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Longboard Truck Guide

Longboard Trucks Guide

Longboard Trucks hold all of the parts of your board together and play a huge role in the way your board will ride. Longboard Trucks have an even bigger impact on the way your board moves than a traditional Skateboard. We’ll break down the three main types of Longboard Trucks and guide you through the tech to find the trucks you’re looking for.

Anatomy of a Longboard Truck

There are three main types of construction for Longboard Trucks; Standard, Reverse Kingpin, and Double Kingpin Trucks. All three styles of truck are made up of the same components.

The Baseplate of a truck is the part of the truck that’s attached to your deck. There is an industry standard for hardware which means any truck can be mounted to any board. Made of a forged steel, your baseplate is durable and acts like a fulcrum for the other components of the truck to pivot over.

The Pivot Cup is a plastic cup located in the baseplate. It holds the base of the truck’s hanger in place while it pivots around the kingpin of the truck. This piece can crack or wear down over time and can be replaced if needed.

The Kingpin is a large bolt that runs through the baseplate and the hanger of the truck. This acts as an axis for the hanger of your truck to pivot around. You can adjust the radius of your turn by tightening or loosening the Kingpin Nut.

The Hanger of a truck runs perpendicular to your deck, and is the main piece of a truck that moves creating the turning/carving motion of your board. This piece is also made of a forged steel for long lasting durability.

The Axles of your trucks are embedded in the hanger and hold the wheels of your board. There are axle nuts and speed washers on either axle. The speed rings create space one either side of your wheels to reduce friction so your wheels spin freely on your truck. The axle nuts at either end hold everything in place. The measurement between your axle nuts is your wheelbase.

The Bushings are made of a urethane similar to your wheels and act as cushioning for your hanger along the kingpin. These are the most common part replaced on your longboard trucks. Over time they can break down.

How to Size Your Trucks

Longboard trucks are typically sized by width and height. All of our Longboard Completes are set up with the manufacture’s pick for the best truck for that board. If you are piecing together your own Longboard, the general consensus is to match the widest part of your deck to the width of your truck from axle nut to axle nut. This is a helpful rule of thumb for Cruiser shapes and most Longboard decks.

Sizing by Width

The wheel base is measured from axle nut to axle nut on your Longboard Trucks. The wider your wheelbase is, the more stable your board will be at higher speeds. This is great for Downhill/Freeride Longboards. But a wider wheelbase also means a wider turning radius. Trucks with a shorter wheelbase will give you a tighter turning radius. Perfect for Commuter/Carving and Freestyle Longboards for more agility at lower impact speeds.

Sizing by Height

Ride height of a Longboard Truck is how much clearance your board has off the ground. The lower you are to the ground the more stable the ride will be at higher speeds. Lower ride heights mean wider turns and more control on your slides. Trucks that have a higher ride height will give you a loose, surfy feel with deeper turns, and can accommodate larger wheels. Some trucks are built with different height specifications, or you can adjust your truck height using Riser Pads to add clearance.

Types of Trucks

Standard

Standard Truck construction means the truck hangers are set at less of an angle and the kingpins run vertical. Designed for tricks with a hanger set further back from the kingpin for grinding. These trucks are typically found on Cruiser style Longboards. Standard trucks are top mounted to give you a feeling of being more on top of your trucks for a more responsive turn. They are not well suited to the higher speeds of Freeride/Downhill Longboarding.

Reverse Kingpin

The Reverse Kingpin truck is the quintessential Longboard Truck. Designed with the kingpin set at an angle for a smooth, stable more responsive turn at higher speeds. Because of their naturally higher ride height you will often find these trucks either top mounted for that surfy feel or drop through mounted to set you lower for more control. Aside from Cruiser shaped decks these trucks are suited for all Longboard styles.

Double Kingpin

Double Kingpin trucks look like two standard trucks stacked on top of each other. This means there are two kingpins for an even tighter turning radius. These trucks are the most agile trucks you can buy for a longboard, with a smooth ride and loose feel for the ultimate carving trucks. These are not recommended for high speeds. Because of the loose feel they require more control and are harder to ride.

Truck Troubleshooting

How to Make Adjustments

  • To add stability to your trucks you can tighten the kingpin nut for a more controlled and wider turning radius. If you loosen your trucks you can get a tighter turning radius. Righty tighty, lefty loosy.
  • In addition to adjusting the tightness of the kingpin nut to control your truck’s ability to turn, you can switch up your bushings. If you want tighter trucks that have more stability, and a controlled turning radius go for a harder bushing. The density of the bushings affect the tightness of your truck turns. For a looser feel and tighter turning radius, a softer bushing is the way to go.
  • To avoid your wheels coming to a complete stop when they touch your board on a deep turn add Riser Pads for more ride height. They have varying thicknesses to fit any wheel size.

Common Things That Break and How to Replace Them

  • Blown out bushings – If you tighten your trucks too much you run the risk of exploding your bushings from the pressure. If this happens we recommend getting harder bushings.
    1. Replace them by removing the kingpin nut, top washer, and top bearing.
    2. Next remove the hanger and bottom bushing.
    3. Replace the bottom bushing with a new bushing. Set the base of the truck hanger into the pivot cup and feed it over the kingpin and new bottom bushing.
    4. Replace the top bushing with a new bushing and top with the top washer.
    5. While applying considerable pressure to the hanger, use your skate tool to re-thread the kingpin nut onto the kingpin.
  • Snapped Kingpin – This is rare, but it happens.
    1. Dismount your trucks from your board.
    2. Remove the kingpin nut, washers, bushings, and hanger.
    3. You should have a baseplate and half a kingpin sticking out at this point.
    4. Turn the baseplate over and either use your skate tool to remove it from the base. Alternatively, if you can’t remove the kingpin from underneath the baseplate, place the baseplate in a vice and line up the new kingpin on top of the broken one. With a hammer tap the new kingpin to push the broken kingping through the bottom of the baseplate.
  • Cracked Pivot Cup – If you’ve had your trucks for a few years sometimes these little guys will crack.
    1. Remove the kingpin nut, top washer, top bushing, and the hanger.
    2. Remove the old pivot cup from the baseplate.
    3. Set the base of the truck hanger into the pivot cup and feed it over the kingpin.
    4. Replace the top bushing and the top washer.
    5. While applying considerable pressure to the hanger, use your skate tool to re-thread the kingpin nut onto the kingpin.

Truck Maintenence

  • Make sure all your parts are in working order.
  • Do not store your board outside, water is your enemy.
  • If your trucks begin to stick when you turn, it’s time to replace the bushings.
  • If you allow your trucks to rust, if your hanger or axle snaps, if your hanger is worn down to your kingpin, or if your baseplate breaks it’s time to get new trucks.

Trucks at Shred

We carry all the top brands at ShredShop.com. Check out growing selection of Longboard Trucks and Parts to customize your ride or choose a Longboard Complete that’s ready to cruise the streets. Then sign up to become a team rider at ShredShop.com/enlist and start enjoying all the benefits of riding with us.