Longboarding can be super fun, challenging, and rewarding to you. But there is a lot that goes into the process. You can have a really cool board. One that looks great, grips well, and has super flex built into it. But if there’s not a good set of trucks on board, you might as well forget it all. It’s just not going to ride very well for you. Today, we’ll be helping you pick through the ins and out of longboard trucks, no matter if you plan to race down hills, cruise through the city, or become the Tony Hawk of longboards. We’ll also be reviewing the most popular sets of trucks available on the market before also answering your FAQ’s. So, let’s get it going then!
Top Longboard Trucks Comparison Chart
|Product||Angle||Price||Where to Buy?|
|Sector 9 Gullwing Sidewinder II Longboard Trucks||$$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|Paris V2 180mm 50 Degree Longboard Trucks||50°||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|Caliber Trucks Cal II 50 Degree Longboard Trucks||50°||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|Caliber Trucks Cal II 44 Degree Longboard Trucks||44°||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
|Yocaher Longboard Trucks W/Wheels||$||Check Price On Amazon|
|Bear Grizzly 852 52 Degree Longboard Trucks||52°||$$||Check Price On Amazon|
Longboard Trucks Buying Guide
Types of Riding
Before we get into the meat of the guide, it’s wise to go over the forms of riding that you could find yourself doing on your longboard. There are four main types, and while there is some overlap to them, there are some key differences that will make it tough for one board to do them all. The first type we’ll mention is cruising, which is probably the most popular of the four. Because it’s not hard to get on the board, relatively speaking, and just go down hills slowly and leisurely, this type has come to the forefront. It’s a fine way to transport yourself to all sorts of destinations, and as such, it’s quite popular to do. Probably the next most popular form of riding a longboard is downhill riding. This type of riding is very similar to snowboarding. You go to the top of a hill, and you come back down as fast and you can. Riders need extremely good stability out of their boards with this form of riding. Most of the time, the rider will be seen hovering very close to the ground just over the top of the board to give them this. Since there is so much speed, this is an absolute necessity. A lot of people might get cruising and downhill riding mixed up, and there is some overlap to be fair, but they are definitely not the same thing. You can certainly cruise down hills, but it’s just not the same. The other two forms are called freeriding and freestyle riding. The former is a form of riding that is like what you’d see in a video game where you can just go anywhere you want. You have a mixture of being able to turn and also have some speed to go in straight lines, too. It’s the type of thing where you’d just want a good general board. As for freestyle riding, this is the form where you attempt to do tricks. This type is tough on the board, and only special ones are built to last under the intense pressure of it. It should also be noted that downhill riding is also very hard on a board. If you are going to do either of those two, you can’t just assume you can use any board, unless you just want to end up seeing your board fall short in terms of durability. There are boards (and trucks) that will help you in multiple areas, but the more specific you can get by zeroing in on things, the better for you in the long haul.
Oftentimes, you will see the phrase “complete” online when you are shopping for longboards. What this means is fairly simple. It means that the board you purchased is put together with all of the parts. You have your deck, the trucks, the wheels, everything is right there and ready for you to grab it and go. However, a lot of riders don’t like to ride this way. They like to go about it differently, taking the parts and mixing and matching them in the best way possible. What this does is allow the rider to get the best ride for him or her. A complete board is usually made to fit wide swathes of riders. So it makes perfect sense why a rider would want to take matters into his own hands by selecting all of the fixings himself. In regards to trucks, you might also see this happen a tad bit differently. Let’s say you bought a complete board but didn’t find that it was exactly what you wanted. It could be the trucks that aren’t up to par, so you could decide to replace them. This is perfectly normal and plenty of people do that. That’s a big part of the reason for this article, after all! If you are newer to longboarding, then you could go with a complete board and be just fine. But if you are looking to take a step up, then the best way to put both feet forward is to take a look at ‘parting’ out your board to give you the best possible performance you can have.
What Is A Truck?
For many people, including me, a truck used to just be a vehicle that could get you and your stuff around easily. But, in this instance, it’s one of the main ingredients to making an awesome longboarding experience for you. A truck acts as the axles of your longboard, which connects the wheels as one and then attaches them to the board itself. Because there are two ends of a longboard, there will be two trucks sold for each board in a complete set and also two when you buy them separately. As part of the trucks, there are five main parts inside of them that help determine the quality of them.
The kingpin, as the name implies, is the most important piece of the puzzle inside of the longboard. This is the area that will make the most change to your board, either for the good or bad. This part, though, is not expensive at all and is super easy to replace if you just don’t like it. It’s purpose is to be a big pin that holds the other parts of the truck together. Depending upon the location of the pin, you will get a different sort of ride. If the kingpin is a ‘standard’ one, then it will most typically be good for doing tricks with. This is due to it not getting caught on the ground or on rails. Now, it’s much harder to do this with a longboard than with a skateboard, so you’re unlikely to do it. But the option is there. On the other hand, you have what is called the reverse kingpin. This one is much more common in longboards because it’s super responsive. This means that you can move just a little and that it will help the board react, even at slow speeds. This type is ideal for you if you are going to be doing downhill riding or if you will be cruising, which is the equivalent to the marathon in this genre.
The baseplate is a fairly simple piece of machinery that won’t affect or change the trucks all that much. Still yet, it’s an essential part of the mix. This part is meant to make sure the board has equal amounts of pressure on its base. It’s function is accomplished by being connecting the truck and the deck together via either screws or holes. The holes can be either four or six in number.
Next to bearings, bushings are probably the most mentioned things online when you are looking at longboards yet the thing that the majority of people don’t know anything about. Bushings are all about making the ride better for the specific rider. They control the way you feel and how the board reacts to you. In nearly all cases, all trucks have two bushings, which give cushion to the rider between all of the various other parts of the truck. The difference in how you feel while riding is going to be determined by how hard the bushings are. If you have a hard bushing, then you will have to lean much more and work harder to turn. This might sound bad, but it’s not in certain situations. If you primarily will be cruising, you’ll want it to be tougher to turn wildly. But if you want to be able to turn on a dime, then you will want a softer, more responsive bushing. This will let you do tricks much better and also do freeriding. It’s just a matter of what you want to do in order to increase your the awesomeness of your ride.
The hanger isn’t a popular part to talk about, but it’s still worth mentioning as it helps tie the whole thing together. The hanger looks like a ‘T’ and is made from aluminum alloy. Its job is to attach the main portion of the truck to the wheels. Without it doing the dirty work, you’d have no board and would be left wondering what happened to your wheels. If you do a lot of tricks on the rails, this is the part of the truck that will end up touching it directly.
The riser is mentioned last only because it is not a must-have part, unlike the other four are. The riser is optional, and it does what it sounds like it would do: it works to allow you to adjust the height of your board from the ground. It also has another main purpose that could really come in handy for you, depending upon how you use it. It is meant to decrease the amount of vibration that you feel. If you are planning to be cruising for very long treks, then this is going to be an ideal addition for you, especially if you find that they board is pretty hard on you. They also are going to help your board last longer because they will force it up off the ground. No one wants to cut a corner only for the board to drag, especially if you’ve spent a quite about of money on it! A riser stops that from happening, nipping the trouble at the bud straight away. It can really save your joints a lot of pain, so it’s well worth taking a look at it. The good news about them is that they are super easy to put on the trucks and that they are also relatively inexpensive. This makes them an option that you have absolutely got to consider. But an option nonetheless! You do not have to have them, but for some circumstances you’ll definitely wish you had called upon them.
There is a lot more than what meets the eyes regarding longboard trucks, and the angle at which they are placed will determine so much about what goes on with them. There are two main angles that you will see used, the 45 degree and the 50 degree. There are others as well, but those are the main two that have absolutely got to mentioned right off the bat in any guide. The 50 degree angled truck is great because the high angle gives you a good amount of responsiveness. This means you can lean over just slightly and be able to turn. This makes them a great choice if you are going to be carving (which is weaving in and out of various situations) and also for downhill riding. Both are super demanding, and you do not want a truck that is going to bog you down and force you to be super tight and thus unable to turn.
The 45 degree angle isn’t going to be as responsive for you, but it’s got plenty to shout about despite that fact. The lower angles might not let you turn on a dime and pick up quarters from the road like on the movie Driven, but it does give you a ton of stability, especially when you are going very fast. If you are cruising and you don’t need to turn much, particularly while going quickly, you don’t want to be able to lean and then have the board blow you off course. There are some out there that will help you maximize both of these traits, but for the most part you have to pick one or the other based upon how and what type of riding you will be doing.
Another major factor that you have to consider when looking at trucks is the width of them. If the width does not correspond correctly to the board, then you are in for a world of trouble. In fact, this is one of the main reasons why people replace the trucks on their complete boards. It’s not always the lack of quality that they might find, rather it’s that they aren’t up to snuff for their usage. The trick here is to match up the width of the trucks as closely as you can to your board. If your board has trucks that are too narrow for your deck, then you will be incredibly unstable. If you have some that are too big, you will be very stable. This is a good thing for beginners to have, but if you are more advanced and want to move around more freely this ‘tightness’ will constrict you and not allow you to move as much as you’d like. You can play with the settings to your liking, but there are two main sizes: 150mm and 180mm. If you can, you want them to exactly match the board’s width, but if that can’t happen, then you should just get as close as you can. If your board is under 8.5 inches wide, then 150mm trucks are best. You can go with 180mm, but it’s going to be a much tighter, less responsive ride. If you have anything above that, then 180mm should do you just fine. This part might not be all that fun to talk about, but trust me it will bring no enjoyment to you at all to be sliding around or not being able to turn when you really need to do so. If you’re like me and struggle with metrics, don’t worry. 180 mm is equivalent to seven inches. 150 mm, then, is equal to 5.9 inches. If you are going to be doing carving, cruising down the road, or if you are going to do freestyle, then the 180mm trucks are the way to go. If you’re going to be doing downhill riding or freeriding, then 150mm will suit your needs just fine. It’s all still up to you, and you might feel differently about it, but these are excellent initial guidelines to go by.
One of the things that no one wants, no matter the amount of money they have paid for something, is to see their investment end up being ruined before they feel like they’ve gotten full value from it. Even the cheapest of items are big letdowns when they stop working, and that’s not going to be any different with longboard trucks. First and foremost, it’s vital that we point out a basic fact. In general, you’re going to be getting less durability if you spend less money. That’s just the way it is. The trucks might be really awesome for your purposes, but they will almost always wear out quicker if you cut corners on cost. This is the biggest area of difference when it relates to the overall cost. There is something that can help you, though, and that is a truck that is made that has used what is called a secondary heat process. A lot of the better trucks use this to reinforce the metal, making sure that they are stronger than other pairs available by a long shot. They also have the added advantage of reducing vibrations, something we have talked about before. Even though they might cost a little bit more, you’ll see a tn of benefits as a result of buying them. After all, you’re probably looking to replace your trucks because they are either cheaply made or are not wide enough. You wouldn’t want to skimp and end up with something very similar. It must also be said that durability depends on you as well. If you are leaving your board out in the rain or just not using it for the purpose it’s made for, then you can bet that it will not last as long as those of people that actually do choose to take great care of their board. You don’t have to tuck it into bed at night, but you do need to treat it well to get the utmost shelf life from it.
A big part of your trucks is going to be getting them on. If you can’t manage to do that, then you’re in trouble. As always, there are plenty of resources available online, both in written and video form. If you are new to longboards, this is going to be the best idea. Even if you have done it before, it wouldn’t hurt much to do this. Also, keep in mind that you can adjust how tight or loose the trucks are, too. If you are looking to have a more responsive ride, then you will loosen it up. If you want more stability and to make it harder to turn, then you tighten it up. It’s just like a race car in that instance. You’ll also need tools to do this, but it will be slightly easier than installing, so even novices (like me) will me able to accomplish it without a whole lot of fuss. Don’t forget to match up your trucks if you do this. If the front turns and the back doesn’t, it’s going to feel pretty weird on the board! For beginners, it’s always a good idea to play with the loose and tight ‘settings’ quite a bit until you find just what it is you are looking for!
Let’s Review The Top 6 Longboard Trucks of 2019!
Sector 9 Gullwing Sidewinder II Longboard Trucks
Coming in an array of widths and colors, the Gullwing Sidewinder II from Sector 9 is a great choice for those of you that want to be able to turn extremely easily. If you are an intermediate rider, this might just be the perfect choice for because it’s easy to turn and you’ll know how to balance and deal accordingly with it. With two kingpins as opposed to one, this is able to be accomplished, giving you a ton of maneuverability. They are also easy to use as you try to build up a head of steam. There are a couple of warnings to be aware of. If they are too loose, they could make the side of the board scrape against the ground. Also, the price is the highest that we have on this list, too, so you might balk a little bit at the premium cost of them.
- Lots of options
- Turns very easily
- Awesome for freeriding
- Fairly costly
- Board could be damaged if not set properly
Paris V2 180mm 50 Degree Longboard Trucks
Paris is one of the top truck sellers in the world, and it’s for a very good reason. Whereas a lot of trucks are built for either stability or responsiveness, this company brings both to the table at the same time in an almost impeccable manner. With a ton of colors to choose from and a slightly lower price than the previous entry, these are awesome for beginners and advanced riders alike. The 50 degree radius helps these help your board cut and turn, but it does not sacrifice rideability. Using steel and aluminum that has been treated with heat to reinforce them, these will stand up to the test of time, too. The baseplate is able to be used with both newer and older models, making these an ideal set for just about any purpose. They do make noises, so be aware of that and be ready to try and counter that.
- Lots of colors
- Turns well and is stable at the same time
- Great for newbies and oldies alike
- Also a little pricey
- Tendency to be loud
Caliber Trucks Cal II 50 Degree Longboard Trucks
Caliber hit the list here with another great option. With an already excellent Cal I, they have made this one 40% stronger, aiding the durability tremendously in the process. With this set of trucks, you have the power of versatility firmly at your fingertips, making it possible to do all sorts of rides with them. If you want to carve and cruise you can do that, and if you want to be very stable, then you’ve got that option, too. The price can range from reasonable toward the upper end and they sport a ton of different colors to pick from to help you style and profile on your board. The bushing seat will not allow movement to occur, making it easier to balance. Speaking of the bushings, they are of the highest quality, a major bonus to be sure that will have you feeling a premium amount of responsiveness. One possible problem is going to be noise as well with them, so look out for that to be a bit of a drag.
- Plethora of colors
- Very versatile pair of trucks
- High quality bushings
- Get noisy and requires some changes to be made
Caliber Trucks Cal II 44 Degree Longboard Trucks
Caliber goes back to back here with the 44 degree trucks, one of the most sought after pairs in the work of longboarding. The reason that so many like them isn’t just the looks, it’s the low angle that it gives to you, which will give you vast amounts of stability. If you’re a new rider and just unsure of it all, then this is perfect for you. You’ll be down nearer to the ground and will not be able to turn so quickly that it becomes harder to balance. This is ideal for those that just want to cruise as a means of transportation rather than go to extremes all of the time. Like the other Caliber, the bushings are of the highest quality, it is much stronger than the previous model was, and it’s also not going to have the bushing seat moving around like other lesser products would allow. This is also a great choice if you’re going to be doing downhill racing, since you don’t need the board to be snapping loose in either direction suddenly. It’s not the best pair for quick turns, so just keep that in mind!
- Very stable
- Ideal for newbies
- Great at going down hills and for cruising
- Not the best if you need to carve much
Yocaher Longboard Trucks W/Wheels
If you’ve got a deck but you are looking for more than just the trucks, then this set from Yocaher is a good option that has both the trucks and the wheels together in a range of colors. It also comes at a very affordable price, too, considering what you get, so you should definitely give it a thought. The wheels it comes with, though it’s not the main purpose of this, are plastics and are harder wheels, so it will have a bit of a rougher ride than those with softer ones. So that should be kept in mind when going with this. These trucks come with risers to help stop the wheels from biting and catching into the ground as you ride, no doubt a major drag on your ride. It’s also going to keep the board from getting as damaged by keeping it off the ground, so another major plus to be had.
- Comes with wheels and trucks
- Affordable price to keep you happy
- Risers to help durability and aid the ride
- Hard wheels
- Trucks only in black
Bear Grizzly 852 52 Degree Longboard Trucks
With a name like Bear Grizzly, you better come with something to stand out, and the 852 definitely does just that. It’s unique in that because of its shape, it can be mounted in two different ways, allowing you many more options that ordinary trucks are going to bring to you. It can either be stable or really fast, making it a great option no matter if you are going to be doing downhill, cruising, or something in between. If your board has big wheel cut outs, it’s typically seen as one that is tough to turn. But with the Grizzly Bear to help you out, that is mitigated and you’ll be able to turn much more effectively than you otherwise would. I’s a unique pair for sure, coming even with some real awesome and outside of the box designs, and that’s helped many a rider out. They do not come with tools and don’t have risers, either, so there are a couple of possible downers.
- Very unique designs
- Can be flipped two ways
- Stable or very fast: your choice!
- Don’t have tools to help you put it together
- No risers to keep board from dragging
Conclusion And Final Longboard Trucks Recommendations
At the end of the day picking out a pair of longboard trucks isn’t all that hard. Despite the abundance of choices online, it’s really much easier to do. That is, if you know have a clear purpose in mind. If you want to ride downhill and go as fast as you can, now you know exactly what trucks are going to be best for you. If you want to be the next big start like Tony Hawk, then you also know what to do. So, whether you’re just a cruiser or looking for the utmost in speed, you know where to look and just how much trucks play a role in your goals. Read below for any other questions you might have!
FAQ’s About Longboard Trucks
What If I’m An Advanced Longboard Rider?
First of all, congrats to you. Not many people can say that really. If that is you, then there are options that go a little bit above and beyond. One such thing is known as a precision truck. These trucks differ in that they are made not by being cast into molds like most trucks and tools, but are made from one single piece of metal instead. This makes them much stronger and also much more accurate, making them measure up better to the specifications than you can get with a mass-produced set. This can be customized to you, and though it is going to cost quite a bit more, it could be just the answer you need to get yourself into the next level of riding. They might not seem like it, but they can be worth it because they are so much more durable.
What If My Trucks Are Making Noises?
There’s not many things more annoying in life than noises being made repeatedly. It could be your shoes or anything, but in this case it’s your trucks on your board. If you’re on a long, peaceful ride, this is the last thing you’ll want to put up with as you go to wherever it is you’re headed. If this is happening, it’s because of friction being caused between the bushing and the hanger. This can be fixed by taking the hanger off the baseplate and then putting either wax, graphite, or some soap particles inside the ‘pivot cup.’ Spread it around evenly and then reassemble and the problem should be taken care of. Much to your ears’ delight!
How Do I Take Care of My Trucks And My Board?
If you’re spending any money on longboard trucks, then you’ll want to make sure they last as long as possible. Maintenance is a big part of the durability, and you can do that. There is a good test you can perform on your bushings to make sure they are still up for the job. You should do this every two or three months just to be certain. It is a called a rebound test, and you start by taking your board and sitting it with the grip tape facing down. Next, press down on one of the wheels and then let it go. If the truck goes back to the position it is supposed to be in (in the center), then you are good to go. If not, then you might need to replace them. The more serious you get about longboarding, then more you will want to check. This will keep you safe and will also ensure that your trucks, and your board, last as long as you can get them to last. You should also clean your bearings every now and then, too, as they can hurt your performance if you don’t keep them nice and clean.
Can Longboarding Help Me Transition to Other Sports?
Yes, it definitely can. Longboarding, even with the less stable boards, is almost always much more stable than skateboarding. Therefore, it’s an excellent way to get started in the extreme sports world. Furthermore, it’s a good way to introduce yourself to balancing on a board, kicking off, and all sorts of similar things you will see in skateboarding, too. It’s harder to do tricks because of the size of the board, but it is doable. Longboarding is also similar to surfing and to snowboarding, too, so this could also help you. A lot of people refer to it as land surfing, so there are definitely some similarities that you can draw upon and build upon as you progress to other forms. The balance and core workout you get will help with any number of other sports, too, so that’s not going to ever hurt an athlete to get that.