How To Set Up Skateboard Trucks
Setting up skateboard trucks correctly is key for the performance of your board and better skating.
What Are Skateboard Trucks?
Skateboard trucks are the hardware which attach your wheels to your skateboard deck. They keep you stable and rolling smoothly as you carve turns on the streets or at your local skate park.
Skateboard trucks come in different sizes and should be chosen and adjusted to suit your board and your riding style. They are made up of an axle, hangar, kingpin and kingpin nut, bushings and a baseplate. For more information on the various types of trucks, check out our dedicated guide on “How To Choose Skateboard Trucks”.
Read on to learn how to install or change skateboard trucks.
How To Install Skateboard Trucks
Removing and installing a new set of skateboard trucks is a straightforward process that follows the few steps outlined below.
The biggest question people have when installing skateboard trucks is, “Which way do the trucks face on a skateboard, inwards or outwards?”
The answer depends on the type of truck you’re installing:
- Standard kingpin trucks face inwards
- Reverse kingpin trucks face outwards
Once attached, you can tweak the settings on your trucks to find the settings that feel best to you. The next question people usually ask is, “Should skateboard trucks be loose or tight?”
- “Tight trucks” mean that the board makes wider turns and prioritizes stability over maneuverability.
- “Loose trucks” mean that the board makes smaller turns and prioritizes maneuverability over stability.
Every skater has unique settings to match their riding style, however, beginners can benefit from the stability of tight trucks until they feel more comfortable balancing on and pushing their skateboard.
How To Take Trucks Off a Skateboard
The following steps will guide you through removing your old trucks:
- Turn your board onto its side and grab your skate tool.
- Use the Philips head or Allen key to hold the screw in place and loosen the nut with the skate tool.
- Loosen all four nuts and remove the truck and screws.
- Repeat this process with the remaining truck.
Attaching New Trucks
The following steps will guide you through attaching your standard trucks to your skateboard:
- Place your truck on the bottom of the board with the kingpin facing inwards. If attaching reverse kingpin trucks, ensure that the kingpin nut is facing outwards towards the nose or tail.
- Line up the holes in the baseplate of the truck with the holes in the skateboard deck.
- Thread your four screws through the holes with the head of the screw anchored into the top of the board.
- Tighten the screws down one at a time using the nuts provided in your hardware kit.
- Tighten the screws enough so that the head of the screws are not above the level of the grip tape. The trucks should be secure, but do not overtighten as this can lead to pressure cracks in the skateboard deck.
- Repeat this process with the remaining truck.
Now your skateboard is set up and ready to roll.
Adjusting Nuts & Bolts
There are three nuts on your skateboard that you can adjust to find the perfect settings for your riding style:
- The kingpin nut which determines if your trucks are “loose” or “tight.”
- The two axle nuts which determine how smoothly your wheels will roll.
Axle nuts should be tight enough to stop the wheels from moving around on the axle, but not to the point where they affect the wheel’s ability to spin freely.
All wheels should have washers between both the hangar and the axle nut to allow them to spin with the most efficiency.
Here are a few things you should check before going for a test ride:
- Is the hardware tightened so that the heads of the screws are flush with the grip tape and the trucks are secured to the skateboard deck?
- Are the axle nuts tightened so that the wheels can spin freely but cannot move along the axle?
- Is the kingpin nut loose enough to give you the maneuverability you want and tight enough to avoid wheel bite?
Once you’ve answered the questions above, it’s time to go for a test ride. Check that:
- You can turn comfortably.
- There isn’t a rubbing mark on the bottom of your deck from your skateboard wheels.
- There are no rattling sounds from loose hardware.
- Both trucks give you the feel you’re looking for.
Make adjustments to the kingpin nut as needed. It’s rare to have the perfect settings right out the box for a new set of skateboard trucks.
How To Put Longboard Trucks on a Skateboard
To turn your street skateboard into a cruiser you can install longboard trucks and bigger wheels.
It’s possible to use street skateboarding wheels, however, if your goal is to create a cruiser, it’s best to install quality bearings and bigger wheels.
To install longboard trucks on your skateboard you will need:
- A skate tool
- 2 x longboard trucks
- 4 x quality bearings
- 2 x riser pads
- Longer skate hardware
- 4 x longboard wheels
Installing longboard trucks is done with the same process as installing standard skateboard trucks. Note if your longboard trucks are standard or reverse kingpin to determine which way they should face.
Skateboard trucks are one of the key components of your complete setup and come in a variety of sizes. After reading this guide you should be able to install new skateboard trucks on your deck.
For details on selecting the right trucks, check out our dedicated article on “How To Choose Skateboard Trucks”.