Skateboard Components: Skateboard Trucks
No skater ever got very far on a skateboard without quality trucks. Shaped like Ts and mounted on the underside of the skateboard, trucks are what keep your wheels firmly secured to the deck itself.
Just like every other part of your skateboard, the trucks play a crucial role in how it handles and the overall stability of the board. And it’s not enough to just choose the right trucks for your skateboard; you’ll need to maintain them and keep them in optimal shape in order for you to get the most out of your skateboard. Otherwise, you might fall victim to wheel bite – which is what happens when your wheels rub against your board while you skate and cause you to stop prematurely or too abruptly during a trick or turn – or any other signs of wear and tear.
The most common materials you’ll find in skateboard trucks will be aluminum in the hangers and steel in the axles. You might come across brushed steel or titanium, too, both of which are just as reliable in terms of quality skateboard trucks. The rule of thumb is to select trucks that will hold up under the pressure you’ll exert when you skate. In other words, the harder you skate, the heavier the metals should be in your trucks.
- Hanger: The hanger is the largest piece on your trucks, and the one that supports all of the others. This triangular component is what extends the axle on either side.
- Axle: Typically measured in inches or millimeters, the axle is the long pin that you’ll see running through the hanger, and the piece that keeps your wheels attached to the skateboard. Each end should line up with, or at least come close to the sides of your deck.
- Kingpin: This big bolt fits inside the bushings and keeps the whole skateboard truck together. Whether you prefer a solid or hollow kingpin, it’s important to remember that this controls the pressure placed on the bushings while you skate, and can therefore break. When deciding between solid or hollow, keep in mind how heavy an impact your tricks and skating style are likely to have and err on the side of caution where applicable.
- Bushings: The soft urethane rings holding the kingpin in place, bushings allow the skateboard and you to turn and pivot with ease.
The profile of your truck, which refers to the distance between the edge of the hanger just under the axle and the bottom of the skateboard deck, is determined by both your skateboard’s wheel size and the type of skating you’ll be doing. As a general rule, mid-sized trucks suit most skateboarders. But, say you prefer smaller wheels and do a lot of tricks. You may want to go with lower trucks. Conversely, we recommend higher trucks for large wheels and for skaters who spend most of their time coasting and carving on a cruiser skateboard.
Now that you know more about skateboard trucks, take a look at Skate One’s online selection!