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.
How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks:
- Gather Tools: Prepare your skateboard and a skate tool. These are the only things you need to adjust your trucks quickly and easily.
- Flip and Hold: Turn your skateboard upside down. Hold both wheels using your hands, ensuring your fingers are on the grip tape.
- Test Truck Tightness: Apply pressure to one wheel and then the other. Observe how much the wheels tilt. The extent of tilting indicates the current tightness of your trucks.
- Use the Skate Tool: With the skate tool, adjust the nut (kingpin) located at the center of the truck. The kingpin controls the truck’s tightness. Turning it clockwise tightens the trucks, while turning it counter-clockwise loosens them.
- Adjust in Increments: Make small adjustments to the kingpin using the skate tool. After each adjustment, test the trucks’ feel by tilting the wheels. Repeat this process until you achieve your desired tightness.
- Test Ride: Take your skateboard for a test ride. Although you can try this indoors, it’s more effective to ride on the street to get a better feel for the adjustments.
- Carry the Skate Tool: For your initial rides, bring the skate tool with you. This way, you can fine-tune the adjustments based on your experience. Make any necessary changes as you ride.
By following these steps, you can easily modify your skateboard truck tightness to match your preferences and improve your overall riding experience.
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
Signs It’s Time to Tweak Your Trucks
Okay, so if you’re cruising down the sidewalk on your skateboard, but suddenly things feel a bit off. That’s when you might want to consider giving your trucks some attention. Here are a few telltale signs that your trucks might need a little adjustment love:
- Wheel Bite: If you notice your wheels taking a bite out of your deck when you make a sharp turn, it’s like your skateboard’s way of saying, “Hey, I need more breathing room!” Wheel bite can throw you off balance and mess with your smooth ride.
- Shaky Stability: Ever feel like you’re on a rollercoaster instead of a skateboard? If your board seems wobbly or unstable, your trucks could be playing tricks on you. This might happen when they’re too loose or too tight for your liking.
- Tricky Maneuvers: Skating is all about that finesse, right? But if you find it harder to pull off your favorite tricks, your trucks could be the culprits. They should be your partner in crime, not your obstacle course.
- Turning Troubles: Imagine trying to steer a car with a busted steering wheel – not fun, right? If making turns feels like a battle, your trucks might need some adjusting. They should let you carve and cut like a champ.
So, if any of these scenarios sound familiar, don’t fret. It’s just your skateboard’s way of chatting with you. Time to break out that skate tool and give your trucks the attention they deserve. Adjust those bad boys, and get back to riding the way you love – smooth, stylish, and in total control.
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.
So there you have it, fellow riders – your guide to unlocking the secrets of skateboard truck adjustments. We’ve journeyed through the realms of tightness and looseness, explored the art of turning and stability, and even dabbled in the science of bushings.
Remember, your skateboard isn’t just a piece of wood with wheels; it’s an extension of your style, your personality, and your passion. The way your trucks feel can make all the difference in how you experience the world on your board.
But here’s the deal: there are no strict rules here. Your style, your terrain, your preferences – they’re all unique. So, as you step onto your board, embrace the trial-and-error journey of finding your perfect truck tightness. Experiment, adjust, and test like a skate scientist until you hit that sweet spot that screams, “This is me!”
Whether you’re cruising, grinding, or hitting the half-pipe, remember that your skateboard is your canvas, and your trucks are the brushstrokes that shape your ride. So, keep that skate tool handy, and let the pavement be your playground.