Skateboard trucks are arguably the most important part of a skateboard setup. They control how easily you turn, can cause dreaded “speed wobbles” if installed incorrectly, and can have a huge impact on the smoothness and ease of grind tricks.
Compared to other skateboard parts like decks and wheels, trucks are relatively complicated and have many factors to consider.
Bushings are the two colored rubber rings that are under the main bolt of the truck (kingpin). These bushings can be either harder or softer depending on the skater’s style and interests.
This level of hardness is measured on the durometer scale from 1-100. Typically harder bushings are better for complex technical tricks, whereas softer bushings are better for casual rider who just like cruising around and smooth, effortless turns.
Bushings can also be shaped slightly differently, however, I don’t feel like it really makes a difference in the actual skating experience.
Kingpins are the long main bolt that runs through the entire truck and hold everything together. You can tighten or loosen the nut on the top of the kingpin to adjust how “loose” the trucks are (how easily they turn).
From time to time kingpins may break, but they are easily replaceable and you typically don’t need completely new trucks if this occurs.
It’s very important to buy the correct size trucks for your deck to avoid speed wobbles and other poor performance issues. A general rule of thumb for the most stable setup is to keep the truck width within 1/2 an inch of the board size.
As an example, for a 7.75-inch deck, you should get trucks between 7.25-8.25 inches; although 7.75 would be ideal.
Some skateboard trucks offer different versions of high, medium, and low trucks. These heights are the distance from the wheel axle to the deck.
It’s also important to have appropriately sized wheels for your truck height or you risk having “wheel bite” when you have very large trucks on a set of low trucks.
High Trucks are best for large wheels (55mm+) and bigger decks. Some high trucks can even be used for longboards depending on the deck width.
Medium Trucks are what we see most commonly on skateboards today. This is a very versatile height that’s great for both street and vert skating.
The recommended wheel size for medium height trucks is generally 52-54mm, however, there tends to be a bit more leeway in this range.
Low Trucks are ideal for hardcore street skaters and complex flip trick junkies. The lower center of gravity and smaller wheels allow the board to flip faster and gives the board more time in the air to complete flips and rotations before landing.
The best wheel size for low trucks tends to be in the 48-52mm range and harder wheels are typically better for this skating style.
Trucks today can either be solid or hollow, which greatly impacts the truck’s durability and weight.
Steel, titanium, aluminum, or magnesium is molded to make the truck itself, and each material has its own characteristics when it comes to weight, durability, and how well it grinds.
They allow you to add some height to your trucks if you are having wheel bite issues or just want to add more leverage or “pop” to your tricks.
Risers can also lessen the impact that your deck takes and reduce the occurrence of pressure cracks and board breaks, especially if you routinely skate large stair sets or gaps.
Best Skateboard Trucks and Brand Reviews
Havoc has been around for a while now and has continually provided decent quality, reasonably priced trucks. These skateboard trucks are no exception as they are super lightweight and very affordable.
Perfect trucks or beginners or casual skaters who don’t do many grind tricks. If you are a more advanced skater, I would look into the more high-end brands as they tend to be much more durable and less prone to breakage during grind and slides.
Caliber is one of the best caliber (excuse the pun) trucks on the market according to the near-perfect Amazon rating by verified buyers.
There are LOTS of options for this set of trucks. 17 color options are available and you can buy them with or without Bones Red bearings. This set of trucks from Caliber is a huge update from previous versions.
The inner-step is enhanced and that gives an increased contact area with the bushing. That, in turn, gives you a higher rebound and responsiveness. They also increased the pivot cup surface area contact with the baseplate for a snugger fit for the pivot pin.
As if that was not enough, Caliber has designed a new steel treatment process that strengthens each truck by as much as 40% over the previous models.
Independent is one of the most recognizable and iconic brands in skateboarding when it comes to trucks. They are not the lightest truck on the market, but they sure are built to stand the test of time.
More professionals have ridden Indies than any other brand to date.
You’ll never go wrong with their classic raw stage 11’s, just make sure to get the right size for your deck! 129’s will work for decks that are 7.5-8.0″ and 139’s should be perfect for anything between 8.0-8.5″
Very comparable to Independent, Thunder trucks is a well know ground roots truck brand that also sponsors many pros and skateboarding events.
They have both high and low height trucks available depending on your skate style and wheel size and also have a few custom painted options for those who are bored with just plain silver.
These trucks for built to last and are made for grinds. If you’re willing to pay a few extra dollars, Thunders are perfect for skaters of all skill levels and ages.
Krux skateboard trucks have been a solid lightweight truck choice for many years. Krux trucks tend to turn and grind very smoothly due to the lowered kingpin.
However, there is a tradeoff to the very light weight of Krux trucks; they don’t last as long as Independent and other heavy trucks.
It all comes down to your personal skate style, if you want the best performance and lightest setup then Krux would be a great choice for you. If you are more concerned with longevity and durability, I would try a different brand.
Very durable and heavy trucks. Great for beginner or casual skaters who want high-quality trucks for a stable and smooth ride. However, the Destructo truck pictured here is the Magnesium Destructo D1 Tony Cervantes Skull.
It’s a higher-end product featuring hollow point kingpins and thermo-hardened axles. It also features a lifetime guarantee!
One negative aspect is the stock bushings that these trucks come with may be too firm, but they can be easily replaced with a different set using a skate tool, bushings, and a set of hardware.
A very low priced option that is a great place to start if you are new to skateboarding. CCS trucks have been around since 1985, so they have lots of experience in quality truck construction.
Sure, they may not last as long as the more expensive brands, but they are also more than half the cost so replacement won’t typically be a big deal if the trucks break or you want to upgrade.
By far the lightest truck on the market today. Venture trucks are great for technical flip tricks and grinds, however, Venture kingpins are prone to breakage more than other brands due to their weight.
These are great for advanced skaters who are trying to push the limits on new tricks and don’t mind buying new trucks often if they continually have the best performance.
Here’s a set of 2 very durable and lightweight cast-aluminum trucks from Bullet. The turn geometry is very stable. These trucks feature washer-less baseplate bottom cushion seats. These high grade, no-slip axles have a grade 8 button head kingpin.
I would classify this as a very middle of the road set of trucks. They’re moderately priced and feature overall average performance and durability. You won’t be disappointed with buying Bullet trucks, but there are much better (and more expensive) options on the market (and on this list).
Paris Street offers another strong and durable set of trucks that are built to last longer than a year or two. They’re made with virgin aluminum (not recycled) using the T6 heat-treatment process.
They’re grade 8 steel axles with pressed-in kingpins for added durability and strength.
These trucks have a 57.15mm axle height for better clearance and they reduce unwanted wheelbite. The 90a urethane bushings are made here in the USA. The 6-hole baseplate is compatible with old-school and newer mounting options.
Finally, Paris offers a very welcome lifetime warranty!