A skateboard is a board, wheels and trucks. We could say trucks are a third of your skateboard, and we’ll be discussing that one third in the article.
There’s some highly trusted brands to look into when buying trucks. In this article we’ll take a look at RKP trucks which are appropriate for the usual longer wheelbases on longboards. If you think the distance between your trucks is too short, use the three shakas rule:
If your wheelbase is shorter than three shakas, use TKPs. If your wheelbase is longer than three shakas, use RKPs. If it’s just three shakas, your choice.
By the way, this is a shaka.
Since trucks completely define how the turn will be, it’s good to know what to expect from them.
What difference do trucks make?
Trucks may look pretty similar, maybe a few cosmetic differences to the naked eye, but there’s a few things that make them all different when riding them.
The easiest thing to notice on a truck is if it has rake, a raked truck doesn’t have a gradual turn, but instead has a defined center point and turn becomes sharper as you lean – this is often referred to as the trucks being divey or lively. Unraked trucks are the complete opposite; the center point is not as defined and the turn is gradual, it doesn’t become any sharper as you lean.
A main concern with trucks is slop. A very early solution to slop was adding restraints on the hanger around the bushings to keep it from moving around, these restraints are what’s called the bushing seat. Depending on how deep or shallow the bushing seat is, the turn is going to feel more or less restricted.
Sabre cast truck pivot and bushing seat.
The pivot is where road vibrations meet the board. To absorb some of those vibrations theres a pivot cup made of delrin or sometimes urethane. How much urethane there is between the pivot and the baseplate is going to translate directly to how much vibration the board is going to get. The pivot itself and also be thicker or thinner, thinner pivots are preferred for going fast.
With all that in mind we’ve developed a complete list of the best longboarding trucks. Some brands are more well-known than others, but they’re all quality. It couldn’t hurt to try something new either if you’re used to the big three brands.
What to stay away from
The market is very saturated, there’s plenty of great products to choose from but also terrible ones to skip over. Anytime you ride your board you are risking injury should anything fail, getting cheap gear with subpar performance, apart from stunting progress, can be dangerous.
Stay away from cheap Chinese off-brand trucks or clones.
Run a google search of the product before buying it: as a good rule of thumb if you can’t find anything good on silverfish, it’s probably bad.
The most common truck clone there is are Randal clones. It’s easy to tell them apart from the legitimate ones, just look at the baseplate.
Randal trucks have a hole in the baseplate to poke the pivot cup out, the clones lack that.
Make it yours
Once you have your trucks you’ll want to dial them in to fit your style of riding; stock bushigs or pivots might not be the best, or perhaps the turn doesn’t feel quite how you want it to. Read our follow up on dialing in your set up to find out more.