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Published on September 12th, 2011 | by Mercy Less

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Ask A Gearhead: To Groove Or Not To Groove?

Thanks for the question, DarkJester/Madness Tolls! Jenny Savaglio, aka La Petite Mort, co-owner of Fast Girl Skates in Seattle, WA shared her answer, which is also available in their Fast Girl Gear Guide. Got a Question? submissions@derbylife.com

Q: When your wheels go bald, should you have them regrooved to get ‘fresh’ urethane, or should you have better grip due to increased surface area once the grooves wear down?

A: Let’s talk grooves. I have good news for those of you thinking about replacing your wheels because the grooves have gone. I recently learned from three of the major wheel manufacturers that the grooves on the wheels aren’t intended to help with grip. They are merely a by-product of the manufacturing process.

According to them, our wheels do not become less “grippy” when the grooves are gone. This might explain why wheel re-groovers have become so scarce. Still, some skaters believe in having their wheels re-grooved. I think that’s fine. It certainly won’t make them less grippy, but keep in mind that you can usually only re-groove your wheels a once or twice before they get too small to use or mix with other wheels that have not been regrooved.

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