3 Best Skateboard Trucks [2021 Buyer’s Guide]

What’s the most important part of your board? The skateboard deck is the most recognizable part of a board. And without wheels, you won’t get very far. But you could make the case that skateboard’s trucks are the most important. How come? Your skateboard’s trucks are like the board’s “steering wheel.” They’ll determine how your board feels and rides beneath your feet.

Since board feel and control are all in the trucks, they’re a crucial component of your board. Trucks come with many different qualities and characteristics, so we’ve picked out our top three skateboard trucks to point you in the right direction when you’re ready to buy.

It’s true that you can find trucks with all sorts of extra features, like hollow hangers (to reduce weight) and super thick, heavy hangers to protect the kingpin nut from grinding damage. But if you want some solid, all-around great trucks, these three are all very worthy of skating. 

The 3 Best Trucks for Skateboards

[1] Independent Stage 11 Trucks

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When it comes to skateboard trucks, Independent might just be the biggest, most recognizable name in the game. While Independent makes trucks of all different sizes and different qualities (such as hollow and titanium trucks that affect weight), these trucks are made to be durable, lasting, and able to withstand the grinds and slams that any skater will subject them to.

You can’t go wrong with the Independent Stage 11 trucks. Here’s a look at some of their features:

  • Long-lasting 356 T6 Aluminum hanger and baseplate
  • Unmatched grindabillity and kingpin clearance
  • Reduced wheel bite
  • Precision turning with Supercush bushings

Indys are always a solid option that deliver a nice blend of performance, durability, and affordability. While some Indy trucks are on the heavier side, their stability at high speeds and solid feel adds to their rideability. Also, these trucks’ Supercrush skateboard bushings offer superior turnability without sacrificing stability. 

If you’re still experimenting with which trucks are best, give these Indies a try. They offer great turning ability and grindability. They offer a more solid ride than hollow trucks, too, which also affords stability atop round rails and other grind objects.

The Grade 8 Kingpin running down the center of the trucks is tough enough to not bend or break. That’s obviously important, since broken kingpins mean game over for your trucks and can be all too common for skaters who ride tighter trucks.

We’ve mentioned before in our best skateboard brands post that Independent makes what we find to be the best skateboard trucks available. Check out our other favorites below!

[2] Thunder Team Trucks

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Thunder trucks are always another great option. They’re durable, responsive, and offer smooth grinding. Here are some of their specs:

  • Durable yet lightweight
  • 50 mm axle height
  • Quick turn geometry
  • Premium grade kingpin

Thunder’s Team trucks are made from solid aluminum, so they have superior durability and sturdiness. They’re heavier than hollow trucks that use hollow hangers and hollow kingpins to reduce weight, but they’re still lightweight all around.

A 50 mm axle height, as these Team trucks offer, provides a perfect blend of stability, balance, and maneuverability. Medium-height trucks like these Thunder trucks mean that you can skate any terrain with ease since they’re made for all-around skating. So, skate bowls and transition, parks, and street with these Thunders!

And if you like these Thunders, you’ll be glad to know that Thunder offers tons of options when it comes to trucks. You might even try some hollow aluminum or titanium Thunder trucks, which have different weights, and therefore a different feel to them. Thunder trucks aim to balance responsiveness, grindability, and control, making them a great go-to option.

[3] Ace Classic Trucks

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Ace Trucks provide quality trucks. Period. Ace isn’t focused on the extra bells and whistles like plastic slider pieces to improve slides or nut-less axel systems. (Some of these add-ons could help your skating! But they’re not Ace’s focus.) Instead, Ace makes trucks that are lightweight, strong, and responsive. Here’s a closer look at its Classic trucks:

  • Crafted from pure 7071 series aluminum.
  • Heat treated 3056 series steel axles
  • 5.37″ Hanger Width | 8″ Axle Width | For boards 7.75″ to 8.12″
  • Superior turnability and control

Ace trucks are a great option for transition and for skaters who skate bowls and enjoy some smooth carves. Ace trucks are best ridden loose so that you can appreciate their turnability, responsiveness, and superior feel.

Ace’s long history also means that a lot of legendary skaters have ridden Ace trucks! Lots of the old school pros who pioneered skating bowls, empty swimming pools, and other transition terrain rode Ace trucks.

best skateboard trucks

FAQ

What is the best skateboard truck brand?

That’s a great question! And, like any deep philosophical question, there just isn’t one correct answer. We’ve listed some of our favorites, but are they the best? Is any brand the best? The matter is simply too subjective.

After you try a couple of different brands of trucks, you’ll probably get used to a brand, and it will become your favorite. The qualities of trucks, in some cases, might make more of a difference than the brand. For example, if you ride only hollow trucks, you might get used to their lightness. If you ride trucks that are low in height, meaning there’s minimal distance between the baseplate and the hanger, you might find that they offer more stability than trucks high in height. But high height trucks can offer better turnability and control.

Many different brands offer trucks that are low-height, high-height, hollow, or of many other variable characteristics. These qualities may ultimately have a greater effect on how your board feels and on your preferences than brand alone.

What are the best skateboard trucks for street?

Here too, the answer depends. Typically, low trucks (meaning the height from the baseplate to the axel is 46–49 mm) offer the best stability, which is key for street skating. Low trucks also make your center of gravity that much lower, which can help balance while performing tricks. Skaters who love their flip tricks or focus on more technical tricks will probably want to stick with low, light trucks.

Mid-height trucks (meaning the height from the baseplate to the axel is 50–52 mm)  are great all around for both tricks done on flat ground, grinding, and transition skating. High-height trucks (meaning 53–58 mm) are best for transition, speed, and cruising.

For street skaters, though, higher height trucks can offer slightly better pop if only because there’s that much more clearance between your board and the ground, giving you more space to launch from.

It’ll all come down to trying a few different kinds of trucks and seeing what you like!

What trucks do pro skaters use?

Pro skaters, to be honest, use the kind and brand of trucks that they’re sponsored by. If Thunder, Ace, or another company sponsors a pro, you can bet that pro will be riding Thunder, Ace, or whatever company sponsors them.

With that said, some pros don’t have a truck sponsor. Just like “regular” skaters, they use all different brands and kinds of trucks.

If you primarily skate ramps or bowls, or if you prefer doing flip tricks and technical tricks, you might want to see which brands sponsor skaters who also prefer these types of terrains and styles of skating. For example, if you like skating transition and all your favorite pros who skate transition are sponsored by one or two truck brands, then those trucks could be great for you as well.

What size trucks should I get for my skateboard?

We’ve talked about height, but also make sure the width of your trucks is of the correct size. You want the width of your tricks to be the same as the width of your deck. So, if your deck measure eight inches across, your trucks should measure eight inches across from one axel nut to the other.

While there’s room for some give and take, if your trucks are wider than your deck, you might have a bit more stability while riding but less flexibility and control with flip tricks. Trucks that are shorter in width than your deck will cause decreased stability. If your board is parallel to the ground when laying on its side and forms a 90-degree angle, you’ve got a perfect fit.

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