Related post: The Skateboard Deck.
Following on from my breakdown of a skateboard, I’ll be looking at the trucks/axles. Trucks consist of a few basic components: the baseplate, the kingpin, bushings and the hanger.
The baseplate is the part of the truck that fits directly onto the deck (touches the board). It is bolted on with four deck bolts, which should be tightened securely enough so that the baseplate does not move.
The bushings (or rubbers) are small, specially designed parts made from a rubber and urethane compound that allows for turning, cushioning and some shock absorption. They are indispensible to you enjoying your skating, and are a key component. They are available in different degrees of hardness and are designed to fit around the kingpin on either side of the hanger, and into the baseplate.
The kingpin is a bolt that runs from the baseplate through the bushings and part of the hanger. It is secured with a washer and size 14 nut. It holds the bushings and hanger in position. The tightening and loosening of the kingpin bolt will affect the trucks. The tighter, the harder it is to turn on your board, but it can aid with stability if not set too tight, as some movement is desirable. The looser, the more responsive, but this does take some getting used to. I have my trucks set quite loosely, but would recommend medium tightness for those starting out.
(A way of checking tightness is to stand on your board and lean onto your toes or heels. If two wheels life off the ground quite easily then they are too tight. If your hanger wobbles or your wheels touch your board when turning, they might be too loose).
The hanger is the upper part of the truck that the wheels are attached to. It can vary in size, but is usually made in two sizes: 5.0 inches or 7.5 inches. The 5.0 inch hanger is suitable for boards up to 8 inches in width, but I would recommend a 7.5 inch hanger for anything wider. Keep in mind that a bigger board with bigger trucks is heavier so certain tricks will require more effort.
Unless you are a beginner I would recommend paying that little bit extra and investing in a decent set of trucks. It’s the one part of the skateboard that you shouldn’t skimp on. Good trucks are reliable and strong, and they offer a more predictable response. Also, if you manage to get a decent set, you won’t need to replace them very often.
Trucks are sold as a complete set, therefore they come in a pair complete with baseplates, bushings, kingpins and hangers. Bushings and kingpins can be bought separately, but baseplates and hangers almost always come together. Look out for brands such as Independent, Venture, Tensor, Thunder and Royal as they will guarantee good quality.
Enjoy your ride!
** Check us out in this Street Skateboarding video.