Skateboard Trucks Buying Guide
What are skateboard trucks?
Trucks are the metal part of a skateboard which connects the wooden deck to the wheels. They are sold in pairs and, although usually the most expensive part of a skateboard, they are also the most hardwearing component.
The part of a truck which connects them to the deck is called a baseplate and it is attached to the board with eight bolts. The baseplate connects to the hanger which hosts the wheels.
What size trucks should I ride?
At Black Sheep we consider an 8” board with Independent 139s, Thunder 147s or Royal 525s a good start towards building your first setup. Consult the guide below for more information on how every truck size we stock and relates to different board widths.
Skateboard widths and recommended truck sizes :
Independent 129 - 7.4" - 7.75"
Independent 139 - 7.75" - 8.25"
Independent 144 - Perfect fit for an 8.25"
Independent 149 - 8.25" - 8.75"
Independent 159 - 8.5" - 8.8"
Independent 169 - 9" and above/pool shapes.
Independent 215 - 9.75" and above/pool shapes.
Thunder 143 - 7.6" and below.
Thunder 145 - 7.4" - 7.9"
Thunder 147 - 7.9" - 8.0"
Thunder 149 - 8.2" - 8.5"
Thunder 151 - 8.4" and above.
Royal 550 - 7.75" and below.
Royal 525 - 7.75" - 8.25"
Royal 550 - 8.25" and above.
Venture 5.0 - 7.5" - 8.0"
Venture 5.25 - 8.0" - 8.25"
Venture 5.50 - 8.5" and above.
Venture 5.85 - 8.25" - 8.75"
ACE 33 - 7.75" - 8.25"
ACE 44 - 8.25" - 8.75"
ACE 55 - 8.75" and above.
Theeve 5.0 - 7.5" - 8.0"
Theeve 5.25 - 7.75" - 8.0"
Theeve 5.50 - 8.0" - 8.25"
Theeve 5.85 - 8.25" - 8.5"
Tensor 5.0 - 7.4" - 7.75"
Tensor 5.25 - 7.8" - 8.0"
Tensor 5.50 - 8.1" - 8.3"
Tensor 5.75 - 8.4" - 8.6"
Enuff 5.0 - 7.5" - 8.0"
Enuff 5.5 - 8.0" - 8.5"
Enuff 129 - 7.4" - 7.75"
Enuff 139 - 7.75" - 8.25"
Why are skateboard trucks made of different parts?
Trucks are a key part of a skateboard’s undercarriage which are actually made up of several pieces themselves. Some parts remaining stationary and others constantly move as weight is shifted while riding and turning on a skateboard. Here’s everything you need to know about skateboard truck parts:
The axle runs through the hanger and are threaded at each end where a nut is then tightened to keep the wheels in place.
Most trucks come with eight speed washers, which act as spacers, to prevent excessive friction between the axle bolt, wheel bearings and hanger.
The axle runs through the hanger which is secured on to the baseplate by a kingpin and pivot cup.
Trucks make contact with ledges and rails when performing grinds so hangers receive the most wear and are constructed from robust metals to ensure longevity.
Although hangers (and other truck parts) are interchangeable it is considered good maintenance to by a new set of trucks once the hanger/s have been worn down to a point where the inner axle is visible.
After prolonged use hangers may crack. This occurs because when grind tricks shed the metal of a truck impact becomes focused on weaker areas. Basically, a cracked hanger is a definite sign that you’re due a new pair of trucks and we do not recommend that you continue to ride them for safety reasons.
However, if this type of damage seems premature or unexplained, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0333 600 0161 and we will make a judgement regarding the issue.
The baseplate is the part of the truck that makes direct contact with the deck. It is secured in place by eight small bolts (using a skate-tool and Allen key) which run through the board and into the baseplate.
The baseplate also houses a kingpin and pivot cup which are mechanisms allowing the hanger to turn.
The kingpin is a large bolt embedded within the baseplate. The head is hidden and the body of the bolt protrudes out of the baseplate housing the bushings and washers above and below an area of the hanger which loops around it.
This is then held in place by a kingpin nut. All trucks use the same size kingpin nuts which fit all of the skate-tools we have available at Black Sheep. However, some brands use Allen key tightening systems and inverted kingpins which prevent the nut from being ground down.
The tightness of a kingpin directly affects how a skateboard turns. If tightened, a skateboard requires more pressure to turn whereas a looser bolt means that trucks will be more responsive therefore allowing skateboarders to manoeuvre around easier.
In rare instances kingpins may break making a truck unustable until it is replaced. To repair the truck the kingpin bolt must be unscrewed, the truck taken apart and what remains of the kingpin must be removed from the baseplate. Usually a hammer is needed to do this. A replacement kingpin should then slide straight in and the truck can be reassembled.
Bushings are cylindrical or conical shaped pieces of urethane that the kingpin runs through. They sit above and below the area of the hanger which loops over the kingpin.
Bushings come in various densities and soft or hard bushings make your board more or less responsive, respectively.
Skateboarders who favour looser trucks are likely to use soft bushings as this means that the kingpin bolt can be tightened but without the truck itself becoming more rigid.
Hard bushings are more restrictive, requiring more weight to turn, however some skaters prefer this as it helps prevent ‘speed wobble’ when travelling quickly on a skateboard.
Bushings are also interchangeable can be swapped out for the bushings that come with your trucks or at any other point.
Independent offer many different densities and Bones bushings have become renowned as they’re manufactured so kingpin washers aren’t needed.
Over long periods of time and heavy use, bushings may become cracked or squashed because they absorb a lot of impact. If this happens it does not mean that your trucks are broken. Simply swap out your bushings for a new set and you’ll be ready to go again in no time. If you encounter this problem we are happy to help you in store and offer our best advice to prevent it happening again.
This small rubber fixture is also embedded into the baseplate and should not be removed as it helps stabilise the hanger and allows it to turn.
In the rare instance that a pivot cup cracks, or becomes noticeably damaged, it should be replaced as the axle is at risk of slipping out of the baseplate.
If necessary, replacing a pivot cup involves unscrewing the kingpin bolt to take the truck apart then removing the cup from its nest. Take care using a flat-headed screwdriver to pop it out then push a new one into the empty space. Your truck can then be re-assembled.
Bolts AKA Hardware
Although not part of the truck, and always sold separately, eight small bolts are needed to fix a set of trucks to the deck.
Featuring either an Allen key or screwdriver head these bolts are generally 7/8 th of an inch long. However, 1” bolts are also popular as it provides the option to add riser pads to a set up.
Trucks come in a variety of sizes and, like everything else in skateboarding, choice is completely down to personal preference. However, we do recommended that your truck size corresponds to your board width and you can use this handy chart to figure out which size will work best for you.
What are trucks made from?
Trucks are made from die-cast metal alloys (steel and aluminium) and manufacturing takes place between the United States and China.
Some truck companies, such as Independent and Thunder, have more expensive versions of their standard truck models which are made from titanium. Other varieties include hollow axles and kingpins which lighten the overall weight a complete skateboard. These trucks tend to be more expensive so we recommend choosing more standard models when building your first set-up.
Why skateboard trucks different sizes?
Trucks come in many different widths because skateboard decks also vary in size. They are usually measured by the distance from one end of the axle to the other. Consult our truck size guide for detailed information about truck sizing.
Trucks also have height profiles categorised into Low, Medium and High reflecting the distance between the wheels and underside of the board.
Skateboarders with very loose trucks might encounter wheelbite (when trucks are loose enough to allow the wheels make contact with the dec) which can cause a skateboarder to stop in their tracks. Small plastic pads called risers might be to added to a setup to decrease the risk of this.