It takes a special tire to keep traction in the dunes, but your average street tires won’t cut for larger vehicles. Skat-Trak has been giving street and truck tires a new lease on life, turning them into paddle tires.
“Our vulcanization process allows us to buff and paddle a wide variety of steel belted and bias ply tires,” Greg Stuart of Skat-Trak explained. “This gives our customers unlimited options of tire sizes to convert into paddles.”
Turning the larger tires into paddles takes new or used customer-supplied tires. The supplied tires must be free of plugs or patches, and the safety bead of the tire must not be broken or have kinks. These tires can be dropped off or shipped to Skat-Trak’s facility in Calimesa, California.
I looked to Skat-Trak to help make paddle tires for my Class 2000 race truck. These would be the first set of paddle tires for the truck, and figuring out the right paddle combination was something I would leave up to the pros.
A lot goes into figuring out the right paddle combination for the vehicle. Skat-Trak’s process allows each truck tire paddle to be unique to the vehicle. To make the set for my truck, I took a pair of Falken Wildpeak AT3W 37x12.5R17 tires to start the transformation.
“We generally recommend two different style paddles for truck tires,” Stuart said. “For larger, heavier, higher horsepower vehicles, we recommend running our Super Scooper paddle. The Super Scooper paddle is 1-7/8 inches tall and 14.5 inches wide, which requires a tire with a minimum width of 12.5 inches.”
“The other paddle we recommend for smaller mid-size, lighter, lower horsepower vehicles is our Digger paddle. The Digger paddle is 1-1/4 inches tall and 14 inches wide. It requires a tire with a minimum width of 12 inches.”
After discussing the details of my truck, including the horsepower and weight, we went with an eight Super Scooper paddle layout. Given the truck's 535 horsepower and weighing over 6,000 pounds, this would give us the right combination to help us get around in the dunes.
The eight-paddle design Skat-Trak advised me to go with would give us what we needed to cruise around in the dunes. I was looking to do wheelies down the drags with this truck as it's not what it was built for, but I wanted something to get around and have fun.
Skat-Trak does have general recommendations for both the Super Scooper paddle and the Digger paddle that can help get your vehicle in the general area but depending on what you are trying to accomplish, the layout can vary.
While I am still waiting to get the truck to the dunes, I cannot wait to get the truck out, test the tires, and ride around the dunes. For more information on what Skat-Trak offers, be sure to check out their website.