Knowing about skateboard trucks is essential if you’re going to get the most out of your skateboarding experience. This board part affects how your skateboard reacts to your movement and the external environment. If you want to know more, this is the article for you. We’ve done all the research on skateboard trucks and will share our findings with you below.
Skateboard trucks are a T-shaped skateboard component located on the underside of your deck. It ensures that the force and movement you impart to the board result in the reaction you’re looking for.
Not all skateboard trucks are created equal. This means you should learn all you can about your truck size, bushings, and adjustments; that knowledge empowers you to ensure your board performs as desired. We’ll not only share more general information about skateboard trucks, but we’ll jump into all the information beginners need to choose the perfect truck for their board and adjust it as needed.
What are Skateboard Trucks?
A full understanding of your skateboard truck is essential to maximizing your riding experience. Here’s a basic definition:
A skateboard truck is a metal piece that attaches to your board’s deck and enables you to turn and do tricks as you skateboard. It’s also the mechanism your wheels are attached to.
Skateboard Truck Parts
Let’s look at skateboard trucks a little closer, component by component. Here are the main parts that make up skateboard trucks:
- Bushings – The bushings are the part of the truck that has a significant effect on how your skateboard turns. They are made of plastic in most cases.
- Base plate – The base plate is the foundation of the skateboard truck. It sits against the deck and gives the truck some stability.
- Axle and axle nuts – The axle is the component of the truck that attaches to your skateboard’s wheels. The nuts are used to mount the axle to the truck.
- Hanger – The hanger is the largest part of the skateboard truck (the portion of the truck that makes up the upper portion of the “T”). It supports the axle and various other components of the truck.
- Kingpin – The kingpin is what manufacturers use to join the base plate and the hanger.
In addition to the main parts, you have washers (small metal discs) and speedrings (smaller washers).
Skateboard Truck Sizes
Did you know that skateboard trucks come in a variety of sizes? This is because skateboards come in various sizes. So, it’s imperative to learn how to choose the right one for your board size and needs.
For starters, truck sizes often vary by brand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t make a reliable decision for your board. When selecting a truck, ensure that its width is in line with the width of your deck (within a quarter of an inch of the width of the deck).
What if You Choose the Wrong Truck Size?
If your truck is too wide for your board, your shoe could make contact with your wheels while you ride. On the other hand, skating with a truck that’s too narrow for your board could make for some wobbly/unstable rides.
When you shop for your board’s truck, look at the manufacturer’s sizing chart to match it with your board’s deck. That way, you won’t order a given size and find out later that it’s incompatible with your board.
Skateboard Truck Bushings
As mentioned earlier, skateboard truck bushings are plastic or rubber rings you’ll find on skateboard trucks. They are available in a variety of sizes, colors, and designs. You’ll also find them in varying degrees of hardness – soft bushings make for really soft, easy turns, while harder bushings make for stiffer turning.
Though manufacturers include bushings with the purchase of skateboard trucks, you can buy your own or switch out your current ones to fine-tune your skateboard to your preferences.
Worn Out Bushings
Bushings wear out over time. If you notice that your bushings look to be squished or otherwise damaged, it’s time for new ones. Replacing bushings can be an involved process, but if you watch enough YouTube videos or contact a skateboard professional, you should be able to get it done.
Skateboard Truck Adjustments
There will be times when you need to adjust your skateboard truck. Here are a couple of instances where that may be necessary or desirable:
- When your skateboard truck is loose or rattles, leading to instability and falls.
- When you find that your truck is overly tight, making it hard to turn your board.
- When you bring home a new skateboard and want to adjust it to your needs.
How to Adjust Your Skateboard Truck
To adjust your skateboard truck, you’ll need to first get your hands on a skate tool. This tool serves multiple purposes and will enable you to fine-tune your truck as needed. If you don’t have a skate tool, you may be able to get by using pliers, a wrench, a socket wrench, or any combination of these.
Follow the below steps to adjust your skateboard truck:
- Find the kingpin on your skateboard truck. It will be on the base plate of the truck. Hint: It’s the largest nut.
- Using the skate tool, turn the kingpin to adjust the truck.
- To tighten the kingpin, turn clockwise.
- To loosen the kingpin, turn counterclockwise.
Note: To avoid loosening or tightening the kingpin too much, be conservative with how far you turn it every time. A quarter turn at a time is good.
Test out your board after adjusting it. You should notice an immediate change after an adjustment. You can always go back and modify your board again if the first adjustment isn’t successful.
So, there you have it – skateboard trucks 101. Now, you can identify your skateboard truck’s components, choose the right truck size, determine when a truck adjustment is necessary, and adjust your truck at home. We hope you found all the information you were looking for, and we wish you the best as you learn about all things skateboarding.