It’s hard to tell what’s good from bad in a market that is overly saturated with wheels. It seems like there is a wheel for everything, and it’s difficult to tell apart a gimmick from something that actually works well, especially if you’re a beginner.
Todays article will be a review of the Orangatang Durians. I’ve been skating them for a while now and I’m exciting to share the good and bad about them.
- Diameter: 75mm
- Width: 52mm
- Contact patch: 45mm
- Durometer: 80a, 83a, 86a
- Bearing seat: Offset
- Formula: Happy thane
Orangatang Durian Wheels review
How do the Durians slide?
Thanks to the round lips, these have a really smooth slide initiation (the difference between grip and slip). This slide is made even smoother when you consider how the urethane will behave.
The urethane provides a nice buttery slide that feels somewhere between in the pavement, and on top of it. This means its slide is not too grippy or too icy, but at that middle ground where the wheel slides well but also provides decent slow down power. And this also means it will have a smooth transition between gripping and slipping – something that is especially nice for beginners getting to grips with their slides.
For more advanced riders, this means you can take downhill lines with the wheel and actually get slowed down. And this is nice because it gives the best both worlds – you can do stand up slides with this wheel, and then put a hand down and rally around a corner.
The slide is nice but …
However, when doing stand-up slides, I found that the wheel would feel a bit more grippy towards the end of the slide, especially if I made a mistake. I found that I needed to be more on-point with my skills to make the most of them, and this added a bit of stress when doing fast stand-ups.
I think the inconsistency comes from the small core which allows the urethane to deform when it is under stress. And whilst a little deformation isn’t bad, a lot can make the wheel perform differently even during the same slide.
But over time, I know I will get used to these and as they get closer to the core, they will start to feel more consistent in the slide.
Nb: Given how these wheels would either stick out or fit too narrowly under my board, I don’t think I had the optimal conditions to test how they would perform for stand up. This probably affected my riding experience with them, but probably not so much. I rode the Cult Emperors which stuck out almost as much, but could still pull off big slides with ease.
I’m doing a series of posts covering the gear Loaded & Paris sent me. You can check out the other reviews here:
- Orangatang Kegels Review
- Loaded Truncated Tesseract Review
- Loaded Leather Race Gloves Review
- Loaded Jehu V2 Bearings Review
- Paris Savant Review
Surprisingly decent roll speed
Even with a small core, these wheels rolled surprisingly well. They didn’t feel overly sluggish on my regular runs or really slow round the corners – something that I felt from the get-go with other freeride wheels.
However, as with all longboard wheels, the closer you get to the core, the slower the roll-speed will get. This is just the nature of all longboard wheels and happens to them across the board.
What are the Orangatang Durians best for?
I would say the work best as an all-round freeride wheel. In the sense that you can start out doing hands down lines with them, but start doing stand slides as they get closer to the core – which is the best option for beginners.
And if you are primarily looking to do stand-up slides on them they would work really well in a harder durometer.
These wheels would also make great commuter wheels. The small core allows there to be a ton of urethane which absorbs a lot of the road vibration you would get from skating across the city. The 75mm height also aids in this, helping to smooth out the ride and allowing the wheels to easily roll over cracks, pebbles, and other road imperfections without getting caught in them.
Are they good for slide beginners?
If you are just learning to slide, I would hesitate to recommend this to you. The large 75mm height kind of makes these hard to slide and your form needs to be kinda good for you to do so.
But that said, it really is a matter of getting used to them. If you are up for the challenge it is definitely possible to learn to slide on these wheels. You will need to get used to the height and you will have to kick out harder to get them to start drifting. But once you got that down, you are good to go.
If you are looking for something a bit more beginner friendly, check out the Skate Blood Orange Jammerz here on Amazon.com.
Are these wheels right for you?
All in all, these are fairly decent wheels. Given that they are 75mm and have a lot of urethane to go through before one gets to the core, so I think you do get your money’s worth.
I would recommend them to a beginner, people simply looking for a decent wheel to use, or advanced riders wanting a wheel with an easy slide and hook-up.
If you want a set for yourself, you can get some here on the Orangatang website