If you’ve read our post on buying a beginner skateboard, you may be the proud owner of a new skateboard (hopefully you’ve got it from your local skate shop). You’ve used our skateboard sizing tool to make sure it’s the right size for you before you bought it. So what next?
Even if you’ve chosen the right size board, the trucks are not necessarily set up for you out of the box. Everyone is different weights and different shoe sizes, and even your desired riding style may affect how you adjust your trucks. The bushings (the rubber discs in the trucks) may also be softer in some setups than others.
Are my trucks too loose?
If the trucks on your skateboard are too loose, you will wobble when you pick up moderate speed. You might get wheel bite (which is when the wheel rubs against the board). You should tighten your trucks. Be wary of going down any hills if you feel you might be in this camp. Many an aspiring skateboarder has taken a slam going down a hill with loose trucks, and haven’t felt confident enough to get back on board again.
Are my trucks too tight?
If your trucks are too tight you won’t be able to turn in a tight circle. Why would you need loose trucks? Well, looser trucks are more forgiving. When you are losing your balance, loose trucks will permit a tighter turning circle, meaning it’s more likely you can steer the board back under your centre of gravity. Tight trucks will make it harder to steer the board back underneath you, and you’ll need to step off to avoid falling to the ground. You need to loosen your trucks.
Test and adjust your trucks
Try setting up a slalom course, and try and carve around the cones. Start with wide gaps between the cones and gradually move the cones closer together to improve your carving.
How to adjust the trucks
To adjust skateboard trucks, get a skate tool, or a spanner, and adjust the kingpin. The kingpin is the largest nut on the truck. Turn clockwise to tighten, and anti-clockwise to loosen. Adjust your trucks about a quarter turn each time. Then try your slalom again. Ensure you have a few goes before making further adjustments so you can get past the initial disruption of the change. If you’re not happy, make another quarter turn adjustment until you feel it is right for you.
What if the trucks are still too stiff/loose after adjusting?
It could be you have cheap components in your skateboard. You could try replacing the bushings for a harder or softer set. In cheaper completes sometimes they scrimp on the bushings, and manufacture the bushings from plastic, rather than rubber. Change them out, it’s quite easy to do, and then try carving around a slalom course again.
If bushings don’t fix your trucks then there is the possibility that your trucks are just not good enough. We always say spend at least £40 on a skateboard so you don’t end up with rubbish.
Truck adjustment depends on riding style
How you adjust your trucks also depends on what you want to ride. Tighter trucks provide stability. If you want to go fast, then tighter trucks are better. Looser trucks allow you to change direction quicker and are more forgiving.
Ride tighter trucks for:
- bombing hills
- riding big bowls or ramps
Ride loose trucks for learning:
- grinding ledges
- smaller ramps & bowls with tight transitions
as you get more proficient at these skills and want to go faster you will want to tighten your trucks
Learn to skateboard
We have a lot of lessons online for beginners. Go forth and shred…