Before you learn how to execute a perfect hardflip or ollie, you’re going to need to learn how to maintain your skateboard.
One of the most important and most overlooked aspects of maintenance is tightening your skateboard trucks.
Keeping your trucks tight will help make sure your ride is smooth and your skateboard is in top riding shape.
Here’s a guide on how to tighten your skateboard trucks and when you should do it.
Table of Contents
Test the Truck Tightness
You’re not going to know if your skateboard’s trucks need to be tightened until you test them.
The best way to do this is by comparing your own trucks to those of a skateboard you like.
In other words, if you’ve ridden a friend’s skateboard and love your freedom of movement and flexibility, the trucks are probably close to what you want for your own board.
Flip the skateboard over and compare them side by side.
Press on your left wheel then your right and repeated that motion a few times.
The more the trucks wiggle from side to side, the looser they are.
Find the Kingpin (The Large Nut)
There are two big nuts between the wheels of your skateboard.
These are called kingpins.
One is on the front truck, one on the back. This is what you’ll adjust to loosen or tighten your trucks.
Now, you can buy tools specifically made and marketed to skateboarders. Amazon has quite a few to choose from.
If you are ONLY looking to tighten your trucks you can get the job done just fine with a wrench.
We still recommend a skate tool for overall maintenance.
It will make your life easier.
How To Tighten The Kingpin
To tighten your trucks, turn the nuts to the right, or clockwise.
If you’re trying to loosen your trucks, turn the kingpin nut to the left or counter-clockwise.
Remember… lefty loosey, righty tighty.
Be sure to only loosen or tighten in small increments.
You can damage the nut or truck if you make big adjustments.
Test your skateboard & Your Skateboarding
It’s time to skate!
It was as easy as that!
Take your skateboard out for a test run and judge for yourself whether you’ve tightened or loosened your trucks the right amount.
Give yourself a couple of skating sessions practicing the tricks you know how to do and some that you have been having challenges with.
See how it goes.
The whole idea of tightening you skateboard trucks is to make you a better skater and you want to see if the adjustment helped or hurt.
It’s probably a good idea to bring your tool along with you the next time you go out riding to make fine adjustment and to continue dialing in your trucks.
Loose Or Tight Skateboard Trucks & Other FAQs
How Often Should I Tighten My Skateboard Trucks?
That depends on how much you skate.
If you’re frequently on your skateboard, you may find that you need to adjust more often.
If you’re only an occasional skater, you may not have to do it very often at all.
How Tight Should Skateboard Trucks Be?
That, too, depends on you!
A tighter truck will make it a harder to turn your skateboard.
That can make doing tricks, well, tricky.
However, if your trucks are too loose you may feel wobbly and unstable on your skateboard.
Find the tightness that works for you and your style.
Your skateboarding experience will also come into it and an expert is likely to have a different setup to a beginner.
Do I Need To Adjust Both Trucks?
It’s best to check both the back and the front kingpin to make sure they’re adjusted to your ideal skating style.
They’ll become loose with wear, so it’s a good idea to make sure everything’s in order before you start your next skating session.
Are Loose Or Tight Trucks Better For Beginners?
Beginner skateboarders should tighten their trucks for how they want their board to ride.
The looser the trucks are the more a beginner skater will be able to turn but looser trucks are dangerous at higher speed.
The tighter the trucks are the more stable the skateboard and your balance will be going down hills and doing tricks but tighter trucks can’t turn or carve well.
Do Skateboards With Tighter Trucks Go Faster?
The tightness of your skateboard trucks doesn’t have any effect on how fast you skate all by themselves.
However, the less wobble you have when you skate the faster you can go.
So, when you look at it from that perspective, you can skate faster with tighter trucks because there is less wobble.
Also, less wobble will help with your balance and you should fall less often.
Why Are My Trucks So Loose?
Either your trucks are loose because they weren’t tight when you bought your skateboard or because they became loose over time from use.
Is It Easier To Ollie With Tight Trucks?
It is easier to ollie with tighter trucks.
Tight trucks keep the skateboard stiff and that stiffness helps when you snap the tail when you first engage the board to ollie and also helps when you land the ollie.
Overall, tighter trucks are the way to go when it comes to street skateboarding tricks.
What Tool Do You Use To Tighten Skateboard Trucks?
You can tighten your skateboard trucks with a T-tool or a 1/2 inch wrench or socket. You can find a ton of T-tools for skateboarding on Amazon.
A basic tool will work for beginners.
How Tight Should Skateboard Trucks Be On The Deck?
You want to be sure that your skateboard trucks are bolted securely to your skateboard deck.
There should be no visible looseness.
You should always ride with 4 bolts on each skateboard truck. You can get away with 3 bolts, but don’t push your luck with just 2 bolts.