How to Choose Skateboard Trucks
Trucks attach the wheels to the deck and allow for turning and pivoting on the axle. Typically forged out of steel, a skate truck is comprised of a hanger, an axle that runs through the hanger, a baseplate, a kingpin, bushings, along with the nuts and washers that go with it.
The ease of pivoting on trucks can be adjusted. Tightening the nut on the kingpin compresses the bushings and creates a stiffer feel when turning. Looser trucks are easier to turn while tighter trucks help you generate more pop. Changing the hardness or durometer of the bushings will also change how the trucks will pivot. Trucks come in different widths so it's important to know the size of your board before picking out trucks.
Size or Axle Width
Truck size is determined by the width in inches of the axle (shown in the diagram above). Ideal truck size (axle width) is the width from one edge of your board to the other. The majority of trucks are produced to be suitable for most 7.5” to 9” + deck widths.
Trucks are available in varying heights and each is better suited for various skateboarding styles and activities. In general, there are LOW, MID, and HIGH truck styles.
- Best suited for flip tricks and providing extra stability, this truck height goes well with smaller wheels to reduce chances of “wheel bite." Or toss a small riser pad under the trucks. This is also good for beginners because of the lower center of gravity
- Best for skateboarding in the streets or at a park, but very versatile, this truck height is the most common for all-around skateboarding.
- This height is utilized by skaters mainly interested in cruising or carving and those less focused on flip tricks.
Bushings are rubber pads between the kingpin and the hanger on a truck. There are 2 bushings per truck. Harder bushings are stiffer and turn less easily but produce more energy giving a springier return to center or more resistance for pumping. Softer bushings absorb energy and impact making turning easier.
The kingpin is the threaded bolt that holds the bushings to the truck hanger. Tightening your trucks, via the kingpin nut, can change the way your board performs.