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Longboard trucks at Blue Tomato

Longboard trucks

Trucks are the things that keep your deck attached to your wheels. They are the deciding factor in terms of how your longboard rides. The decision between standard or reverse kingpin trucks essentially comes down to the way you like to ride.
  1. Longboard truck construction
    1. The Kingpin: the core of your trucks
    2. Baseplate: the base of your trucks
    3. Hangers: your suspension
    4. Bushings: The rubber key to your turning power
    5. The bushing seat

Longboard truck construction

Longboard truck components from hanger to baseplate to kingpin

As far as a longboard’s manoeuvrability and turn performance is concerned, trucks are the most important element. At first glance skateboard and longboard trucks look very similar, but when you look a little closer you’ll notice a few differences. Longboard trucks are, for example, much wider than skateboard trucks. The way your trucks handle and, therefore, how your longboard rides comes down to a combination of

  • Kingpin
  • Baseplate
  • Hanger
  • Bushings

Longboard truck components from kingpin to hanger to baseplate

The Kingpin: the core of your trucks

Trucks come in two different styles:

  • Standard Kingpin (SKP) and
  • Reverse Kingpin (RKP)
Both constructions have different characteristics that are worth factoring in when deciding how you want your longboard to ride. The kingpin is what keeps the truck, baseplate and hanger together.

The classic standard kingpin construction comes from skateboard trucks. In longboarding you’ll find this kind of truck on cruisers, with or without a kicktail. Most longboarders, however, go for reverse kingpin trucks with the kingpin facing outwards, which make the longboard a little more flexible and are a real advantage in disciplines like board walking. Both kinds of trucks work fine in theory. The best thing to do is follow your own personal preference:
  • Standard kingpin trucks will offer a less responsive ride
  • Reverse kingpin trucks give you quick, direct response

Baseplate: The base of your trucks

Another feature to think about with longboards is the pivot angle of your baseplate. All Greek to you? Let us explain: This angle defines the tilt between the baseplate (the base of the truck) and the pivot (the fulcrum of the truck).

A higher angle - over 45 degrees - will make your longboard more agile - super fun for tight turns and slalom riding. Adrenaline junkies who love to bomb a good hill will prefer a lower angle which will give your longboard more stability – especially at high speeds.

Hanger: your suspension

No less important when picking out the right pair of trucks is getting the right width. Hanger widths range from 150 to 180 mm. The narrower the trucks, the more agile your board. The right size depends on the width of your deck – your truck width should fit the width of your board to within a quarter inch.

Bushings: The rubber keys to your turning ability

Your two bearings – the top and bottom bushings – influence the way your trucks will turn. As you might expect from the name, one bushing sits above and the other below the kingpin. Longboard bushings come in different shapes and durometers (hardness).

  • Conical (cone) bushings make your longboard more agile
  • Barrel bushings are slightly less responsive
  • Eliminator and chubby bushings block the movement of your trucks at a certain point to keep your longboard nice and stable at high tempos.

The Bushing seat

We don’t often think about the positioning of the bushing in its little seat in the middle of the hanger. The bushing seat keeps the bushings in place and decides how much they can compress, affecting the way your trucks handle.

Tight bushing seats will reduce the truck’s range of movement. This is great for freeride and downhill longboarding because it makes it much easier to keep your balance at high speeds. At slower speeds, though, trucks with tight bushing seats will react a lot slower.
Flat, open seats make the truck a lot more reactive and agile – perfect for easy carves and slides. This kind of seat is ideally suited to cruising and carving, as well as freestyle longboarding.

We have a huge selection of skate and longboard accessories from bushings for longboards and skateboards to tools and screws – everything you need to personalise your own longboard trucks.