After three sets and countless hours on Powell-Peralta’s Kevin Reimer Pro Wheels, I’ve come to the conclusion that this is a freeride wheel you could downhill with enough experience.
The Powell-Peralta Kevin Reimer Pro Wheel, also known as the Krime wheel, is the middle ground between downhill and freeride. The wheel comes fresh with a mold release that holds up for a couple runs then quickly wears into a freeride wheel. It features an inset core like Ahmyo’s Akasha, but the inset is slightly smaller at 2mm making them still flippable for even wear.
They’re made of Powell-Peralta’s proprietary Soft Slide Formula (SSF) Pro which is faster, has more stopping power and similar wear as the standard SSF found in Powell-Peralta’s Snakes. All the Soft Slide Formula wheels feature a relatively soft 75a durometer.
The Pro wheels also feature a H5 fiber infused core which offers superior strength and an improved bond to the urethane rather than using a grove or other traditional methods to adhere the core and urethane.
As the 2009 and 2010 World Champion, Kevin Reimer is well known for his successful downhill longboarding career. It makes sense that his pro model wheel would be downhill oriented. Some readers might remember that his pro model with THESE Wheels was primarily downhill oriented.
The 72mm Kevin Reimer Pro Wheel from Powell-Peralta is not inherently a downhill wheel though. I’m currently on my third set and with all my time on the Kevin Reimer Pro Wheel, I’ve come to the conclusion that its a freeride wheel that you could downhill with enough experience.
It features a mold release, a big contact patch and its above 70mm so it meets the general standard of a downhill wheel but there are two key reasons why I wouldn’t ride it as a dedicated downhill wheel:
- The skin doesn’t last long. When you race or want grip, the fresher the wheel the more grip you normally get. So it would make sense you want the skin to last as long as possible; however, the Kevin Reimer Pro Model skin just doesn’t last. I’ve had a set lose all of its skin on a single run, where my Venom Cannibals or RAD Advantages retain about 90% of their skin.
- SSF Pro, while grippier than the standard SSF, is still a very slidey formula. If you aren’t used to cornering on freeride wheels, then you will struggle cornering with the Kevin Reimer Pro wheels. Once the skin is gone they immediately become a freeride wheel unlike Cannibals or Advantages that still retain a greater amount of stopping power even when they are scrubbed.
Even with these two drawbacks, you can still downhill these wheels if you are willing to sacrifice grip and are able to adjust to the very slidey formula.
I bought these wheels with the idea that they would be a great, fast freeride wheel with long life and I was not let down! Like I mentioned earlier the formula is slidey as far as downhill wheels are considered, but as for freeride goes Powell and Kevin got it just right. It is incredibly consistent across different pavements, durable yet leaves a little thane, consistent breakout and hookup, solid feedback during the slide and all of this is uniform throughout the life of the wheel.
The consistency of this wheel is confidence inspiring. It had me going faster and sliding further than I’m used to with some of it’s competitors.
Despite how incredible these wheels are for freeride, there are a few notes. The wheel is affected by temperature – I noticed a huge difference between skating them in 90F and 40F. On hotter days they became more slidey and left more thane, while on colder days the opposite was true. Now a lot of wheels do this, but it was more noticeable on the SSF Pro formula. Some locals and I determined that in the colder weather you can expect almost a 20% increase in stopping power and 10% increase in grip; however, the slide’s breakout/hookup and road feedback seem pretty consistent between the hot and cold days.
These wheels have a top-of-the-pavement sensation to their slide – a simultaneous chalky and icy feeling. The slide is smooth like ice yet provides considerable feedback like you’d imagine from chalk on a sidewalk.
If you are riding Powell Peralta Snakes or their SSF Scale counterparts and want to know the difference between the wheels, I’d say the Kevin Reimer Pro Wheels are probably a little faster but has about a 20% increase in stopping power.
The Powell-Peralta Kevin Reimer Pro Wheels are an exceptional freeride wheel that also work well for downhill if you have the skill. At $44, you’re getting a durable wheel with proprietary urethane and a unique core. Bottom line – I’d highly recommend these if you’re doing fast freeride, mastering your pre-drifts, some light downhill or all of the above.
Pros: Durable, Only $44, Probably One of the Cheapest 72mm Wheels, Consistent Across Different Pavements, Great Road Feedback
Cons: Skin Doesn’t Last, Graphic Falls Off (if you care), Only Come in One Color, Not a True Downhill Wheel
|Durometer||75a SSF Pro|
|Core||2mm Inset H5 infused|