Best Football Tackle Wheels
Teaching your football players to safely and effectively tackle is the most important skill on the defensive side of the ball. With more and more attention being paid to player safety, tackle wheels are a great option to train your defenders without risking their bodies.
The tackle wheel is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used to train the foundational skills behind tackling. Your players can improve their footwork, leverage, posture, wrapping up, strength, and more with a tackling wheel.
Tackling wheels are relatively new to the football equipment industry, but they have exploded in popularity recently. Companies have noticed this rise in popularity and now potential buyers have tons of options.
In this article, we’ll recommend the best tackle wheels on the market and walk you through a buying guide that dives into the specific features you should look for.
With this knowledge, you’ll be able to find the right tackle wheel for you and be able to train your players to chase down and tackle their opponents on the gridiron.
SafeTackle is a Missouri-based company that has a growing reputation in the youth sports equipment industry. As their name suggests, they focus on player safety and providing products that effectively train youth football players.
This wheel was designed to mimic the size, movement, and resistance of a real ball carrier. It is most suitable for players 13 years and younger, but SafeTackle’s PRO XL range is suitable for older kids.
Parents and coaches can rest easy as kids can tackle this wheel at full speed with a greatly reduced injury risk compared to player-on-player contact drills.
- Dimensions: 39.8 x 12.8 x 11.3 inches
- Designed for kids aged 13 and younger
- Up to 135lbs opposing player rebound rate
- Weight: 18 pounds
It’s best to get players trained to tackle young so they can safely and consistently tackle when they’re older. With that in mind, this SafeTackle product is a great investment.
This is another great tackle wheel for young kids and an excellent way to introduce players to open field tackles.
Fisher put plenty of thought into this product and focused on its durability, which makes it a long-term option for a football program.
It weighs about 21 pounds, so it’s a bit smaller than the SafeTackle youth model, so if you want to ease your kids into using a tackle wheel, you should go for this Fisher product.
- Dimensions: 29 x 9 x 29 inches
- Weight: 21 pounds
- Made of 9 lb. rebond foam
- Vinyl coating on the outside for increased durability
One of the best benefits of a tackle wheel is that it frees up other players for different types of drills. At a young age, this means you can give players more reps and make them more all-around players.
Sports Unlimited is a family-owned and operated company that got its start on the outskirts of Philadelphia. They offer a wide range of sports equipment, and this tackling ring is no exception.
The company makes tackling wheels in three sizes, 28”, 36”, and 40” diameters, so they have a wheel for all ages and skill levels.
Sports Unlimited’s biggest selling point is its durability. Their tackling wheels have some of the densest foam on the market, which makes their tackling wheels last longer.
Their wheels also have straps, so a football can be strapped in when the wheel is rolled. This gives players an additional focus point: trying to strip the ball from the “opponent”.
- Dense, heavy-duty foam
- Vinyl cover
- Elastic straps to hold football
- Available in three sizes
- Weight: 21, 31, and 36 pounds, respectively
Sports Unlimited offers a premium tackling wheel that can help your players improve all facets of tackling including forcing fumbles.
This tackle wheel is designed by a UK-based company that specializes in rugby equipment, but this wheel can be used for both rugby and football.
It is made with a durable PVC outer cover, so it can withstand tough use and weather conditions. Combined with this durability, it also has a safe cushion to protect players from injuries.
The tackle wheel comes in two sizes, adult and youth, so you should be able to find the proper size for your age group, although another product may be better suited for very young football players.
- PVC outer cover
- Two sizes: 22 pounds and 33 pounds
- Color: Black and red
Don’t let the name fool you, you should not restrict your search to football-specific products. This tackling wheel is an excellent option for football and rugby teams.
Wheel Size vs Players Age
This is the most important consideration to make when you’re purchasing a tackling wheel. You have to consider the size of the opponents your players will come up against as a tackling wheel is supposed to accurately mimic a player’s weight and resistance.
Many tackling wheels come in multiple sizes, and it is important to follow the guidelines provided by the manufacturer while also considering your own personal circumstances.
For example, the SafeTackle Pro Football Tackle Ring only weighs 18 pounds and is about 40” tall. This makes it the most useful tackle wheel on our list for players under the age of 13. It can be used with players even younger, with 9 or 10 perhaps being the best age range for this product.
SafeTackle and the other equipment manufacturers on our list sell tackling wheels in a variety of sizes and weights, so you can find the right wheel for your age group.
If you have a wide range of ages that you are training and you want to get the most use out of a tackling wheel, then you want to consider what product is suitable for a broad range of athletes.
If you’re training middle school and high school football players, then the 36” ring from Sports Unlimited would likely be the way to go. Sports Unlimited says this product is suitable for all age groups as older and younger players can practice tackling fundamentals with this medium-sized wheel.
When you’re buying a tackling wheel, you want a product that is made of durable materials. If your wheel is made out of cheap material, it’s unlikely that it will last long as players really enjoy tackling the wheel hard.
Durable materials such as dense foam and vinyl-coated outer layers also improve player safety and reduce the risk of injuries. A denser foam will recover its shape more easily and make it ready for the next drill. With this reliability, you get a more consistent roll, and players can better train open-field tackles and tackling fundamentals.
All of the products we suggested are made with high-quality materials, but let’s look at one for some specifics.
The Fisher Football Tackle Wheel is made with rebond foam, a dense and firm foam that will retain its shape and recover its shape from a big tackle. With this type of foam, your tackling wheel will last longer and you’ll get more use out of your purchase. Furthermore, this Fisher product is made with vinyl coating on the outside which further increases the durability of the product, protecting it from scratches and other damage.
This leads us on to our next important feature, durability. As football coaches and parents know, football equipment takes a beating, so it’s important to buy durable products that will stand the test of time.
Tackling wheels are no exception, and due to the nature of their use, they need to withstand a lot of force.
Not only do these products need to withstand heavy tackles from players, but they also need to hold up in more extreme weather conditions. Football players train in all types of weather, heat, rain, and snow.
So, when it comes to durability, a tackling wheel needs strong foam but also a strong protective layer to protect it from water damage and other elements. The Ram Rugby Junior Tackle Ring solves this problem with its water-resistant PVC outer layer.
Water-resistant material and dense foam are a combination that will extend the life of a tackling wheel.
We highly recommend the four products we discussed above, and with the help of our buying guide, you should be on your way to finding the right tackling wheel for you.
All four of our recommendations are made of durable materials and they are suitable for a range of age groups and skill levels. Once you find the right wheel, you’ll be amazed at how much your players enjoy tackling it at practice.
Your players and their parents will be happy as they can train more safely, learn tackling fundamentals, and be able to fly around and make tackles at practice without risking other players’ safety.