The metal axles that hold your wheels are called trucks. They can be found on the back and front of your board.
Because they become loose with time, they should be regularly tightened.
A properly tightened truck will make your board glide more smoothly and be more responsive to your turn style — and help you feel more balanced.
It is essential to learn how to tighten your trucks if you use your board often.
How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks
First flip the skateboard upside down. Second, tighten (or loosen) the kingpin in the center of each truck. Third, take the skateboard out on a test run. Lastly, refine your settings by repeating step 1. Keep going through this cycle until your board is perfect for you.
Set the Tightness of your Skateboard’s Trucks
Step 1: Flip your skateboard upside down. Mess around with the trucks to determine how they tilt.
You can tilt them up or down to see how they move. You can turn the kingpin slightly with your T skate tool (or wrench, if that is what you use) if it is too wobbly.
If they are too tight, loosen them. It is up to you how tight or loose your trucks should be. Other important considerations include your weight.
Step 2: Get a wrench or a skate tool and start to build. Five bolts connect the truck to each board.
Each truck’s main bolt runs through its middle. Four smaller bolts join the baseplate of each truck to the deck. You won’t have to touch these bolts unless you want to replace the trucks.
Now, attach your tool to the main bolt. Turn the wrench.
Turn the bolt clockwise to tighten your trucks. Do a few turns then stop when it gets to how tight you like it.
Are the trucks too tight? Turn the bolt counterclockwise until you find the sweet spot where your board feels right.
Step 3: Before you can say, “This tightness is perfect for my skating style,” it is important to test your setup.
Get on your board and push. Try a few tricks, such as manuals, ollies, Fakie 180 front sides, or anything else.
Do you believe the trick or jump feels better? Is it easier to skate and requires less effort?
These questions are indicators of whether you have fine-tuned the skateboard or not.
Step 4: It is likely that you won’t find the perfect set up the first time. You should continue to tweak and test until you find the right setup.
This will require you to carry your skate tool around a few times so that you can make adjustments as necessary.
Tip: Be extra careful when handling the bolt over the kingpin. You should not rotate the head too much, or you’ll accidentally create a new edge.
The most dangerous way to cause damage to your trucks is for the “injured” part to grind against the ground. Therefore, protect the assembly by always turning the bolt gently.
Skateboard Trucks: Loose or Tight
People believe that tighter trucks provide more control and stability than looser ones, and therefore, tighter trucks offer a better ride.
The “keep skateboard trucks loose” group begs to differ. According to them, loose trucks can allow for better turning and carving and give you a smoother ride.
Here’s the problem. It’s not necessarily better to have your trucks set tighter than looser ones. The reverse is also true.
There are situations when you might want your trucks to be tighter than in others.
Are Tight Skateboard Trucks Ever Appropriate
Big, heavy people should keep their trucks as tight as possible. If you weigh two hundred pounds and you have loose trucks, you’ll probably end up with wheel burn or wheel bite, neither of which is an attractive prospect.
And anyway, it’s already difficult for heavier people to stay balanced on a shaky board.
When trucks are loose, their wheels will frequently touch the deck, making it easy to fall. Heavier, big-bodied skateboarders are advised to mount the hardest bushings they can find.
When you’re big and heavy, there’s no real argument about how your trucks should be. Always keep them tight.
Tip: Tight trucks provide more stability, and who doesn’t benefit from stability when they’re popping their board?
What’s Best for Doing Tricks, Loose, or Tight Skateboard Trucks
Skating loosely makes it much easier to set up different tricks. You’re also more comfortable being loose than tight.
It’s also easier to control your board. You’ll be able to turn faster and carve better bowls.
Did you ever try a manual loose? With trucks that are set up this way, manuals become a thousand times easier.
Skaters often say that keeping their trucks tight helps them perform tricks better. If they skate better this way, it’s okay.
If you prefer elegant landings to tic-tacking around the place, then go loose.
Loose or Tight, Don’t Overdo It
It is a good idea to turn your trucks’ kingpins around to relieve some pressure on the bushings. However, having overly loose trucks can be disadvantageous.
It takes tremendous skill to balance trucks that are too loosely configured. Remember that trucks were intended to be optimally loose, not extremely loose.
You will feel more difficulty ollieing if the trucks are too loose. You’ll soon hate all the wheel bites, and your board will likely slow down.
Flip tricks and popping your board can also become a chore. You’ll notice inconsistencies in your skating.
Frequently Asked Questions about How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks
I’m a new skateboarder. How tight should my skateboard be?
For new riders, tighter trucks can reduce the instability and shakiness of the board. It’s a great advantage as it makes it easier to balance and stand on. Tightening your trucks is, therefore, an option. Nevertheless, experienced riders prefer looser trucks because it allows them to keep their style clean.
I get plenty of vibrations on my skateboard whether or not I tighten its trucks. What can I do?
The solution has nothing to do with the tightness of your skateboard’s trucks. To decrease vibrations, add risers to your skateboard. Risers attach between your trucks and board, giving you lift to perform tricks. You can also use risers to dampen landing vibrations. However, rises will make your skateboard higher, and it may take some time for you to get used to the higher boards.
Afterword: How to Tighten Skateboard Trucks
There is no one “perfect” way to tighten your skateboard trucks. The more you tighten the trucks, the harder it is for the board to turn.
You won’t feel stable, and you will have trouble turning the trucks.
There are many options for rideable tightness. Your style and preference will determine your ideal tightness.
Tightening your skateboards’ trucks is an art, not rocket science, so you can definitely do it.