The Best Longboard Trucks (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Improve your riding experience with these responsive yet stable longboard trucks.
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BY Corrina Murdoch / LAST UPDATED ON March 8, 2021
When you picture yourself cruising on a longboard, you likely focus on the deck and the wheels. But without a set of trucks connecting those two components, you won't be able to move at all. Just like your car’s wheels require axles, longboard trucks are a vital part of the board's structure. Consisting of a baseplate, hanger, axle, and bushings, longboard trucks have several fine-tuned pieces that work together to provide a smooth ride.
But even with a loose understanding of how your longboard trucks come together, it can still be a challenge to pinpoint the right ones for your board. From reverse to traditional kingpin designs to the structure of the baseplate, there are a lot of opportunities to customize your board to your exact preferences. Sure, you might not be a pro skater, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ride in style. So, check out the best longboard trucks on the market and prepare to freeride with finesse.
Coming in a set of two, these trucks feature high-end bearings to provide a smooth, responsive boarding experience on all types of surfaces.
- Pre-lubricated interior
- Rear kingpin truck design
- Available in multiple colors
- Comes in several sizes
- Vulnerable to rust
- Requires ongoing maintenance
- Contact with bushing accelerates wear
Letting you save money without giving up quality, these trucks feature a precise design that’s compatible with most standard base plate holes.
- Uses ABEC-11 bearings
- Bushings are 90a on the hardness scale
- Comes with setup tools
- Work better on skateboards
- Relatively small for longboards
- Requires 52-millimeter wheels
With a reverse kingpin design, these trucks make longboarding easier. Made out of high-grade aluminum and featuring a quality ball pivot, these trucks are built to last.
- Lightweight aluminum construction
- Features 8-millimeter axle
- 48-degree baseplate optimizes responsiveness
- Relatively high price point
- Still susceptible to rust and corrosion
- Lubrication wears down with continued use
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Benefits of Longboard Trucks
- Flexibility. Properly installed and adjusted longboard trucks give the rider an added level of flexibility while riding. Since the board moves more easily from left to right, it enhances the overall maneuverability,
- Vibration absorption. Quality trucks will enable the board to better disseminate vibrations from the road. As the wheels turn, they interact with the surface below. Good trucks take away some of this and offer a smoother ride.
- Control. Because trucks are adjustable, they give the longboard rider an improved ability to steer and cruise with fewer issues. Tighter trucks make for tighter turns, while looser settings enable more precise control over the board.
- Wheel stability. The part of the trucks that connect to the wheels themselves plays directly into how tightly held the wheels are. Loose wheels mean a riskier ride, while properly affixed wheels give you a smoother experience — and it all comes down to the trucks.
- Customization: No matter what kind of longboard truck you choose, it allows you to contour the wheel structure to your preferences. With a few tweaks to the trucks, you can equip your longboard for a lengthy cruise. A couple of twists in the other direction and it’s ready to perform tricks.
Types of Longboard Trucks
Also called standard trucks, these are designed for shorter boards and are often found on skateboards. The screw affixing the baseplate faces inwards. This keeps the trucks safe from any abrasive force. Since this pressure is more common to tighter turns and grinding, this type of truck is best-suited to shorter longboards.
By far the more common type of longboard truck, the reverse kingpin is often referred to as an abbreviation (RKP). Unlike the traditional design, the screw placement faces outwards. This results in improved responsiveness of the board. By absorbing vibrational force more efficiently, the ride becomes more stable. Resultantly, you can find the RKP type of trucks on longboards of any size.
Caliber Truck Co.
A dedicated boarding trucks manufacturer, Caliber Truck Co. is based out of Watsonville, Calif. Opening its doors in 2010, this brand has maintained a focus on generating a wide range of trucks for both skateboards and longboards. Amongst its leading offerings is the Caliber Trucks Cal II RKP Trucks.
Commencing operations in 2007, Atlas Skateboarding started as a small retail outlet for skating supplies. Based out of San Mateo, Calif., the company continues to sell a whole host of skateboarding and longboarding supplies including decks and trucks. A popular selection is the Atlas Truck Co. Reverse Kingpin Longboard Trucks.
With roots in Southern California, Cal 7 originated as a company dedicated to honoring the skating spirit of the ‘70s. It focuses on combining traditional designs with modern innovations, aiming to continually develop new products. One of its best-favored products is the Cal 7 Trucks with Wheels.
Longboard Truck Pricing
- Under $30: While you can find a few longboard trucks in this price range, it isn’t the most common, so it can be trickier to track down quality selections.
- $30 and up: Most longboard trucks belong in this category, with the majority hovering around $50 for a pair of trucks and the installation hardware.
This component represents the two polymer parts of the donut-style structure at the center of the kingpin which goes through the truck’s middle. The hardness of the polyurethane dictates how the board rides. Additionally, you can loosen or tighten the bushing to decide how forgiving the trucks are going to be when you shift your weight on the boards. An essential feature of any longboard trucks, the bushing determines how the trucks sit when the board is in motion.
The axle is the part of the trucks that attach to the wheels. This component should be approximately the same width as your longboard, as long as it is within range. More prominent axles result in added stability, though require more angular force to turn. Conversely, smaller axles will limit stability while drastically increasing responsiveness. If measured in inches, the trucks are referring to the overall size of the axles themselves (and thus the trucks as a whole).
Sitting at an angle, the baseplate connects the deck to the truck. It consists of a relatively flat piece of metal that is anchored to the board through screws. Depending on the angle of the baseplate, the trucks will work better for either sharp turns or fast cruising velocities. Typically, the angle will fall in the range of 50 degrees. The more acute the angle, the better the trucks will be at absorbing force (thus making them more suited to cruising). Wider angles are better for lower velocities.
The hanger is the most prominent part of longboard trucks. The axle rod goes directly into the hanger. You can spot this feature easily by looking for the T-style structure that connects to the axle. It is also an essential component in terms of measuring the board. Some manufacturers specify measurements in millimeters, which gives you the size of the truck hanger instead of the whole. The hanger is critical to the structural integrity of the trucks as a whole.
- Size. Once you’ve assessed the essential features of the trucks you’re considering, it’s time to think about finding the right fit. Look at the specifications or measure the width of your board’s deck. This metric will give you a loose idea of the truck size you need. More experienced riders may prefer narrow trucks, though those newer to the activity can benefit from wider axles.
- Material. While the types of materials used in some parts are standardized (like polyurethane bushings), others come in lots of options. The idea is to balance the value of lightweight trucks against the risk of damage. Good metal is usually aluminum alloy, particularly since it is naturally resistant to rust, is tough, and also lightweight.
- Weight threshold. The trucks on your board are going to need to be able to support your full body weight (and more if you plan to jump on the board). To avoid structural damage, take a peek at the weight threshold of the trucks themselves. Give yourself some wiggle room to ensure the trucks could survive the force of a harsh landing.
- Maintenance. Everything requires some sort of maintenance, but that doesn’t mean the trucks should take up too much of your time. Aim for materials that aren’t prone to rust, and well-designed parts to limit wear and tear from use. While you’ll need to wash and adjust the trucks from time to time, well-built models will neither loosen prematurely nor warp under pressure.
Best Longboard Trucks Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Adjust the bushing on your longboard trucks to customize flexibility.
- Clean your longboard trucks with soap and water to keep them working longer.
- Choose wider trucks if you are newer to longboarding as it gives a more stable ride.
- Check on the baseplate attachments occasionally to be sure it is properly attached.
- Opt for lighter trucks whenever possible to optimize your agility.
- If you’re still a beginner, be sure to wear safety gear like a helmet and pads.
- Practice your balance with other sports like snowboarding or on a surfing trip.
- Avoid extreme impact whenever possible to prevent the trucks from warping.
Q: What size trucks should I get for my longboard?
The best longboard trucks are roughly the same width as the longboard itself. Narrower trucks let you turn more easily, though the ride is less stable. Wider trucks offer more stability though require more force to turn.
Q: When should longboard trucks be replaced?
If your trucks are losing their structural integrity (showing cracks or warping) then it is likely time for a change. Individual parts can be replaced if only one component is damaged. However, in most cases, it is better to replace the entire setup. This way, you can ensure the compatibility of all the parts.
Q: Can you put regular trucks on a drop-through longboard?
While you can, technically, use any kind of truck with a drop-through board design, it is usually better to opt for reverse kingpin designs. These can turn more easily, something that helps when riding a drop-through longboard.
Now that you know the finer details of the best longboard trucks on the market, you can make your pick. It could be the Caliper Trucks Cal II or the cost-effectiveness of Jimzo Skateboard Trucks. There’s a fit for every board. Do you have some riding experience? Share your story in the comments below. Happy longboarding!