Are you not satisfied with the performance of your skateboard? Do you want to know how to tighten the skateboard trucks? Do you feel instability while riding your skateboard? We have got you covered. We will tell you everything you need to know about skateboard trucks. Stay with us to explore more!
The trucks are an essential part of a skateboard. It allows the movement of wheels and the deck. This is the part where the wheels attach to the deck. If these are not properly adjusted then riding will not be fun anymore. When the wheels wobble around, you may be underestimating yourself, when it is just the trucks. Tightening or loosening the trucks depends on how you want to ride your skateboard. All the essentials about trucks are discussed below.
How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks: Step-by-Step Guide
A proper tightening of trucks is necessary for perfect skating. Not everyone is expert enough to know how to tighten the skateboard trucks properly. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t do it on your own. Anyone can do it. Follow the essential steps given below to get the skateboard trucks perfectly tightened.
Before you get started with the procedure, make sure what style of skateboarding you want to opt for. The tightening of skateboard trucks depends upon the tricks you want to do. If you are a freestyle rider, then loose trucks can work for you. If you want to do flips, then tight trucks will be more appropriate. The loose trucks are easy to move taking turns. On the other side, tight trucks are more stable and provide support in doing flips. Let’s see how we do it.
- Overturn the skateboard
Turn your skateboard upside down in a suitable place. Try to put it on a table so you don’t have to bend down a lot. I’m pretty sure you don’t want to ruin your posture as well. Make a suitable place where you are going to get the trucks to tighten. And put the skateboard in the inverted position. You will have a clear view of trucks and kingpins on which the washers and bolts are tightened.
- Examine the trucks closely
The trucks sometimes are already tightened. Over-tightened trucks are not only going to ruin your skateboarding but also damage the bushing. If you tighten your skateboard truck excessively, the bushings may wear out before time. So observe the trucks initially. Is tightening even required or not? Play around with the bolts and washers. If you find bushings stiffer that means the trucks don’t need tightening. If you can move the washers with your hands, then it is loose.
- Fix the bolt
If the trucks are loose, start tightening slightly. Don’t push way too much otherwise you may end up in a mess. Turn the nut quarterly. And check if you need more tightening. There’s a rule of thumb to see the stiffness of the truck. If you can turn the washer with your hand, that means the nuts need tightening. When the washer is not movable with bare hands, then turn the nut a quarter in the clockwise direction. Normally, a quarter turns for the front truck, and a half turn for the rear truck is sufficient.
- Evaluate the adjustment
Once you tighten the truck according to the above step, give it a check. Now you have to test whether this stiffness is fine for your moves or not. Do your whatever tricks at least 5-6 times and observe the stability. A perfectly tight truck will support your moves. If you are not satisfied, turn the front truck’s nut a quarter more, and the rear truck’s a half round. That means once the washers aren’t movable with your fingers, then the front truck can be tightened to half round, and the rear to a full round. Tightening is your choice. At least this works for me. you can re-adjust it as you like.
Tip for Paris V3 Trucks:
Some trucks have a shorted kingpin. Therefore, those with such trucks should follow this additional step to enjoy proper tightening. The shorted kingpin will leave some space for a nut sticking out of the bolt. It doesn’t fit the threads properly. Therefore, I would recommend you use a nylon nut. It has some extension that helps in the proper locking of the nut. And the locking is called nylon locking. Make sure the nylon side is on the outward side.
These were the easy and most straightforward steps to follow for tightening the trucks. If you don’t tighten your trucks sufficiently, the deck is going to wiggle around. If the trucks are too stiff, then the flexibility is compromised. Let’s discuss what are the pros and cons of loose and tight trucks.
Pros and Cons of Tightened Trucks
If you are a fan of flip tricks such as doing the fakies and disasters, tight trucks are your type. This provides more stability and a smooth landing. Here are some pros and cons of tightened trucks
Pros and Cons of Loosen Trucks
Loosen trucks are helpful too. Especially if you are a freestyle rider, then loos trucks are perfect for you. People who love cruising turn a lot while skateboarding prefers loose trucks. Following are some pros and cons of having loos trucks.
Both scenarios have their pros and cons. In addition to your skating style, tightening the skateboard trucks also depends on the truck itself, and the type of bushing used. I am going to get a little bit deeper on how much a truck should be tightened. Moving on to the next section where I will tell you what are the signs of overtightened trucks
Signs of Over-Tightened Trucks
An over tighten truck can ruin your skateboard as well as your mood. The tightened trucks are essential but to some extent. If you don’t pay heed to this aspect, you may end up ruining the bushing. The bushing is the part that comes between the kingpin and the nut. It allows flexibility in the movement. We will learn more about it in the parts of the skateboard trucks section. Here you will see what the signs of over-tightened trucks are, and how to avoid them.
- The pressed bushing
People suggest that tighten your trucks until you feel the bushings are completely rigid. Do not try this. I repeat this is the worst you can do to your bushing. Pressing the bushing reduces its flexibility. The over-pressed bushing can be worn out way earlier than it should. Ultimately, you will have to get new bushing for your board.
- The threads of the bolt
The thread count isn’t the right way to tell the tightness of trucks. The reason is every bolt, kingpin, and truck has a different size. You cannot check the tightness by counting the threads of nuts. Do not go with the two or three counts of thread. Simply follow the steps given on how to tighten skateboard trucks and you will be good to go.
- Of turns
Remember that tightening two full turns can be way too much. Normally, people suggest circling the nut into two full rounds. This may ruin your bushing. Don’t go with the number of turns. Just check when the washers aren’t movable with your hand, and then take a half-round to the maximum. This is for the front truck. The rear truck is a little tighter. Turn the rear nut to a single full turn. This should be enough. Don’t try to go beyond this way too much.
Here’s a tip for those who are not satisfied with this tightening scheme. You can use another bushing, which is a bit stiffer. You can tight rigid bushing to some extra level without damaging it. Similarly, if you want looser trucks then use some softer bushing. Now let’s move on to how to loosen the trucks.
How to Loosen Trucks on Skateboard
You may need to loosen the skateboard trucks if you are uncomfortable with turning around. You may also need to loosen the trucks on the skateboard if they are over-tightened. Don’t worry because the process is almost the same. You just need to make sure of a few things. Let us see in detail how to loosen trucks on a skateboard.
Trucks have a single bolt in the center at the top. This bolt makes the truck stiffer or softer. This center bolt directs the style of skateboarding. Loose trucks for the freestyle and tight ones for flips are the best. Additionally, there are four bolts on the base of the trucks. These bolts attach the truck to the base of the skateboard. Generally, you are not going to touch those nuts unless you want to change the truck itself.
- For loosening up the trucks, you exactly need to follow the first two steps of tightening the trucks on the skateboard.
- In the third step, you need to move the bolt in a counterclockwise direction. Make sure it is not too loose to tear it apart ultimately.
- Don’t worry if you don’t make it on the first try. Give it a check and keep the tool along with you. If you still find it difficult to move or take a turn, lose the bolts a quarter more. Do it in small steps and test it every time.
For loose trucks, as mentioned already, you can also use softer bushing. A softer bushing is always preferred for loose trucks. Get some suitable bushing and put them on before loosening the trucks excessively.
Additionally, if you are heavier than 200lb, you should not use loose trucks. They might end up with wheel bite or wheel burn. Both of them are undesirable. Similarly, looseness also varies with the speed. If you are moving down the hill, make sure that the trucks are not loose. On the sharp turns, the board will hit the wheelbase and you may flip getting yourself hurt. Keep them a little tight in these scenarios.
Parts of Skateboard Trucks
Not to miss anything about trucks, I am going to introduce you to the parts of trucks and some additional details. To be a good skater, you must know all the tools of your skateboard keenly. Trucks are a substantial part of a skateboard. Since all your skating tricks are heavily dependent on the size of trucks. You need to know how to measure trucks on a skateboard.
First, let us have a good hand on the parts of skateboard trucks. Skateboard trucks essentially consist of the following parts:
- The baseplate
The baseplate is the area that is directly in contact with the deck of a skateboard. It has four nuts that attach the baseplate to the deck. The kingpin and pivot cup are present on the base plate.
The kingpin is part of the truck that attaches the hanger to the base plate. The kingpin is in the shape of a bolt where the nuts are tightened and bushings are placed.
The main part of trucks is the hanger. It connects to the baseplate through the kingpin and the pivot cup. On the left and right sides, the wheels are attached along with bearings.
The bushing is soft plastic-type material that allows flexibility in the movement of trucks. It lies between the hanger and the baseplate. It controls the turning behavior. Bushings are available based on their softness and size.
Axel is the extension of the hanger on both sides. Wheels attached to the axel. Axel re-threader tool can rethread the worn-out axel. Axel width is the out width of a truck. This width is used for measuring the width of trucks.
- Axel Nuts
Axel nuts tighten up the wheels on both sides of the hanger. It varies in size and is easily available. The Axel nut is significant for keeping the parts in place. Select study and right-sized nuts.
Washers make sure that the force is evenly distributed to all parts of the board. Washers are placed above and below the bushings. It brings the board back to its place after sharp turns.
- Speed Rings
Small washers are speed rings, placed between the hanger and baseplate. It protects the bearing from rubbing against other parts.
A skateboard truck consists of the above necessary parts. To choose the perfect truck for your skateboard, you need to know how to measure trucks on the skateboard. Let us explore how we do this.
How to Measure Trucks on Skateboard
The size of the truck depends on the height and width of the axle and hanger. After getting the right deck, it is time to look for the right truck. Most people, especially beginners, get confused while selecting the appropriate trucks for their skateboard. Don’t get nervous! We will tell you how to measure the size of trucks.
Width of Trucks:
The width of the truck depends on the width of the two parts. One is the width of the axle, also known as the outer width. The other is the inner width, which is the width of the hanger.
Usually, people talk about the inner width (the hanger width) while talking about asking wide is your truck. Nevertheless, this does not necessarily tell the width of your truck. So don’t get confused. While buying the skateboard truck, always search for the outer width. Here are some tips for getting the right size of truck.
- The outer width (axel width) should be +/-0.125inch from the width of the deck. That means a width of 7.875 inches to 8.125 inches is ideal for an 8-inch wide deck.
- A +/-0.25inch wide axle can work but is not ideal for perfect skating.
- Check the width of the axle of the skateboard from the product description before buying.
Here are some slight suggestions for choosing the right width of trucks:
- A 194mm wide truck can fit perfectly for a 7.5″ to 7.75″ wide deck.
- A 203mm wide truck can fit the 7.875” to 8.125” wide deck perfectly
- A 209mm wide truck can be suitable for an 8.125″ to 8.375″ wide deck
- A 216 mm wide truck may fit the 8.375” to 8.625” wide deck
- A 222mm wide truck can fit the 8.625” to 8.875” wide deck
- A 232mm wide truck can fit the 9” to 9.25” wide deck
- A 254mm wide truck can fit the 9.75” to 10.25” wide deck
Length of Trucks:
Truck height divides into three levels i.e. high truck, mid truck, and low truck size. There is not a significant difference in these heights. However, minor details are crucial. The distance of the mid axle from the base plate is the height of the truck. It tells how high is the deck from the wheels. Here are some necessary tips for selecting the height of trucks.
- The height of trucks does not follow a standard. Every brand can have its height for the high, mid or low truck. Therefore, make sure to check the size before buying.
- High trucks are perfect for long people. The longer skateboarders can push the skate toward the ground with more strength. Pop-offs are much easier for longer people on high trucks than shorter ones.
- Kids should always use low-height trucks. The more the deck is closer to the ground, the more stable it is.
Measuring the Size of Trucks
You should measure the truck size before attaching it to the board. Double-check and confirm if it is according to the given width and height guide. Checking the size will prevent you from the headache of disassembling the trucks. Therefore, check the size before fixing the truck on your deck. Below is the complete guide to measuring the size of trucks.
- Put the skateboard upside down
Place the skateboard in an appropriate place. With the upper part facing downward. You will find four holes in the center of the deck. These are for the baseplate.
- Place the truck on the skateboard deck
Get the truck on top of it. Since it is not attached to the deck, you can also put the axel directly on the deck. Now check whether it exceeds the given width of the deck or not. Do this step by looking at them from the Arial view. If it does not exceed the required width, the trucks are usable. If not, then you have to buy them again.
- Measure the width and height
To double-check the size of the trucks, use a measuring tape. Take the measuring tape and measure the width of the truck and the width of the deck one by one. Check the size guide and observe if it matches or not.
- Attach the wheels and recheck
The final step toward measuring the size of trucks is to attach the wheelbase. Usually, wheels do not have any effect on the width, as they attach to the axle. However, some wider wheels take up some extra space. Eventually making the trucks even wider. Attach the wheels and check whether the widths exceed or not. Similar to step 2, observe the width from the top view. An exceeded length will quickly hit your eyes.
- Do the same for rear trucks
Repeat the procedure for the rear trucks. Mostly, people like to use the same width for front and rear trucks. Some people like the rear wheel to be a little bit wider. There is no problem in doing so. It is all your choice. However, using the same size is perfect for skating any kind of trick
- Evaluate the height
The height is all about what type of skateboarder you are. If you want to do flips, the higher the skateboard is from the ground, the more tilt it requires. Many people don’t find it comfortable. However, having a higher truck increases the clearance between the deck and the wheelbase, making it easier to slide.
After measuring the size of trucks on a skateboard, you can attach it to the skateboard and enjoy skating. measuring the width and height is as essential as tightening up the trucks. A slight negligence in any of these factors can ruin your mood on skating. As a good skater, you should know all about the stuff discussed above.
- How do you tighten skateboard trucks without a tool?
The alternatives for skateboard trucks are pliers and wrenches. Wrench and pliers both are used for tightening up the bolts.
- How loose is too loose for skateboard trucks?
Lean onto the side of the skateboard with your full weight. If the deck touches the wheels, that means the trucks need to be tightened.
- Do all skateboard trucks fit all decks?
The skateboard trucks should be as wide as your deck is. A precision of +/-0.125inch is generally preferred. More or less than this limit is not a perfect fit.
Trucks are a substantial part of skateboards. The tightness and size depend on what type of skateboarder you are. In this article, you learned how to tighten skateboard trucks along with other details.
Tighter/stiffer skateboard trucks are the flip tricks type. Tight skateboard trucks allow more stability and protect you from wobbling around. In the same way, loose trucks are better for turning at fast speeds. Too much tight or lose trucks can be both risky and unfavorable for your board. With the help of this guide, you might have a clear vision of the skateboard trucks by now.
The width of the skateboard truck should be equal to the width of the deck. Likewise, the height depends upon the type of your body and the style of skateboarding.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about skateboard trucks. Well! I loved this stuff too.