To some, coring a wheel is nothing more than cause and effect—you ride and your shit wears out. But to us, members of the House of Shred, coring a set of wheels is a prophetic experience and tells the tale of the quality of urethane under foot, of a distinct riding-style, as well as what type of terrain one has been exploring. Sometimes, in the process of riding, wheels turn into irregular shapes and wobble like weebles before reaching the core, one after the other. On other occasions one or two wheels in the set core, yet all remain mostly round. There are also those other rare occasions when all four wheels core at the same time and remain fully cylindrical. Each of these outcomes has a distinct story to tell, but you must be listening.
When you core a set of wheels you shred down the urethane all the way to the inner layer. One of the great parts about doing this is that it happens differently every time. Each set of wheels has its own lifespan dependent of the construction of the wheel itself along with the different pavements ridden, slides executed, as well as any other maneuvers a rider might choose to conquer on a particular set of wheels.
As stated above, each set of wheels you core holds a unique and fascinating story. Many of those stories are reflections of success—maybe your first toeside check was landed on a particular set of cored wheels? Or maybe you learned how to no-comply slide on another set? Or maybe another set took you into the third-digit standie, and beyond. Still, there are other darker tales of the cored wheel—stories of chaos—perhaps of when you had to shutdown behind your buddy who fell at 50? Bottom line, the stories are, well, bottomless.
The urethane itself and the build of the wheel is only part of the bigger picture contributing to a solidly cored wheel. Equally responsible are traits of a balanced rider. You must either be someone who does toeside and heelside slides at similar length—and frequency—or someone who rotates their wheels often. With these two key factors of even-coring in mind—that of the wheel itself, as well as that of the rider’s style—finding the right wheel and riding in a balanced fashion can help you in your quest to create that perfect set of cored wheels.
Over the years, when I bolt on a fresh set of freeride wheels, I do so with the explicit intent on coring them. One memorable set of wheels I cored were some Kryptonic classic K’s. They were a set of 65mm, 78a, side-set, with clear ‘thane. At first I was scared of them; I thought they were going to be the worst wheels ever. Although the old Kryptonics were known for their radness, word on the street was that the newer models felt a bit janky. After riding them a bit it was my experience that they were actually quite nice and highly shreddified. Their ‘thane slid off in large snowflaky pieces, leaving snow-drift-in-a-blizzard type thane lines on the road as I bombed. Within two runs (five miles each, with many whipping corners) these wheels were toasted. At the bottom bombing-section I noticed one wheel had no urethane on it at all. Behold! A beautiful core exquisitely exposed for all to see. Needless to say, I was one happy camper. Ever since then I have never experienced a core of such incredible completion and loveliness. Nowadays, anytime I look down at my wheels and spy an exposed core it puts a big fat grin on my face and I remember that glorious set of Kyptos of the past.
Ladies and Gentiles (and everyone else of course), What the hell are you waiting for!? Log off, shutdown, and saddle up! Get on your board and finish off those wheels, then tell us about your favorite wheel-coring experiences in the comment box below! You know the drill: Yeehaw!
Illustrations by the lovely Kris Haro