Shark Wheels are probably the most polarizing product I’ve ever seen in the skate & longboard scene.
So, I had to put together a shark wheels review.
At one end you have people like…
“OMG I started riding shark wheels and they changed my life forever.”
On the other end, you have people like…
“These wheels ruined my life. How could you ever invent something like this? This is a disgrace”
And then there are a lot of people in the middle like…
“These wheels look cool, but are they actually that much better?”
And so that’s why I’m making this review. For anyone who’s confused if they should pick up a pair or not.
Contents (Click to skip)
- Better for rough terrain?
- Are They Faster?
- Better Sliding Control?
- Last 15% Longer?
- Would I Recommend Them?
So these are called shark wheels because their design is based off the shape of shark jaws.
I purchased these about four months ago – the 72mm & 60mm which are both 78a. And on their packaging, they basically have four main claims, which are…
- Better for rough terrain
- Better sliding control
- Last 15% longer
Those are some pretty heavy claims, so I did my best to take all of them into consideration when riding.
And, I know I probably could’ve done several other alternative testing methods but this was what I came up with.
I’m not here to make the most scientifically accurate tests, I’m just trying to give you a better idea of what these products are like and if I think their claims are justified after personally testing them.
Like if jimmy bob joe in Arkansas picks up these wheels because he heard they’re better for rougher terrain and faster, is he actually going to feel that difference when riding. You feel me?
Or are these claims just good for marketing purposes?
Basically the goal was to test if I really felt the differences compared to the traditional wheel, to help you decide if you wanna spend the extra money.
Better for Rough Terrain?
So, the first claim I want to discuss is that they’re better for rougher terrain.
On their website, they say because the way their wheel pattern is designed, it funnels pebbles and rocks to the side instead of a traditional wheel which just plows right over it.
So 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 like what defines rough terrain, right? So, I ended up riding them in a few different conditions and really took note of how they felt.
I rode at several different speeds and even tried riding into insanely rough terrain. And when I say rough terrain, like I took it down an offroad trail.
Alright, I wanna get straight to the point, but all said and done, I really didn’t notice that much of a difference.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure shark wheels do funnel rocks and pebbles a more efficient way than traditional wheels, but it just didn’t feel significant enough for me to notice.
I know this probably won’t sit well with quite a few people because I’ve seen so many reviews like… dude these things are amazing to ride on rough terrain. They’re so much better.
But, I’m just trying to share my honest opinion without any of their claims influencing my thoughts. And I’d be straight up lying to you if I said that I noticed a huge difference when riding on rough terrain.
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.
This claim is honestly common sense, right. When there’s less friction, they go faster. But is it that noticeable when you’re cruising?
So what I ended up doing was marking a start and finish line, 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 scientifcalliy accurate, but I wanted to get a rough idea if they were that much faster.
I then averaged all the times together and found that my traditional wheels averaged 10.79 seconds and the shark wheels average 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.
But I still wanted to see if I noticed a difference and I honestly did in this one. When I look back at the footage in slow motion, you can see these wheels spinning as they slide.
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 a 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 slide in it multiple times. Shoutout to this dude for suggesting to me testing them in puddles. I’m not gonna try to pronounce your username because I’d probably straight up sound disrespectful. But, thank you
Shark wheels claims 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, you always wanna try to avoid riding in wet conditions because if it gets into your bearings it could rust them quicker. You’ve probably heard this a million times and will ride in wet conditions anyway, especially if you live in a place where it rains a lot. But I gotta warn ya, that’s what I’m here for.
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.
But in wet conditions, I would probably feel more comfortable riding the shark 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 anytime 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 wrong… I personally don’t think this really matters that much.
This claim almost feels like the icing on the cake for their marketing team.
I completely get 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. It’s also a great way to get organic press… like you can literally just say you reinvented the wheel.
Like bro what?!
When you add all these claims together, like it handles rough terrain better, it’s faster, sliding is more controllable and it lasts 15% percent longer, it’s much easier to sell your product, right it’s common sense.
Would I recommend them?
Do I hate shark wheels? Do I think they’re a gimmick? Is there a place for them in the skating and longboarding world?
First, I don’t hate them and I’ll never hate them because these dudes legit found a way to reinvent the wheel. If you’re hating on someone that’s innovating, then I kinda just like feel bad for you.
But there’s a difference between hating and giving some constructive feedback based off of experience.
And in my experience, I can really only see these being a solid option if…
1. They Look Cool
You want something that’s gonna turn heads and looks cool. Personally I think these look dope.
2. Always Riding Tough Terrain
You’re constantly riding in rougher conditions that can get wet and overall are just sketchy.
In those cases, then sure, I’d recommend them.
But for the price, it’s hard for me to make a statement like, yoooo you guys need to gets these because they’re farrr superior than traditional wheels.
At the end of the day, I do think it’s a neat invention and it’s not every day you see a company launch a new concept of the wheel.
The wheel people…the wheel!