, you will have control over your skating speed and you will be perfect at tricks too. Therefore, hard wheels are a good choice when it comes to professional skating.

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