Choosing Skateboard Trucks
Finding the right skate trucks can seem confusing, but once you understand a few basic ideas, it’s actually one of the easiest decisions to make when building a complete skateboard. This guide will help you find the best skateboard trucks for you.
TIP: If you are buying trucks for the first time, your main concern should be getting a pair of trucks with an axle width that matches the width of your skateboard deck as closely as possible.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- Parts of a Skateboard Truck
- Types of Skateboard Trucks
- How to Choose Skateboard Truck Size
- Skateboard Truck Technology
- Skateboard Bushings
The first step to choosing skateboard trucks is understanding all the parts and how they work to make your skateboard turn.
- Baseplate - Mounts to the deck and houses the kingpin and pivot cup.
- Hanger - The T-shaped part that holds the axle and the pivot.
- Axle - Passes through the hanger and extends on each end to hold the wheels and bearings.
- Pivot - Part of the hanger that extends into the pivot cup on the baseplate and provides the axis for turning.
- Pivot Cup - Holds and cushions the pivot in the baselate and can be easily replaced if worn out.
- Kingpin - Mounted on the baseplate and extends through the bushings and hanger to hold all the pieces together.
- Bushings - Replaceable urethane cushions that mount on the kingpin on both sides of the hanger to provide stability.
- Kingpin Nut - Holds the trucks together and provides compression on the bushings for easy adjustability.
There are two main types of skateboard trucks that are both fun and functional for different types of riding. Watch the video and read below to decide whether a standard skate truck or a longboard truck is the right fit for you.
Standard Skateboard Trucks (Standard Kingpin)
Standard kingpin trucks are the most versatile type of trucks and can be used for any type of skateboarding. They are easily adjustable, by tightening or loosening, so you can customize the way your board turns.
TIP: If you want to skate street, bowls or skateparks, this is the type of truck we recommend.
Longboard Trucks (Reverse Kingpin)
Made specifically for carving and cruising, or skating fast down hills, reverse kingpin trucks are usually taller and wider than standard kingpin skateboard trucks, but are highly customizable for many types of riding. Check out our Choosing Longboard Trucks page for more info.
The next step is finding trucks with an axle width that matches the width of your skateboard deck. It's ideal if they match exactly but it’s ok if they are a little off. We recommend keeping the difference to less than 1/4".
Some companies list truck width differently, which can make it hard to pick the right size. Here at Tactics, we provide axle width measurements in inches for every brand, so you can easily match your trucks to the deck size you’re skating. Use the chart below to find the right size trucks for your deck width.
Skateboard Truck Size Chart
|Deck Width (in)||Suggested Truck Axle Width (in)|
|7.25 - 7.625||7.4|
|7.4 - 7.875||7.6|
|7.6 - 8.0||7.75 / 7.8|
|7.75 - 8.25||8.0|
|7.875 - 8.375||8.125|
|8.0 - 8.5||8.25|
|8.25 - 8.75||8.4 / 8.5|
|8.5 - 9.25||8.75|
|8.75 - 10.0||9.5|
|9.0 - 9.75||9.25|
|9.25 - 10.0||9.5|
High vs. Low Trucks
The differences are subtle and the choice ultimately comes down to personal preference. High trucks are the standard, but some skateboard truck brands also offer high and low models. Usually, you'll only see this labeled if the model you are looking at is a low version. High trucks give you a more responsive turn and a little more wheel clearance so that you can use bigger wheels with less chance of wheel bite. Low trucks are primarily used by technical skaters because they give you quick, responsive pop and a more stable center of gravity.
TIP: If you are a beginner, we recommend choosing high trucks because it will give you far more truck and wheel options to choose from.
To reduce weight, many trucks are available with hollow kingpins and/or hollow axles. This can make your board pop higher, flick faster, and weigh down your backpack a little less. Lighter trucks can offer benefits to any type of skateboarding, but this is yet another case of personal preference. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Bushings are the urethane cushions that slide on the kingpin and rest on either side of the hanger. Bushings give the truck stability and allow you to customize the way your trucks turn. Hard bushings restrict your turn to for better stability while soft bushings allow a less stable, but more responsive turn.
Still Have Questions?
We’re here to help. You can call, email, chat or IM during business hours seven days a week. Our customer service staff skates…a lot. They know their stuff and are happy to help you with all things skate.