Adequate knowledge about how tight should longboard truck be will ensure that you get the most extended life out of your longboard trucks and the best performance. Right?
A good skater makes sure that the truck is loose enough to be comfortable while not so tight to hinder turning smoothly without actually falling off.
A common flaw that most skaters have while starting is setting their truck too tight. This makes them able to go very fast, but quite unstable and shaky. Therefore, what’s the solution?
Well, to know that, you need to realize how tight should your longboard trucks be, isn’t it? So, to make it easier, here I bring you a complete guide on what you need to do.
Without wasting any more time, let’s dive in:
Tight Trucks vs. Loose Trucks
Tighter trucks don’t allow you to lean on them, and you have to raise the front of your longboard to turn while kicking it at the back.
Overall, it just feels more stable, and a tight longboard is suitable for most beginners. The longboard tends to go straight rather than moving out of line by accident and keeping balance.
On the flip side, looser trucks allow more flexibility. The more you get used to riding a longboard, the more you can experiment with how to lose a truck you’re comfortable with.
You can move your longboard from side to side more easily and quickly by putting pressure on one side at the back. It’s better for tricks and overall expert performance.
Complete guide on how loose or tight should longboard trucks be
Well, for better understanding, let’s have a precise look:
How tight should longboard trucks be for downhill?
When you’re going downhill of a longboard, you want to maximize your speed while being as aerodynamic as possible. You need to turn corners and keep your movement in control quickly, so you don’t bump and fall over.
While you do the downhill riding, the longboard must be stiff with less wobbly trucks. You’ll be in more control that way with tighter trucks.
The board itself should have good gripping for your feet, so you don’t slip and fall while moving in speed. Having an excellent concave or ‘w’ groove on a top-mounted uni-directional deck is a good idea if going downhill is your main aim.
How tight should longboard trucks be for cruising?
Cruiser longboards are built with a more flexible construction. The trucks are generally loosened up a bit to give you a curvy or bouncy feel while absorbing most shocks or vibrations along the way.
Drop-through mountings that make the board closer to the ground is also better for getting a wider turning radius in your truck.
You can practically take turns at crossroads and sharp corners while cruising around the neighborhood or commuting to your campus without having to stop and pick up your board. Moreover, you can move around quicker with more stability and balance.
How tight should longboard trucks be for pumping?
Longboards aimed towards pumping essentially have a medium-sized wheel. Smaller wheels help you gain more speed while bigger wheels are easier to control.
So, I recommend you to balance between the two while pumping. The front-wheel can be thicker, stiffer, and less grippy, giving you more flexibility and control.
Setting up an excellent wedging angle is crucial for pumping. A good starting point for beginners is 15-degrees in the front truck and 7-degrees on the rear while keeping both at the same riser height.
The back truck can also be fitted with harder or spring bushings for more seismic balance. Well, the trick is to keep your front truck a bit less tight and more flexible than the rear truck to allow an easier turn while still keeping your board stable during each pump.
You can then initiate a pump even from a standing position without falling off and keep going with a good speed.
Having an excellent broad concave and a toe-stop in the front helps keep your forward feet in position while shifting balance and thrusting in between each pump.
Using your longboard for doing tricks is a feat for the more experienced riders. So, it’s imperative to know more about your longboard than just truck tightness when doing tricks.
The board should be widely concave and long with properly fitted grip stickers. So, I suggest you to set the trucks at a tightness that allows turning and rotation up to 50-degrees while also letting it bend a little for more flexibility during whacky tricks.
It’s good to leave the trucks just as loose to allow consistent, smooth turning but not too lax in inducing frequent wheel-bites.
Standard caliber bushings usually are flexible enough for most trucks to allow basic tricks. But you’ll need specialized cone bushings for doing more advanced maneuvers. Got it, right?
Once you are comfortable with your basic setup, you’ll want to move on to doing tricks like ollies. An ollie will allow you to nearly jump or skip over any obstacle in your path while you speed.
The trick involves moving your entire weight to the back truck while keeping the front truck as light as possible.
Right before making the jump, you’ll lightly swish your front feet across your board’s length to keep it from turning over. And then when you land, you’ll reposition your feet to its standard placements.
You’ll also need to make sure your board doesn’t swivel when you do so. So, it’s a good idea to keep your rear truck fairly tightened but not too much to restrict the jumping.
This will help you keep your motion straight and not swivel out of line right before jumping during an ollie. Seems to be cool?
Although loose trucks turn more easily and quickly than tighter trucks, it demands more control over the boards, so you don’t get a wheel-bite.
If you can quickly move your truck into a wheel-bite, causing you to stop while in motion, it’s time to tighten it and adjust it to a good strength.
You can turn the kingpin nut on your longboard clockwise to get a tighter truck and the opposite way to loosen it. Most longboards use a 9/16 nut, but it’s good to use an adjustable wrench to be safe.
Also, make sure you don’t keep the top of the kingpin, barely reaching the thread-lock. Any looser than that will essentially make the nut fall off while skating, leading to accidents.
So, if you are a befinner, i suggest you to tight both front and back trucks by the same amount. Testing it out after each turn by standing and physically pumping on it to check the possibility of a wheel-bite is also recommended.
You’ll know that your truck is too tight if you can’t even move it with your hands. Loosening it a bit is a good idea then!
If you’re starting out and utterly unsure of how tight should longboard truck be, I recommend a medium tightness.
No matter which skating style you prefer between cruising, downhill riding, pumping, or doing tricks, you’ll need to be able to turn the board without too much pressure.
Now then, have you found this guide helpful? If so, share it on your social handles to spread knowledge, among others!