When it comes to skateboarding, skateboard trucks are the soul of a skateboard. From providing the right amount of steer to acting as a connection between the wheels and the deck, skateboard trucks are one of the most essential pieces of hardware.
The importance of skateboard trucks can be stressed by the fact that you cannot ride a skateboard without them. These not only hold the skater’s weight but also keep the wheels rolling.
The parts of the skateboard all act in conjunction to keep the skateboard in balance and also provide steering force. Apart from choosing the right height for skateboard trucks, the tightness of trucks also plays an essential role in providing the right balance to the skater.
Let’s dig a little deeper and see what skateboard trucks are.
What Is A Skateboard Truck?
You might be wondering, what are trucks on a skateboard? Well, to put it simply, the trucks on the skateboards are T-shaped pieces made of metal mounted under the bottom of the skateboard. The bearings and wheels are also secured to the deck with them. These are further made of several parts that include baseplate, axle, kingpin, washers, and bushings. The trucks also act as the pivot point when taking turns during skating.
Parts Of A Skateboard Truck
There are several parts of skateboard trucks each playing its role in making the skateboard perfect. The parts are mentioned below.
As the name suggests, it is the foundation of the skateboard. The baseplate is fixed onto the deck by the use of bolts. It further consists of a pivot cup and the kingpin. Both these components are essential for keeping the parts in place along with providing the turning force.
The kingpin is part of the skateboard truck which connects the hanger with the baseplate. It can be a hollowed bolt or a non-hollowed bolt. It is recommended to buy the hollowed kingpin bolt as it will reduce the overall weight.
The axle is the vertical bar seen between the wheels. It is made of titanium or steel. The axle runs through the hanger and its two ends are visible. Its ends mount the wheels and the bearings. As for the number, a skateboard has four axle nuts, each for mounting a skateboard wheel.
4. Axle Nuts
The axle nuts are the nuts present on the ends of the axle. These are usually made of titanium and can be removed by loosening them. This is the part that holds the skateboard wheels in place. Moreover, the axle nuts are replaceable.
Have you ever wondered what brings the skateboard back to its original position after taking a turn? Well, this role is played by the washers. These are hollow metal discs placed above and below the bushings for restoring the original position of the skateboard. Another role played by washers is to ensure that the board is balanced. They do this by evenly dispersing the force applied to the skateboard. However, washers are not necessarily important if the bushings have a reinforced plastic layer.
Skateboard bearings are another important skateboard hardware and are protected by speedrings. These are placed as such to prevent friction between the bearings and the other components. In most cases, these are placed between the bearings and the hanger and also between the bearings and the axle nuts.
The skateboard trucks provide the turning force to the skateboard, and bushings are the part that plays a critical role in doing so. These are made of polyurethane which provides tensile strength. As for placement, these are placed on the kingpin between the baseplate and the hanger.
How Important Is The Height Of a Skateboard Truck?
The height of the skateboard truck is the distance between the wheels and the deck. It plays an important role in determining the force required to turn the skateboard. The lower the truck height, the closer will be the deck to the ground and hence more stable. Suitable truck height is determined by one’s body weight and height. Moreover, the type of tricks you perform also determines the best skateboard truck height for you.
1. Low Trucks
The low height of the trucks is between 46mm to 49mm. Apart from being lighter, the low trucks help provide more stability. This is because the deck is closer to the ground. These trucks fit perfectly well for the performance of flip tricks and technical skating. However, if you use big wheels with low trucks then this comes with the disadvantage of causing more wheel bites. This can be avoided by the use of riser pads.
The best ones that I came across recently were Jizmo skateboard trucks. Apart from helping me perform the tricks easily these are quite durable too.
2. Medium Trucks
If you are unable to decide the type of trucks you want, then medium trucks are your safest choice. They range in height from 50mm to 53mm and are suitable for all types of skating. Therefore, whether you are into park skating or street skating, mid-height trucks are a perfect choice.
3. High Trucks
The higher trucks are obviously, higher than the ground. These also provide a bit of incline to the board. The higher trucks lessen the risk of wheel bite and provide good pop for performing ollies and other such skating tricks. On the downside, these are heavier and the incline can cause instability during turning the board. The high trucks range in size from 53.5mm to 59mm.
Loose Vs Tight Trucks
The tightness of skateboard trucks determines the amount of balance along with the ease of turning provided to the skater. Moreover, your handling and efficiency in riding a skateboard highly determine your choice of loose vs tight trucks.
How To Measure Skateboard Trucks
The right width, height, and fit of skateboard trucks are critical to a perfect skating experience. Measuring a skateboard truck is not hard and can be done easily. The steps are mentioned below.
Step 1: Measure Truck’s Width
Step 2: Measure The Truck’s Height
For Complete Detail Read Out this article: How to Measure a Skateboard Truck? Skateboard Trucks Size Guide
How Skateboard Trucks Are Made?
There are two methods for making skateboard trucks. These are gravity casting and die casting. Both are essential for creating perfect-sized quality skateboard trucks.
1. Gravity Casting
This method results in more sturdy trucks. However, it is to be performed very carefully and technically. Here, the mold is filled carefully with metal, employing gravity. While filling, it is made sure that there are no air bubbles otherwise the truck’s shape gets affected.
2. Die Casting
This process creates more accurate skateboard trucks. The metal is pushed into the mold by the use of pressure. This technique allows for smooth filling of any spaces and there is a very negligible chance of bubble formation.
What is a skateboard truck? It is the essential hardware for twisting, turning, and balancing your skateboard. Choosing the right type of truck along with using perfect tightness will make skating both fun and easy. If you are a beginner, it is recommended to use tight skateboard trucks to make balancing easier.
1. Why are they called skateboard trucks?
The skateboard trucks derive their name from the train car wheel assemblies. Just like the wheels track along the rails, similarly, the skateboard trucks help in rolling and twisting the skateboard wheels.
2. How do I tighten skateboard trucks at home?
Skateboard trucks can be easily tightened at home. You can do this by the use of a skate tool. All you need to do is turn them clockwise. In case you do not have a skate tool, then a wrench will work equally well.
3. Does every truck fit every skateboard?
One truck size will not fit all. The size of the truck is determined by your wheel size and deck size. Make sure you choose the accurate width otherwise your skating experience will be ruined.