Soft Wheels VS Hard Wheels Skateboarding

If you’re a new skateboarder, you may find it difficult to understand the difference between soft wheels and hard wheels skateboarding. Also, you must be trying to get your head around what type of skateboarding experience each one provides. For that reason, to help you understand the difference between both wheels, I’m going to compare both of them. Yes, this article is going to be about soft wheels vs. hard wheels skateboarding comparison. I’ll tell you the pros and cons and everything about them that will clear up your mind and help you decide the type that you need.

Soft Wheels VS Hard Wheels Skateboarding: The Difference

Before I explain the distinction, you should first understand what a durometer is. This is what determines the hardness and softness of the skateboard wheels.

What’s the durometer of skateboards?

Skateboard wheels’ durometer (or hardness) determines how well they perform, including their ability to withstand pressure and move quickly. 

Some wheels are designed for riding on hard surfaces, while others can be used for doing tricks on smooth surfaces. That’s what the durometer of a skateboard’s wheel is. I hope you get it now.

Let’s see the difference between both skateboard wheels and see what type of skateboarding you will be able to enjoy from them.

A comparative illustration highlighting the distinct applications of soft and hard wheels in different skateboarding terrains.

Softer wheels:

Cruising is better with softer wheels. T78a.They can also be used to roll over cracks or rough concrete much more easily than a hard wheel. These wheels are usually large-size, which makes it easier to ride on cracks and rougher terrain. 

The durometer for softer wheels is 78a. As you know, higher numbers indicate harder wheels; lower numbers indicate softer wheels. 

It means that if you like riding in hilly and mountainous areas, then softer wheels are made for this type of skateboarding. So, that’s your way to go. But, what about harder wheels? Let’s have a look at it.


  • You get a stable position on the board.
  • It’s easy to balance.
  • These wheels can easily ride over any type of terrain.
  • Equipped with flexible wheel edges.
  • Works great on rocky and rough roads.


  • Speeding might not be so easy.
  • Tricks and stunts might not be possible.
  • These wheels move slower than Hard wheels.

Harder Wheels:

They are typically 99A or higher when it comes to harder wheels. These wheels have less friction, so it’s easier to slide down ramps. This wheel allows you to perform all kinds of stunts and tricks since it has less friction. 

This sounds interesting. It’s not possible to do the same thing on soft wheels. If you like doing stunts and tricks, or you just want to learn to do them, then you should go for harder wheels.


  • You can easily do tricks and stunts on them.
  • You can ride over them faster than Softer wheels.
  • You’ll get a landing without any type of bounce.
  • They’re way easy to control.


  • Since the wheels are hard, they tend to make a lot of noise. 
  • You won’t be comfortable if you ride over them for long trips.
  • On rough tracks, moving them can be challenging.

Both wheel types have their advantages and disadvantages. I hope it has cleared up your mind about which one is best for you. But, if it hasn’t, then let me do this for you.

Soft wheels vs hard wheels Skateboarding: which is the best one?

An infographic comparing soft and hard wheels for skateboarding.

The type of skateboarding you do totally determines how you ride. An “in-between” or hard wheel, which is best for situations that involve tricks or high speeds, is the best choice (92A–104A). 

Consider the type of concrete that you will be skating on. Very hard wheels can feel horrible on rough surfaces. A softer wheel is better if you don’t like tricks and want to cruise on a board.

If you want to know the comparison of Cruiser wheels and Skateboard wheels, then check out my following article.

Cruiser wheels VS Skateboard wheels

So now you know what soft wheels are and what hard wheels are. Now let me answer all of the questions about the topic.


Final Words

What’s the difference between skateboarding on soft wheels and hard wheels? The difference is only in the wheels. If you ride on hard wheels, then you’ll be able to do tricks and stunts with ease while running at a very fast speed. 

On the other hand, on softer wheels, you can easily run over all types of terrain, like jumps, cracks, and so on. Both of the skateboarding types and wheels used in them are good for their own type of skateboarding. 

So, make sure you know what kind of skater you are so you can get the right wheels for your skateboard. That’s it for this article. If you have any questions related to the topic, please let me know in the comment section below. I’d love to help you out.

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