Skateboard Trucks Buying Guide: 10 Points for The Perfect Ride

Master the art of picking skateboard trucks with our detailed 10-point guide. Ride smoother, flip better, and skate like a pro!

Have you ever found yourself in a pickle over how to pick the right skateboard trucks? No idea where to begin, what to consider, or even why it’s crucial? In this guide, we’ll roll through important insights on choosing the perfect skateboard trucks—crucial hardware for every skateboarding enthusiast. By the end of this enlightening ride, you’ll unlock knowledge about the perfect truck’s size and width and the ins and outs of going too narrow or too wide all the way to the optimal truck height for your sick flips and street glides.

What is a skateboard truck?

A skateboard truck is one of the essential components of a skateboard. It is the T-shaped metal piece that mounts onto the underside of the skateboard deck. Here’s a breakdown of its main components and functions:

Image of three skateboards with different designs hanged on a skate rack. Source: pexels
Image of three skateboards with different designs hanged on a skate rack. Source: pexels
  • Baseplate: This is the flat portion of the truck that is screwed to the skateboard’s deck.
  • Hanger: This is the largest part of the skateboard truck, shaped somewhat like a triangular metal beam. It supports the axle, which runs through it.
  • Axle: A long pin that runs through the hanger. Skateboard wheels are attached to either end of the axle.
  • Bushings: These are soft urethane rings that fit around the kingpin and help determine the truck’s performance in the pivot and turning radius. They allow the board to turn and pivot smoothly. The hardness or softness of the bushings can influence the responsiveness of the trucks.
  • Kingpin: This is the big bolt that fits inside the bushings and holds the truck’s parts together. By adjusting the tightness of the kingpin nut, you can control the truck’s responsiveness.
My favorite trucks (at the moment):

Thunder Night Hollow II Lights Trucks

Skateboard trucks buying guide: 10 points for the perfect ride | 61r 0zf6sgl. Ac sl1050 | skateboard salad
My favorite trucks (at the moment):

Thunder Night Hollow II Lights Trucks

I switched over from Tensor to Thunder Trucks, and I never went back. They just feel a lot lighter, in my opinion, and I love the look of these trucks, (And the thunderbolt gives me Weezer vibes, I dig it)

Why are skateboard trucks so crucial?

Skateboard trucks are foundational in determining a skateboard’s overall performance and feel. They are the primary connection between the rider and the terrain, influencing everything from balance and stability to the board’s responsiveness to turns and tricks. A well-chosen truck can provide a smooth and controlled ride, allowing the skateboard to react seamlessly to the rider’s movements.

Furthermore, trucks are essential for the structural integrity of the skateboard. They distribute the weight of the rider and the impact forces from tricks, jumps, and landings across the board. This weight distribution helps prevent the deck from breaking and ensures the wheels move harmoniously with the rider’s intentions. Without the right trucks, the entire longevity and safety of the skateboard could be at risk.

How do I match the truck width to the skateboard deck?

Matching the width of your skateboard trucks to your deck is essential for achieving a balanced and efficient ride. Start by measuring the width of your skateboard deck, which typically falls between 7.5″ and 9″. The goal is to select trucks whose axle width aligns closely with the deck’s width. For instance, a deck width of 7.5” to 7.8″ pairs well with trucks having an axle width of 7.5”.

As the deck size increases, so should the axle width proportionally. It’s important to note that while these are general guidelines, the specific nuances of individual skateboarding styles, such as street versus transition skating, can influence the ideal truck width. When shopping for trucks, manufacturers might specify their products by either axle width or hanger width.

Ensuring a correct match between your deck and trucks not only optimizes maneuverability but also minimizes the risk of issues like wheel bite, enhancing your overall skating experience.

Additionally, some brands offer recommendations based on their product designs, so consulting these specifics or seeking advice from a local skate shop can be beneficial. Ensuring a correct match between your deck and trucks not only optimizes maneuverability but also minimizes the risk of issues like wheel bite, enhancing your overall skating experience.

What factors do you consider when choosing skateboard trucks?

Choosing the right skateboard trucks isn’t just about color-coordinating with your deck. It involves understanding your skating style, weight, and attention to many details. And that’s where your humble blogger pal, Steven, comes to the rescue! Let’s review the five factors to consider when buying your skateboard trucks.

Size (Truck width)

The width of your skateboard trucks should match your skateboard deck. So, first things first, make a mental note or, better yet, jot down your deck width before you truck hunt. The correct width improves stability and reduces the risk of wheel bite, which can easily ruin your day. Always remember, size not only matters, but it can also make or break your skateboarding experience!

Choosing the right size is like finding the perfect life partner. It might take time, but the right one offers a smooth ride and excellent agility on the streets or parks. In the grand scheme of skateboarding, the right size truck will allow you to master those much-coveted tricks and flips faster.

Narrow trucks

So, what’s the deal with narrow trucks? It’s too narrow, and you’ll feel like riding on Aladdin’s carpet (sans genie!). However, they reduce the chances of wheel bite, adding a silver lining to an otherwise cloudy setup.

But tread lightly; narrow trucks offer less stability, which could be a bummer if you’re a vert or bowl skater. The upside? More agility and faster turns make for an adrenaline-charged ride. All said, if you slap an 8” truck on an 8.75” deck, you’ll find yourself in a real pickle.

Wide trucks

Stepping up the size ladder, we have wide trucks. They offer an impressive level of stability, akin to a Sumo wrestler in a zen pose. However, going too wide can feel like fitting a square peg in a round hole. Too wide, and you’d have to bid adieu to primo tricks as your board angles awkwardly when rested on its side.

Plus, your sneakers might come into contact with the wheels, more so if you have lanky feet, similar to a Shaq’s dunk, but on a smaller scale. Aim for the right width, and you can waltz through any skate setup challenge.

Truck height

Here’s where personal preferences kick in more than your neighbor’s barking dog. Are you more into cruising or staring down vert ramps? Or are you a street or park skater, one who enjoys the technicalities of skateboarding?

Low trucks are the perfect choice for technical skaters hitting the streets or parks. Mediums are for those who straddle between the streets and the transition world. Lastly, high trucks are your friend if you love bouncing on mini ramps, verts, and bowls!

Truck type

And right on the heels of truck height is the type of truck you need. If you’re an all-rounder wanting to experience the best of both worlds, you need an all-around truck for your custom setup. Different types offer varied performances, so it’s essential to choose the one that resonates with your skating style and vibe, just like choosing the right shoes for a top-tier red carpet-event.

And there you have it, folks—your golden set of guiding principles to remember while shopping for your skateboard trucks! Dive into the world of versatility and performance, and let your choices reflect your style and ambition. And as always, remember, your only limit is the sky! Now skim this guide about choosing the right skateboard for kids if you have little shredders at home, stoked and ready to hit the parks.


The foundation of your skateboard truck, the baseplate, must be sturdy and durable. It’s the part of the truck that you attach to the deck with bolts. A solid baseplate guarantees your truck’s longevity, enabling you to venture further in your skateboarding journey.

Like the sturdy wheels of the Mars Rover, the skateboard trucks’ baseplate must be robust to take on the wear and tear of shredding. After all, stability is crucial when emulating the tricks you saw on Crossfire’s Xtreme Skate Adventure.

Pivot cups

In the fascinating universe of skateboard trucks, pivot cups are akin to small, silent warriors. They seem minor, but their role can make a significant difference in your ride’s smoothness. Functioning as the truck’s turning point, they help mitigate stress between your truck’s hanger and baseplate.

Imagine a ninja with slick moves; that’s what a good pivot cup does. By reducing friction, these underdogs ensure a smoother ride, even in high-intensity activities—the protective shields of your skateboarding escapades.

Truck bushings

Bushings in your trucks are like the shocks in your car. They’re tiny rubber-like pieces that control the trucks’ turnability and flexibility. Go for harder bushings if you prefer stability, while softer variants are the key to a more responsive ride.

Simply put, bushings are the shock absorbers on our skateboards, giving us the perfect balance between stability and a greater ability to cut corners or carve around obstacles. Our simple guide to skateboard bushing will definitely help you navigate the bushing world.

Truck washers

Just like pivot cups and bushings, truck washers are the unsung heroes. They sandwich the bushings, controlling their movement and aiding in better truck performance. Your decision should be based on whether you desire a tighter or looser riding experience.

Take it from me: good truck washers are the hidden wizards of skateboarding. They magically help control truck motion and directly affect how agile you are on your board.

Truck material

Last but definitely not least, material matters. Like the secret suit in Spider-Man, the right material ups your game. If your budget allows, opt for titanium or hollow trucks over standard ones; lighter weight equals better handling and a smoother ride.

Image of three skateboard decks displayed in a skate shop. Source: unsplash
Image of three skateboard decks displayed in a skate shop. Source: unsplash

Additional skateboard trucks choosing tips

Some extra spicy tips for our curious skaters!

  • Read the product specifications to know if the trucks suit your weight.
  • Budget your skateboard setup to balance quality with affordability
  • Research reviews or speak to skateboarders with similar riding styles before making a purchase
  • Don’t jump on the bandwagon; choose what fits your style and purpose.
  • Remember, practice makes perfect. Don’t give up if the initial rides feel uncomfortable with new trucks.

My experience with choosing skateboard trucks

As an intermediate skater who loves flipping tricks, I faced a skateboard dilemma when choosing trucks. Like a thousand doubts popping up like minions in Despicable Me, I rushed in and chose trucks without understanding my style and requirements. The result was far from pleasant—my trucks were off balance, wide, and awkward to ride. I felt like a cowboy wrangling a wild bronco!

“Choosing the right skateboard trucks is like choosing ice cream flavors on a hot summer day; exciting, fun, but a tad overwhelming. Your skateboard trucks act as the foundation of your riding experience, so gear up and be ready to shred that concrete jungle with style and confidence.”

After falling more times than I’d like to admit, I put more thought into my choices. I took the time to understand narrow and wide trucks, their impact, the right size for my deck, and the significance of bushings, pivot cups, and washers. In short, I learned to adapt my decisions to my skate style and comfort instead of falling for popular brand hype.

Regarding skateboard trucks, a world of variety awaits; here’s a useful data table illustrating the different characteristics of narrow, medium, and wide skateboard trucks. This table will serve as a quick reference guide to help you save time and prioritize what you need most from your trucks.

Truck typeStabilityTurning speedResponsiveBest for
NarrowLowHighYesStreet skating
WideHighLowNoVert and bowl skating
Comparison of narrow, medium, and wide skateboard trucks

If you are a visual learner, check out the video below from YouTube.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We hope this in-depth guide on selecting skateboard trucks has shed some light on a rather confusing aspect of skateboarding. However, if you’ve still got queries to skitter about, this FAQ section will help you ace the ‘truck knowledge’ test!

Can I use different brands of trucks on my skateboard?

Absolutely! But remember, the key factor here is not the brand but the compatibility of your trucks and deck. It’s crucial to check the specifications thoroughly to ensure that the truck’s width matches your deck size, regardless of the brand. If you’re caught in a brand debate, our post on Thunder, Independent, or Venture Trucks will provide you with valuable insights to make an informed choice.

Is the truck’s height adjustable?

While skateboard trucks aren’t adjustable, you can manipulate their height using riser pads. These handy accessories can provide an extra height boost, enabling you to ride on larger wheels. For a deeper understanding of how these adaptations can affect your ride, look at our comprehensive guide on skateboard types.

What’s the most long-lasting skateboard truck material?

Titanium trucks are considered the most durable and robust skate trucks in the industry, followed by hollow trucks. Though more expensive, their enhanced longevity and performance make them worth the investment. Before going for one, it’s crucial to weigh the pros and cons, considering your riding style, frequency, and budget.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right skateboard trucks can be a challenging task, especially if you’re new to the skater scene. But with patience, understanding, and this comprehensive truck guide, you’ll be well-equipped to turn your skateboarding experience around. Even if you stumble initially, remember that every fall paves the way to becoming a better skater. Who knows? You might be skating your way to the next Tony Hawk moment.

So, how about you? What type of trucks do you prefer for your skateboarding style, and why? And did I cover everything you wanted to know? Let me know in the comments section below. I read and reply to every comment. If you found this article helpful, share it with a friend, and check out my full blog for more tips and tricks on skateboarding. Thanks for reading, and keep the stoke alive!

Key takeaways

This article covered how to pick the right skateboard trucks. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The width of your skateboard trucks should match your deck for optimal stability and reduced wheel bite risk.
  • Choosing between narrow, medium, or wide trucks depends on your skating style and desired responsiveness.
  • Pivot cups and bushings play a key role in the maneuverability of your skateboard.
  • The quality of baseplates and truck material can impact the performance and longevity of your skateboard trucks significantly.
  • The personal style and purpose of skateboarding should guide your choice of trucks, not the popularity of truck brands.

Helpful resources

Steven Portrate
Written by Steven Sadder, Staff Writer

Hey! I'm Steven, a lifelong skater, and proud New Yorker. I’ve been skating since I was a teenager. I may be a bit older now, but I'm not slowing down. Follow me for skating tips and latest gear reviews.

Nick eggert.
Edited by Nick Eggert, Staff Editor

Nick is our staff editor and co-founder. He has a passion for writing, editing, and website development. His expertise lies in shaping content with precision and managing digital spaces with a keen eye for detail.

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