If you’ve had your board for a while or your ride is feeling a bit off, there might be a chance that your skateboard trucks need replacing.
A well-used board is going to carry a lot of ‘character’, and those jumps, grinds, rails, and flips are going to leave their mark and can affect the performance of your trucks.
The quality, state, and performance of your trucks are all utterly crucial. It would not be an overstatement to say this is the most important component, as trucks are often what stands between you and a gnarly fall.
To remind any newbies reading this, your trucks are what steer your board. They are made up of a base plate, hanger (which attaches to your wheels), and kingpins and nuts that hold those two things together. There are also components called axles, bushings, washers, and speed rings.
That’s a lot of features on one crucial ‘device’, working hard to keep you going in the direction you‘re aiming at!
You can adjust your skateboarding trucks using a T-tool, to make your turns easier or harder. Whatever suits your riding style or to make a new deck match your preference.
How long skateboard trucks last varies
A lot depends on the quality of your deck, and what you do with it. As well as the sort of surfaces you regularly ride across, and how many times your board hits the ground.
As it’s a massively important safety feature, the best board manufacturers build trucks to last for several years, and to stand up to premier action. That’s not to say, though, that your skate trucks are set for your board’s lifetime!
Signs skateboard trucks are failing
You don’t want the first clue to be a major fall, so here’s how to know your skateboard trucks need replacing:
The longer you ride, the more likely you are to know every nuance of your board. It becomes an extension of your own body. If you haven’t recently made adjustments but detect something ‘off’ with it (like hesitation in turning or a slight wobble that affects balancing), check your trucks.
A rough or skewed performance from your board is not the only way to know new skateboard trucks are needed. Hours spent riding gives you a strong sense of the sounds your board makes in every turn and trick too.
A truck that’s under strain or starting to erode may well start to ‘talk to you’. Squeaking, creaking, or rattling noises may mean there’s a problem with your suspension joints. It’s worth checking if your bushes or bearings need to be replaced or lubed too. Giving your trucks a bit of an MOT if they start to make noise might save you the cost of having to replace them entirely.
The odd scuff, scratch and indentation can be standard for trucks on a skateboard deck that’s well-used and much loved. When you start to see cracks and major dents on your trucks, it’s a red flag you can’t afford to ignore. They can also look warped, meaning they don’t line up properly.
Pay special attention to the kingpins too – when one of those bad boys snaps, so could one of your bones when you hit the floor!
Feel your trucks
While a less-than-smooth ride is a major clue, make sure to also run your fingers across the metalwork of your trucks to see if there are any rough and cracked areas that suggest excessive wear and tear.
Lastly, while on the topic of ‘touch’, make sure you don’t use a heavy touch when tightening kingpins to adjust turn factors. That can put this vital component and your truck bushings under pressure, leaving you at risk of a ride in an ambulance!
If ever in doubt about your skateboard trucks, visit your local skate shop and get expert advice.
Need to replace your trucks?
If you are in need of a new set of skateboard trucks, here are a few we recommend from brands that we’ve tried and tested over the years:
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