So you’ve chosen your deck – and now it’s time to pick your trucks!
There are 5 main parts to a truck, each with a different function. Skateboard trucks are the part of the skateboard between the wheels and the deck. They determine how low or high the ride height is, how smooth the turn of the board is, and account for most of the weight of the complete set up.
Parts of a truck
- Baseplate: The baseplate is the solid metal flat plate that attaches to the board. These will almost always come as the same standard size to fit the bolt holes in a deck, however different brands produce different shapes of baseplate, aiming to create stronger and lighter variations.
- Kingpin: The kingpin is the bolt that attaches the bushings and the hanger to the baseplate. The bushings go over the kingpin, with the hanger loop resting between the two bushings. This is all brought together by a nut resting on top of the kingpin, which can be loosened or tightened to give an easier or harder turn, depending on the rider’s preference. Some brands offer different size kingpins, as different heights may interfere with more advanced grind tricks.
- Bushings: Bushings are the two rubber pieces that sit over the kingpin. Bushings are interchangeable – like wheels, bushings have durometers depending on how hard or soft they may be. Some riders opt for softer bushings, giving a smoother, easier turn, whilst some opt for hard bushings, giving the board a stiff, rigid feel. Bushings are included with trucks, however you can shop our range of individual bearings sets here.
- Hanger: The hanger is the largest part of the truck. This part is responsible for protecting the axle, and is the part of the truck that is used to grind. Hangers and axles come in different lengths, as the length of the overall length of the truck should match, or be near to, the width of the board.
- Axle: The simplest part of the truck – the axle extrudes from either sides of the hanger and is where the wheels go!
Trucks are available in different heights – meaning some are taller and offer a higher ride height than others. This affects the overall feel of the board greatly and helps with different types of skating.
- Low: Low trucks offer a lower centre of gravity, offering a more stable ride and making flip tricks slightly easier. They’re most suited for technical skating, involving more flip tricks and ledge grinding. If you’re riding low trucks, you’ll want to opt for a smaller diameter wheel to avoid wheelbite.
- Standard: Standard trucks sit in the middle of the range and aren’t usually named as ‘High’ or ‘Low’. These will give you the ‘best of both’, and are a great option if you’re new to skating, or tend to skate many different things.
- High: Skating high trucks allows for easier turning, and allows for larger wheels which create a faster, smoother ride, however the added height will decrease the centre of gravity and make the board harder to balance on. These are more suited to transition skating.
Deck to Truck width guide:
It’s important to make sure that the board width you’re riding is similar to the width of your trucks. The widths don’t have to match exactly – but riding a board where they don’t match up at all can prove very difficult and cause problems with wheelbite and throw you off balance easily.
Truck Width or Name:
7.5” – 7.8”
5.0”, 129, 145
7.8” – 8.2”
5.25”, 139, 147
8.25” – 8.75”
5.5”, 5.8”, 147
8.75” – 9”
Different companies offer different qualities in trucks. The ideal truck is both strong and lightweight, although opting for a lighter truck sacrifices strength, and opting for a stronger truck means riding a heavier truck. Brands will use different materials and geometries to build trucks and shave weight off different parts, with the most recent development in truck technology being hollow axles and kingpins.
Independent are typically known for offering the strongest truck, whereas brands such as Theeve or Tensor offer the lightest. Different brand trucks all offer different qualities and feels, so just because a particular truck is the lightest or the strongest doesn’t mean it will be the best for you! Trucks are the most expensive part of a set-up and are supposed to last a few years, so if possible it’s best to try out a few different brands. Cruising around on friend’s boards with different trucks at the skate park is probably the best way to do this!
Check out SkateHut’s range of trucks here!