How to Tighten the Trucks on A Skateboard: Guide Step By Step

If your skateboard trucks have been in use for some time, they may start to loosen up a little, making your ride unsteady. Although some experts could feel at ease riding with loose trucks, beginners might find it challenging to use them and wish the trucks were tighter.

Alternatively, suppose you have been using a loose skateboard truck and want to test out a tight truck. In that case, you may wonder if you need to take your skateboard to a shop to adjust it. Tightening your skateboard trucks is relatively simple as long as you have the right tools.

This article will guide you on how to tighten the trucks on your skateboard. It will also assist you in deciding whether a loose or tight skateboard truck is ideal for you. Continue reading!

How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks

For a beginner who’s still trying to get comfortable on a skateboard, riding a loosened truck can hinder your movements as it becomes difficult to control your skateboard’s movement. Without much technical know-how, you can tighten the trucks in a matter of time.

How to Tighten Trucks on A Skateboard with Skate Tool

The skate tool is an all-purpose T or Y-shaped tool that helps you fix, swap out, or tweak the hardware components of your skateboard without having to make a long walk to the skate shop. Let’s dive into a stepwise guide on tightening trucks using a skate tool without further ado.

Tighten Trucks on A Skateboard with Skate Tool
Tighten Trucks on A Skateboard with Skate Tool

Step 1: Flip over your preferred skateboard to check the tightness of the trucks. To do this, tilt the trucks back and forth while keeping an eye on how much the wheels turn. This will tell you whether your truck is tight or not. You should use a different skateboard you own or a friend’s skateboard as a standard.

Step 2: If your truck is loose, look for the large bolt in the middle, known as the kingpin. This bolt nut manages the truck’s tightness and is found between the wheels. You can tighten the trucks by turning the nut clockwise while using the skate tool.

However, make sure to turn slowly and with little pressure. This stops you from overtightening the trucks or sharpening the edge, which could eventually destroy your trucks.

Step 3: You must test-run the setup after tightening your trucks to see whether it meets your preferences. It would be best if you rode the board for a few minutes while attempting various flips and tricks to accomplish this. You have effectively adjusted your skateboard trucks if you feel more at ease riding the board without injury concerns.

Step 4: When going on your next rides, it’s crucial to take your skate tool. This is because a long day of riding will let you decide whether you prefer your truck tight or loose. The skate tool is very lightweight so you won’t feel burdened by it.

Note: If you overtightened your trucks by mistake, you could loosen them by twisting the bolt counterclockwise until you achieve the ideal tension.

How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks Without Tools

Tighten Skateboard Trucks Without Tool
Tighten Skateboard Trucks Without Tool

Let’s say you don’t have a skate tool at home, and it would be difficult to get one right away. You have nothing to be concerned about in that situation, as simple household tools can also complete the task. If you have a wrench, socket wrench, or pliers, you’re ready to go.

All of these instruments are made to tighten and loosen bolts and nuts. Therefore, depending on the available one, you can choose to use any. However, if you’re using pliers, make sure they have a tight grasp on the sides of the nut.

Tightening the skateboard trucks with any of the above tools is the same as using a skate tool. In this scenario, the skate tool is replaced with either plier, wrench, or socket wrench. You can easily tighten the trucks using the exact stepwise instructions listed above. 

Remember to test-run the setup after fixing it to get the right fit for you. Watch this video if you need further instruction on tightening your skateboard truck.

Tight vs Loose Skateboards

This question has always been a topic of debate among many skaters. Some professionals have argued that riding a loose truck is better than a tight one. In contrast, others believe that a tight truck is the best choice for most skaters, particularly beginners. 

So, if you’re unsure which to choose, there isn’t a clear answer because it all comes down to preference. However, a few things will affect your choice; let’s explore that.

When to Keep Your Skateboard Trucks Tight

Tight skateboard trucks would ensure the wheels don’t wiggle as you ride on them. Therefore, you can conclude that it offers more stability. 

A heavyweight skater of around 200lbs should use a tight truck as it would be difficult for them to balance on a wobbly skateboard. Furthermore, riding a loose truck can cause them to have wheel burns and wheel bites. It’s also advisable for them to install the hardest bushings out there.

Because it offers more stability, you can ride a tight skateboard truck at high speed.

Pros & Cons of Tight Trucks

  • It offers more stability, thus suitable for beginners
  • You can ride on it at a higher speed
  • It’s ideal for heavyweight skaters
  • You’re less likely to get wheel bite and burns
  • The stability ensures you can do the captivating flip tricks
  • Due to the tight trucks, the skateboard takes drops and tricks’ impact significantly better.
  • Difficulty in doing carves and maneuvers
  • You might not be able to do advanced stunts and turns effectively

When to Keep Your Skateboard Trucks Loose

Loose trucks allow the wheels to move more freely, allowing you to make turns and carve at intervals without much pressure and stress. 

This loose truck would be particularly useful if you’re into longboard cruising. This is because as you go on a lengthy ride down a street full of turns and bends, a truck that enables you to maneuver easily is vital for smooth riding.

Because you can easily carve and turn, you won’t have to stop midway when you sight a bend or twist. Additionally, some experts have claimed that using loose trucks enables them to do numerous advanced stunts as opposed to using tight trucks. 

However, you must know that your decision has to be personal; thus, it’s advised you try riding on a loose and tight truck to make the best choice for yourself.

Pros & Cons of Loose Trucks

  • It’s suitable for downhill skateboarding
  • Allows for easier turns and carves
  • Loose trucks allow you to maneuver into new tricks easily
  • It offers more balance while doing manual or grinds
  • It makes skateboarding free-flowing and more fun.
  • Less stability
  • Beginners might find it difficult to control their skateboards
  • Landing might be shaky if you’re not used to it.

How To Loosen Skateboard Trucks

To loosen the skateboard truck you do the same steps as when tightening the only difference is to turn the screw counterclockwise.

Loosen trucks on a skateboard with skate tools

Loosen trucks on skateboard with skate tools

Loosen skateboard trucks without tools

Loosen skateboard trucks without tools

Other Important Adjustments

Suppose you have adjusted your skateboard trucks to your preference, and you are still not comfortable on your skateboard. In that case, chances are that other issues are the culprit and need to be adjusted. Some important adjustments to make to your skateboard include:

  • Replace your bushings. If the bushings are too soft, your trucks won’t be as tight as you expect; thus, you should replace the bushings with a harder one. Also, repacking the bushings till it’s tightly held will have a similar effect as tightening the trucks.
  • You can also try a new brand of truck. It would help if you tried out various brands till you get a suitable truck type that matches your wants. However, when purchasing a new one, ensure to look out for the location of the kingpin and the wheel sizes as they impact the skateboard’s performance. 
  • Lastly, another adjustment to make is to add risers. Risers give rise to the board and lessen vibrations. Risers give your board and trucks extra lift so you may perform tricks. However, a very high truck can make grinding difficult.


Should My Skateboard Be Tight or Loose?

– There is no definite answer to this question as it depends on your preferences. However, it’s advisable for beginners and heavyweight skaters to use a tight skateboard as it offers more stability and allows for fast riding. 
– On the other hand, a loose skateboard is preferred to practice more stunts and tricks as it enables easy turns and curves.

Tight or Loose Skateboard Trucks for Tricks?

Using loose skateboard trucks for tricks is preferable as it offers room for maneuver. It is also easy to instantly change to a different trick using loose trucks. Although, some skaters have claimed that they’re more comfortable performing tricks with tight skateboard trucks.

Can You Over Tighten Skateboard Trucks?

Yes, it is possible to over-tighten your trucks while adjusting them; however, this doesn’t mean it’s right. Over tightening trucks can seriously hinder the wheels’ movements, which counters the whole point of tightening the trucks. Furthermore, it can cause the kingpin to have sharp edges that could damage your trucks.

Why Won’t Skateboard Trucks Tighten?

– Trucks are made differently depending on the brand’s specifications. Therefore, have different optimum tightness and thus will not tighten above the optimum tightness. Consequently, it’s best to switch to another brand if you don’t like the tightness of the trucks you’re using, even after adjusting.
– Additionally, your skateboard trucks won’t tighten if you use the wrong tool to adjust them. Learning how to tighten trucks would help.

How Tight Should Skateboard Trucks Be for Beginners?

Beginners still trying to gain balance and comfortability on their skateboard would benefit from using tight trucks as these trucks offer more stability and enable a firm landing. However, loose trucks are needed to allow the beginner to practice more advanced tricks.

Thus, looking for the perfect balance between tight and loose trucks is essential. Also, beginners should tighten the trucks to suit their preferences.


If you have a skate tool and are familiar with it, tightening your skateboard trucks is really basic and straightforward. If you stick to the above instructions, you should have no trouble tightening the trucks.

Additionally, suppose you’re a newbie unsure whether to ride a loose or tight truck. In that case, you should try riding both to help you decide which is ideal.



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