There’s always been a movement in the longboarding wheel industry to find a perfect balance between durability and thaney, sugary wear. Too much durability, and the company risks making a wheel which doesn’t grip the pavement enough to create an attractive slide. Too much wear, and the wheels don’t last long enough and become extremely expensive for the rider.
There’s people who prefer all points of the spectrum- racers enjoy wheels that are extremely durable. This way, they don’t have to replace wheels very often even if they must drift and periodically wash out. Some people, mostly freeriders, prefer wheels that leave thick, cocaine-esque lines behind them. These wheels wear quickly, but for freeriding hobbyists, the cost is worth it. For everyone else though, a freeride wheel that’s both durable and consistently slidey is an attractive prospect. And that’s what Powell Peralta has created this year with the Snakes.
Coming in 66mm and 69mm varieties, the Powell Peralta Snakes are a continuation of the These Wheels project, an initiative to create the most balanced freeride wheel on the market. The Snakes are a little different though, with a different, more durable formula this time, and a different shape and contact patch to alter the slide a little bit.
The shape is a little more square than previous iterations, to ensure a consistent contact patch through the life of the wheel. The core is the same proprietary PP core as previous These wheels, which gives it a firm grip on bearings to make sure they don’t chatter. The 38mm contact patch gives the rider a nice kick-out and a smooth hookup. The Snakes come stone-ground out of the box, for your convenience; an upgrade from These wheels. The wheels are deceptively soft- the 75a durometer feels like jelly under the finger, but as they slide, they feel nothing like jelly. They rather feel more like an 83a wheel.