Why are Inline Hockey Wheels Different Sizes? A Guide

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Written By Mark

A seasoned inline hockey player with over a decade of experience, Mark has competed at the amateur level and has a wealth of knowledge to share.

The Anatomy of Inline Skate Wheels

Why are inline hockey wheels different sizes? Inline skate wheels, a crucial component for both beginner and experienced inline hockey players, are composed of several key elements.

Polyurethane, the primary material used in their construction, ensures durability while providing the necessary grip on different surfaces.

Bearings and Gaskets: The Hidden Heroes

Within each wheel lie bearings. These small but mighty components reduce friction between moving parts to ensure smooth rolling motion during your inline skating experience.

Gaskets complement these by protecting against dirt or moisture that could hinder bearing performance over time.

The Role of Wheel Hubs

In addition to polyurethane exteriors and interior bearings with gaskets, there’s another vital element – the wheel hub. This is essentially the core where everything else revolves around it.

A well-constructed hub supports weight distribution across all inline skates’ wheels, ensuring balanced movement whether you’re using smaller wheels or larger ones as per your preference or skill level.

We’ve just scratched the surface of understanding the anatomy behind our beloved sport’s essential gear piece; stay tuned as we delve deeper exploring how differing sizes affect overall performance next.

Understanding Wheel Sizes in Inline Skates

The wheel size of your inline skates can greatly impact your performance on the rink.

Larger wheels have become more prevalent, leading to a decrease in frames with five wheels.

Larger wheels typically offer greater speed and stability which is beneficial for experienced recreational skaters inline skating at high speeds or over long distances.

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Smaller Wheels for Faster Acceleration

If you’re just starting out or are looking for agility over speed, smaller skate wheels might be ideal.

Faster acceleration small wheels work best with as they allow beginners and children to maintain better control while learning advanced inline skating techniques.

Offering an easier entry point into the sport.

Bigger Wheels for Higher Speeds

In contrast, bigger wheel sizes provide higher top-end speeds making them suitable choices when it comes to aggressive skates competition.

This makes larger wheel designs popular among experienced recreational urban-based riders who seek thrilling rides across town.

Experienced Inline Skaters prefer large-wheels due their durability that allows longer service life without frequent replacements.

How to Choose the Right Size of Inline Skate Wheels

Selecting the right wheel size for your inline skates can be a game-changer. It largely depends on individual goals and abilities.

Different sizes suit different applications, from kids competition inline skates to aggressive skates competition inline skates. The key is understanding what each size offers in terms of performance.

Small vs Large: A Matter of Speed and Control

The smaller wheels are often recommended for beginners or children as they offer better control and agility due to their faster acceleration small wheels work best with. They provide stability which is crucial when you’re just starting out with skating.

In contrast, larger wheels deliver higher speed making them ideal for experienced recreational urban-skaters who have mastered advanced inline skating technique. Studies show, that bigger wheels also wear out more slowly than smaller ones – an added advantage.

Your Skating Goals Dictate Your Wheel Choice

If you aim at mastering sharp turns or quick maneuvers during an aggressive skate session, then going for a set-up that uses smaller wheel accelerations might serve you well. On the other hand, if your goal involves high-speed racing similarly on the shorter 200-meter track, opting for large-wheel setups would be beneficial thanks to extra rotational inertia brought by larger ones.

Now let’s delve into another important aspect while choosing your perfect pair- hardness.

Hardness Matters – Choosing the Right Hardness of Inline Wheels

The hardness of your inline wheels can significantly impact your skating performance.

This is often overlooked by both beginner and experienced recreational skaters, but it’s an essential factor to consider when choosing inline skate wheels.

The Durometer Scale Explained

Wheel hardness is measured using a durometer scale.

A higher number on this scale indicates harder wheels while a lower number signifies softer ones.

For instance, aggressive skates typically use hard wheels with high durometer ratings for durability during intense competition inline skates sessions.

  • A wheel rated 78A would be considered soft.
  • a rating around 84A-88A falls in the medium range.
  • wheels above that are considered hard or very hard (up to 100+).
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In general, beginners might prefer softer wheels as they provide better grip and smoother rides whereas more advanced riders may opt for harder ones due to their longer lifespan even though they offer less comfort.

You should also keep in mind how different surfaces affect these choices – outdoor environments usually require softer options than indoor rinks due to rougher terrain conditions.

To put things into perspective:

  1. If you’re looking at kids’ competition inline skates or just starting out yourself, look towards the lower end of the spectrum.
  2. Moving up from there, we find most experienced recreational urban-skaters opting for mid-range values.
  3. Last but not least, those aiming at competitive speeds will likely need some extra-hard equipment.

Shape Up – Understanding Wheel Edge Shapes

In the world of inline skating, wheel edge shapes play a crucial role in performance.

The Thin Edge: Precision and Speed

A thin or sharp-edged wheel is preferred by experienced inline skaters for its precision.

This shape cuts through surfaces, reducing friction and enabling faster speeds.

The Round Edge: Versatility Unleashed

Rounded edges are versatile, making them suitable for various terrains from parks to aggressive skates competition tracks.

They provide smooth transitions during turns which enhances maneuverability – an asset when navigating obstacles or executing tricks on aggressive skates.

The Flat/Square Edges: Stability Above All Else

If stability is your priority, flat or square edged wheels might be your best bet especially if you’re into kids competition inline skates where safety matters most.

As we delve deeper into the intricacies of inline skate wheels, remember that every aspect plays a part in overall performance.

With this understanding under our belt let’s prepare ourselves as we venture further into mastering advanced techniques based on different wheel sizes.

Mastering Your Skating Technique Based on Wheel Size

The size of your inline skate wheels can significantly impact how you navigate the rink or pavement.

Techniques for Skating with Larger Wheels

Larger wheels, often preferred by experienced recreational skaters and those using aggressive skates competition inline skates, require a slightly different technique than smaller ones.

Maintaining balance is crucial when skating with larger wheels due to lower inline skate boots.

World Inline Hockey provides valuable tips that could help improve stability.

In addition to this, mastering high-speed maneuverability becomes essential as these large wheel sizes allow faster speeds over longer distances.

Techniques for Skating with Smaller Wheels

If you’re opting for smaller wheels – perhaps in kids’ competition inline skates or if you’re a lighter-skater who prefers extra control – there are specific techniques worth noting too.

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Faster acceleration small wheels work best within certain environments, such as indoor rinks where quick bursts of speed may be required frequently. The International Inline Skate School’s article on accelerating quickly during an intense game session offers some useful insights here.

Apart from swift accelerations, another advantage offered by smaller-sized wheeled-frames lies in their agility, which allows sharp turns effortlessly, making them the ideal choice amongst beginners learning advanced skills like pivoting and turning.

Watching Your Wheels – Observing Wheel Behavior in Different Scenarios

The performance of your inline skates can change drastically based on the wheel size you choose. Whether it’s a high-speed chase down an aggressive skate competition or a leisurely roll similarly on the shorter 200-meter track, understanding how differently sized wheels behave under various conditions is crucial.

Big vs Small – Comparing Large and Small Wheel Performance

In general, larger wheels offer more speed but less maneuverability. This makes them ideal for experienced recreational skaters who are confident with their advanced inline skating technique and need that extra push to get ahead during competitions.

On the other hand, smaller wheels accelerate faster, making them perfect for beginners’ or kids’ competition inline skates where control and agility are paramount. They’re also great options if you prefer lower inline skate boots, as they don’t add much height to your setup.

To make things even more complex, hard wheels perform better on smooth surfaces, while softer ones excel at providing grip on rough terrains. Knowing when to use which type of wheel would be key in mastering any kind of terrain efficiently without compromising comfort or safety.

A good way to watch how wheels behave differently would be by testing different setups yourself. Experiment with both large and small wheel sizes, observe how each performs under similar circumstances such as turns, stops, or accelerations then decide what suits best according to your personal preferences and skating style.

FAQs in Relation to Why Are Inline Hockey Wheels Different Size

Why do my rollerblades have 2 different size wheels?

This design, known as Hi-Lo setup, improves maneuverability and speed by positioning the skater’s foot in a more natural stance.

What do bigger wheels on rollerblades do?

Larger wheels offer higher top speeds and smoother rides over rough surfaces but require better skating skills for control.

Can I put bigger wheels on my inline skates?

You can, provided your skate frame has enough clearance. However, larger wheels may alter balance and turning ability.

What is the difference between 78A and 82A wheels?

The numbers represent wheel hardness. A 78A wheel is softer with better grip, while an 82A wheel is harder with longer lifespan but less grip.


The world of inline skating is vast and varied, with different types of skates designed for specific purposes. One key factor that distinguishes these variations is the wheel size. 

But why are inline hockey wheels different sizes? The answer lies in the unique demands of each type of inline skating.

Apart from performance differences between larger and smaller wheels, there’s also an aesthetic element at play here: lower inline skate boots typically pair better visually with smaller wheels while taller boots look more balanced with bigger ones.

If you’re just starting out in the world of inline skating, or even if you’re an experienced skater looking to try a new style, it’s crucial to understand the role wheel size plays in your overall experience. 

At World Inline Hockey, we have comprehensive guides and resources that cater to both beginners and experienced recreational skaters. 

So keep exploring our page; there is always more to learn about this thrilling sport!