Skateboard Truck Sizes Explained: Your Ultimate Guideline to A Smooth Ride

Master the skate park with this ultimate guide on skateboard truck sizes. Tailor your ride for precision and thrill, let's roll!

Ready to immerse yourself in the gnashed concrete world of skateboarding and taste the tar and asphalt? Picking up the passion was pretty much a no-brainer, but when it comes to the specifics, like trucks and decks, things start to get a bit murky. In this post, you’ll get a ride down the winding lane of skateboard truck sizes. It’ll answer your dilemmas about truck width, height preferences, correct sizes, and how to appropriately equip your skateboard for every trip to the park, street, or vert. Grab your board and strap in because we’re about to get rolling!

What is a skateboard truck?

A skateboard truck is a critical component that attaches the wheels to the skateboard deck. It plays a crucial role in allowing the skateboard to turn and pivot while providing stability and control when riding. Skateboard trucks consist of several parts and are typically sold in pairs, one for the front and one for the back of the skateboard.

Image of part of a skateboard showing its wheel and deck. Source: pexels
Image of part of a skateboard showing its wheel and deck. Source: pexels

Skateboard trucks come in various sizes and styles to cater to riding preferences and styles. The choice of trucks can greatly impact how a skateboard feels and performs, so skateboarders often customize their trucks to suit their specific needs and preferences.

My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

Skateboard truck sizes explained: your ultimate guideline to a smooth ride | 61vn95mf7ql. Ac sl1184 | skateboard salad
My favorite complete skateboard (at the moment):

Enjoi Whitey Panda Complete Skateboard

I had my board stolen a few years ago and was forced to quickly replace it with a complete. I got one with an Enjoi deck and loved it so much that I still buy the Whitey Panda deck each time I need a new deck. This complete with budget-friendly, beginner-friendly parts, but I still swear by it.

Why does skateboard truck size matter?

Skateboard truck size matters because it significantly affects a skateboard’s overall performance, stability, and maneuverability. Choosing the right truck size is essential for a comfortable, responsive ride that suits your skateboarding style.

Here are some reasons why skateboard truck size matters:

  • Turning Ability: The width of the skateboard truck hanger influences how easily the board can turn. Wider trucks provide more stability and are less responsive to turns, while narrower trucks offer greater maneuverability, which is preferred for tricks and technical skating.
  • Deck Compatibility: Matching the truck size to your skateboard deck’s width is crucial. If your trucks are too narrow or too wide for your deck, it can affect your balance, control, and overall riding experience.
  • Stability vs. maneuverability: The size and angle of the baseplate (measured in degrees) can impact the stability and turning capabilities of the trucks.
  • Wheel clearance: The height of your trucks, combined with riser pads if necessary, affects the distance between the skateboard deck and the wheels. Proper wheel clearance is essential to prevent “wheel bite,” which occurs when the wheels rub against the deck during sharp turns.
  • Rider preference: Skateboarders have personal preferences for how their boards are handled. Some prefer the stability of wider trucks for cruising or downhill riding, while others prefer the agility of narrower trucks for technical tricks and street skating.
  • Skill level: Beginners often benefit from trucks that offer more stability and forgiveness, making balancing and controlling the board easier.

How do you pick the right skateboard truck size?

As you thought, skateboarding is not just about picking up a board and thrashing around. Precision is involved, especially when you get to the granular bits, like choosing the right skateboard truck size. It’s a mix of ensuring the trucks fit your deck well and catering to your preferences regarding balance and responsiveness.

Here’s an easy reference table to choose the right truck size for your deck:

Deck SizeAxle WidthHanger Width
7.75 inch to 8.0 inch7.75 inch (197 mm)5.0 inch (129 mm)
8 inch to 8.5 inch  8.0 inch (203 mm)5.25 inch (139 mm)
8.5 inch to 9.0 inch8.5 inch (216 mm)5.75 inch (149 mm)
9.0 inch to 10.0 inch9.0 inch (229 mm)6.5 inch (169 mm)
10 inch or more10.0 inch (254 mm)10 inches or more

The reality is that it isn’t a catastrophe if your trucks and deck don’t match perfectly. In the skateboard universe, some prefer narrower trucks for the improved flip speed that these offer, while others prefer wider trucks for a stable ride. Trucks that align exactly with the axle are a solid choice, but you could go either way, depending on your preferences and needs.

Why does axle width matter in skateboard trucks?

Every truck has its axle and hanger—two elements making up its total width. The axle goes through your wheels and bearings, while the hanger forms the truck’s core. Here’s a quick rundown of how axle and hanger sizes align with truck width:

Axle WidthTruck Width
6.0″ to 7.25″6.5″ to 7.25″
7.5″7.25 to 7.5″
7.75″7.5” to 8.0″
8.5″7.5″ to 8.0″
9.0″7.5″ to 8.0″
10.0″8.5″ to 9.0″
Image of two skateboard trucks. Source: unsplash
Image of two skateboard trucks. Source: unsplash

Does the size of your skateboard truck impact its weight?

Size affects weight in the case of skateboard trucks. Larger trucks are naturally heavier, which might not be an issue for a seasoned skater but could be a challenge for someone just beginning their skateboarding journey. It might be worth noting that skateboarding is excellent for fitness, and you can lose weight by skateboarding!

My opinion, as a rookie skater:

Though I’m nowhere near an expert, I can tell you that curiosity can be your best teacher. Don’t be scared to experiment with different skateboard parts; that’s how you’ll discover what works best for you. Also, remember that the right size matters, whether it’s your deck, trucks, or wheels. If you’ve been thinking about replacing your board, here’s a guide on when you should replace your skateboard deck.

“Skateboarding is all about finding your balance, and the same applies when picking the right-sized skateboard truck. Your skill level, the types of tricks you love to perform, your cruising preferences – all these factors play a part. At the end of the day, it’s your ride. Choose what feels right and keep rolling!”

Dos and don’ts of choosing skateboard truck sizes

Selecting the appropriately-sized skateboard trucks isn’t rocket science, but certain guidelines exist for a smooth ride. Below, find a straightforward table of dos and don’ts to help you make an informed choice for an enhanced skating experience.

Ensure your skateboard truck’s width matches your deck’s widthDon’t ignore the effect of having trucks too narrow or wide
Pay attention to the axle width when selecting your truckEnsure your skateboard truck’s width matches your deck’s width
Experiment with different sizes to find your comfort zoneDon’t assume wider trucks are always better for stability
The dos and don’ts of choosing the right skateboard truck sizes

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

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Let’s address some of the additional aspects and finer details of choosing skateboard truck sizes that riders often inquire about. Below are some of the most commonly asked questions that add more concrete to your skateboarding knowledge base!

What are the impacts of having trucks that are too wide?

Having skateboard trucks too wide for your deck isn’t necessarily a disaster. But as you advance and get into more technical tricks, they might get in your way. Less comfort while riding and possibly needing to push a bit wider because your feet could touch the wheels are common issues. Also, your axle and axle nut might wear down faster due to the increased chance of hitting the ground during board flips.

Are there any risks with having my trucks too narrow?

If your trucks aren’t wide enough, you’ll experience the ‘carpet riding’ effect, where only your deck is visible but not your wheels. A slightly smaller size might not cause an issue, but anything more than that will lead you to some discomfort.

To check, just lay your skateboard on the side and see if it stands straight. You could get a new deck or buy new trucks if it’s at a stark angle. If you are unsure, you might also want to check when to replace your skateboard deck.

What is the role of the hanger in skateboard trucks?

The hanger is essentially the core of your skateboard truck. It houses the axle, where the wheels and bearings go, and your bushings. The hanger is instrumental in enabling steering by rotating in the pivot cup.

Can I use the same truck sizes for different skateboarding styles?

Well, truck sizes may vary based on your skateboarding style. While technical street skaters might stick to smaller decks and, therefore, smaller truck sizes, bowl riders, ramp skaters, and old-school skaters tend to lean towards wider decks requiring larger trucks.

Always remember to consider both your deck size and your skateboarding style when selecting your truck sizes! Also, if you’re interested in varying your experience, you might want to learn how to choose the right skateboard wheels.

Final thoughts

Choosing the right skateboard truck size is pivotal to the skateboarding experience. It’s all about understanding how the various proportions affect your ride. Not too small, oversized, just right – that’s the key to getting the most out of your deck! What’s your experience with choosing the right skateboard truck sizes? 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 understanding skateboard parts and sizes. Thanks for reading, and keep rolling!

Key takeaways

This roll-down memory lane zoomed into the nuances of skateboard truck sizes. Here are some key takeaways:

  • The width of your skateboard trucks should ideally match your deck size.
  • It’s worth experimenting with different truck sizes to find what suits your style and comfort.
  • Truck sizes affect your skateboard’s weight, stability, and responsiveness.
  • The axle and hanger widths contribute significantly to the overall truck width.
  • High and low trucks cater to different skateboard styles and terrains, and your choice should be tailored to your needs.
  • Making an informed decision on skateboard truck sizes can enhance your overall skateboarding experience.

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.

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