Skateboard Trucks Guide
Trucks affect the way your skateboard rides and turns and they have a say in whether you can perform tricks or not. Get more insight about your trucks and learn how they affect your skateboarding style.
Skateboard trucks are the T-shaped turn parts found under the deck with wheels attached onto. They make sure your movements are transferred to the deck for it to react as you want. With the right set of trucks both you and your skateboard will be able to perform better.
If you are a beginner, it is a good idea to choose a complete skateboard where the trucks are already mounted. But if you still wish to buy trucks separately, the most important to look into is the width of the the truck. However, if you have more experience on the board and wish to understand your trucks better, you can get read this guide to get more knowledge about each part and at the same time get tips on how to customize them to fit your specific skateboarding style.
Truck size - which size should you choose?
The first thing you need to know when choosing trucks is whether the size fits your skateboard or not. The width of the truck including wheels, should have the same size as the width of the deck. This will provide you with optimum stability on the board. If the truck is too wide, you will risk hitting the wheels with your shoes (shoe bite) and if it is too narrow, the skateboard will be unstable.
How to measure skateboard trucks?
In general, it is not necessary to measure the trucks since the size will be offered to you on each of our product pages. If, however, you still need to measure them, you should measure either the width of your deck or the length of the hanger and then follow our Skateboard Truck Size Guide depicting which truck size you should get for your board and vice versa.
Truck profile - low, mid or high trucks?
You can choose to get your skateboard trucks in a low, mid or high setup. Which you choose depends on your skateboarding style.
- Low trucks have a shorter kingpin thus less distance to the ground. It also means that smaller wheels are to be used. Furthermore, the trucks become more stable making this setup especially suitable for stunts.
- Mid-level trucks are especially popular for park or street riding.
- High trucks have a longer kingpin thus longer distance to the ground. This makes them especially suitable for carving or cruising in the city since you will be able to press down the board further and make sharp turns. Bigger wheels are also usually used in this setup. If you experience wheel bites, it is preferable to add riser pads.
You will find the truck profile under specifications, when you enter a product page on our website.
Riser pads - adjust the truck height and avoid wheel bites
Risers or riser pads are a set of plates in plastic or rubber that can be placed between your deck and baseplate to increase the distance between your board and wheels. By adding one or more risers, you will make your truck higher and in this way avoid wheel bites. Wheel bites occur when the board and the wheels touch each other. This can really disturb your skating and even end up ruining your skateboard. Risers can also be used to dampen vibrations, providing a comfy cruise.
Riser pads are not a neccesary part of the truck but can be bought if needed. They are available in different designs and colors and are usually a pretty cheap accessory.
Expensive or cheap trucks? - Buy from known brands
Since your trucks most likely last longer than the deck and wheels of your skateboard, it will pay off spending a bit extra on buying trucks from known brands instead of saving money on no-name budget trucks. The quality is typically better and they will serve you for a longer time. At the same time, they are more flexible making it easier for you to control your skateboard. You will also be more able to customize your setup to your skateboarding style.
Heavy or light skateboard trucks?
Heavy skateboard trucks are usually easier to grind on because of more weight, but at the same time it can be difficult to lift the skateboard high up. Therefore it is important to consider whether you should get them heavy or light. If you are not that very big, it is important to choose a light skateboard truck, especially if you are planning to do stunts with many jumps. If, on the other hand, you have a lot of strength to kick up the board, heavier trucks can be a better choice.
Which parts does a truck consist of?
A skateboard truck consists of several parts such as the bushings, kingpin, baseplate, hanger and axle. In this section you will learn about each part to be able to understand how they affect your skateboard.
The kingpin is an essential part of the truck situated inside the bushings, keeping all parts together. In the event of a broken kingpin, it can be replaced, so there is no need to buy all new trucks.
The kingpin is the only part of your truck where you can adjust how firm or loose your board is to turn. After gaining more experience with your board, you can try experimenting more with the settings:
- For sharper turns, loosen the kingpin.
- For a more stable board, tighten the kingpin.
If you buy a skateboard with a normal setup (complete skateboard), you normally do not have to adjust the kingpin which is set to fit a beginner’s level as default.
The bushings are the round rings made of uretane plastic found around the kingpin. They work almost like a spring transferring the pressure from your feet to the truck making it possible for you to turn. The hardness of the bushings determines how much your skateboard can turn:
- Hard bushings are suitable for stunts since the truck will become more stiff and stable making it easier to keep balance at landings. On the other hand, it will take more to get the board to turn.
- Soft bushings er suitable for cruising and carving where you make sharp turns. They respond faster to the pressure from the feet which is transferred to the bushings and further on to the truck.
The hanger is brand specific which means that it should be of the same brand as the baseplate. It is the big triangular metal part with an axle running through it. It is important that it is durable since it is subject to a lot of impacts when making grinds and other stunts.
The baseplate is the flat metal part mounted directly on the deck. This is where the kingpin and the hanger meets the skateboard. It has a big size to create an even weight distribution. This means that your weight is distributed evenly on the whole truck providing more stability and at the same time, the impacts from landings will also be evenly distributed instead of affecting the same spot over and over again. This makes the setup more stable.
Center the baseplate as much as possible if you want to mount it on by yourself. If it is not aligned, the skateboard will permanently turn to the same side. However, most skateboards already have drill holes ready for you to mount the baseplate without worrying about centering it. And if you buy a complete board, both the baseplate and rest of the truck will be mounted and ready to use.
The axle runs through the hanger and is the part with the wheels attached. After extensive use, the axle might start sliding to one side resulting in one loose wheel and one very tight. In case this happens, you can use a hammer to gently put it back in place. But if the problem occurs more than a couple of times, getting new trucks would be preferable instead of struggling with it.
See our selection of skateboard trucks available in different designs, brands and suitable for different skate levels.
Contact our customer support for further advice, should you still have any questions. We are always ready to help :-).