What kind of roller hockey wheels should I buy?

For roller hockey players, there are a number of considerations that go into determining what type of wheel to buy. Everything from the surface you’ll be skating on to your weight can affect your choice. Here are some pointers to help you make the best decision for your needs.

Determine the type of surface you will be playing on:

One way that roller hockey wheels are measured is by their durometer—or hardness. This is important because the hardness of a wheel plays a big role in how it will perform on a certain type of surface.

As a general rule, the harder the surface, the harder the wheel durometer should be. Similarly, the softer the surface, the softer the wheel should be.

For instance, if you’re planning on playing outdoors on concrete or asphalt, wheels with a harder durometer will hold up better and last longer than softer wheels, which will chunk and tear apart quickly because of the abrasive nature of the surface.

Here’s a breakdown of wheel durometer and their recommended uses:

72A (XXX Soft), 74A (X-Soft), 76A (Soft), 78A (Multi-Surface): Roller hockey wheels in this durometer range are best suited for inline hockey played on rubber sport court tiles because they provide a greater amount of grip on the softer surface.

80A (Multi-Surface): Wheels with 80A hardness are still considered multi-surface, but most players will not find them to provide enough grip on sport court tiles. These wheels are better suited for wooden floors, or even sealed concrete surfaces.

82A (Outdoor), 84A (Outdoor): Wheels with 82A or 84A hardness are better meant for concrete surfaces like sealed concrete, sidewalk/road concrete, blacktop and asphalt. These types of harder wheels will hold up better to the rugged nature of these surfaces without tearing your wheels apart.

Use your weight as a guideline when selecting wheels:

As you can see, there are multiple durometers potentially meant for various types of surfaces. So how do you know which one is best? This is typically determined by your weight.

Once you determine what type of surface you will be playing on, your weight can determine which wheel hardness is best for you. This usually applies to skaters who play on sport court above all other surfaces. Here is a general guide on what size players should use which wheels:

72A: Less than 150 lbs
74A: 150 – 190 lbs
76A: 190 – 210 lbs
78A: 210+ lbs
80A: Any weight class on the recommended surfaces
82A: Less than 180 pounds on wood or sealed concrete
84A: Any weight class on the recommended surfaces

Remember, these are guidelines—not firm rules. These recommendations can vary between wheel manufacturers, and many players opt to create custom wheel setups using a variety of durometers depending on their style of play. If all else fails, check with the manufacturer to determine their weight recommendations.

For more information on roller hockey wheels, visit www.inlinewarehouse.com.

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