While there are a few factors to consider when buying a skateboard deck, every skater, whether new or already experienced, should know that skate trucks are an integral part of the skateboard setup. Once you have your skateboard deck picked, it’s time to find the best trucks for your skateboard.
What Are Trucks in a Skateboard?
In skateboarding, trucks are the two metal components of the skateboard, the T-shaped turn parts found under the deck with wheels attached to it. They affect the way your skateboard rides and turns and make sure your movements are transferred to the deck for it to react as you want when you perform your tricks. Skateboard trucks may look quite similar but there can be subtle, yet important differences. Over the past few years, different brands have experimented with new materials and improved the responsiveness of their trucks. You canfind a wide range of skate trucks and choose the ones that meet your needs and abilities.
Tips on How to Choose Your Skateboard Trucks
Choosing the right skateboard trucks can help your skateboard work better, but ultimately help you become a better skater. The first step to choosing your skateboard trucks is understanding all the parts and know they work to make your skateboard turn.
The baseplate is the foundation of the skate truck and it’s attached to the skateboard deck using hardware that is screwed on the board through the mounting holes. It has a big size to create an even weight distribution and provide more stability. Also, it helps evenly distribute the impacts from landings and make the setup more stable.
The hanger is the T-shaped component that is attached to the baseplate and houses the axle. It’s brand-specific, which means that it should be of the same brand as the baseplate. The hanger must be durable since it’s subject to a lot of impacts.
The axle is a pin that runs through the hanger, which is where the wheels and bearings are placed. After extensive use, it may start sliding to one side and you may end up with one tight and one loose wheel. If that happens, you can put it back in place by gently using a hammer. However, if the same issue keeps reoccurring, it may be time to think about getting new trucks.
The kingpin is an essential part of the truck. It is a bolt that runs through the hanger and holds the baseplate and the hanger together. The kingpin nut can be loosened to help with turning or tightened to increase stability.
Pivot and Pivot Cup
The hanger is also attached to the baseplate by a rod-like portion of the hanger known as the pivot. It sits in a section of the baseplate, which is supported by a pivot cup. The pivot prevents the hanger from rotating around the kingpin, while the pivot cup supports the pivot and can help with centring the hanger.
The bushings are the round rings that are fitted around the kingpin underneath the nut and underneath the hanger. They are made of urethane plastic and work almost like a spring transferring the pressure from your feet to the truck. The bushings provide skateboard trucks with some cushion and support when turning and are available in many different shapes, sizes and stiffness.
Most skateboard trucks are made of aluminium and have a steel axle; however, some companies offer trucks made from different materials, including brushed steel and titanium.
The truck size is determined by the length of the axle. It’s recommendable to choose a truck size that matches the width of your skateboard deck as it will offer the most ability on the board for a park, street, transition and vert skateboarding. If the truck is too wide, you may hit the wheels with your shoes and if it’s too narrow, your skateboard will be unstable.
The most common truck styles are highs, mids or standards and lows. They refer to the height of the trucks and the main reason they come in three different styles is to accommodate the different sizes of skateboard wheels that can be found on the market. High trucks have a longer kingpin and a longer distance to the ground. They are recommended when skating transition or vert with larger wheels. They are great for turning and if you like loose trucks, they are less likely to give you a wheel bite as you will be able to press down the board further and make sharp turns. Mid trucks, on the other hand, are great for skating parks and mixing streets with transition. They give a good turning and good response or pop and work well with almost all styles of skateboarding. Low trucks have a shorter kingpin, therefore, less distance to the ground. They are ideal for a quick pop and are a good choice if you are skating on flat ground. In the end, like with most things skateboarding related, it all comes down to personal preferences. Feel free to try new trucks and new styles. Your preferences may change over time, but what matters the most is to enjoy the process and have fun all the time.
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