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Updated November 2022
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Buying guide for Best skateboard trucks

When looking for a skateboard, you probably aren’t giving much thought to the skateboard trucks. These metal pieces fit on the underside of the skateboard, providing the axle for the wheels.

The skateboard itself draws most of the attention with its shape and design elements. The trucks certainly are a vital element to the skateboard, but people don’t think much about them once they have them installed. 

However, skateboard trucks are extremely important to the performance of the board. Certain trucks allow for specialized tricks or deliver extra stability for riders who need it.

Although trucks all have the same basic parts and designs, you can adjust them slightly to create different features that better match your riding style and your personal tastes. You may want to pick certain skateboard trucks to replace the pair of trucks on your current board, creating new features and capabilities for you. We’ll explain the important parts of trucks, and our shopping guide can help you find high-quality models that fit your needs.

Skateboard trucks alter maneuverability and control
The first trucks for skateboards appeared in 1973, changing the maneuverability and control that skateboarders had.

How to buy the best skateboard trucks

Selecting the right size

Picking the correct size of skateboard trucks is important to achieve the proper level of performance. 

When you want the maximum level of performance, match the width of the trucks’ axles to the width of the skateboard deck as closely as possible. You should not select a truck with an axle that has a significantly greater or lesser width than the deck. If the axles’ widths are off by a little bit, say about 1/4 inch, it shouldn’t affect stability too much. However, more of a difference can cause problems.

If you select skateboard trucks with axles that have a greater width than the desk of the board, you lose responsiveness. It’s also possible that the wheels tend to suffer from wheel bite, which occurs when the wheel makes contact with the board.

If the trucks’ axles aren’t wide enough, the wheels aren’t visible underneath the board, making it extremely difficult to steer the board.

Selecting the truck profile

The profile of the skateboard trucks determines the distance of the wheels from the underside of the board. 

  • High: A high truck is the standard design, so the majority of models of skateboard trucks fit into the high definition. It’s preferable for beginners. It provides more clearance between the axle and the underside of the skateboard. This gives skateboarders the ability to receive a smoother ride with larger wheels, measuring between 56 and 60 millimeters or more. You can make easier turns with more control as well.
  • Mid: The mid truck size works well for those who are interested in park or street skateboarding. It works well for wheel sizes between 53 and 56 millimeters. However, some people add riser pads that allow for larger wheels with mid skateboard trucks.
  • Low: You can only use small diameter wheels with the low truck design, typically 48 to 53 millimeters. Those who enjoy doing tricks involving flipping the board want small wheels and a low truck. Using wheels that are too large on a low truck can result in wheel bite. Riser pads can work with low trucks, too.

Some of the primary manufacturers of skateboard trucks include Independent, Royal, Destructo, Caliber, Thunder, Tensor, Venture, Ace, CCS, Gullwing, and Krux.

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What features are important for skateboard trucks?

Axles

Each of the two trucks on the board has its own axle. The axle spins inside the truck, allowing the wheels to move freely. Because the wheels and axle must support the weight of the skateboarder, the axle needs to consist of an extremely durable material.

The ends of the axles should almost exactly line up with the edges of the width of the skateboard. An axle nut spins onto the threading at the end of the axle, holding the wheels in place.

Some people seek out hollow axles, as this design eliminates weight from the truck, but a hollow axle is not as durable as a solid axle.

Baseplate

The baseplate is the rectangular-shaped section of the skateboard truck that connects to the skateboard with nuts and bolts. It usually has four bolt holes. A tightly attached baseplate is key to providing a stabilized ride on the board.

Bushings

The truck contains urethane or plastic rings called bushings. These fit around the kingpin and allow the skateboarder to adjust the movement of the board from side to side for steering. These bushings will need replacement from time to time, as they absorb a lot of stress.

Hanger

The hanger is an almost triangular-shaped piece that extends from the baseplate and provides a tunnel for the axle. It helps to protect the axle as it supports the weight of the skateboarder while allowing the axle to spin freely.

The distance the hanger extends away from the baseplate determines whether you have a high, mid, or low profile.

Kingpin

The kingpin is a large bolt that holds the skateboard truck together. The hanger and baseplate attach to each other with the kingpin. 

Kingpins absorb a lot of stress, so it’s important to examine this bolt on a regular basis. Some skateboarders try to save weight in the truck by selecting a hollow kingpin, but this design isn’t as durable as a solid kingpin.

The kingpin contains a nut that allows you to adjust the stability and responsiveness of the board. A looser kingpin nut allows for easier turns with a little less overall stability than a tighter kingpin nut.

Pivot cup

The pivot cup is a polyurethane piece that sits inside the baseplate. It allows the hanger to slightly flex, which simplifies the process of making turns while riding. 

Riser pads

You can add riser pads to the skateboard trucks to move the truck farther from the underside of the skateboard. This allows you to make use of bigger wheels than you otherwise could with the truck alone.

Skateboard trucks contain a mixture of different materials
Did You Know?
Trucks for skateboards often contain a mixture of different materials, including steel, plastic, and aluminum.
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How much do skateboard trucks cost?

The majority of retailers sell skateboard trucks as a pair, and these prices indicate the cost for a pair.

Inexpensive

The least expensive trucks cost $10 to $20. These primarily consist of aluminum and may not stand up well to significant impact and force. However, they’re good for younger kids just learning to skateboard.

Mid-range

Expect to pay $20 to $40 for an average pair of trucks. Some of these models include steel for additional strength and impact resistance. You may find some high-end brands available in this price range as well.

Expensive

The priciest trucks cost $40 to $75 for the pair. These trucks consist of high-level materials, giving them excellent durability. They also may consist of colors other than silver or chrome, providing a bit of personalization. Although trucks fit onto the bottom of the board, people see them as you’re carrying the board, so some people want a sharp-looking design.

Before the invention of trucks, skateboards looked more like oversized roller skates with very little ability to turn or to do tricks.

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Tips for maintaining skateboard trucks

You need to perform occasional maintenance on the skateboard trucks, including these actions.

  • Check nuts and bolts. You attach the skateboard trucks to the board with bolts and nuts through the baseplate. You should check these bolts regularly to make sure that they aren’t loose.
  • Examine the kingpin. The kingpin bolt slowly grinds down over time, and you should inspect it and replace it before it breaks. You should try to purchase the same brand and length of kingpin when replacing it.
  • Replace the bushings. If your board’s trucks are suddenly causing instability, it’s time to replace the bushings. You can purchase replacement bushings that you can install with a skate tool.
  • Rethread the axles. Axles make contact with the ground and suffer damage as you do tricks on your board. This damage can make it difficult to remove the axle nuts. If you own a die tool, you can rethread the axle yourself, or you may need to visit a repair shop.
Skateboarder with dog
Think about how you’ll use the skateboard when selecting a truck, as street skaters, transition skaters, and someone who blends the two styles each need particular types of trucks.

FAQ

Q. Will all trucks fit on my skateboard?

A. No. It’s important to find a truck that matches your skateboarding skills, but the most important factor is matching the width of the truck’s axle to the width of the board. Having truck axles that are wider than the deck of the skateboard causes significant stability problems.

Q. Can I buy a single truck, or do they come in pairs?

A. The majority of the time, you need to purchase skateboard trucks in pairs. If you’re replacing a broken truck on the board, you should probably replace both trucks to maintain consistency in how the board operates.

Q. What kinds of trucks do pro skateboarders use?

A. Typically, a pro skateboarder is seeking a truck design that has extra strength in the baseplate to absorb impacts successfully. It’s also common to use hollow axles and kingpins to reduce the weight of the truck.

Q. Can I attach any skateboard wheels to my trucks?

A. No. The diameters of the wheels must fit the trucks properly. You have a few different diameters of wheels you can place on an individual model of truck. You don’t want to place a wheel on the truck that’s outside the recommended diameter range — a wheel that’s too large could result in wheel bite.

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