If you’re just getting started in skateboarding, there’s a good chance you won’t have a clue what trucks are? Don’t fear, we’re here to help.
What are trucks?
Skateboard trucks are the metal bits that fit to the underside of your deck, they connect your deck to your wheels. Trucks allow you to turn and grind on your skateboard, making them the most important part of your setup. It’s vital you choose your trucks wisely as they directly affect the way you skate.
What makes up a truck?
Trucks are made up of the following components:
4: Pivot Cup.
6: Bushings - Bottom and Top.
7: Washers - Bottom and Top.
8: Kingpin Nut.
9: Axle Nuts.
10: Speed Rings.
You need to match the width of your trucks to the width of your deck. If one or the other is too big or small your board will fell unbalanced. Every truck brand produces different size trucks and has their own method of naming them. Check out our size guide to get a better idea of how they match up.
Truck height affects how your board turns, how it flips in the air and how much the truck weighs. Usually the height is measured from the bottom of the base plate to the centre of the axle. If you’re running wheels 56mm and above, you’ll want to look at higher trucks or using risers to give you enough clearance to avoid wheel bite.
Wheelbite is what happens with your wheels connect with your board. It’s basically like slamming on your breaks. You will probably go flying one way and your board the other. Nasty!
Low Trucks - Lowering your centre of gravity can provide extra stability. Low trucks are ideal for getting tech, flip tricks and for smaller wheels (50-53mm).
Mid Trucks – Mid size trucks are ideal for wheels between 53-56mm. They’re good for both street and park skating.
High trucks – Work best with larger wheels (56mm+) offering more clearance between your trucks and deck. Higher trucks work great if you’re setting up a cruiser board with big wheels, or if you’re looking at skating vert or big bowls.
The kingpin is the backbone of your truck. It’s the large bolt which runs through the truck, holding the hanger to the baseplate. Sometimes they can break, but don’t worry as you can buy a replacement. The kingpin controls the pressure which is being put on your bushings. To tighten your trucks, turn the kingpin bolt to the right, to loosen, turn it to the left.
More curve in your swerve?
How tight you have the kingpin nuts on your trucks affects how they turn. The tighter the nut the stiffer the truck will be. Give it a tweak either way and see how it feels.
Bushings are the rounded pieces of urethane or silicone that sit between the baseplate and hanger of your truck. All trucks come with bushings but you can also buy them separately to customise the feel of your board.
Soft Bushings (Under 92a) – Good turning ability but lack control at high speeds. Ideal from cruising or light weight riders who have a hard time turning.
Medium Bushings (92a-97a) – Best for all skating conditions. Responsive but forgiving when they need to be.
Hard Bushings (98a Up) – The most responsive option. Perfect for technical street skating or for going fast. Hard bushings will help keep your board under control whilst offering responsiveness for flip tricks and quick manoeuvres.
You will find the pivot cup at the base of your truck, it’s the small rounded plastic part that fits into baseplate. It keeps your trucks steady. When this part wears down, your trucks can become unstable so make sure to check it out now and again.
Get your grind on
That wraps up our skateboard truck breakdown, all that’s left to do is get out there and get your grind on!