Surfskate Love Wheels
We get recently asked a lot about surfskate wheels. Our friends want to know what are the best wheels for surfskating in the market, what are the differences precisely and is there a one-size-fits-all solution? There seems to be a search for the perfect surfskate wheels.
Well you probably saw the answer coming: just as with your choice for surfskate trucks, deck shape and wheelbase, your best choice for the right surfskate wheels very much depends on what you are trying to achieve with your board. Are you using your surfskate purely for surf training or also as a medium to long distance cruiser? Are you skating in the park or only on flat grounds? Are you surfskating mostly on smooth surfaces or in rougher terrain? Are you looking for maximum grip or more ease in slides and snaps?
The diameter, durometer, contact patch, offset core and most importantly the urethane formula will eventually all have an influence on the riding characteristics of a surfskate wheel. By understanding how these properties will affect your ride and knowing what you want to do with your board, you can make the best choice for your wheels.
The Surfskate Love Story
Now this all may sound complicated but there is a man who dedicated the last couple of years to making surfskating simple and understandable, even for anybody completely new to skateboarding and surfing. And I love the story and positive attitude of Steve Palmer and his venture Surfskate Love – here is someone with a very fresh outside perspective onto a sport and industry which has traditionally been quite dismissive of beginners.
Steve not only puts a lot of effort into understanding the mechanics of almost all surfskate trucks and boards on the market but also shares his knowledge in form of numerous independent reviews and his surfskate selector app. Along his own way of improving his skating he also created a series of videos and tutorials on how to learn to surfskate. You can find all of his content on his website and YouTube channel.
It was not to my surprise that Steve quickly realized from his perspective that there are not too many options when it comes to surfskate wheels – actually there is a complete lack of wheels when it comes to certain needs some riders might be looking for. So after he took a deeper look into the details and into which features a surfskate wheel really needs, he partnered up with his friend Gavin to create his own well thought-through range of Surfskate Love Wheels. A selection of four different wheels that is made to answer your needs depending on what kind of rider you are.
What are the best surfskate wheels for me?
So let's have a quick look again at what you may be trying to achieve with your surfskate and see what kind of specifications your ideals wheels would have.
TERRAIN & RIDING DISTANCE
First of all you should be looking at the terrain you are usually skating in and the distances you are covering on your board. Are you skating on smooth surfaces or on rougher grounds? Are you practicing surf maneuvers in a very small area or are you regularly commuting long distance to work?
A skateboard wheel with a smaller diameter will always accelerate better but has a lower top speed, it does not cope well with uneven grounds – perfect for bowl riding, parks and practicing in tight areas with smooth surfaces. A larger diameter will lead to a slower acceleration but offers a higher top pace. It copes better with rough surfaces – perfect for cruising and commuting.
A hard durometer will be faster but less forgiving to rough surfaces. It will also lead to higher speeds and acceleration but offers a less grippy feel while pumping. A softer durometer will be slower, but offers much more grip and copes better with rough surfaces.
GRIP VS. SLIDE
As mentioned before a harder durometer will slide with much more ease. If you are into surf training, practicing snaps and slides will most likely be something you are aiming at and may be more important than having that extra grip while pumping. As an experienced rider you will also be able to pump harder wheels without sliding out. If instead you are looking for that super grippy feel in tight turns – almost like being glued to the ground while pumping with lots of power – then a surfskate wheel with a softer durometer will be best for you.
Beginners who are practicing their first turns looking for a predictable board behavior in terms of pace and grip on any terrain should always go for a softer durometer.
Once you have left the beginner level, spend more time on your board and start to practice slides it will be inevitable that you come across wheels which start to cone and wear off quickly. What may sound as something negligible may soon become a factor in choosing which wheels to buy – there is nothing worse than spending a lot of money on surfskate wheels that need to be replaced after just a couple of weeks. So durability is highly important to advanced riders and Steve did not miss out on this aspect creating his Surfskate Love Wheels.
Choosing the right Surfskate Love Wheels
In conclusion let's have a quick look for whom the different Surfskate Love Wheels are made for.
SURFSKATE LOVE WHEELS — 65MM, 78A
The Surfskate Love Wheels 65mm, 78A are for all riders who ride short distances or in small spaces and who prefer grip over slide. The softer durometer of these surfskate wheels will give you a plush feel. They roll smooth on rougher surfaces. The 65mm diameter gives you quick acceleration and nimbleness for surfskate carving.
SURFSKATE LOVE WHEELS — 65MM, 81A
The Surfskate Love Wheels with 65mm, 81A are for all riders who do a lot of park and bowl riding, looking for higher speeds and acceleration. The harder durometer of these surfskate wheels is for anybody whose riding style is sharp and performance-oriented with a lot of snaps and slides. The 65mm diameter gives you quick acceleration and nimbleness for surfskate carving.
SURFSKATE LOVE WHEELS — 70MM, 78A
The Surfskate Love Wheels 70mm, 78A are for anybody who rides longer distances on rougher surfaces and is looking for a high top speed over acceleration. The softer durometer of these surfskate wheels is for anybody who favors lots of control over slide. The 70mm diameter gives you a high top pace and is better for riding longer distances. These wheels roll very smooth on rough surfaces.
SURFSKATE LOVE WHEELS — 70MM, 81A
The Surfskate Love Wheels 70mm, 81A are for anybody who rides longer distances on smoother surfaces and is looking for a high top speed over acceleration. The harder durometer of these surfskate wheels is for anybody who favors slide over grip. The 70mm diameter gives you high top speed, feels smoother on rough surfaces, and is better for riding longer distances.
SURFSKATE LOVE WHEELS ON YOUTUBE
Check out Steve's and Gavin's video for some more inside knowledge.
How good are Surfskate Love Wheels?
Now, as mentioned before. Every rider has his own style and needs. I have lately been riding solely in the park looking for wheels that accelerate fast and slide out easily. My last wheels of choice have been 60mm Hawgs, 78A – these are very small wheels that slide out easily.
That is why I was particularly curious about Steve's 65mm, 81A Surfskate Love Wheels and can only say that their performance is impressive. They do exactly what Steve is promising and the urethane formula feels superior compared to other wheels like Orangatang Lovehandles, Fat Free or Stimulus. The 65mm, 81A run buttery smooth and fast in the park, offer a super smooth transition between grip and slip and very predictable hook-ups during slides and snaps. These are great wheels for surf training in bowls and highly recommendable.
As of all other models I am impressed by how much thought has gone into the design. Surfskate Love Wheels offer a slightly narrower contact patch compared to other wheels on the market. This increases the agility and range of motion making even tighter turns and maneuvers possible. The core position has been optimized to not compromise on control even with this smaller width. Also the size of the core is relatively small to have more urethane on the wheel resulting in a smoother and softer ride. The lips have been edged to prevent chunking. This is all very well thought through.
The foundation of Surfskate Love Wheels is an extremely durable and high-rebound Flothane™ urethane formula. Flothane™ does indeed feel very grippy and fast and therefore ideal for the flow of surfskating. Most importantly the Flothane™, the core placement and the contact patch are a perfect combination for a highly durable wheel which cones slowly and does not wear off quickly in your slides. This is so important when you spend a lot of time on your board.
Overall there is no question that Surfskate Love Wheels are a great choice for anybody into surfskating and we can only agree with the positive reviews. We are really happy to stock these wheels in our shop – as you know, we only offer products we ride our selfs and which we believe have a great quality.
About Steve Palmer and Surfskate Love
Steve founded Surfskate Love in his home town St. George, Utah. He fell in love with skateboarding and particularly surfskating during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. Struggling to find more information on how to choose your first surfskate board he made it his mission to review products and provide detailed information to beginners. Steve believes in the positive impact surfskating can have on individuals and the community and is promoting the sport also outside the surf scene. In 2022 – with the Surfskate Love Wheels – he announced his first range of own products, which are produced in the USA by a leading skateboard equipment manufacturer.