What is a Skateboard Truck? Explains Everything To Know

The trucks are an essential skateboard component since they affect how well your skateboard rides and spins. It plays a big part in pulling off tricks, restricting, or enabling.

Although most novice skaters are quick to think the skateboard deck is the most significant component and spend most of their time choosing the best one, the trucks are as crucial. Therefore, as beginners, you must carefully choose the appropriate truck for you to maximize your skateboarding experience.

Continue reading to learn more about skateboard trucks, including their history, function, types, and parts. This post will also inform you of the top brands to look for when buying a skateboard truck and will assist you in choosing the ideal truck for your needs.

What Are Skateboard Trucks?

Skateboard trucks are T-shaped metal pieces that are found underneath the skateboard deck. The metal piece firmly keeps your skateboard wheels attached to the deck. The truck follows a complete skateboard but can be purchased separately as it is vital to creating a skateboard that suits your specification.

Skateboard trucks are T-shaped
Skateboard trucks are T-shaped

The trucks can affect how you ride the skateboard and perform some tricks. It is made of different parts: bushings, kingpins, hangers, and axles. The right size or type of truck impacts your skateboard stability. You must understand its purpose to know the best truck for your skateboard.

Purpose of a Skateboard Truck

The skateboard truck is a crucial part of the skateboard and plays a significant role in your riding experience. Its purposes are detailed, and here are a few:

  • Trucks connect the skateboard wheel and the deck to ensure it’s securely attached.
  • It spices up your skateboard skills and executes some turns.
  • It makes sure that your movement is transferred to the deck, so the skateboard can react to the skill you want to do.
  • It provides you excellent stability on the skateboard.

History of Skateboard Trucks

The skateboard truck was invented in 1973. It was first created by Ronald Bennett, owner of Bennett trucks. The Bennett trucks were known for their red bushings signature. Their trucks gave skateboarders better stability and increased the ability to turn on the board.

The tension on the bushings could be adjusted by either loosening or tightening the kingpin. Then, the lower the pressure on the bushings, the easier the board could turn. Other truck manufacturers that made small innovations are Tracker and Stroker trucks.

In 1978, the demand for independent trucks became profound, making people like Jay Shuirman, Kevin Thatcher, Rick Balckhart, and Fausto partner and create independent trucks. The truck manufacturers then made a durable truck that could enable a sharp turn and have all the best features of the former trucks. And over the years, skateboard trucks have evolved into what could encourage even more advanced skills. 

How are Skateboard Trucks Made?

Forging the trucks is the primary process when manufacturing them. Skateboard trucks are made from aluminum alloy, which is very solid and light. The aluminum is injected between two truck molds. Then the skateboard truck molds are jointly pressed under a weight heavy as the weight of an elephant. 

This process removes or squeezes out all the air in the truck molds. This then results in a high-density and durable skateboard truck. Quality materials must be used in the construction of the truck because it will affect its performance. Here are other materials used in the construction of a skateboard truck:

  • Aluminum alloy
  • Magnesium
  • Titanium
  • Steel

Parts of a Skateboard Truck

The truck is constructed of different parts, which include a kingpin, baseplate, hanger, bushings, and axle. This section will give you more insight into the various components and how each affects your skateboard.

Parts of a Skateboard Truck
Parts of a Skateboard Truck

Kingpin

This is an essential part of a skateboard truck. It is found inside the bushings and keeps the whole part of the truck together. When the kingpin breaks, it can be replaced; you need not get another truck. Adjusting the kingpin can control how firm or loose your board turns. If you want quicker turns, loosen the kingpin while tightening the kingpin if you want a sturdy skateboard.

Bushings

These are the round rings found around the kingpin, made of urethane plastic. They function like a spring; it transfers your feet’ pressure to the truck and makes it possible for you to turn and do some tricks. Bushings hardness is a determinant of how much you can turn your skateboard. Hard bushings are best for performing tricks and are easy to balance and land. While soft bushings are best for cruising and Making sharp turns, it responds quickly to the pressure of your feet.

Hanger 

The hanger is a big triangular metal piece with an axle. It is subjected to many impacts when performing stunts and other skills, so the hanger must be durable. The hanger had to be the same brand as the baseplate.

Baseplate

This is where the hanger and the kingpin meet the skateboard. The baseplate is a flat metal that is mounted onto the deck. Because of its large size, your weight is distributed evenly, it provides stability, and the impact from balance and landing is distributed evenly, so it doesn’t affect the same area again. If mounting the baseplate, center it as much as possible.

Axle

The axle goes through the hanger and the piece where the wheels are attached. Suppose you have an unstable wheel, where one is tight and the other loose; you can use a hammer to position it back in place. But if it frequently occurs, getting a new truck is advisable.

The Difference Between High and Low Skateboard Trucks

Buying the best skateboard truck can be difficult, especially when you get stuck on which type of truck you need, either high or low. Here are the differences between high and low trucks and how to choose the best truck that suits your skateboarding needs.

High vs Low Skateboard Trucks
High vs Low Skateboard Trucks

Low Trucks

The low trucks are considered the most stable trucks among the types of skateboard trucks. The low trucks have responsive pop, fast turning, a stable center of gravity, and excellent stability when grinding. This truck is best for technical stunts, ledge grinds, and flip tricks, a perfect choice for advanced skateboarders that like to skate in parks and the streets. Choose a wheel from 50mm to 53mm to avoid wheel bite. 

Mid Trucks

This is the best version of both high and low; it’s versatile, as you have features from both high and low trucks. It provides stability on skateboards like the low trucks, and you can choose large wheels for handling rough surfaces. You can use wheels as low as 53mm and as large as 56mm. It’s a good truck for a smooth transition and can also be used on the streets.

High Trucks

High trucks provide more room to turn; they can run loose trucks on large wheels. Your skateboard ride will be smooth and fast, but it will be challenging to balance. It offers less stability when at high speed. It can be ridden loose. It’s also perfect for transition skateboarding. The ideal wheel size for high trucks is 56mm above.

How to Tighten a Truck on a Skateboard

Skateboard trucks were designed to tighten or lose depending on the skateboarder. A tightened skateboard truck makes your ride clean and smooth. It also helps fine-tune your turning skills. If you regularly ride your skateboard, then learning to tighten the trucks is essential. It involves some basic steps that don’t require you to visit a repairer shop.

how to tighten the trucks on a skateboard
how to tighten the trucks on a skateboard

You need to have a skate tool or other suitable substitutes like pliers or socket wrenches. This will enable you to adjust the kingpin by turning clockwise to tighten and counterclockwise to loosen.

However, it’s important you know that there is no perfect tightness of trucks, it all depends on the rider’s preference. So even after tightening the truck, you still need to ride it for a while to decide if you have gotten the right tension for you.

Best Brand Skateboard Trucks

There are many best brands to get a good skateboard truck, but it all comes down to the truck style you want and the location you want to skateboard. Here are some of the best brands for skateboard trucks:

Tensor Trucks

This is the most innovative brand on the truck market. It has the lightest skateboard trucks. Tensor trucks are low, making it difficult to use larger wheels. But it also made the truck stable and considered an all-around truck. A tensor truck can be tweaked a little or replace the stock bushings. The truck is also good at technical tricks and grinding. It also features interlocking bushings, which provide better control.

Thunder Trucks

This is one of the largest skateboard truck brands, and it has many positive reviews from professionals. Advanced skateboarders and street skateboarders mainly use it. It lasts longer than other trucks and is an excellent option for grinding and flip tricks. It will perform best in skateparks and on the streets. Thunder trucks provide great stock bushings. 

Independent Trucks Stage 11

Independent trucks have a reputation for being very durable but also heavy. But it changed when the independent brand introduced the Stage 11 Hollows and the Titanium trucks. The Independent truck stage 11 is both great for street skateboarding and transitioning. It makes turns well and is suitable for skateboarding in the mini ramp and pool. Although they are a bit expensive, it’s worth the cash since it is durable.

Venture Trucks

Venture trucks provide stability and are very good at transitioning skateboarding. Venture low trucks are best for skateboarding on the street, while the high trucks are great for skating in mini ramps, vert, bowl, and pool. Compared with thunder, it doesn’t turn that well, but it keeps your balance. It is also an excellent truck for flip tricks, and its durability is good.

Best Skateboarding Trucks

There are various skateboarding trucks, some of which include High, low, and mid trucks discussed earlier. Other best trucks are:

Regular Skateboard Truck

These are often referred to as street trucks. It can be used on a longboard; it features an adjustable kingpin design with bolts facing the center of the deck. The wheel size for this truck shouldn’t be more than 58mm. 

Reverse Kingpin Trucks

The reverse kingpin trucks are designed to provide more stability even at high speed; It is best for turning without noise. It’s the best truck for racing down a hill and fun for long cruises. These trucks can be tweaked to use different shaped cushions.

FAQs

Should I Skateboard a High or Low Truck?

The type of skateboard to ride mostly depends on personal preference, and it’s not hard to figure out. It comes naturally to you when you often skateboard at different locations to know the best type of skateboard to ride. For instance, high trucks are suitable for bowls, mini ramps, or skate transitions, while low trucks are best for the street, skatepark, and performing advanced tricks.

How Important are Trucks on a Skateboard?

The truck is the axle of your skateboard. It’s the middleman between your wheels and the deck. It is responsible for the way you grind, turn, and oil. It transfers your movement to the skateboard. 

What Materials are Skateboard Trucks Made Out Of?

Most skateboard truck manufacturers make use of aluminum metal. This is because it’s lightweight and has excellent grinding properties. However, some manufacturers use other metal alloys like steel, magnesium, and titanium. Surprisingly, some skateboard trucks are made from nylon. 

Are Skateboard Trucks Cast?

Most skateboards and longboard trucks are made from the principle of casting. Skateboard trucks are made from cast Aluminum. This involves casting the molten aluminum metal into the preferred truck pattern mold, which is then allowed to cool and solidify. However, depending on the maker’s preference, it can be die or gravity casting.

Conclusion

There’s a lot of fun in skateboarding, especially when you have mastered some great technical tricks. But riding a skateboard can be difficult for people who know nothing about skateboard trucks because the challenge in skateboarding isn’t partially their fault but the truck used. 

After reading this article, you shouldn’t have any problem getting the best skateboard truck that suits your needs, adjusting the truck to what you want at the moment, and cruising on your skateboard.

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