When skateboarding first became popular, trucks were simply stolen off roller skates and fastened to what were basically small surfboards. Thankfully, the sport has evolved a lot since those days, and we don’t see riders stealing longboard parts from roller skates anymore.
These days, there are two primary truck types:
The first is a standard kingpin truck like classic Independent Trucks (or just about anything you see on mini-cruisers). It has a sharp turning angle designed for small wheelbases and it allows for quick turns as well as easier slides. These trucks have a lower level of stability.
Then there are reversed kingpin trucks such as classic Bear Trucks and Paris Trucks, which are angled more toward stability and often feature different baseplate options to find the right balance of turning and stability.
Baseplates with a higher degree will provide more turning leverage and baseplates with a lower degree are more stable. A great example of a truck with multiple baseplate options is the Caliber 50 degree or Caliber 44 degree. The higher number (Caliber 50 degree) is aimed at maneuverability in freeriding for easier slides and the lower number (Caliber 44 degree) is aimed at stability in downhill. Many different truck companies feature multiple baseplate angles so go ahead and look around.
Another factor that contributes to a truck’s turning radius is width. As a general rule, the narrower the truck, the faster it will turn. This is why many longboard pintails feature a smaller width truck for sharp turning radiuses and why downhill models feature wider trucks for stability.
For more advanced riders, a precision truck is the next step. And the choice between cast and precision is obvious to anyone that has ever felt the difference between the two sliding at speeds over 30 miles per hour and gripping corners in excess of 50 miles per hour.
Choosing the right truck is critical to your set up and ultimately to your ride, so go ahead and drop us a line or give us a call if you have any questions about the products in our truck lineup.