Shark Wheels are known for their unique design. Some people swear by them, and some hate them. I was curious, so I bought two sets.
Do shark wheels really work?
Overall, the quality of shark wheels is solid (urethane formula and cores). I would suggest Shark Wheels if…
- You’re consistently riding in rough terrain
- You want a unique-looking wheel
Shark Wheel’s Claims
They make some pretty bold claims, which are…
- Better for rough terrain
- Better sliding control
- Last 15% longer
I’m not here to make the most accurate tests, I just want to see if I feel a difference. Compared to traditional longboard wheels, are they that much better?
Let’s start with their first claim…
Better For Rough Terrain
On their website, they say because of the way their wheel pattern is designed, it funnels pebbles and rocks to the side. Traditional wheels just plow right over it, which isn’t as effective.
As a result, they say their wheel maintains firm contact with the ground, giving an overall smoother ride.
This claim is honestly a weird one to test because what defines rough terrain, right? So, I rode them in a few different conditions and noted how they felt.
I rode at several different speeds and even tried riding into insanely rough terrain.
All said and done, I didn’t notice that much of a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure shark wheels do funnel rocks and pebbles in a more efficient way than traditional wheels, but it just didn’t feel significant enough for me to notice.
Another thing I noticed is that if you ride shark wheels on smooth pavement, they actually feel rougher compared to traditional wheels. It’s a subtle difference but it’s there.
Are They Faster?
The next claim is that they’re faster because there’s less wheel making contact with the ground and as a result, creates less friction.
So I ended up marking a start and finish line and timed each run not once, not twice, but five times. I used the same bearings, and both wheels were 60mm 78a. Again, I know this isn’t the most scientifically accurate, but I wanted to get a rough idea if they were that much faster.
Then I averaged all the times together and found that…
- Traditional wheels averaged 10.79 second
- Shark wheels averaged 10.672 seconds.
So interpret that data how you want, but they’re pretty dang close. Maybe as I gained more and more speed, the gap would’ve widened but from a cruising perspective, it doesn’t seem to be that significant.
Better Sliding Control?
Next, they claim that their wheels have better-sliding control.
So, I slapped some on my Tan Tien and attempted some lowkey slides. Nothing crazy, I definitely wouldn’t classify it as freeride.
And it did feel like I had a little more control than usual.
But again, I’m really only testing these in a cruising scenario, so I wouldn’t go off of this if you’re looking to see if they’re better in downhill or freeride scenario.
What I do think made more sense was for me to test it wet conditions, so I created my own little puddle and slid in it multiple times.
Shark wheels claim again that the pattern of the grooves reduces your chances of hydroplaning by channeling liquid away from the surface of the wheel.
Now keep in mind, that you always wanna try to avoid riding in wet conditions because if it gets into your bearings it could rust them quicker.
You can see in this footage, that I do get more controlled traction with the shark wheels compared to my traditional wheels. I was actually surprised by this, I really didn’t think that they would outperform the traditional wheels that much.
In wet conditions, I would feel more comfortable riding shark wheels versus traditional wheels.
Last 15% Longer?
And the final claim is that they scientifically last 15% longer than traditional wheels in a cruising scenario.
I didn’t even test this because it’d probably take years. But I can’t remember any time that I had to replace cruising wheels – like they already last an insane amount of time since you’re not doing any intense slides.
I mean correct me if I’m wrong… I personally don’t think this really matters that much.
From a business perspective, in order to set yourself apart from the competition, you wanna have unique advantages. And backing those claims with scientific studies is a nail in the coffin from a marketing perspective.
I couldn’t test this one properly, so it’s tough to say.