Do they actually increase performance though or are they simply meant to be used as eye-catchers? We go through all of your questions about Shark wheels and test them personally to see if they actually increase performance in this shark wheel review.
The Origin of the Shark Wheel
While attempting to solve a complex science problem, David M. Patrick (the inventor of Shark Wheels) stumbled upon a new and complex wheel design. He instantly got a physical model made and went through the process to get a patent.
The company, Shark Wheel, was later started in Southern California and went through a startup incubator. After raising money on Kickstarter, the Shark Wheel was born officially and consumers could see it roll into a physical product.
While shark wheels as a longboard wheel came about because of David’s passion for skateboarding, the company is trying to get their wheels made for different vehicles also.
Shark Wheel Review: FAQ
HOW CAN A WHEEL BE SQUARE AND ROLL?
Normally the first question anybody has when looking at a shark wheel review, is how do they roll? They’re square and squares have edges!
Well, to start with Shark Wheels aren’t actually square. Shark wheels are perfectly round just like any other wheel. Almost every picture of Shark Wheels has them semi-facing the camera which is designed to show off the square like shape and not their roundness.
The square shape is actually an optical illusion. If you look at them from the top as shown above, you’ll see that the wheel is round and the square shape of Shark Wheels is caused by the wavy edge on the wall of the wheel.
What are the advantages of Shark Wheels?
Shark Wheels has a big list of advantages of this new wheel design and to be completely honest, I don’t entirely believe a lot of what they state. I’ll list what they say here and then we’ll examine each one later on in this shark wheel review.
- Faster. With only 3 ridges of the wheel touching the ground the rolling resistance is reduced resulting in a quicker ride.
- More grip and sliding control. The alternating pattern equates to increased control — the width is increased, but the friction is decreased! The sine wave design provides three lips per wheel for superior lateral grip.
- Greater Traction. The sine wave pattern smoothly funnels any debris between the channels, instead of simply rolling over it like traditional wheels, allowing for firm contact with the ground.
- Perfect rain and gravel wheels. The alternating pattern of grooves significantly reduces hydroplaning by channeling liquid, sand or gravel out and away from the surface of the wheel, allowing for a firm contact patch with the ground.
Shark Wheels Review: The Riding
I picked up some shark wheels a week ago specifically for this review and put them on my cruising longboard. Within a half hour of riding around with them on, I knew what the hype around Shark Wheels was about.Riding around close by a college campus, I got so many quick glances and stares at my wheels that I started keeping a tally. After a half an hour the tally was up to 10 people who I caught glancing at my wheels.
It’s clear that above all else, Shark Wheels are attention getters. From the side, people see a square wheel rolling and it blows away everything they know about wheels. These wheels are definitely one of most unique ways you can make your longboard different.
Shark Wheels Review: Are they faster than normal wheels?
As I continued cruising around, the wheels felt fine underneath me. There was no flat spot issues or any difference that I could detect from regular longboard wheels that I could detect easily.
I did notice that the Shark wheels did appear to make my longboard a tad bit faster. This is because on these wheels, there is less surface area against the road which reduces the friction the wheels experience.
One rider on Silverfish forums conducted a speed test with the Shark Wheels as compared to typical Rayne longboard wheels. Below shows that the average and max speed of the Shark Wheels were greater than the Rayne wheels through 10 runs.
Shark Wheels: Performance in the Rain
One main advantage these wheels claim is their use in the rain or on gravel. While I didn’t get to test on gravel? I did get to test Shark wheels in the rain. The company claims that the grooves in the wheel reduce hydroplaning and pushes the water out from underneath the wheel.
This claim at least appeared to be true. The Shark Wheels definitely offered improved traction on wet roads. Typically I don’t longboard at all when it’s wet out, and these wheels could change that.
Note: If you plan on taking your longboard out on wet/rainy days, also invest in ceramic longboard bearings. These bearings are more water resistant and will last longer than others if they get wet.
While it doesn’t specifically state this anywhere, the common consensus is that Shark Wheels can only be used for cruising and carving. I wanted to test this assumption by doing some intense downhill and slides with them.
Shark Wheels: Downhill Performance
With weird looking wheels like these, I was apprehensive at first taking these down the monster hills by my house. You do what you got to do when you want to write a good shark wheels review, though.
Surprisingly, my fears were mostly unfounded. At higher speeds, Shark Wheels simply behaved exactly like regular wheels. I think this is because the speed negates any advantages of the weird shape but I’m not sure.
I was able to control the board easily and the wheels felt the same as always. There simply wasn’t a difference in downhill performance.
Now I’m a decently good longboarder(at least I tell myself that), but I’m nowhere as good as some of the pros. So perhaps there was something I missed in my evaluation. To fix this, below shows a professional longboard rider trying out Shark Wheels on his normal downhill routes.
Shark Wheels Review: Sliding
With the different grooves, I was concerned initially about the wheel losing traction. However when sliding, I simply let my momentum carry me through (learn how to slide if you haven’t already), and these wheels easily broke traction.
After an afternoon sliding through, I’m concerned for the lifetime of these wheels. In one sliding session, I wore through most of the grooves that line the wheel. It’s clear to me that you can slide on these, but be prepared for how quickly these wheels will wear down.
Who should buy Shark Wheels?
Above all else, Shark wheels are an attention getter. If you want to test out this reinvention of the wheel for yourself, go ahead! They are definitely unique and will make your board stand out from the rest.
In terms of performance enhancements, there are a number of minor (in my opinion at least!) differences between the Shark Wheel and a regular longboard wheel. They’ll roll a little faster than normal wheels and will work better in the rain than regular longboard wheels which is an advantage to our all weather riders. Besides that, they are able to ride through a bit more road debris than regular wheels.