Venom Magnum Longboard Wheels review
May 4, 2020
If you like them BIG, and if you like them THICC, then look no further. The Venom Magnum wheels are amongst the widest, biggest, MEATIEST wheels in the industry. Intimidating to say the least & not for the faint of heart. I’ve been looking forward to skating a set of them since they dropped back in 2017 & have been keen to play around with a wheel of their heft.
Today’s article will be the low down on these wheels. After reading it, you’ll be sure whether these wheels are right for you or not.
*Note this review will be of a worn set of Magnums that I’ve been skating. I got them at 75mm in height with the lips worn down. It may not be reflective of their true performance when new/relatively scrubbed.
- Diameter – 78mm
- Width – 70mm
- Contact Patch – 60mm
- Durometer – 74a, 76a
- Urethane – Venom Mach 1
- Core placement – offset
Venom Magnum 76a wheel review
To date, these maybe some of my favorite scrubbed wheels. The in corner grip is incredible and I’ve been able to take corners faster and push myself to take riskier lines. You can really feel these wheels holding you in the corner. Even though they are a bit ‘slidey’ for their size, they still slow you down a lot too.
They feel great on rougher roads and slide consistently on different pavements. They inspire confidence and allow you to push your riding ability. It’s no wonder they are so popular across the community. Read on below to find out more.
I skated these wheels flipped so they would fit under my deck well. With that in mind, my experiences may not be consistent with someone who skated them unflipped.
How does the urethane feel
The Mach 1 urethane is a high-rebound formula that feels very dense. This allows wheels that use Mach 1 urethane to run really soft with durometers as low as 74a and 76a. Though they measure quite soft, these wheels still retain a lot of rebound and roll-speed. That said, these wheels are not as dense as the Defcon urethane used in the Seismic Alpha’s.
The urethane also feels very meaty and plush, not lethargic or too squishy. It doesn’t feel as stiff as other urethanes, but rather just the right amount of dense with the right amount of give.
How do the wheels slide?
The slide is not unbelievably grippy, but it feels buttery and slows you down a lot. It is also pleasantly consistent. The wheels also don’t ice out or suddenly grip up. They feel consistent at most speeds. I’ve also found that once you’re in the slide, they will comfortably continue sideways. You’d expect a wheel of their size to want to fight and buck you off but once you find that sweet spot they are really forgiving.
They also don’t break traction or break into the slide too easily. They hold that edge of traction for a long time before breaking into the slide. I believe this is what makes them so great for gripping corners and skating corners fast. It’s not easy to find the edge of traction, but it is very forgiving once you do. In comparison, the Alphas just break into a slide instead of fighting for grip.
Finally, the wheels feel quite consistent across different types of pavements. Whilst one road might be grippier than another, the wheels don’t feel too different when you do slide them. Maintaining a very similar feel of grip, slow down power and slide.
They slide really well on rougher roads
The Venom Magnums have outstanding performance on rougher roads. Not only do they smooth out the ride and absorb a lot of the road vibration, but they also slide smoothly too. They don’t bounce around or feel sketchy like other wheels would. They glide across the roughness when you slide them. They don’t fight to grip the road, but they don’t ice out either. The provide just enough grip and slow down power to keep you on the road.
How the wheels hookup in the slide is entirely dependant on you as a rider and how you angle yourself when you come out of the slide or pre-drift and the direction you want to go. It can be gentle and barely pull you in, crisp and snappy, or very aggressive. I’ve found that angling yourself so that you come out in the slide in your direction of travel lessons how much the wheels hookup.
They last long
In a smaller width, I believe these wheels would wear relatively quickly. Being that soft and plush, they would quickly be worn down by sliding. However, these wheels are quite durable simply because of how much urethane there is to go through. If you need a wheel to last you a long time so you can get consistent with your skating, these are a good choice.
That said, the lips don’t last that long. They do retain their general shape, but they go round fairly soon.
Excellent slowdown power
For their size, they don’t have a lot of slowing down power. For example, they aren’t as grippy as Abec 11 Reflex wheels. A similarly sized Abec 11 Centrax HD has a lot more slowing power scrubbed. That said, these do slow you down smoothly and consistently and aren’t as bitey or as harsh to slide as reflex wheels.
As big and as intimidating as they look, these don’t have a slide/slow down power that is reflect of that. You’d expect them to be exponentially better at slowing you down than narrower wheels, but it isn’t like that. They still slow you down a lot, but not as aggressively as one would expect.
They got a lot of momentum
With all that thiccness, they carry a lot of weight. A wheel 70mm in width and 78mm in height isn’t going to be light. Even with the large fiberglass Cobra core, there’s little you can do to bring that weight down. This wheel is heavy, period. And that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Because of how heavy they are, they have a lot of momentum.
As I point out below, all this weight makes it hard to get them moving. But that weight turns into momentum which becomes a strength once they get going. It will allow the wheels to carry a lot of speed through corners, through flat sections of the hill, and even uphill as well. If you’re looking to maintain momentum on a hill, these might be the right wheels for you.
They smoothen out the ride
Thanks to the sheer amount of urethane and how soft these are, these wheels absorb a lot of road vibration. They can handle the messed up Kenyan roads very well. I don’t feel bumps and cracks in the pavement as much with them.
I have a particular skate spot that isn’t very smooth. Some wheels like the Alphas reflect a ton of road vibration and you can pretty much feel everything beneath your feet. It can feel pretty wild and out of control. The Magnums absorb a lot of that and help keep the riding experience feeling calm and in control.
What’s not so good about the Magnums?
They like to chunk
Like all soft, high-rebound wheels, these like to chunk too. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to wear them down without much happening. However. more often than not, these wheels will chunk. They’ll chunk because of sliding them on rough roads, or smacking them against a curb, or just because. It’s not uncommon for wheels like this to chunk for no obvious reason, it just happens.
I should say, that most chunks don’t affect performance. But if your wheel has a big piece missing, you’re going to have to trim it down. The section with the piece missing will wear down faster than the rest of the wheels, leading to ovalling. If you want an evenly worn wheel you’ll have to trim to so that the width is the same throughout.
They don’t slide smooth … sometimes
The wheels don’t always slide too smooth, especially at slower speeds. They chatter sometimes and can feel like they’re bouncing in the slide. I talked to other skaters about this and they noted that they probably chattered because I ride them flipped. Some of them did confirm that they slide smoothly unflipped.
**I have never skated them unflipped because they would stick out too much from my deck – if I had narrower trucks I would skate them normally, but that’s a discussion for another time. Flipped Mags fit very nice on 140mm trucks and a 9.4 deck so that’s what we’re riding until further notice.
The chatter isn’t too bad though and goes away once you find that sweet spot to slide them. You just have to sit on top of them and push them into the ground. Also going faster seems to mostly solve that problem. To be honest, this isn’t a glaring issue, the majority of downhill wheels do chatter when slid at slow speeds.
They don’t accelerate quickly
As I did mention earlier, these wheels are heavy. And because they are heavy, they have a lot of inertia. They simply don’t want to start moving. It takes a second or two to get them going and you can feel this during the push and during the first few seconds when you’re in the tuck. That said they didn’t feel as sluggish as the Orangatang Kegels.
The Kegels had a lot of inertia and you could feel how heavy they were even when you were moving fast. These are heavy, yes, but you don’t really feel their weight too much once they get moving. And when they finally get moving, they don’t want to stop. They’ll carry you and will keep on going for longer and longer.
What are they used for:
So what type of racing/riding are these wheels used for? What type of riding are they most appropriate for?
- Grip races like Mary Hill
- Technical races
- Downhill races
- Skating down fast mountain passes
- Downhill race skate practice
Who should pick up a set?
People who want to compete at all-grip races will find this wheel to be helpful. The wheels maintain a lot of their speed. So if you need something to keep you moving fast through the corners these are the wheels to choose.
People looking for a challenging downhill skate wheel. Though I personally don’t think these wheels are as challenging as they advertise themselves to be, some riders will feel them a bit difficult to skate. If you can comfortably skate tradition downhill wheels (think Orangatang Kegels, Cannibals), then these would be a good challenge for you.
Who should not get them?
Beginners looking for a friendly slide wheel – Venom Magnums are not a beginner slide wheel and will be hard to use.
If you’re looking to get a beginner-friendly slide wheel. Check out my guide to slide wheels here.
If you’re using it at slow speeds – I don’t think Magnums will be good for slow speed skating. If you’re skating a garage, tight paths, or just generally slow hills. You won’t be able to learn what these wheels are capable of and you might even end up hating them. They will chatter when you slide and will likely give you wheelbite and just generally a poor riding experience.
Where to buy Venom Magnums?
You can pick up a set of Venom Magnums here on Amazon.com. If Amazon isn’t your thing, you can pick them at your local skate shop or at Muirskate.
What do you think? Do these wheels sound right for you?
Venom Magnums are an experience. I’d have to say they are in the top 3 of the favorite skate wheels. I hope to get a fresh set to skate soon. If I do get to skate the 74a duro, I will update the article accordingly.
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