How Do I Make My Wheels Last Longer?
Here are a few ways to increase the longevity and life of your wheels:
1. Wheel Rotation
Rotating your wheels is one of the best ways to increase the life of your wheels. If you tend to do one type of slide a lot consecutively (ex. heelside stand up slides), you may notice that some of your wheels are much smaller than others. Sliding one way more often causes uneven wear because the weight of your body is being primarily distributed on one side of your board more often than anywhere else. This in turn puts more weight on one wheel than all the others, causing uneven wear. The best way to fix this is to switch the position of the small wheels to the position of the large and vice versa. This helps you prevent uneven wear, keeping all your wheels relatively the same size will help them last much longer.
*Skip to 1:15 in this video to find out how to effectively rotate your wheels!*
2. Keep your slides under 90°
When you slide your wheels at 90° they tend to stop spinning in the slide. When the wheel stops spinning, but continues to slide, only one part of the wheel is worn down, creating a flat spot. When this happens too much the flatspots don’t allow the wheels to ride smoothly, producing a very uncomfortable ride and in some bad cases make your wheels unridable. The way to prevent this is to keep your slides under 90° by keeping your shoulders and feet pointed down the hill while sliding.
3. Use Resilient Wheels
A big trend in longboarding is using a wheel that leaves a lot of thane lines behind while sliding. While leaving a trail of thane behind you is a ton of fun, it is a sign that your wheels are wearing faster. For example a wheel that leaves a lot of thane like the 78a 67mm Hawgs Tracers will last you less than a week of consistent sliding until they’re completely dead. Alternatively, a wheel like the 83a 69mm Orangatang Kilmer that leaves virtually no thane lines will last you months upon months of consistent sliding. Although wheels that last longer do tend to be a bit more expensive, it’s better than paying a little bit less for a wheel with a week-long lifespan multiple times a month if you are on a budget. (But you know, thane is cool...)