Your skateboard trucks should be tight enough that you can easily control the board, and loose enough that you can easily control the board. If you’re getting wheel bite you may want to look at some options to fix that, including tightening your trucks. But if you’re not experiencing wheel bite, chances are you can loosen your trucks. Your trucks should be loose enough that you don’t need to tic-tac to get around obstacles while skating around.
Skateboard trucks can be set tight or loose, depending on the rider’s preference. That being said, they should be tight enough that the kingpin won’t fall out and loose enough that the bushings don’t burst. Other than that, there aren’t really a set of rules.
If you are a skater that rides street or at skateparks, you’ll want to set them quite tight to provide more stability. If you’re into cruising, you’ll want them to be quite loose for better turning. And if you skate vert, you’ll want them somewhere in the middle.
How To Tighten Skateboard Trucks
To tighten or loosen the trucks on your skateboard you only need two things; your skateboard, and a skate tool. With these, you’ll quickly be able to make adjustments to your trucks and be back on the board in no time, and it’s super easy.
Grab your skateboard, flip it over, and grab both wheels with either hand. Your fingers should be fully on the grip tape. Test the trucks by applying pressure to one wheel and then the other. The amount that the wheels tilt will depend on how tight your trucks are.
Use your skate tool to tighten or loosen the nut (otherwise known as a kingpin) in the center of the truck. The kingpin singlehandedly controls the tightness of your trucks. By turning the kingpin clockwise, you’ll tighten it, and by turning it counter-clockwise, you’ll loosen the trucks. Make sure to tighten in small increments, test, and then continue tightening or loosening as desired.
Go test your board out. You can do this in the house but you’ll get way more benefit by going out and testing your board on the street.
Bring your skate tool with you for your first couple of rides. You can make adjustments as needed.
Pros And Cons Of Tight Trucks
If you’re into performing flip tricks, chances are you should tighten up your trucks. This will give you more stability when landing your tricks.
Pros of tight trucks:
- Increased balance and stability when landing tricks and at higher speeds
- No wheel bite
- Less chance of getting speed wobbles
Cons of tight trucks:
- Can’t turn or carve well without lifting your front wheels
- If tightened too much, can blow out a bushing
Pros And Cons Of Loose Trucks
As stated earlier, loose skateboard trucks are best suited for those who enjoy cruising and having max turn capabilities. That being said, they’re really difficult to land tricks on.
Pros of loose trucks:
- Turn much better without needing to lift the front wheels
- Can carve
Cons of loose trucks:
- Can cause wheel bite (unless you add riser pads)
- Harder to land flip tricks
- Harder to skate for beginners
Can You Over-Tighten Your Skateboard Trucks?
If you keep tightening your trucks, it is possible to blow out the bushings. When tightening your trucks you should be careful. Go slow and do a half rotation at a time unless they are extremely loose.
You can also get different softness and hardness of bushings. The softer the bushings, the looser the trucks will feel, and the harder they are, the tighter the trucks will feel.
That being said, some bushings have to be broken in. That’s why it’s important to carry your skate tool with you as often as possible. As your bushings and trucks change, you can make small adjustments to complement your skate style.
Knowing that you can blow bushings out by tightening your trucks too much.
So if you want the feel of loose trucks, get soft bushings and adjust your trucks accordingly. If you want the feel of tight trucks, get hard bushings and tighten or loosen the trucks until it feels perfect. This way, you won’t blow out your bushings.
Should My Skateboard Trucks Be Tight Or Loose?
If you are wanting to cruise, you definitely want soft bushings and looser trucks. If you want to ride vert you can get away with soft bushings and tight trucks or hard bushings and loose trucks. Or if you want to ride street and skatepark, you’re going to want hard bushings and tighter trucks.
All that being said, you need to find out exactly what works best for you. Skate a bit, make some adjustments, and continue skating. You’ll find that sweet spot.
One more tip, if you’re a skater that can never seem to find bushings that are soft enough for you, grab yourself a set of Bones soft bushings. You’ll want to put them in boiling water and remove them from the burner. Let it sit in the hot water for about 10 minutes. They’ll be softer than ever. You may want to tighten your trucks a bit at this point.