Are you trying to figure out where to place your new trucks on your longboard? Are you thinking about changing the mounting of your trucks? Whether you are replacing your truck or assembling your new longboard deck, truck placement is crucial.
Where you place your truck plays an important role in how your board will perform. Trucks may seem like a small part of your longboard, but they affect a lot of components in your longboard like its stability, board height, turning ability, and a lot more. So here’s a guide on what you need to know about longboard truck placement.
Mount Hole Patterns
When changing trucks or assembling a longboard, you need to know that there are two types of mount hole patterns. It is important that your truck and deck’s mount patterns are compatible. There can be more than one hole pattern in a deck. This allows riders to choose the distance between the trucks.
Where you want to place your truck can affect how your board will turn and its stability. Truck and deck manufacturers either use one type of mounting hole standards or use both.
Old School Pattern
This is called an old-school pattern because it was what was used by all skateboard truck companies during the 1970s. The spacing between the holes along the length is 2.5 inches and the spacing along the width is 1.625 inches.
New School Pattern
It was in the ’80s when the new school pattern was standardized. It was also the same time when pool tricks and tail slides became a thing in the stake board world. Because of this outside bolts were moved inward to prevent hardware hang-ups. Holes spacing in the new school pattern became 2.125″ through the length but with the same width space as the old school pattern.
New school pattern is commonly used on longboards but may also combine the two patterns by having more holes. You may find old school patterns on some re-issued longboard decks, however, truck options can be limited since you can only use specific trucks or old-style street trucks for these decks.
Longboard Trucks Placement and Wheelbase
Where you place your truck will influence your wheelbase. The wheelbase is the space in the middle of your trucks. How your longboard rides widely depends on your wheelbase. You’ll know if your deck uses both hole patterns when it has more holes than usual. Normally there will be 6 or 8 holes on your deck if it uses both patterns.
Aside from wheelbase, weight distribution, wheelbite, and board flex are affected depending on where you place your truck. If you want to increase your turn you can set a shorter wheelbase. However, doing so may affect your board’s flex, like it can decrease the flex.
When you move your truck inward there is a bigger chance that your board and wheels will be in contact. However, increasing the wheelbase can offer better stability especially at higher speed but it may increase your board’s flex. Thus, may also result in increased wheelbite.
This is why it is important where you place your trucks. But placing it nearer or further will still depend on your deck shape.
Longboard Trucks Types and Placement
Standard Kingpin Trucks
If you are a beginner, you’ve probably heard or read SKP from many skaters and wondered what it is. SKP simply means Standard Kingpin Trucks that are typically used for park and street skateboarding. But they can also be used for smaller-sized longboard cruisers since they are available in smaller sizes plus they provide a lower ride height.
Reverse Kingpin Trucks
If there’s SKP there are also RKP or Reverse Kingpin Trucks. This kind of truck is normally used for longboards due to their responsiveness when riding at low speeds and at the same time offer better control and stability when riding at high speeds. The reverse kingpin has a higher ride height than SKP this is why they are not ideal for small cruisers.
Dual Pivot Trucks
This type of truck offers the highest ride among the three types. They are easier to do turns and are very responsive. This is because of the extra axis of turn. If you are into cruising at a slower speed, then this should fit you. However, when it comes to long-distance riding and hills they tend to be less stable.
Now that you know the different types of trucks, let’s discuss their placement. As mentioned earlier, SKP is typically used for skateboards, so you probably noticed that the trucks are facing each other. Longboards, on the other hand, have their trucks backward and are larger, this is because they use RKP trucks.
Nonetheless, you can change where your RKP trucks face, instead of backward, you can also face them inwards, same with SKP. Doing so will make your board more stable because of the lower center of gravity. However, it may also result in a less responsive board.
Truck Size of Longboards
Longboard trucks also come in different sizes and the size of your truck and the placement should depend on your deck’s width.
A deck with a size of 8.5″ or smaller can use a 150mm truck and a wider deck may use a 180mm sized truck. 150mm and 180mm are the typical truck sizes that are used in a longboard.
Finding the right truck size is important because if you get a truck that is wider than your deck there’s a possibility that your foot will touch the truck or wheel. If you change your truck placement, it may lead to wheel bite when performing turns because the wheels will be nearer to the deck.
If you want to avoid this from happening, you can add risers across the truck and deck. When choosing the right riser height, you need to know the size of your wheels and deck. However, if your deck has a shape with larger cutouts, you don’t need to worry since there’s a lesser chance of experiencing wheelbite.
How To Choose Longboard Replacement Trucks
So, which type of truck should you use as a replacement for your old truck? How would you know if they have the right truck for your longboard or not? Here are some tips on how to choose the right longboard replacement trucks.
Find out your deck width
This is the first thing you need to check when planning to replace your truck. You want to avoid buying a wider truck than the width of your deck. This can cause a lot of issues with your riding experience.
Know your deck’s mount hole pattern
As discussed earlier there are two types of mount hole patterns, the old school, and the new school. Most longboards are using the new school pattern, however, there are longboard decks that have both. Remember that not all trucks are suited to the old school pattern so, it is important to check carefully.
Decide whether you want an RKP or an SKP truck
Most longboards use an RKP (reverse kingpin) truck but you can also use SKP (standard kingpin) if you like depending on how you want to ride your board. Deciding which kind of truck is very important as it will define your riding styles and experience.
The three are the most important things you need to consider when choosing a longboard replacement truck. Aside from the three, you should also identify the right bushing seats and baseplate angle as they will also help in letting your board perform the way you want it.
You may also want to research skateboard truck manufacturing companies and find a brand that is reputable to ensure high-quality truck. Aside from the brand, you should also consider how much you are willing to spend on your trucks.
Longboard Trucks Vs. Skateboard Trucks
Are there any differences between a longboard truck and a skateboard truck? This is the common question of most skaters. So, here’s a guideline to differentiate them.
Longboard truck hangers typically have a size of 150mm to 180mm wide. Skateboard trucks tend to be shorter with a width of 100mm to 145mm.
A wider truck will provide better grinding space, stability, and speed. A shorter or narrower truck is best for freestyle tricks and easier board maneuverability.
The recommendation for longboarding is to have an axle with the same width as the deck. Having this kind of axle provides a stable ride and is usually ideal for fast downhill and cruising.
It’s the opposite when it comes to skateboards. They normally have an axle that is narrower than the deck. A narrower axle allows great control and excellent maneuverability. But they tend to provide less grip and stability.
Bushings are rubber cushions that control the stability and handling of your ride. The ideal bushing for your longboard truck would be somewhere between soft and hard. But it will still depend on how you want to ride your longboard. Stiffer bushings are great for downhills, medium stiffness for cruising, and for carving softer bushing is advisable.
For skateboards, it is easier since skateboard truck bushings have the same size so they will fit any kind of skateboard truck.
The tightness of the bushings can be adjusted depending on the rider’s preference.
The baseplate controls how your board will function depending on its angles. It is an angled connector for the truck and deck.
Higher angles are usually used for longboarding that is around 48 to 50 degrees. This kind of angle is suitable for beginners and provides great carving power.
For skateboard trucks, angles are usually between 40 to 45 degrees. This allows better grip and a more stable ride at higher speeds.
Skateboards typically use the Traditional Kingpin, it sits lower than the Reverse Kingpin which is normally used in longboards.
Riders who love cruising, carving, and freestyle prefer RKP since it also provides better stability. TKP on the other hand is great for skate park riding and technical sliding.
There are several kinds of materials that are used for a truck. Steel, a combination of brass and aluminum is normally used on longboard trucks. However, they tend to be heavier but offer better grip and improve the durability and strength of the truck.
Skateboard trucks are not too hard. Aluminum is used for the truck hanger and baseplate and steel for truck axles.
Frequently Asked Questions
How far apart should Longboard trucks be?
It would depend on the mount hole pattern. But longboards typically use the new school pattern which is 2.125 along the length.
Which way should trucks face on a skateboard?
On a skateboard, they usually face inwards, the trucks are facing each other, they use Standard Kingpins.
Do all Longboard trucks fit all decks?
No, longboard trucks tend to be wider which will not fit most decks.
Can I put Longboard trucks on a skateboard deck?
No, this is mainly because of the size difference. Longboard trucks have a size of 150mm to 180mm while skateboards have 100mm to 145mm.
What if the deck holes and trucks don’t match?
This usually happens when you buy trucks that have a different mount pattern on your deck. This can be solved by drilling additional holes on your deck or to your trucks if you think there’s an extra space in the baseplate.
How do trucks affect the mounting of the board?
A top mount board is when the trucks are attached under the deck, while a drop-through mount is when the trucks are attached through the deck. Topmount decks sit higher on the ground and drop-through is closer to the ground.
So, do you now know how to adjust your trucks to suit your riding needs? Truck placement is vital in deciding how you want to ride your board. But of course, mount hole patterns, deck shape, and style can affect truck placement. So when ordering new trucks, be sure to check your deck carefully.