You cannot have a smooth skateboarding experience until both you and the skateboard are suitable for each other. If you are an avid skater, then you might already know that the perfection of a skateboard mostly lies within the proper adjustment of its trucks. Since not all terrains and skating purposes are not same, knowing “How tight should skateboard trucks be” is a mandatory part of truck adjustment for skating with topmost comfort and control.
What Skateboard Trucks Really Are?
In Simpler words, skateboard trucks refer to the metal axles of the skateboard or longboard that hold the wheels on. So there are two trucks on every board. These are important and impactful in the overall setup of a longboard or skateboard.
In general, a skateboard truck is made of these parts-
- A baseplate.
- A hanger/Axle shaft.
- Axle washers and nuts.
- Kingpin and kingpin nut.
- Bushings & bushing washers.
- A pivot cup .
How Tight Should Skateboard Trucks Be?
As I mentioned, the answer to this question majorly depends on your skating style, terrains of your area, how good you are as a skater, whether you do tricks with skateboard on not, etc. You can always tight up or loosen the trucks according to your needs but you have to have appropriate overall knowledge about that. Here are some of the common scenarios where you should adjust the tightness of trucks. For even more clearer measurements, I will give the tightness measurement details on a 1 to 10 scale where 1 is super loose and 10 is super tight.
How Tight Should Be the Trucks for Downhill
If you are going to skate on downhills or similar areas, then keep the truck tightness between 7 to 9 on the scale. It is because the downhills are a speeding area and you will ride there at a good speed. Besides, these areas most probably have straight tracks or sharp turns where you will slide. In this scenario, you won’t expect to have a very wobbly skateboard with you. Keeping the truck tight will let you gain good speed easily and give your more control over the ride.
How Tight Should Be the Trucks for Cruising
While cruising with a skateboard most people focus on enjoying the ride rather than speeding with it. Cruising usually includes a good amount of turns and may have different types of road conditions. So you will need much quicker flex and comfort for long-time riding for cruising. That’s why, if you are going for a long time cruise with your skateboard, consider losing your skateboard trucks.
This might be quite fruitful. Try to keep the tightness between 3 to 5 (of the imaginary scale) according to your comfort. You can also shift to much softer bushings like the cone-shaped or barrel-shaped ones. Some pros evens use double cones but this might be quite unstable for many skaters. Again, the sweet spot depends on your comfort.
How Tight Should Be the Trucks for Flipping
One of the most favorite things the skateboarders are performing is flipping. It is the first thing that every skater tries to master as soon as they learn to skate. Trust me, tightening or losing the trucks also affects your board-flipping. The most suitable tightening scale for an average person should be between 5 to 7. This means trucks should be in the middle of tight and loose. It will simply allow you to bounce-jump the board effortlessly as well as give you a stable landing on the board after flipping.
How Tight Should Be the Trucks for Tricks
If you do tricks with your skateboard often, you must be a pro. Adjusting truck-tightness should be very simple for you! You have to do that according to the requirements of your tricks. So you have a wide range for tight or loosen the truck in this scenario.
How Tight Should Be the Trucks for Skate Ramps
If your skate on a ramp, then you need speed and very good control on your skateboard. So keep the adjustment on the tighter side. It will give very good control and not get unstable while speeding. However, if you feel hard at the time of surface contact then you can loosen the trucks just a bit to fix that.
How to Tighten Trucks?
The process for tightening or losing the skateboard truck is a much simple, straightforward, and hassle-free job. Follow these simple steps to tight up or loosen the trucks.
Step 1: Check The Condition
Before tightening or losing the trucks of your skateboard, ride a few munites and confirm that it needs adjustment. Also, flip the board upside down and push every wheel downward with hands to check they are smoothly returning back or not. It will give much clear understanding of how tight the skateboard trucks are.
Step 2: Take A Wrench and Fix the Trucks
If you are confirmed that the trucks need adjustments, then take a wrench and fix it on the Kingpin nut. Now rotate the wrench clockwise if you want to tight the truck or do the opposite if you want to loosen the nut. Rotate slowly for a good adjustment.
Step 3: Tight or Loosen Both Trucks
While adjusting the tightness, tight or loosen both trucks (excluding some cases) every time. Make sure that both trucks are showing similar feedbacks.
Step 4: Ride for A Few Minutes
Ride the skateboard after tightening or loosening the trucks. Try to feel and be sure that you are comfortable with it. If not, then adjust the tightness of the skateboard trucks again and check again.
Step 5: Repack Bushing According to Your Riding Style
Several types of bushings are available for skateboards like the barrel, large barrel, cone, large cone, street, tall cone, etc. You can also change them or add extra layers to tight up the trucks or removing extra vibrations.
Who Should Tight the Skateboard Trucks and Who Shouldn’t?
Skaters who are professional on skateboard tricks and ramps should need to adjust the tightness of his/her skateboard trucks the most. They might need to have a check before going for different trick styles or ramps.
Adjust the trucks according to your necessity to show your performance on the best level. If you are a casual skateboarder and mostly cruise around with the board, then adjustment of the truck might not need much frequently. Just tight up or loosen the truck according to your comfort and you are good for a prolonged time.
On the other hand, it is advised not to change the tightness of your skateboard if you are a beginner-level skater. Tightening or loosening trucks might make your riding much unstable and uncomfortable rather than improving it.
With the proper knowledge on adjusting skateboard or longboard trucks, you can have much more benefits and improved performance than your friends or competitors. Evaluate the area where you are going to skate and tight or loosen the trucks according to that. Remember, you can never say yourself a perfect skateboarder if you do not have proper knowledge about tightening the trucks.