Choosing skateboard trucks is even more difficult than deciding what board to buy. New skateboarders are often confused with the various brands and models available for trucks, so we guided you in this article about how to choose skateboard trucks.
When buying skateboard trucks, there are many things to consider. When choosing trucks, factors like the type of terrain you’ll skate on, your preferred style of riding, and your height and weight must all be taken into consideration. Trucks determine the way you turn, your speed, and the height of the board. There are three types of skateboard trucks: Reverse Kingpin (RKP), Traditional Kingpin (TKP), and Vertical Kingpin (VKO).
Different types of boards will give different riders benefits depending on their preferences, such as turning speed, making turns, the amount of leaning they want, and whether they need more stability at high speeds.
Right, let’s go for a step by step guide to truck selection so that you can make the best skateboard trucks choice for you.
How To Choose Skateboard Trucks
Trucks are the metal pieces on a skateboard that allow it to turn. Besides connecting the deck and wheels, they also provide strength for jumps.
Skateboard Trucks Components
You’ll be confused if we proceed without understanding the parts of skateboard trucks and their names. Let’s begin by defining every aspect of skateboard trucks and what they do.
Having four mounting holes and one pivot hole, the baseplate is one of the essential parts of a truck, as it connects trucks to decks. Baseplates are usually made from metal or aluminum because they should be able to handle more weight.
The hangar is the second most crucial part of a truck. It’s a t-shaped metal body that connects to a baseplate with the help of a kingpin and bushings.
The kingpin is a large bolt that connects all the parts of the truck by fitting inside the bushings. It is located in the center of the truck. One bolt is enough to loosen or tighten the trucks, and a small change in tightness can make a big difference in the truck’s performance. Be careful when adjusting the kingpin, however, since if it breaks, you’ll lose the entire truck.
The bushings on a skateboard truck enable it to rotate, as well as spin, via the kingpin and hanger. Most of them are made of polyurethane or plastic, although some brands also use Teflon bushings. A polyurethane bushing provides a smoother ride for cruising, whereas a plastic bushing provides better stability in downhill riding. If you’re a heavy guy, you should go with harder bushings as they make the trucks more durable. In fact, we made an article on the best skateboard trucks for heavy riders to assist you in your search.
A metal rod like component passed through a hanger is known as an axle. Because the wheels are attached to the axle, they need to be high-quality steel or titanium. Also, you might hear about axle nuts, which are simple screws that hold wheels and trucks in place. Some brands do not include axle nuts with their trucks, but you can purchase them from any shop or online.
Skateboard Trucks Material
Skateboard trucks are available in different materials, but not all of them are suitable for serious skaters. Furthermore, the material of a truck affects the riding style and determines its lifespan.
Aluminum, titanium, steel, and magnesium are the four primary materials used to make skateboard trucks.
You should only use aluminum or titanium trucks if you’re a serious skater, as they perform well and last longer. Because of demand, most brands now offer aluminum trucks with steel baseplates, which are perfect for every type of riding. Particularly for heavy use, aluminum trucks should be used as they can handle more weight.
Types Of Skateboard Trucks
When choosing skateboard trucks, you will come across three different types, two of which are most suitable and valuable.
Standard kingpin: Regardless of the type of riding you enjoy, standard kingpin trucks are the best skateboard option. For street skating, skateparks, and bowls, these are the best trucks. There can be adjustments with the tool for turning or according to your riding style, which is why riders prefer it.
Reverse Kingpin: Whether you are looking to cruise, carve or go downhill on your skateboard or longboard, reverse kingpin trucks are the way to go. The trucks have a larger height and width than standard trucks, which makes them a good choice for longboards as well.
Skateboard Trucks Size
The last and most crucial decision is selecting the truck size after choosing the features you need in a truck according to your riding style.
If you choose the wrong size of the truck, your expensive and high-quality truck will be useless.
So, all you need to do is measure the board deck width and select the trucks accordingly. The trucks width should be equal to deck width. If you choose narrow trucks, it makes your board unbalanced, and if you choose wider trucks, your deck will be hard to turn. In the meantime, if you need to know more about trucks size, visit this page.
Skateboard Trucks Height
There are different heights of trucks on the market, and you will need to choose the height based on your wheels and riding style. Since if your wheels are big and trucks are small, you’ll experience wheel bite (the wheels will touch the deck) when turning.
Trucks are divided into three height categories: Low, Mid, and High.
Low trucks are most suitable for small wheels and for performing tricks and doing street skating. We’ve also made a guide with recommended best skateboard trucks for tricks.
The mid trucks are the most recommended and preferred height trucks for both beginners and professionals alike. For rough roads and skateboarding on the street, these are the best trucks. Beginners should choose mid-size trucks only.
High trucks are only suitable for large wheels and are good for mini ramps, verts, and bowls.
Best Skateboard Trucks Brand
Just starting out skateboarding, chances are you may not know anything about skateboard truck brands. Therefore, to make your understanding and decision making easier, we included this topic as well.
Skateboard trucks are available in several brands, but Independent and Thunder are regarded as the most reliable and trustworthy. We’ve also created a comparison of thunder vs independent trucks where you can learn more.
Firstly, find your skateboard deck width. After that, you can choose the right truck size for your skating. The rule of thumb is truck should be equal to or one size larger than your deck width. But, of course, you can always experiment with different sizes to find what works best for you.
Absolutely! Skateboard trucks are a crucial part of your skateboard, and the right trucks can make all the difference in your skating. Be sure to do your research and find the right trucks for your skating style. Trust us; it makes a world of difference!
No, different trucks are designed to fit different widths of decks. Be sure to check the width of your deck before you purchase trucks.
If you’re confused about longboard and skateboard trucks read our blog on the difference between longboard trucks and skateboard trucks.
We have guided you on how to choose skateboard trucks, and we hope you will make the right decision now.
When you’re on a tight budget, then opt for the truck types we recommend in this article. If you have a budget, try out new trucks, as we’ve already addressed all of your concerns in the article. Who knows, you might be able to find one that’s better in terms of performance.
I am James Buckridge, the founder of skateboardidea.com. Skateboarding is my passion, and I have years of teaching experience in this field. Our vision and mission is to provide you with accurate information on everything related to skateboarding. Catch me on Twitter & Pinterest.