If you have been skating on your wheels for a while, it might be time to replace your wheels. Over time, the wheels will wear down, taking down the height and control of your wheels.
Wheels can also warp over time. When you notice that your wheels are not moving as easily as they used to, the time has come to get a new set.
Here Are Some Tips + Video
Tip #1: Replace With The Same Size Of Wheels
To begin with, you need to make sure that you replace your original wheels with the same size that the skates came with. Wheels are measured in millimetres. This is because the skates themselves are built to accommodate certain wheel sizes. Be careful, however, because some skates have more than one wheel size on them.
Looking at the frame of your skate, you might see something like “4x80” or “80-80-76-76.” These numbers indicate which wheel size should go in which position on your skates. You need to buy wheels that match the sizing and placement perfectly or your skates will not work as they were made to. Most adult inline hockey skates come in 80mm or 76mm, but that 4mm difference can really affect the abilities of your skates.
Wheels of the wrong size will not fit well on the chassis and could even rub together, making it impossible to skate at all.
Tip #2: Consider The Surface You Are Skating On
The type of wheel that you need for your roller hockey skates depend on how you are using them. Whether you are skating indoors or outdoors can make a difference on the wheel strength that you choose. Indoor skates need a softer wheel that can grip the slick surface of an indoor rink where outdoor skates need the harder, more durable wheels that can handle the wear and tear of outside use.
The firmness of roller hockey wheels is measured in durometer. Softer wheels have a lower durometer than firm wheels do. 72 is the softness rating that you can get for wheels, but soft wheels can go up to about a 76. Outdoor wheels are typically 82 or 84 durometer noting that they are harder. You cannot use outdoor wheels indoor, but likewise, indoor wheels on the outside surfaces will completely destroy them.
Tip #3: You Can't Use One Set Of Wheels Both Indoor And Outdoor
Going with anything between the two sets of ratings would be too hard for inside, but too soft for outside, so it is better to just choose whether you play indoors or outdoors and stick to it. If you do like to go back and forth between playing indoor and outdoor roller hockey, you are better off buying two sets of wheels to swap out of.
If you can, it would be even better to have two sets of skates so the wheels are already attached and you do not have to go through the trouble of taking them off and putting them on again when you switch where you are going skating.
Tip #4: For Indoor Roller Hockey, Buy Dual-Durometer Wheels
While these wheels cost a little more than the standard wheels, dual-durometer wheels are the way to go for indoor skating. Because of the softness of indoor wheels, they are more prone to warping over time.
Dual-durometer wheels have a hard core with a softer outer ring. The inside keeps the integrity of the wheel’s shape and size while the softer outside can keep the wheels sticky on the floor when trying to stop.
Tip #5: Your Weight And Size Matters
When it comes to the durometer ratings of wheels, you will not only need to think about where you are going to be skating, but you need to consider your own size. If you are a lighter person, you can go with a softer durometer than heavier players who need a bigger durometer. Players who are less than 150 pounds will be fine with 72 or 74 durometer ratings. Players who weight 210 or less can use the even softer 76.
For the harder wheels, players whose wheels have a durometer rating of 82 will need to weigh less than 180 pounds. The next size up, 84, can handle even more weight if needed, all without distorting the wheel size or sacrificing any of your gameplay. 84 is the hardest durometer that you will find for inline hockey, but it still can be too hard, depending on your needs as a player.
Hey there, my name is Shawn and I’m a semi-professional hockey player. I’m also the founder and chief editor here at Hockey Pursuits. I love playing hockey and helping players improve their game and that’s why I decided to start this blog.