Everyone who skates frequently and attempts tricks has broken or worn down the wheels completely, or went through at least a few skateboard trucks. These are the parts that are most often changed, and every skater understand the importance of changing them frequently to avoid injury or accidents. And we all know that “accidents” don’t really happen, most of them are just tricks gone wrong. However, if you’re a newbie skater and have no idea what a skateboard truck is, worry not, in this article I’ll talk about them specifically.
There are usually two skateboard trucks per skateboard, each holding two wheels. They’re usually long-lasting, durable and capable of withstanding a lot of use and abuse that comes from riding and heavy grinding. Here are the two most important things to know before choosing skateboard trucks from a skate shop.
Mind the Kingpin
This part holds the skateboard and truck together. It has a thick bolt and by fastening the axle and the bushings to the baseplate connector, it holds the entire apparatus together. A hefty screw runs down the middle of the truck to the baseplate as I just mentioned, and the bushings are tightly sandwiched in order to protect the metal from impact and during movement. To adjust the resistance levels when turning, the kingpin can be screwed tighter to make turns stiffer or unscrewed to make it more flexible.
When assembling the kingpin, the head is fastened to the hangar and it faces the ground. The part you stall, grind on and perform other tricks with, is called the hanger. A lot of skaters, including myself, prefer to have the kingpin situated flush with the other parts of the hanger. This is known as a high kingpin truck. A low kingpin truck is set deeper into the hanger, leaving a gap in the surface area. This is done so you can have more leverage when popping ollies or busting kickflips and it’s extremely popular between technical skaters.
Bushings play a big role as to how the board responds to movement, as they provide support between all the pieces of the truck as you twist and turn while skating. Softer bushings allow for the truck to be more responsive during turns so you can cruise and carve more easily. On the other hand, hard bushings provide more resistance to rider input, which is an extremely important feature for technical riders who perform street tricks.