Longboarding is an adrenaline-pumping outdoor sport. Young people across the world find this sport as a way of getting exhilarating and liberating experiences. Whether you are a new or a seasoned longboarder, keep in mind that the components of your longboard are quite important to make your longboarding experience enjoyable and entertaining. Longboards are built by assembling different components. Longboard trucks are one such important component. In this article, I would like to limit my discussion only to longboard trucks so that you know what size of longboard trucks are ideal for you.
What Are Longboard Trucks?
Don’t think that longboard trucks are simple components. To choose your right longboard trucks, first know this component more closely.
Longboard trucks are T-shaped metal parts that are fixed beneath the longboard deck and wheels are attached to these components. Every longboard comes with one pair of longboard trucks. One for the nose part of the deck and another for the tail part. Although the skateboard trucks and longboard trucks serve the same purpose, but they are not the same thing which means they are not interchangeable. Why they are not the same thing is easily understandable. Since longboard decks are wider than that of skateboards, longboard trucks are wider in contrast to skateboard trucks. There is a wide variety of longboard trucks available in the market. To choose your longboard trucks amidst such variations, you need to consider two things with much importance. These two things are truck width and kingpin which is a component of a longboard truck.
As a general rule, the truck width should be identical to the deck’s width. If you purchase a longboard where the deck width is close to the truck’s width, you will enjoy a supreme longboarding experience. This is due to the fact that longboards that come with equal width deck and trucks, the leveraging point of the longboard gets properly aligned with the wheels and trucks. If there is a difference between decks and trucks in terms of width, one way to compensate for this difference is to attach the truck that is wider to the wider side of the deck.
To understand the longboard truck width, you need to understand the different components of a truck. These components are
These are the truck’s pivot bolt. There are two types of kingpins-standard kingpin and reverse kingpins. These kingpins are firmly fixed behind the hanger. Standard kingpins are ideal for riding longboards on the street. Standard kingpins don’t allow longboarders to perform different tricks.
Most models of longboards feature reverse kingpin. They are highly controllable since they are more stable at high speed and quite responsive at high speed. Reverse kingpins allow longboarders to enjoy any type of longboarding like cruising, downhill, or freestyle riding.
This component joins the longboard deck to the truck. The baseplate maintains an angle when it is fixed with the deck. If the longboard uses a reverse kingpin, this angle is higher which is 50 degrees. This kind of higher angle makes the longboard ideal for carving, slow freeride, or freestyle riding. To sum up, a higher angle between decks and trucks makes the board highly responsive.
There is a pair of bushings on each side of the hanger. These are small grommets that keep the hanger in the center position of the tuck and provides inertia while the trucks take a turn. This component provides Cushing to other components of the trucks. If the bushing is harder, the truck will be stiffer. Which in turn makes the turning of riders harder. Bushing needs to be softer to make the trucks more responsive.
It is like a pocket that occupies the middle section of the hanger. It controls the truck’s ability to turn. There are different types of bushing seats available. Bushing seats that are quite wide provide the hanger part plenty of space to move freely which lets longboarders display lively carving. And the busing seats that don’t facilitate hanger to move around are good for making the board highly stable at high speed.
It’s a T shaped aluminum alloy shaft that attaches the wheels to the truck. Two important things regarding hanger. Wider hangers make the longboard highly stable and let the longboarders to get more control over their ride. Narrower hangers are ideal for enjoying more agility and maneuverability and displaying spectacular tricks.
Understanding longboard truck width is somewhat a confusing thing for many longboarders- both novice and experienced. One reason why things are not clear in this case is different manufacturers of longboards don’t maintain a uniform measurement scale. Some manufacturers refer trucks width in inches, while some refer it in millimeters. If the truck’s width is expressed in inches, it means it is the length of the axle component of the truck. On the other hand, if millimeter is used as a measurement unit, it indicates the width of the hanger.
So the summary of this long discussion that is what size of longboard trucks are preferable. Something like wider trucks will come with a wider hanger or axle that will make a longboard highly stable. While narrower trucks though make the board less stable but in return, they will make the longboard more responsive.