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What Does 78a Mean on Skateboard Wheels? – Explained

Fact checked by Michael Derosier

what does 78a mean on skateboard wheels

Skateboard decks vary in style, shape, and size to ensure everyone enjoys riding them. The same idea applies to other skateboarding components, which we must combine together for the best gear setup.

If you’re using a soft wheel, you should also use a skateboard suited for such a wheel type. And speaking of rollers, what does 78a mean on skateboard wheels? What about other numbers like 95a or 101a?

Keep reading as we learn more about these digits and the range outside them.

78a, What Does It Mean on Skateboards?


Every skater has preferences. And these choices could vary as frequently as the day changes. Thus, we should acquaint ourselves with skateboard configurations and the figures indicated on their parts.

When the letter “a” comes after a pair of numbers printed on a skateboard wheel, the digits represent a specific hardness level on a durometer scale, a gauge used to measure wheel hardness.

So, how hard are the wheels marked 78a? A wheel labeled 78a is a softer wheel in the 78a-90a range.

Durometer Scales and Skateboard Hardness Levels


Now that we know what 78a durometer means, it’s time to identify where this softness level sits on the scale.

Skateboard wheels have a hardness ranging from 73a to 101a. The lower numbers represent soft wheels, and the higher ones are the opposite. Let’s get into the details by dividing the range into a toughness or softness chart.

  • 73a to 87a – Wheels in this range, whether 75a or 78a, work well for cruising, longboards, and street skateboards. They suit riders who often skate on uneven surfaces.
  • 88a to 95a – Doesn’t differ much from the previous scale. Has the second-best grip of all wheel types here, behind the 73a – 87a category only.
  • 96a to 99a – Versatile rollers, suitable for commutes and skate obstacles like ramps.
  • 101a – Hardest skateboard wheels in the A scale. As you can likely tell by now, lower softness means less grip. Hence, this size doesn’t perform well on wet surfaces.

Are there other durometer scales? Yes! If we check a skateboard wheels guide, we will see some manufacturers use a durometer B scale to rate wheels harder than 101a.

The B range is 20 points below the durometer A scale. So, 83b would be the equivalent of 103a, not 83a, and so on.

Frequently Asked Questions


Are 78a wheels good for street skating?

Absolutely! Any skateboard guide will say wheels of this hardness rating are for street skating. So, these rollers are best on sidewalks or some village pavement.

Are 78a wheels soft or hard?

Skateboard wheels 78a types belong to the softest skate rollers classification. In other words, they’re in no way hard. Generally, everyone will love these wheels because they are comfortable and can curb road obstacles.

How is hardness measured?

As mentioned, durometer scales are the metrics used by skateboard companies to quantify skateboard wheel hardness. The most popular gauge used is the durometer A scale, followed by the B scale.

Are 82a wheels good for indoor?

If some rollers work well on the streets, others are also suitable for indoor environments, like 58mm 82a skate wheels. These wheels may not be too soft or too hard, but they are good enough for stability reasons.


Skateboards need quality parts with the correct sizes to work well. Otherwise, we would compromise our rides and hasten the wearing out of the skateboard.

Besides the dimensions, we should also be mindful of other aspects like material composition or the hardness level of the wheels. This way, we’ll understand how they perform.

So, what does 78a mean on skateboard wheels? These are numbers proving you’ve got a grippy and comfortable street wheel set.

Remember, skateboard wheels aren’t only soft. Ensure you know about the harder ones and the measurement scales.

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