In modern roller derby you roll on a flat track left around. The track is very small with short straights and tight curves.
As part of the pack you don't have to be very fast. It's much more important to have good stability, grip and balance. Often 62mm wheels with a width of 41-44mm are preferred. But many skaters tend more and more to narrow wheels, to avoid getting stuck together to each other.
The Jammer needs to be very agile and fast, especially in turns. A really fast jammer takes the course as one circle only with crossovers. To achieve maximum speed she needs very hard wheels, but to stay on the track a soft and grippy wheel is necessary.
In order to accurately get this problem under control, more and more players combine hard and soft wheels together. Below we show how these combos look like and what their advantages and disadvantages are.
On all wheel combos 2 different kinds of wheels are used: Pusher Wheels and Speed Wheels:
Pusher Wheel: This wheel gives grip in turns and is important to accelerate out of corners. When doing crossovers you "push" - that's why it's called pusher wheel. This wheel is clearly softer than the speed wheels. Usually the hardness is between 84A and 91A.
Speed Wheel: This wheel is responsible to make you fast. The speed wheel has to match to the floor. With the matching hardness you'll achieve much more speed. Our "Wheel Finder" helps you finding the correct wheel for each floor. The speed wheel is much harder than the pusher wheel. Usually between 88A and 101A.
In our onlineshop you'll find pure pusher wheels and pure speed wheels. Depending on hardness and construction technique, some speed wheels are also usable as pusher wheel. Therefor you have to combine them with harder wheels. That's why we call some of them "Pusher/Speed Wheels". The surface recommendation in our "Wheel Finder" refers only to speed wheels.
This standard combination should be known by anyone. Almost all roller skates come like this from the manufacturer. As mentioned above this combination is recommended for pack skaters. They need to have a good stand and stability to be able to block. Often 62mm wheels with 41-44mm width are used here. Due to the scrimmage within the pack and the danger to get stuck together a lot of skaters prefer narrow wheels.
RDH Recommendation: For beginners we recommend to skate 8 hybrid wheels (hardness around 82-86A). These are usable outdoor and indoor and always offer enough grip and comfort. That's how you feel save at the beginning and learn fast.
Wheel-Combo "SUPER GRIP":
We call this "Super Grip" combo (in the USA it's called "The Jerry") because it offers enough grip on almost all floors. On slippy floors you'll definitely be faster than with 8 soft wheels and you'll feel more agility.
RDH Recommendation: 2x 88A (as pusher wheel) and 2x93A (as speed wheel) works very well on almost all floors - always enough grip with still being fast.
This is called "Sporty" combo (in the USA it's called "The Morty") - the pusher wheels are mounted diagonally opposite. It has following reason: While rolling forward the front left wheel is always responsible for having grip when accelerating into or out of a curve (crossovers). While rolling backwards its basically the same wheel that makes grip. That's why this combo is perfect for all those rollergirls, that also wants to be fast and safe when rolling backwards.
But be carefull: It always depends on your rolling style! If you lean your weight on the front trucks while rolling backwards it doesn't change that much. But if you lean your weight on the rear trucks, you'll definitely recognize the pusher wheel.
Additionally, when rolling forward, you'll also realize a difference between the "Super Grip" and "Sporty" combo. You should try which combo suits better for your rolling style.
RDH Recommendation: 2x 88A (as pusher wheel) and 2x 93A (as speed wheel) works very well on almost all floors - always enough grip with still being fast.
The "Speed" combo (also called "The Kramer") is the super fast combo for skater with very good technique and experience. The left front wheel is the pusher wheel and responsible for grip and the others bring the speed.
With this combo some go extreme: They choose 88A wheels as pusher wheel on front left and on rear left wheel a 93A-95A. On the right side 95A-101A as speed wheel. With correct use of this combination the jammer is slightly drifting into curves but still able to stay on the track because of the pusher wheel. That's fun :-)
As mentioned above (see "Sporty" combo) this also works great when rolling backwards and your weight is leaned on the fron trucks.
RDH Recommendation: 88A as pusher on front left, 93A on rear left and 95A on the right side - with this combo and perfect technique, you'll achieve maximum speed on nearly all indoor floors.