After you are satisfied with your longboard decks, it is time to select the best longboard trucks suited for your board. Longboard trucks are T-shaped metallic turning mechanism that connect the wheels to the deck. It is an extremely important component that can drastically affect your rides. Each longboard has 2 trucks measured by hanger width or axle width.
There is wide range of longboard trucks tailored to numerous styles of riding, therefore, in order to select your longboard trucks, understanding about main features constituting trucks is crucial. Today, we’re here to give you a thorough guide on how to choose your best trucks for longboards:
- Rule of thumb when choosing longboard trucks
- Trucks for different styles of riding and some recommendations
Be patient and read till the end.We truly believe you would know what it takes to bring home the perfect longboard truck.
Main features of longboard trucks
- Baseplate angle: The rectangular metal part which dictates the angle your hanger will sit at. The standard angle is 50 degrees, there are also other lower options such as 44 degrees and 40 degrees. As you can guess, baseplate angle relates to the height of your board. If your truck stands a taller baseplate angle (50- degree BA), it enables sharper turns with increased lean. On the other hand, a lower angle baseplate will give stability at higher speeds.
- Kingpin: The kingpin is simply a big pin that hold every part of the truck together, still, choosing the direction of your kingpin is important. Standard Kingpin and Reverse Kingpin are 2 main categories of trucks style.
– Standard Kingpin (SKP): It has the kingpinon the inside tucked away from the surface of the hanger. SKP doesn’t interfere grinds and tails so it is typically used for skateboarding tricks and slides.
– Reverse Kingpin (RKP): RKP is more common to longboard users because it is considered to have more grip and stability (2 most crucial features when it comes to longboarding). RKP trucks are going to ride a little bit taller and they have the kingpin facing outwards towards the nose and tail. RKP trucks give you more responsive board especially for carving, freeriding and downhill rides.
- Hanger/ Axle width: There are typically 2 hanger sizes 180mm and 150mm. And as stated previously, you will want the truck with to be similar to the width of deck.
- Bushing seat: Choosing bushing seat for your board is quite challenging sometimes. It is a small pocket in the middle of the hanger which dictates the board’s ability to turn. Awide, open, less restrictive will give your hanger more room to move around and give you lively and free carving. Whereas, a more restrictive bushing seat makes it more stable for high speed riding.
- Bushings: When you are buying trucks it is essential to buy bushings as well. Bushings are very small and cheap, but in returns, it makes huge influence on your feel when riding
– Shape: The bushing’s shape can change the feel of the bushing in the truck. There are 2 common type of bushings: Barrels are shaped to give more stability in fast ride. Cones are shaped to give you the deepest carve as possible.
– Durometer: Similar to wheels, bushings are measured in durometer, the lower the durometer is, the softer the bushings are.
Rule of thumb when choosing longboard trucks
When you step into a longboard store, there are going to be a lot of trucks for you to choose and it can be confusing at time. In the first place, follow these rule of thumb:
1. Longboard trucks are cry far different from standard skateboard trucks, longboard trucks are wider to handle the size of a longboard deck, so these 2 type of trucks can not be interchangeable.
2. As longboard truck is concerned, wider hanger gives more stability and greater control. On the other hand, the narrower provide better maneuverability and flexibility in turning. Commonly, you will want the truck width to be similar to the width of deck.
3. Many people are confusing when trucks are measured in inches and millimeters. Generally, when company measures trucks in inches, they are talking about the length of full axle. And when they measure in millimeters, it is just the length of hanger only.
THE BEST LONGBOARD TRUCK FOR CRUISING/CARVING
When it comes to cruising or commuting, it can be referred to means of transportation. It would be great a beautiful day cruising around town or travel to work or school. There are plenty of options for cruising trucks. The best way to find the best is choosing the trucks having the same width to the deck’s width, this would give you superior performing.
- Truck width: In general, a wider truck will be more stable but less responsive in motion. In contrast, a narrower truck is more responsive. Therefore, I would suggest a narrower truck for cruising. 9” or 150mm truck will be great. However, apart from my advice, you can also choose the 180mm truck for a certain stability.
- Kingpin: I would opt for the Reverse Kingpin because of the characteristic of longboarding: Grip and stability.
- Baseplate angle: Standard 50 degrees baseplate angle will be suitable for cruising, it provides sharper turns.
- Bushing seat: An open, unrestrictive seat enables sharp turns and carves with just small amount of force.
Here are some suggestions of 2 best cruising trucks I would like to present to you:
1. Randal R-11 180mm trucks
Recognized as a gold brand in longboard truck, a Randal truck won’t let any of cruiser down with some amazing features:
- Design to support multiple disciplines
- Great quality
- Unbelievable life time warranty
- Easily upgrade bushings
- 53⁰ or 47⁰ on the flip
Still, this truck has some limitation
- The bushing seat may be strange to some people
- Users may have to change to bushings for full potential
Put aside the limitation, this is still a great truck for its excellent quality and design. And another thing, everyone is extremely excited about Life time warranty, right? Learn more
2. Paris 150mm trucks
Paris trucks are top in the line in longboarding market and still preferred by many experienced cruiser around the world for high- quality trucks
- Perfectly suited for cruising
- Angle provides right balance and mobility
- Great leverage for the riders
Limitation: The only thing I have to complain about is this truck would provide a tighter turning radius which can make it harder for beginners. Learn more
THE BEST LONGBOARD TRUCK FOR FREERIDE/SLIDING
To anyone who doesn’t know, “Dancing” is nearly another name for freeride longboarding. As you can guess, freeriding is creative side of longboarding, it requires many of technical skills for riding at high speed styling it up with tricks, turns, down curbs. It is considered to be for expert riders, so there are many a lot of notices and requirement when choosing a freeride truck.
- Higher Baseplate Angle preferred: Some are doing well with a lower baseplate angle (40-50 degrees), but I highly recommend a taller (50-52 degrees) because that is going to give you a tall riding height with a lot of turns, which would be great for freeriding.
- Choose the Reverse Kingpin: When you are involved in freeriding, you will want a taller, responsive, divvy but still stable truck, so these are the things that a Reverse Kingpin truck would give you.
- Truck width: You should choose a 10” or 180mm truck ( Remember to get a truck closest to the deck width)
- Bushing seat: A tight bushing seat would give you a lively, responsive and stable enough when freeriding.
Today, we also bring you 2 great options of freeriding trucks. Believe me, these are all exceptional and reliable as well:
1. Gullwing X Munkae 183mm trucks
Over 35 years so far, Gullwing has been on the top for the best trucks in the market with no plans of backing down, this truck is one in a million masterpieces of this brand
This is truly precision longboard truck which offers superior quality compared to the cast trucks:
- Stronger, made from solid high quality Aluminum
- Replaceable axles
- More stable and balance
One thing I love about this truck and also differs Gullwing from other brands is about the material. Unlike cast trucks made of molten aluminum, this truck is the combination of CNC machined from aircraft aluminum with Stainless steel axles. It is so strong that the truck stands no chance to bend
In my opinion, this truck just shows one and only drawback: It is about the price, literally unaffordable price for many people, but to all these amazing features it composes, it can be reasonable. Learn more
2. Caliber Trucks II 50 degree RKP longboard Trucks
With numerous extraordinary trucks made of brushed aluminum, Caliber has built up their reputation in longboarding market
- Ultra bearings provide the most responsive board
- Increased contact area with bushing
- Consistent lean and proper clearance.
From my perspective, the coolest thing about this truck is that its outer- step can fit perfectly with any bushings. In addition, To top it all off, Caliber created a new in-house treatment process to strengthen each truck by as much as 40%. And it is completely affordable, good price and you have a good truck
Again, I have to tell that every truck has its unavoidable drawbacks:
- The bushing is rather soft which can sometimes make it hard to keep balance. However, you can replace for a better one
- The truck can be easily scratched up so user should be careful.
CHOOSING BEST DOWNHILL TRUCK
Apart from cool tricks, street cruising, downhill riding is totally a different level of longboarding which is all about maintaining control when bombing downhill. You will need some trucks that keep you in balance. So the requirement about Kingpin and Baseplate Angle is important.
- Get Reverse Kingpin: Definitely, 100%, you need a RKP if you don’t want to be blown away from the ground. RKP offers a lot of control and stability at speed. That’s all you need when riding at high speed
- 50 degrees baseplate angle is recommended. A lower angle ( around 40 degrees) may give you more stability, but for the risk of wheelbite, 50 degrees is good choice.
- Choose a restrictive bushing seat for stability.
Here are 2 extraordinary options of downhill trucks which won’t let you down:
1. Ronin Cast 180mm trucks
Ronin has stood out in longboard market nowadays for its unique design, high precision truck quality and surprisingly at affordable price
- Low center of gravity gives maximum stability at high speed
- Easy to interchange the part of cast with precision counterpart
- Affordable price
One special thing about this truck is that you can interchange a cast counterpart with a precision one for a perfect version. Learn more
2. Bear Grizzly 852 trucks
Among the best longboard trucks in the market, the Bear Grizzly is probably the most unique with the truck mounted in 2 separate direction facing both way. In addition:
- Truck lowers turning radius for more stability and comfort
- Perfect downhill machine
- Cheap truck but great perform
The only thing that I complain about is these trucks is kind of typically come with big wheel cut- out which is hard to turn, but once you catch up with the speed, they does really good job!
Choosing best longboard trucks is literally the most important and confusing task as well. Therefore, be wise and make the right decision. We believe that if you have go through this guide till this point, you will have all the information and tips to get yourself the best of the best. We hope you would satisfied with your smart choice. And now, you should read “How to choose best longboard wheels“