Longboarding Water-Tread Wheels




Introduction: Longboarding Water-Tread Wheels

I've been longboarding on and off for the past twelve years, progressively getting more obsessed in the most recent years. But no matter the level or intensity of interest, nothing is more infuriating than being unable to skate because of the rain, or even worse being  in the middle of skating and having it rain on you. Because no one like slippin' and slidin', at least when you don't plan. So in an effort to stick it to Mother Nature, I designed my WT Wheels


It's not asbestos, but there will be a lot of dust particles, and I mean a lot. Take precaution of yourself, by using protective eye wear and a respiratory mask. I'll admit there are safety advisories in life you can ignore, but this one is quite real, besides that fact you could be inhaling a lot of rubber particles, who wants to taste rubber any ways? 

Step 2: Materials

Materials list is pretty simple:

     -A bit obvious
·Dremel(Rotatory Tool)
     -Engineer's best friend
     -And all the supplies that go with it. i.e. ink, paper, and the included image in this Instructable
·Masking Tape

I suggest a sheet to place under you workspace, or if you have a workshop, I suggest you work there. And as I said in the previous step, get some respiratory masks and a pair of safety goggles/glasses.

Step 3: Wheels

Due to the nature of what these wheels are in for, there are a lot of factors that play into a good wheel:

          ·Hardness: Most wheels use the A durometer scale, this is scale of hardness. The lower the number the softer the wheel is, thus more grip, we want the lowest number. My wheels, which are Orangatang Yellow Stimulus, are rated at 86a, this is isn't the best choice, but I'll talk about that later

          ·Contact Patch: The larger the contact patch, the more grip is provided. Stimulus: 42mm

          ·Diameter: The larger the diameter, the deeper the cuts we can make, the more water is churned out

          ·Surface Type: Smoother surfaces slip easier, where as rougher ones grip more. Also rougher ones tend to wear out evenly.

Another factor that plays in, is the lip style. Whether the edges of the wheels are round or straight. We want rounded, because on the of chance we lose traction, then we want a clean slide, that's where the round edge helps us. I used the Stimulus because that's what I had on me at the time, I suggest the Orangatang Orange Durian Freeride wheels, larger diameter, contact patch, and it's softer.

Step 4: Tread Pattern

I searched for a nice big image to work with. I opened it in Word to work with. After finding it, I took a portion of it out. Then I re-sized the width to match that of the contact patch. I then copied and pasted until it reached the length of the circumference(C=D*pi). Due to this technique, you can't do this with wheels larger than 89mm, although this shouldn't be problem as very few wheels go above 85mm. Print out the pattern and cut out.

Step 5: Prepping for Cut

Before anything, take your longboard out for a ride. Why? WHY NOT? Well, for one, each wheel takes about 3 hours, at the least, so it'll be a while. Two, when we make our preliminary cuts, we'll have dirt on the outside, so when we cut we'll see the true color of the wheel, making it apparent where you cut. Once you've done that, wrap the cut paper around the wheel making sure it is straight. Then take the masking tape and tape down the ends. Now take down the edges only. So that it covers the highlighted areas. You should still be able to see the tread pattern, as the masking tape is quite translucent. 

Step 6: Cutting

First you should cut the all those little horizontal lines, because if you do the vertical lines first the paper will fall off. When you cut, have you're Dremel set at 4, a nice controllable speed. And when you cut, you are only scratching the surface, no, literally, don't do deep cuts, save that for later. When you finish the little lines, do the vertical ones, after that the paper should fall off, if not peel it off. If you applied the tape correctly, the middle section should still be taped on. Now, go in and make those cuts nice and deep, and a little bit wider.

Step 7: Cutting - Continued

Now it gets a little complicated. I ignored the middle pattern, because I found it was to intricate to cut.

So, now you should be left with the Blue
Cut the Green
Cut the Orange
Make Green and Orange deeper
Peel away cut paper
Should be left with inside Orange
Cut Purple
Make Purple deeper

Due to the way this tread will turn out (directional), the cut is very specific to one side of the board. Assuming the board is upside down with the grip facing the floor, the diagonal cuts should start on the inside-side and cut upward out. The other two images are guides to illustrate what I'm saying. As you can see the wheels are mirrored.

Step 8: Finished!

Repeat steps 5-7 per wheel and you're done! For those of you who have ever skated in the rain, you've probably observed that you wheels spit up water about 3 or 4 inches. With these wheels I've roughly measured the water spitting up to FIVE FEET! That means the utmost traction when you need it ! 

Ride safe!

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    6 years ago

    would carving with a gouge work also. then no dust problem


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Hey I was thinking, if you could get access to a CNC mill with a 4th rotation axis these water-traction wheels could be made very accurately, repeatably, and with increased complexity. Don't get me wrong, your design looks like it came out pretty well for manual carving, but this could be a solid advancement in the concept. Anyhow, well done!

    Dave A
    Dave A

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Although a nice Instructable I really would't recomment it to do it in this manner at least not with that kind of simple dustmask! It is not rubber that you are cutting as you stated but urethane. In normal hard form no problem but the fumes you cause by cutting it with a dremel or any other tool are serious dangerous. You should at least be wearing a half-face gasmask if you are serious about your health.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    nice instructable! if i send you some money and a set of my LB wheels would you do this for me?


    10 years ago on Introduction

    haha really like it :) now if only i had a longboard..... haha :D vote+ 5*