Skateboard trucks are the backbone of your skateboard as they last longer than any other component. Decks and wheels come and go, but trucks tend to last much longer. Therefore, when choosing a truck, it is essential to make the right choice.
Although the market is flooded with several truck brands, it isn’t easy to decide which is the best. This article will review and compare two of the most popular skateboard truck brands, Thunder vs Independent.
See also: Best skateboard trucks reviews.
Thunder Vs Independent Trucks
The main difference between a Thunder and Independent truck is thunder trucks are best for street skating, cruising, and turning smoothly. Also, they are more responsive and lightweight but also wear down faster. While the Independent tricks are suitable for skate parks, ramps, and bowls. Further, they are long lasting, but are heavy and turn slowly.
This short comparison of independent vs thunder trucks clearly shows that which truck is the best depends on the rider’s riding style. Also, note both brands make good quality trucks, so riders love both for their own reasons.
We have provided a short response for those who ask for recommendations of only one from Independent and Thunder. There is no wrong choice since both brands are good. You can also choose Thunder trucks if you don’t like the design of Independent trucks but love the skatepark and ramp.
Now let’s compare both brands in more detail, considering every single feature.
Independent: If you were looking for the best skateboard trucks, you must have recommended or looked at trucks of the Independent brand. Independent is a brand most people recommend and trust for trucks. The brand was established in 1978 by Richard Novak, Jay Shiurman, and two other skateboarding experts. Founders themselves are legends of skateboarding, so they know what a rider demands.
Thunder: The Thunder truck brand is also a famous and demanding brand for trucks today, but what makes you shocked is that since 1986 they have maintained the value of the brand. Thunder titanium trucks give them a good response, which is the main reason why they survive in this competitive market.
No matter what type of riding you prefer, cruising, skatepark, or tricks tuning is one of the most crucial factors, and it depends on your skateboard truck’s quality and features.
Our recommendation for those who are more into tuning would be Thunder trucks, although Indys are also great. Thunders are more responsive than Indys, while Indys are designed for sharp tuning.
The most recommended truck for tricks such as kickturns and Ollies is Thunder.
No matter how expensive or full of features your trucks are if they don’t last, they are worthless. Trucks are the most durable component of a skateboard, and Thunder and Independent stand out as the best options.
However, when it comes to the best one that lasts longer, Thunder trucks win, as they endure years of use. Additionally, the Independent is also a good truck, but not as good as Thunder.
Furthermore, the terrain on which you also ride matters. Riding on rough roads regularly won’t make the trucks last as long as they should. The wheels can once be cleaned and made faster, but if the trucks get damaged, they become unstable, and the only option left is to replace trucks with new ones.
Cheap trucks are usually unstable, but if you consider popular brands such as Thunder and Independent, they are very good at stability and ensuring a stable ride.
If we compare the Thunder and Independent brands trucks based on stability, Independence will win.
If you’re using Thunder or Indy level trucks and you feel your board is unstable or unbalanced, you should check the size of your trucks. In several cases, an unbalanced skateboard occurs due to unmatched sizes. You can find out what size skateboard truck you need in our previous article.
Both trucks usually offer every size that you need in a skateboard, so you can check your skate deck width and choose skateboard trucks accordingly.
Other than that, some people also search for high, mid, and low trucks. However, you should keep in mind that every brand has different size features. If Thunder shows high trucks, it may be mid trucks with the same size for Independent.
Hence, before making a final decision, make sure to check both truck size charts. Low trucks are usually suited to small wheels like 48mm to 53mm, while high trucks are suited to large wheels like longboard wheels, but mid wheels are most suitable for most skateboards.
You must know how difficult it is to perform tricks on a heavy skateboard. Additionally, trucks play a significant role in making the board heavy or light. Although heavy skateboard trucks are well and good if you do cruising or rough roads riding, but for tricks, always prefer light trucks.
It’s Thunder trucks that are the lightest among Thunder and Independent trucks. Thus, if you’re looking for a truck that can handle tricks, go with Thunder.
The cheapest products are the worst, whether we believe it or not. However, it doesn’t apply to all situations, such as in trucks. If you buy expensive trucks without proper research, you will be wasting your money. If you do your research properly, you can also buy quality trucks at a low cost.
Here we’re talking about the Thunder vs Independent, where at the price point, Thunder wins. Independent trucks are more expensive than Thunder trucks because they contain more meat, making them heavier, more durable, and stronger.
Lastly, we say that if you are looking for a truck that is both affordable and of high quality, simply choose Thunder, but if your budget allows, choose Indy.
Alternative Truck Brands
In case you are unsure of both Thunder and Independent, choose Venture trucks. Venture trucks are an excellent combination of both Thunder and Indy trucks because they are lightweight, reasonably priced, and a decent quality product.
Venture trucks aren’t as good as Thunder and Indys in many aspects, such as turning and durability, but they are of better quality at a lower price. Since 1996, Venture trucks have also been manufactured in San Francisco, USA. Considering that the brand is well known and highly in demand for trucks, you can rely on them.
Best Trucks For Street Skating
For street skating that involves turning and performing tricks, Thunder trucks are the best choice.
Despite their lightweight design, Thunder trucks are easy to maneuver and respond to quickly. Although compare to Indys, Thunder wears down quickly, so if you’re looking for long lasting trucks, go with Indys only, as they are also decent trucks for the street.
You can also check out the best skateboard trucks for street skating here.
Best Trucks For Skatepark
Generally, most people prefer to skate only in skateparks, but Indys and Thunder are two of the best choices for them. However, if you want long lasting trucks, make sure you go with Indys, while for lightweight trucks, prefer Thunder.
There is no definitive answer because each brand’s trucks work best for different riding styles. Such as Thunder trucks are best for street skating, cruising, and turning smoothly. While the Independent trucks offer more stability and grip while skating on uneven surfaces, including skate parks, bowls, and ramps. Overall, thunder trucks are often seen as being of higher quality.
A Thunder truck is the best skateboard truck choice if you’re looking for cruising, street skating, and smooth turns. The other riding styles, such as skate parks and ramps, are also suitable but not satisfying for pro riders, so it’s better to stay away from them and go with Independent trucks for such riding style.
Yes, Thunder Trucks are an excellent choice for beginners. Thunder trucks are well-made with high-quality materials that make the board stable and balanced, helping beginners learn to skate much faster.
It depends on how you ride and maintain them, so there is no definitive answer. Apart from that, the Thunder trucks are of high quality and last longer than most other brands of skateboard trucks. Still, you can expect them to last at least 6 months.
Finally, we can now hope you get a clear understanding of Thunder vs Independent trucks and find out what suits your riding style. In summary, both brands provide quality and reliable trucks, but you can choose the one that suits your riding style and budget, as discussed in this article.
Also, keep in mind that it isn’t only about the price when it comes to trucks. For quality trucks, you must take features, weight, deck width, and wheels size into account before making a final decision.
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.