Surf skating big rigs – 4 great reasons to use larger wheels.

Surf skating is prime for customisation and modification. We talk about this in an article here. As we describe in some ways surf skate setups mirror the Kustom Kulture hotrod area of being a petrolhead. Wheels, trucks and decks sometimes look like the equivalent skateboarding versions of a modified hotrod. But there’s more to it than just aesthetics. Surf skating wheels, being a case in point, can have a huge impact on your surf skate performance. Here are 7 reasons to use the bigger style of wheels. Which we love!

What do we mean by big surf skating wheels?

Surf skates generally come equipped with bigger wheels than street skateboards. You don’t quite need the acceleration of small wheels. But top end speed can be a thing. Street skate wheels are often around 50mm-60mm.

Surf skate wheels (and longboard wheels) tend to be 60mm and up – depending on your application. For this article, and talking big wheels, we’re describing 75mm up to a whopping 105mm (or bigger if you can get them to fit and not bite!). 

Finding those ultimate surf skate big wheels.

There are a few things to consider if you fancy going big with your surf skating wheels. Your deck shape is one. Flatter, mellow concave surf skate decks with shallow or no wheel wells will make it harder to fit big wheels. Even with risers. Adding risers may be needed anyway but there’s a limit as to how high off the floor your deck should be. Most riders prefer a lower to the ground setup. Trucks can help. Such as using RKP trucks that can give some clearance without the need for risers. Waterborne surf and rail adapters naturally give elevation. Although this still may not be enough.

Orangatang Dad Bod 105mm Surf Skateboard Wheels 80a
Rolling on big surf skating rigs.

Depending what size of wheel you’re after will be dictated by what’s available. Some brands don’t make the really large type. For instance, it’s only Orangatang Wheels that produce a choice of larger wheel from 80mm to 105mm. Other brands, such as ABEC-11 make a smattering but there’s not a huge choice.

Comfortable, dialled in surf skating.

Chances are you’ll be stepping up from more regular sized wheels to the larger variety. Make no mistake: the ride feel of big rigs is quite unlike what you’ve been used to. Hence why many surf skaters are reticent.

It’ll take a few sessions to dial in surf skating with big wheels. Especially if you’ve had to add risers and elevate your sled. This can be off putting at first. But stick with it and see how things go. You may revert back if big ‘uns aren’t to your taste after all.

So what are the benefits of riding big wheels?

Big wheels offer a few positives. Particularly where surf skating’s concerned. You may find that bigger wheels offer more rail to rail stability. That can be noticeable when skating shorter decks with narrower wheelbases. Here, you get the best of both worlds. A nimble and lively deck but with additional poise.

Big wheels also have better roll momentum and top speed. They can be slower to start but once up to velocity will just keep rolling. This is a point of interest for us here at Surf Skateboard Shop. The roll momentum helps maintain upwards trajectory on transitions without having to pump so hard. That allows us to retain more energy for longer riding in bowls.

Anything else big surf skating wheels are good for?

Big surf skate wheels are also designed to roll over rougher ground, cracks and fend off stones. Anyone who’s hit a stone and been chucked off their sled will know what that feels like. Rigs in the sizes we’re describing reduce the amount of stacks because of rough terrain. 

And on that note, you may be able to go a little more all terrain when using big wheels. We’re not suggesting full mountain board, off road capabilities, but certainly rougher ground than you’d get away with smaller wheels. If your local spot isn’t idyllically flat, or you don’t have ready access to a skate park, this can be a winner in itself.

In a nutshell.

Big wheels for surf skating often look a tad bonkers. Yet there’s a method in the madness. We know many a surf skater (including us) who’ve switched to big wheels and can instantly feel the benefits. 

Surf skating big rigs - 4 great reasons to use larger wheels.
Orangatang Caguama 85mm are another great choice of big wheel!

In a nutshell big surf skating wheel offer the following positives – 

  • Enhanced rolled momentum
  • Rail to rail stability
  • Greater top end speed
  • Some all terrain roll properties (depending on how big you go)

Summing up.

You may be reading this article and think, ‘nah, not for me!’ Which is fine. Everyone has their surf skating style and preferences. But equally there are plenty out there who will find favour with big wheeled setups. There are no rules with this kind of thing. Experiment, tinker and mod and see what you can come up with.

Don’t forget to check out our online shop where you’ll find plenty of surf skating wheels of all types – whatever flavour you’re after. If you need a hand then please give us a call – 01208 880 839

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