How Tight or Loose Should Skateboard Trucks Be? – Beginners’ Guide

Having trouble decide how tight or loose your skateboard trucks should be? Well, you’ve come to the right place to know in detail about the right amount of tightness or looseness for the trucks. Today we will discuss this confusing topic and our guide will help you understand the looseness or tightness of skateboard trucks as a beginner. Let’s go!

If you ask professionals, you will get mixed answers. Some will swear by the fact that really loose trucks helped them ride easily and feel more at ease. However, others may tell you that you need to completely tighten your trucks in order to have a safe and stable ride. Who should you listen to? We think that you should listen to yourself. Does this confuse you? Let’s elaborate on this a little more.

What are Trucks on a Skateboard?

Let’s start off by describing skateboard trucks for all the newbies here. Skateboard trucks are basically the metal axles which hold the wheels on a skateboard. Every skateboard has two trucks. They are very important in ensuring a stable and safe ride. A skateboard truck is made up of the following components:

  • Hanger or axle shaft
  • Baseplate
  • Axle nuts and washers
  • Kingpin nut and kingpin
  • Bushing washers
  • Bushings
  • Pivot cup

You must consider the following factors while tightening or loosening the trucks of the skateboard.

  • Maneuverability

You can tighten or loosen your trucks based on your own preference and comfort. Looser trucks allow you to easily make turns and maneuver your skateboard. However, tighter trucks give better response while you’re doing tricks or making turns. This means you need to decide on the tightness of your trucks keeping in mind your usual skating path and your skating habits.

  • Level of Expertise

If you are a beginner, you may need to keep the tightness of your trucks somewhere in the middle. If your skates are too loose, it might lead to accidents which you definitely don’t want. On the other hand, if your skates are too tight, you may not be able to control your skates properly. Therefore, you need to achieve a delicate balance somewhere in the middle so that you can ride with ease and have a great time.

On the other hand, if you are an experienced rider, you know your riding style and so you will be better suited to keep the trucks too tight or too loose based on where you are riding and what tricks you want to perform that day.

  • Tricks

Another important thing to consider is the kind of tricks that you intend on trying. For most tricks, it is better to keep your trucks time because it helps improve reaction time so that you are in better control and you are able to quickly maneuver your skateboard as per your requirement.

Don’t know which pair of skateboard trucks to go with? Check out our expert reviews of skateboard trucks.

Is it possible to adjust trucks on your own?

Yes! This is definitely possible. You can easily adjust the trucks of your skateboard by reading our guide. It is not a very difficult task and you will be able to master it in no time. You will learn more as you experiment on your trucks. All you need is the right equipment and you will be able to adjust the trucks on your skateboard with absolute ease. Before adjusting the trucks, make sure you ride the skateboard for a while to understand what is lacking and what kind of change you want. Pick up the tools and get to work!

How Tight Should Skateboard Trucks Be?

We will be describing the tightness of the trucks on a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is super tight and 1 is super loose.

  • Downhill riding: For downhill riding, you need to keep the tightness between 7-8. Riding downhill requires speeding so your trucks need to be tightened for that.
  • Cruising: For cruising, you should keep the tightness between 4 to 5. This is because while cruising, you are focusing more on stability rather than speed. You just want to enjoy the ride and you certainly won’t be performing any tricks.
  • Tricks: If you are attempting tricks, that means you have a good hold over riding. You need to decide on the tightness as per your requirement and the type of tricks you want to perform.
  • Skate ramps: For skate ramps, keep the tightness between 8 to 10. This is because you need greater control over the ride. This will also help in improving stability. However, if you feel some hardness while your wheels are in contact with the surface, you might need to loosen the trucks just a little bit.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons of keeping the trucks on skateboards tighten.

Pros
  • Tight trucks are better suited for kickflips because they allow you to easily hang the heel of your foot off the board’s edge. This helps ensure that your skateboard doesn’t veer off towards the side.
  • They are much better for your ankles and help prevent fatigue and help you enjoy a good ride.
  • They also help prevent any injuries. In case of an accident, you will be able to quickly get back and start riding again.
  • They provide quick response time which means you are in greater control and you will be able to react very quickly.
  • Tight Trucks work better if you want to attain greater speeds. They will help you get better stability when riding at high speeds so that you can avoid accidents.
  • For big drops in play, these work so much better. They help prevent any wheel bites so that you don’t have to face nasty slams.
Cons
  • They cannot be handles easily by beginners and can cause trouble.
  • Do not turn very easily and they also make it very difficult for you line up on any obstacle.
  • They cannot work well with less-than-perfect landings and may cause issues.

 

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How to adjust the tightness of your trucks?

Most adjustments on a skateboard only require you to torque the nuts on the axle bolts and trucks. However, it is a little more complex to adjust the kingpins. It might be difficult to get it right in one shot only but practice makes perfect. You will need one 14mm wrench to do this task. Pick a flat pavement and get to work.

  1. Stand on the deck and firmly press down while shifting your weigh to the toe side from the heel side. This will make the board give in. Tilting causes pivoting in the trucks which in turn allow you to steer with ease. If you don’t feel enough tilting, you need to loosen the truck’s kingpin nuts such that the nut’s nylon strip still touches the threads. On the other hand, if the board is touching the wheel’s top while leaning, you will need to tighten the kingpin nuts.
  2. Now, you need to test your board to see if you like the adjustment. When turning, lean on the back side and front side in order to further tighten the turn. A point will come where your board will not be able to lean in any further without touching the wheels. While keeping an eye on how tight you can turn, change directions quickly. This will give you an understanding of how well your trucks are tightened.

That’s it! In two simple steps, you will be able to decide on the tightening of your trucks. Isn’t that easy to execute?

Is it good to over-tighten skateboard trucks?

If you are new to adjusting the trucks on your skateboard, try to be as gentle as possible. If you put in too much pressure, you might end up over-tightening the skateboard trucks. This may cause the bolt to slip and it will then become useless so you have to e very careful.

If you’re not sure when you should stop tightening, just make sure that you are tightening them only as far as the surface of the wood. Your nut should not get embedded into the wood. This will work perfectly for all skateboards.

How to loosen the trucks on your skateboard?

The process of loosening your trucks is similar to tightening them. If you want to loosen your trucks, you will need a skate tool or any other similar tool which help you loosen the big nut which you will find near the truck’s center on the back of your board. Just turn it anti-clockwise to loosen the trucks. Loosen them a little bit and then check if you like how they feel. Checking again and again makes sure that you don’t loosen them too much.

Here are some of the Pros and Cons of keeping the trucks on skateboards tighten.

Pros
  • They make it easier to make turns without having to press on the tail of the deck
  • They provide better flow of riding
  • You will be able to handle obstacles much better and so a smooth ride is ensured
  • Your landing doesn’t have to be perfect and you can enjoy a carefree ride
Cons
  • They might cause some wobbles during the ride
  • These don’t work very well with tricks
  • They are not great for your ankles
  • You cannot attain high speeds with loose trucks

To Wrap Up

If you keep practicing the adjustments, you will soon find the perfect balance which works best for you. This will help improve your performance and make the ride so much easier. Evaluate your requirements and the path you have chosen in order to pick the right level of tightness for yourself.

With that being said, there is no right answer to what the perfect level of tightening or loosening is. You just need to play with the adjustments in order to find your sweet spot. Good luck!

FAQs

  • Is it better to have your trucks loose or tight?

This depends on your requirements and level of expertise.

  • Is it easier to Ollie with tight trucks?

With tight trucks, you will be able to ollie higher so tight trucks are better for ollies.

  • How tight can I tighten my trucks?

Tighten your trucks only as far as the surface of the deck.

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