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Have you ever wondered which way trucks should face on a longboard? If you’re new to longboarding, it can be confusing to figure out the proper setup for your trucks. But fear not, I’m here to help you navigate this dilemma and find the right direction for your trucks.
Understanding the correct positioning of your trucks is essential for a safe and enjoyable ride. The way your trucks are facing can affect your stability, maneuverability, and overall control of the board. So, let’s dive into this topic and determine which way trucks should go on a longboard.
In this article, I’ll explain the two main options for truck placement and discuss the pros and cons of each. By the end, you’ll have a clear understanding of how to set up your trucks for the best longboarding experience.
What Are Longboard Trucks?
Longboard trucks are an essential component of a longboard setup. They are the metal T-shaped structures that attach the wheels and bearings to the longboard deck, allowing riders to effectively steer, turn, and control their longboards. Longboard trucks play a crucial role in determining the stability, maneuverability, and overall performance of the board.
They come in various designs and styles, including reverse kingpin and traditional kingpin trucks, each offering unique riding characteristics. Factors such as truck height, width, and placement on the deck can greatly impact the board’s stability, turning radius, and overall ride quality.
How Do You Know Which Way To Put The Trucks On A Longboard?
When it comes to setting up a longboard, one of the key decisions you’ll need to make is how to position the trucks on the deck. This may seem simple at first, but it’s important to understand that there are different ways to put the trucks on a longboard, and the optimal placement can vary depending on various factors.
Firstly, let’s discuss the different types of longboard trucks available. There are two main categories: traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks and reverse kingpin (RKP) trucks. TKP trucks are commonly used for street skateboarding and offer a quick, responsive feel. RKP trucks, on the other hand, provide more stability at higher speeds and are preferred by downhill riders.
To determine which way to put the trucks on your longboard, you’ll need to consider factors like your riding style, deck size, and personal preference. Generally, the placement of the trucks is measured from the nose to the center of the truck’s baseplate. For a stable ride, you can position the trucks symmetrically with the center of gravity in mind. However, if you prefer a more maneuverable setup, you may decide to move the front truck slightly closer to the nose.
Types of Longboard Trucks
Longboard trucks come in two main types: Traditional Kingpin (TKP) and Reverse Kingpin (RKP). TKP trucks are the most common type of longboard truck and offer a quick, responsive feel.
Standard Kingpin (SKP) Trucks
Standard Kingpin (SKP) Trucks are one of the most commonly used types of trucks in skateboarding. They are characterized by a traditional kingpin design, where the kingpin is positioned in the center of the truck and holds the hanger and baseplate together.
Compared to reverse kingpin trucks, SKP trucks offer a more responsive and direct turning feel. This is because the kingpin is positioned closer to the center line of the board, creating a shorter turning radius. This makes them ideal for performing quick and sharp turns, making them a popular choice among street skaters.
Reverse Kingpin (RKP) Trucks
Reverse Kingpin (RKP) trucks are highly preferred for longboards when it comes to high-speed rides. Unlike standard skateboard trucks, RKP trucks have the kingpin positioned on the reverse side of the hanger, closer to the outside of the board. This design provides several advantages for longboarding enthusiasts.
One of the key benefits of RKP trucks is the increased control and stability they offer at high speeds. The higher ride height of RKP trucks allows for better leverage and maneuverability, enabling riders to navigate turns with ease. This enhanced stability ensures a smooth and safe ride, especially when cruising at high velocities.
Moreover, RKP trucks provide a more predictable and stable turning feel since the turning radius is lengthened compared to SKP trucks. This is particularly beneficial for downhill rides, where riders need precise control and responsive turning to maintain balance and navigate steep slopes.
Street trucks are specifically designed for skateboarding in urban environments and offer a range of benefits for riders. Unlike longboard trucks that prioritize stability at high speeds, street trucks are built to excel in tight spaces and allow for quick turns, stable grinds, and precise control.
The key characteristic of street trucks is their narrower hanger width. This narrower profile allows for increased maneuverability and agility, making it easier for riders to navigate crowded streets and skateparks. Additionally, street trucks typically have a medium baseplate angle, which strikes a balance between stability and turning responsiveness.
One of the standout features of street trucks is their ability to provide responsive turning. This is achieved through the combination of a lower ride height and tighter truck design. The lower ride height lowers the rider’s center of gravity, providing enhanced stability during tricks and maneuvers. Furthermore, the narrower truck design allows for quicker and more precise turns, enabling riders to execute tight lines and sharp corners with ease.
Drop-through trucks are a specific type of longboard truck that is mounted through the deck rather than on top of it. This unique mounting style offers several advantages for riders seeking stability and control.
One of the main benefits of drop-through trucks is their ability to lower the rider’s center of gravity. By mounting the trucks through the deck, the rider’s stance is closer to the ground, which enhances stability and balance. This lower center of gravity is especially beneficial for downhill riding and high-speed cruising, as it helps riders maintain control and reduce the risk of wobbles.
Drop-through trucks also provide increased deck clearance, allowing riders to use larger wheels without the risk of wheel bite. This feature is particularly valuable for riders who enjoy carving and sliding, as it allows for smoother and more fluid turns without the wheels interfering with the deck.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Truck
When choosing a truck for your longboard, there are several factors to consider. The right truck can greatly impact your riding experience, so it’s important to choose one that suits your individual preferences and riding style.
Some key factors to keep in mind include the type of truck, truck design, truck height, truck placement, and wheel clearance. These factors can determine h your longboard performs in terms of stability, maneuverability, and overall control.
Baseplate Angle and Ride Height
When choosing longboard truck options, two important factors to consider are the baseplate angle and ride height. Baseplate angle refers to the angle at which the truck’s baseplate is mounted to the deck, while ride height refers to the distance between the deck and the ground.
Baseplate angle plays a crucial role in determining the turning capabilities of the longboard. A lower baseplate angle, typically around 40-ish degrees, provides a more stable ride at higher speeds. It offers better stability during fast downhill rides and slides. On the other hand, a higher baseplate angle, around 50-ish degrees, offers a more responsive and maneuverable ride. It allows for quick and sharp turns ideal for carving and freestyle tricks.
Ride height, on the other hand, affects the board’s stability and the risk of wheel bite. A lower ride height, achieved by using lower-profile trucks or drop-through setups, provides a more stable ride at higher speeds. It lowers the board’s center of gravity, enhancing stability and reducing wobbling.
Personal Preference and Riding Style
Personal preference and riding style are key factors to consider when choosing the right longboard truck. Different riding styles require different truck characteristics to achieve the desired stability, maneuverability, and wheelbase control.
Personal preference plays a significant role in determining the right truck for an individual. Factors such as a rider’s skill level, preferred terrain, and desired riding experience should be taken into consideration. For example, beginners may prefer trucks that offer more stability, making it easier to balance and control the board. On the other hand, experienced riders may prioritize maneuverability and responsiveness, opting for trucks that allow for quick turns and tricks.
Stability at Speed and Wheel Bite Control
Stability at high speeds is essential to ensure a safe and smooth ride. A stable ride helps riders maintain better control over their board and reduces the risk of wobbling or speed wobbles. To enhance stability, opting for a lower ride height can lower the center of gravity, making the board more stable at higher speeds. Additionally, choosing wider trucks provides more stability and prevents wobbling, especially when carving or making sharp turns.
Wheel bite control is equally important to avoid accidents or disruptions during rides. Wheel bite occurs when the wheels come into contact with the deck, causing the board to suddenly stop or lose balance. To prevent wheel bite, riders can select trucks with the proper bushing setup. Softer bushings, for instance, allow for smoother turns and reduce the likelihood of wheel bite.
Center of Gravity for Maximum Performance
Stability is eential for a smooth and safe ride at high speeds. By lowering the center of gravity, riders can enhance stability and reduce the risk of wobbling or speed wobbles. This can be achieved by opting for a lower ride height, which brings the rider closer to the ground and lowers the overall center of gravity. A lower center of gravity provides a solid and planted feeling, allowing riders to maintain better control over their board.
The center of gravity also affects turning and overall control. When the center of gravity is positioned towards the front of the board, it enables easier and more responsive turns. Conversely, a center of gravity towards the back of the board offers more stability for cruising and straight-line speed. Balancing the center of gravity according to riding style and preferences can greatly enhance the overall control and maneuverability of the longboard.
Quality of Materials Used in Construction
Commonly used materials in longboard trucks include steel and aluminum. Steel is renowned for its exceptional strength and durability, making it ideal for withstanding heavy impacts and providing long-lasting performance. Additionally, steel trucks generally offer excellent grip and stability, allowing riders to maintain control even during aggressive maneuvers.
On the other hand, aluminum is a lightweight material that offers a perfect balance between strength and weight. Aluminum trucks are known for their responsiveness, allowing riders to make quick and precise turns. Despite being lighter, aluminum trucks can still provide adequate strength and durability, ensuring reliable performance on various terrains.
How to Install the Right Way Around on A Longboard?
When it comes to installing the trucks on a longboard, it is crucial to do it the right way to ensure optimal performance and safety. Proper installation involves considering factors such as truck placement, wheel clearance, and bushing seats.
By following a few simple steps, you can ensure that your trucks are installed correctly, providing you with a stable and enjoyable ride. Let’s dive into the details of how to install the right way around on a longboard.
Preparation Steps Before Installing the Truck
Before installing the truck on a longboard, there are a few preparation steps that should be followed to ensure a smooth and successful installation.
- For drop-through longboards, it is necessary to separate the baseplates and hangers. This can be done by removing the kingpin nuts and sliding the hanger out from the baseplate. It is important to keep track of any washers or spacers that may be on the kingpin.
- Next, gather all the required tools and hardware for the installation process. This may include a skate tool, which typically includes a socket for the kingpin nuts and a wrench for the axle nuts. Additionally, make sure to have the appropriate mounting hardware, such as nuts and bolts.
- Once you have the necessary tools and hardware ready, ensure that the bottom washer, bushings, and washers are properly assembled on the truck. The bottom washer should be placed on the bottom of the hanger, followed by the bushings, and then the top washer. This assembly can vary depending on personal preference and riding style, so make sure to adjust accordingly.
By following these preparation steps, you will be ready to install the truck onto your longboard with ease and ensure a stable and comfortable ride. Remember to double-check all connections and tighten the nuts securely before hitting the streets.
Longboard trucks are the metal T-shaped components that connect the wheels to the deck. They play a vital role in controlling the board’s stability and maneuverability. The trucks determine how the board turns and leans, making them essential for an enjoyable and safe riding experience.
The distance between longboard trucks, also known as the axle width, varies based on personal preference and riding style. It typically ranges between 150mm to 180mm. Wider trucks offer more stability at high speeds and suit cruising and downhill riding, while narrower trucks are more suitable for technical tricks and maneuvers.
A longboard truck consists of several key components. The axle is the straight rod that holds the wheels. The hanger is the T-shaped part that connects to the deck. Bushings sit inside the hanger and provide cushioning for smooth turns. The kingpin bolt and nut hold the hanger and baseplate together, allowing for adjustment.
The baseplate is the triangular metal plate that attaches the truck to the deck. The pivot cup sits inside the baseplate, enabling the truck to pivot smoothly. Finally, the mounting holes are where the truck is attached to the deck.
Adjusting the performance of a longboard truck is possible by tweaking the tightness of the kingpin nut, which affects the truck’s responsiveness and turning radius. Additionally, changing the bushings can alter the board’s stability and carving ability. Experimenting with different combinations can help find the perfect setup for your riding style and preferences.
Yes, longboard trucks require regular maintenance to ensure optimal performance. This may involve replacing worn-out bushings, cleaning and lubricating the pivot cup, and checking the tightness of the kingpin nut. Proper maintenance will extend the lifespan of the trucks and enhance the riding experience.
Whether you prefer to ride your longboard with trucks facing forward or backward, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the ride. Experiment with different setups and find what works best for you.
Remember, there’s no right or wrong way to ride a longboard, as long as you’re out there carving up the streets and feeling the wind in your hair. So grab your board, hit the pavement, and keep on rolling!
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