Roller skating is a fantastic sport to master. You cannot learn it in one day; it takes time, commitment, guts and dedication. People take up roller skating for various reasons: exercise, artistic expression, enjoyment, competition etc. Skaters have various skating activities, e.g., recreational skating, aggressive skating, artistic skating, fitness skating, racing on skates etc. For a seamless skating experience, skaters must choose their wheels prudently.
To answer the question, can you use skateboard wheels on roller skates? Yes, you can. Skateboard wheels will work fine on roller skates as long as they are about the same size and share a similar axle. Skateboard wheels are undoubtedly incredible wheels for various reasons. Having this set of wheels modded on your roller skate is a dream come true for most skaters.
There are several factors to consider when selecting skate wheels, i.e., wheel size, skate type, skater’s experience, and skating surface. Skaters who consider these factors often get the most incredible experience and long life from investment. Ideally, skateboards and roller skates have pretty much the same hardware and configuration. They both have an 8mm diameter axle and the same core spacing making them interchangeable.
Keep reading this article to find out more as we analyze skateboard wheels being modded onto roller skates. We’ll look at why skaters love this practice, how to safely do it, tips on how to get it done, and so much more.
Can You Use Skateboard Wheels On Roller Skates?
Before we go any further, let’s take a minute to get the difference between these two sports. Most people often find it difficult to tell the difference between skateboarding and roller skating. Skateboarding is the art of riding and performing a series of tricks on a flat board with wheels, called a skateboard. On the other hand, roller skating involves riding on surfaces using shoes with wheels.
Both skateboarding and roller skating are prevalent sports among young people and adults. Despite having several similarities, they both have substantial differences too. One of the differences is on the wheel, which brings us to this question: Can you use skateboard wheels on roller skates? Technically, yes. They both function in the same way; however, you need to understand a few things before swapping your wheels.
Skateboards and roller skates usually have wheels made of similar materials and bearings, so they are easily interchangeable. A cheap or budget friendly skateboard will have low quality-built material. Each of these wheels has its advantages and disadvantages. You may want to consider them before going ahead to swapping your roller skate wheels.
Pros And Cons Of Using Skateboard Wheels On Roller Skates
Just like any other type of modification, using skateboard wheels on a roller skate comes with advantages and disadvantages.
Differences Between Skateboard Wheels And Rollerblade Wheels
Wheel arrangement is a significant difference between skateboard and rollerblade wheels. Skateboard wheels are single-sided and supported with an axle connecting the two wheels, whereas rollerblades have wheels supported from both sides with one wheel in each axle. Skateboard wheels are often supported by a truck keeping them flat on the ground, while rollerblade wheels are aligned and at a specific angle to the ground.
On size, if you take a close look at skateboard and rollerblade wheels, you will notice some differences. Rollerblade wheels are thinner and taller than skateboard wheels. Also worth noting is, while skateboards are made of square lips, rollerblades are made of rounded lips.
Another difference comes in on the wheel diameter. This is essential to keep in mind whenever you want to swap your wheels. Skateboards have a wheel diameter of between 80mm and 110mm. Roller skates have a smaller wheel diameter between 72mm and 80mm.
What Type Of Wheels Will Fit My Roller Skates?
When it comes to picking a set of wheels for your roller skates, most skaters come up with various brands, arguing that they are the best. However, it all boils down to personal preference. Your best wheels might be uncomfortable to someone else.
So, what types of wheels will fit your roller skates? You need to understand several factors when selecting a set of wheels for your roller skates. Here are things to consider:
1. Wheel Diameter
Roller skates have different sets of wheels depending on the intended purpose. Each of these wheels varies in diameter, thus making wheel diameter a key consideration before swapping them. For example, a 45mm wheel diameter is suitable for artistic skating. The chart below shows different roller skates wheel diameter and their practical purpose:
|Wheel Diameter||Best for:|
|57/58mm||Speeding and jamming|
Roller skating is often done on different surfaces, and each surface has specifically designed wheels for seamless skating. Soft wheels are suitable for slippery surfaces since they offer more grip. Hard wheels provide less grip thus are suitable for sticky indoor surfaces.
A durometer is a measuring instrument used to test the hardness of different rubber and plastic materials. Roller skates have a durometer measurement scaled between 78A and 103A. It is sometimes referred to as A-Scale. Below is a chart showing the hardness of roller skate wheels and their suitable riding surface:
|78A – 84A||Extreme grip||Slippery indoor surfaces, smooth rides.|
|85A – 95A||High grip||Rough outdoor surfaces. Street skating|
|96A – 99A||Moderate||Beginner level. Smooth surfaces, i.e., skate parks|
|100A – 103A||Less grip (Hard wheels)||Sticky indoor surfaces, i.e., gym floor, roller rink floors.|
|83B – 84B||Least grip (Very hard wheels)||Advanced level skaters. Aggressive skating|
How To Use Skateboard Wheels On Roller Skates
Fitting skateboard wheels on your roller skate is a relatively easy task since they have the same configuration. You will need a set of Allen keys, then follow the steps below:
- Remove the wheels – Using a suitable Allen key, unscrew the pin holding together each wheel. Once the pins are out, slightly push out the wheels.
- Remove the bearing spacers – Since the skateboard wills are slightly thicker, you’ll have to remove the plastic spacers on your roller skate so they can fit in properly. Not too tightly.
- Screw back the pin – After changing the wheels, use your Allen key to screw back the pin to hold the wheels tightly in place.
Skating is a fantastic sport. Whether you are doing it for competition, fitness or enjoyment, you may be tempted to swap wheels for some extra pleasure. This article has provided you with all the necessary information on safely using skateboard wheels on your roller skates.
Before changing your roller skate wheels, always confirm whether the skateboard wheel you want to use is compatible with your roller skate. You can refer to the chart above for the durometer scale rating and surface suitability for safe and enjoyable skating.