match your truck width to the width of your board where your front foot sits
wider = more stable – slower turning
thiner = less stable – quicker turning
The width of the truck is commonly refereed to by the actual width of the hanger or part of the truck that holds the axle in place. When talking longboard trucks, you will generally hangar widths to range between 150mm and 180mm.
The idea is to match your axle width to the width of your longboard deck. All other parts equal, a thinner truck will be quicker turning because the board allows you to put more leverage over the trucks. Having more leverage over the trucks like this makes the ride less stable. This is why having trucks that are two thin for your deck will make for a pretty gnarly and wobbleful wheel-lifty ride that only a bobblehead would dig.
lower = more stability – less response (less turn)
higher = less stability – more response (more turn)
depending on the shape of your deck:
lower = more prone to wheelbite with larger wheels
higher = less prone to wheelbite with larger wheel
The height of a longboard truck, often referred to as ride height, affects the overall stability and responsiveness of your ride. Having a lower ride height will lower your overall center of gravity, thus creating a more stable ride at high speeds. On the other hand, a lower ride height will reduce your leverage over the pivot axis of the trucks making your ride less responsive and more difficult to initiate sharp turns than a higher ride height.
It is important to keep in mind that the height of the truck is also a function of the truck height and the wheel size that you will be using. If your trucks are too low and wheels are too large for your deck you’ll get what is called ‘wheelbite’. This is when the edge of board and your wheels rub against each other when initiating turns and greatly reducing your level of stoke after you eat a nice pile of ground. In many cases, risers will be used in the case where you want to use a larger wheel on a lower truck and stay clear of wheelbite.
harder = more resistance (tighter feel)
softer = less resistance (smoother feel)
shape affects the amount of lean (turn) the truck makes for the amount of force put into the turn
Bushings are quickest to adjust and the most cost effective way to change the feel and performance of your trucks. Wrapped around the the kingpin and sandwiching the pivot axis, they can be tightened and loosened to change the way the board turns. Bushings are made of polyurethane so different combinations of hardness, shape and rebound control the performance of the bushing. Find more information on how to buy longboard bushings here.
reverse kingpin = smoother response (more fluid turning)
standard kingpin = sharper response (more rigid turning)
double kingpin = smoothest response (extra fluid turning)
The kingpin is the bolt that holds all the parts of the truck together. Tightening or loosing this bolt compresses or de-compresses the bushing of the truck causing tighter or looser feel to the ride.
The direction that the kingpin is mounted to the baseplate has a direct effect on the way the truck turns. A reverse kingpin truck (kingpins facing away from center of the board) will have a smoother and more fluid turning feel than a standard kingpin (kingpins point to the center of the deck) that has a more rigid feel. Carvers and downhill riders generally want more fluid response for carving so often opt for a reverse kingpin truck where traditional skateboarders opt for a standard kingpin truck.
higher angle (sharp) = more responsive (more turn)
lower angle (mellow = less responsive (more stability)
The duty of the baseplate is to provide the connection between your board and the kingpin and pivot cup which control how your board turns. Higher (sharper) angled baseplates will be more responsive when durning but sacrifice some stability while lower angles perform more stable at speed but sacrifice some responsiveness.
You’ll commonly find angles between 35º (lower) – 50º (higher) when looking at longboard trucks. At times you’ll see advanced riders mixing baseplates with various angles. This allows the rider to add more or less response to either end which sometimes helps when you want more stability in the tail without sacrificing turning radius.