There are few debates in skateboarding as futile as the drama surrounding how tight trucks should be. Worst-case scenario: The kingpin nut must be threaded all the way to the newloc, according to the unstable truck crew. On the other side, the stiff-truck posse insists they need the stability of crushed bushings. That being the case, who do you think is correct?
That’s a simple question, and the answer is obvious. It’s a consensus. It’s up to you how tight you want your truck to be. If you’re the only one who will be riding it, then customize it to your liking. On the other hand, there are a few things to consider when adjusting your trucks. Before we go into things, let’s get some basics out of the way.
How to Adjust Truck Tightness
Most skateboard hardware may be adjusted by tightening the nuts on the truck and axle bolts. Adjusting the kingpin is more subjective. There’s no way to get the nut perfectly level in one go. All you need is a 9/16-inch (14mm) wrench and a nice stretch of open pavement.
First, simply stand on the board and move your weight from the heel to the toe of the deck. When you push on the edges, the board should give. The trucks pivot, allowing you to steer. In this case, release the kingpin bolts on both trucks, but make sure the nylon strip still contacts the threads. Tighten the kingpin nuts if the deck touches the wheels in full lean.
Then push off and roll. Lean to turn (forward or back) and press harder to tighten the turn. Your board should stop leaning further without striking the wheels. Change directions while focusing on your turning ability. Turn the board around and skate with your back foot on the nose.
It’s entirely up to you how tight or loose the trucks are. The only thing that matters is that they are both tightened. If the front and back trucks are not as tight, it will be noticeable when riding off the nose. So, tweak the trucks till you can’t tell front from back.
When to Tighten Up
When it comes to vehicle adjustments, speed is the most important factor to keep in mind. Depending on how quickly you intend to ride, the tighter your trucks should be. In order to avoid the feared speed wobbles, tight trucks help maintain stability at greater speeds. For the sake of your safety, tighten your trucks if you plan on riding downhill or hitting the vert ramp.
When it comes to big drops, tight trucks come in helpful. To avoid wheel bite, tight trucks should be used. As a general rule, you don’t want to slow down at the end of a long jump. To avoid this, make sure the trucks are properly tightened.
Skaters of various skill levels have different needs when it comes to truck setup. It is easier to hang your heel off the edge of a skateboard with tighter trucks, such as during a kickflip setup. Try tightening your trucks if you’re having trouble staying online while preparing for flip tricks.
Tight trucks, on the other hand, are significantly gentler on the ankles than their looser counterparts. Some foot and ankle injuries can be avoided if you drive in a tight truck. After a foot or ankle injury, tight trucks might help you get back on your board faster.
When to Loosen Up
Tight vehicles are usually a hindrance. They limit your ability to pivot and line up on obstacles. If you frequently have to press down on the tail when turning, loosen the kingpin nut.
Loosening tight trucks helps improve your skating flow. Skating becomes easier and more carefree without needing to tic-tac up to obstacles or tilt dramatically as you roll away. Loosen your trucks if your style is rigid.
Loose trucks also overlook poor landings. Any pro’s video section will show them landing slightly off-balance after a gap or rail. They can still do it because they reflexively press on the board to make it roll out in a straight manner. This trick-saving approach requires loose vehicles. The tighter the trucks, the better the landing.
When skating transition, your trucks must be tight. Trucks should be tighter the higher the transition walls. However, concrete skateparks often offer a variety of transitions. The only limit to a skatepark’s lines is your imagination, but you must be able to carve.
Speed wobbles can occur regardless of the tightness or looseness of your trucks, as long as you’re driving faster than you can push. Tight vehicles are more dangerous than loose ones most of the time. The more compact the truck, the smaller the turning radius will be. As a result, narrow vehicles can make it difficult to drive when something needs to be avoided.
It’s common for skaters to prefer trucks that are somewhere in the middle. Almost everyone’s taste in truck modification changes over time as their skating improves and progresses. Skateboarding is about discovering your own own style.
The only people you should listen to when it comes to your trucks are the ones who are telling you that they are too tight or too loose. Let your own personal taste guide you.