Building your own skateboard isn’t simply a case of choosing the coolest deck and then grabbing whatever trucks, wheels, and tape you can get your hands on. There are countless variations for each component and trucks are one of the most important.
This guide will help you to choose the best skateboard trucks while understanding just what makes the variations so different.
What are Skateboard Trucks?
Skateboard trucks are the T-shaped metal pieces mounted on the underside of the deck. They are located near to the tail and nose of the board and are what keeps the wheels attached to the deck.
They are the axles, and they will dictate how the board rides, jumps, flicks, and grinds.
Skateboard Truck Parts
Skateboard trucks are more than just a couple of hunks of metal. They contain many different components, and the quality, finish, and size of these components will dictate the quality:
- Baseplate: The part of the truck that attaches to the skateboard deck and contains both the pivot cup and kingpin.
- Hanger: The T-shaped part of the skateboard truck. This is where you will find the pivot and the axle.
- Pivot: Contains the axis needed for turning and extends into the pivot cup.
- Pivot Cup: A small and replaceable part that holds in the pivot in the baseplate.
- Axle: Goes through the hanger and extends outwards to hold the bearings and the wheels.
- Kingpin: Keeps all of the pieces together.
- Kingpin Nut: Keeps the skateboard trucks together and compresses the bushings.
- Bushings: Cushions that are made from urethane and provide stability to the hanger.
Skateboard Truck Sizes
Pay attention to the axle width and make sure that it matches your deck width. All skateboard truck brands will tell you the truck width, making it easy to find the most suitable option.
Skateboard Truck Types
Most skateboard trucks are either one of two types: standard kingpin or reverse kingpin.
Standard kingpin trucks are versatile and are suited to all types of skateboard. You can adjust them with ease to match your style and they are the right skateboard trucks for street skateboarding, skate parks, and bowl skating.
As for the reverse kingdom, they are best utilized for downhill riding, longboard cruising, and carving. These longboard trucks can also be customized and are designed to deliver speed and comfort.
Skateboard Truck Material
When choosing the best types of skateboard trucks, focus on the material and the technology, as this is where you’ll eke out the extra performance.
The three main types are high trucks, low trucks, and hollow trucks.
- High Trucks: High skateboard trucks are standard. They will give you more responsive movement and additional wheel clearance. High trucks also mean you can use larger wheels and minimize the risk of wheel bite. High trucks are recommended for beginners as they will provide you with more wheel options.
- Low Trucks: Low trucks are a good option for pro skaters and technical skaters. They deliver a more responsive pop and a lower center of gravity.
- Hollow Trucks: Hollow kingpins and hollow axles can be used to reduce the weight of the skateboard trucks. Less weight means the board will be more responsive and easier to handle, allowing for fast flicks and big jumps.
What Are the Best Skateboard Trucks?
Independent and Thunder Trucks are some of the best brands of skateboard trucks and produce them in a variety of sizes and styles. There are many options out there, though, and the one that is best for you will ultimately depend on your riding style, personal preference, and budget.
Summary: Skateboard Trucks and Skateboard Wheels
Once you have chosen the perfect trucks for your board, it’s time to move onto the wheels. These can be just as varied, with everything from the material to the size and toughness dictating how rigid, durable, and fast the wheels are.
For more information on skateboard parts, including the skateboard deck, grip tape, and protective equipment, take a look at our other guides.