According to latest figures, skateboarding is a whooping 4.8 billion dollar market. Over 11 million people report that they enjoy skateboarding frequently. Out of that population, close to 93% are 24 years and below. Those figures are clear indications of how the young population is willing to invest in this sport. In fact, by 2014, the average price of skateboarding shoes was $42.47 and over 40% of skateboarders were reported to use the full skateboarding gear and equipment.
One such equipment is a set of skateboard trucks. For the sake of those who don’t know, Best skateboard trucks are T-shaped metal pieces that are mounted on the skateboard’s underside. They keep the board’s bearings and wheels securely attached to the deck.
Therefore, with a great set of skateboard trucks, you can avoid being one of the 3 in every 1000 participants (of the sport) who visit the doctor every year.
How to Choose the Best Skateboard Trucks
As mentioned already, the best skateboard trucks will guarantee you safety. In addition to that, they will keep your skateboard in good condition for a very long time and they will also make it easy for you to perform tricks. But how can you ensure that the trucks you buy are the best? Well, here is a brief buying guide for you. Bear in mind that over 77% of skateboarders buy their equipment and parts online and in small local stores rather than in sporting goods stores.
Therefore, the store is not as a major factor as the features of the trucks. Below are the considerations that you should make.
Best Skateboard trucks are made up of various components. They are listed below. Make sure the set you settle for has each one of them (or at least as many as possible).
# Base-plate: this is the flat part of your truck. It mounts directly to the skate’s deck and ensures a secure hold. It comes with four or six mounting holes. Make sure they match the deck’s insert holes.
# Kingpin: holds the whole skateboard together. It should be made of a strong material that cannot break easily.
# Bushings: they support the truck’s many pieces during the skating session. Therefore, they absorb shock that comes from twists and turns. Bushings can be soft, medium, or hard. Soft ones make it easy to twist and turn (and thus perform tricks) medium ones are decently responsive while hard ones are easy to control.
# Hanger: is a T-shaped area that is made of aluminum alloy. Wheels are attached on either side of the hanger and the kingpin runs up its interior to interlock with bushings. When you are skating, it will be in direct contact with curbs and rails and thus it should e durable enough.
# Risers: these are small rectangular pieces of plastic or rubber. They are usually very hard and they elevate the skate higher off the ground, decrease its vibrations, and absorb impact. A riser is usually punched with six screw holes for fitting it on either a small or long skate board.
The truck profile refers to the distance between the bottom of the skate deck and the hanger. There are three categories of profiles:
# Low (50 to 53 mm): these are meant for boards with small wheels. They provide extra stability and are suitable for flip tricks.
# Mid (53 to 56 mm): these are good for street or park skateboarding.
# High (over 56 mm): are good for boards with large wheels. They cruise well and are perfect for long boards and cruisers.
The size of a truck is measured either by its hanger width or axle width. The two (axle and hanger) determine how far apart the board’s wheels will be. The general rule is that the difference between the width of the axle and that of the deck should be as small as possible (plus or minus a quarter of an inch). That way the skateboard will be very stable.
The material used to make a truck determines how well it can cruise and flip. Whereas a good material will allow you to have full control over the board, a bad one can result in poor performance due to resistance and grinding. The best trucks are made of aluminum base-plate and hanger with steel axles. Such trucks are good enough for almost any tricks. Other materials include titanium and magnesium.
Other factors that you can put at the back of your mind include:
# The cost: your budget will determine the quality of your skateboard trucks because generally high-end trucks last longer and perform better than low-priced ones. However, that is not to say that cheap skateboard trucks will not serve you well. The only problem is that they might not be as durable as expensive ones.
# The Brand: 71% of skateboarders don’t buy their equipment from the most reputable brands (because of their high cost). However, they still enjoy the value offered by little known brands.
My List of Recommended Skateboard Trucks
Regardless of that, I highly recommend that you get yours from the best manufacturer because the best skateboard trucks will offer you an unimaginable experience during your skating sessions. Below are five skateboard trucks from which you can choose.
These are some of the most durable yet easy to control skateboard trucks available in the market. Its baseplate and hanger are made of aluminum while the axle is made of steel and that is why the whole truck is extremely durable.
As far as performance goes, they turn incredibly well and grind very smoothly. They are very stable and can be used by people who are heavier than average. The stability also means that they allow you to flip the board easily. You can use them in street cruising or in a park without any problem.
These mid-profile trucks are meant for a deck that measures anything from 7.4″ to 8″. If you are using the wheel size then use this truck with a 55mm wheel.
Contrary to the Independent above, these ones are low profile trucks that have a 7.75″ axle. If tricks and stunts are your thing then the light weight of these trucks will be the advantage that you need to expand your skills. At only 2 pounds, even an amateur skateboarder can easily flip the board.
Their performance is boosted by the fact that they are very stable. In fact, their low profile makes them great for beginners because you won’t be high up above the ground when you are skateboarding. That means you can focus your attention on learning tricks rather than on balancing.
One thing that is worth noting is that this is not a cruiser truck. Its low profile makes it unsuitable for high speed cruising but great for stunts and tricks.
Thunder has a reputation for manufacturing great trucks and this one is no exception. It is designed for very quick response so that you can have full control of your skateboard. Generally speaking, it reacts faster than most other trucks.
Its light yet strong design is another advantage because it allows you to cruise and perform tricks without worrying about defects. Speaking of cruising, I should mention that this is a high profile truck and therefore it performs very well where high speed is concerned. In fact, you won’t feel any wobbling even when you are cruising on a slope.
The truck is suitable for any deck that measures 7.75 to about 8.25 inches. It comes with washers.
These trucks are available in a variety of colors (including white, black, blue, and purple). Their baseplates and hangers are made of aluminum alloy for durability and strength. Therefore, they can withstand rough daily use and serve you for a very long time.
With regards to design and suitability, these trucks come with wheel spacers (not bearings) and can be used with a board that measures anything between 7.25 and 8.5 inches. The good thing is that you can use them with standard wheels and they will work perfectly.
You should definitely consider these if you are on a tight budget because although they are cheap skateboard trucks, they can easily outperform some high-priced brands in terms of quality.
Tensor’s Low Aluminum skateboard trucks have the 5.0 in their title because each one has a 5.0″ black hanger. They are premium trucks that feature a highly reduced weight (because they have been constructed with light weight aluminum) and a low ride height. The two features give these trucks superior sliding capabilities.
If you fancy custom logos then the Tensor graphic that is imprinted on the baseplate will excite you. The quality of these trucks is top-notch. They are great for raw grinding and fast turning.
Although the manufacturer recommends that you use these trucks with a board that measures between 7.0″ – 7.5″, you can actually use them with an even bigger board (up to 8″) without any problems.
So there you have it – my comprehensive guide on the best skateboard trucks. Remember that trucks can make the difference between who learns great skills and who doesn’t. They also play a role in determining who visits the doctor frequently due to skateboarding accidents and who stays safe.
If your interest is to enjoy skateboarding and safety at the same time then you should get one of the five trucks that I have reviewed above. I have considered everything from price to profile just so that I can ensure there is something for you. so choose one that suits you the most and enjoy skateboarding.