If you are a newbie to skateboarding, let me tell you, trucks are those metal axles that are attached to the front and back of your board and hold the wheels on.
Learning to skate or learning a new trick, both get troublesome if you have loose trucks. Your feet will sway away as you ride and you will miss out on the real fun of skating. The solution is to tighten them.
Tightening skateboard or longboard trucks doesn’t have much difference with the process of loosening them. If you have already read our article on how to loosen skateboard trucks, you already can guess the steps. If not, here’s how to do it!
Why Should We Tighten Our Skateboard Trucks
A newly bought skateboard or longboard will have pre-tightened bearings. You need to make sure the tightness suits your carvings.
With passing time and due to frequent use, screws loosen and lose their grip resulting in difficulty to control.
Either way, regularly tightening bushings or screws will give you a smoother ride and help adapt the board to your turning style. The tighter you turn the trucks, the more balanced your wheels are when you need to turn or jump up a puddle. Tightened truck increases grip as you brake or glide.
What To Use To Tighten your Skate Trucks
Tightening the skateboard/longboard trucks is a very easy process if you are following the guide attentively. You might need to read, do and recheck on the first few times but we hope you will be a pro at this as you DIY your way into the skating world. Here’s what you might need:
- A Skate tool
- Your skateboard or longboard (obviously)
- A flat surface (a table, counter or the floor)
4 Steps on How To Tighten Your Skateboard Trucks
If you are a regular skater, learning to tighten your own trucks is essential as well as it saves you time and money. Here’s how to do it in four easy steps!
Step 1: Decide Your Tightness
Get your board at hand. Make it lay on the surface you chose, turn it over and tilt the truck back and forth with the front of your feet to decide how tight you want it to be. If it moves very easily, it needs some tightening.
You can also borrow a friend’s board to check if you enjoy the tightness and rematch your trucks with it.
Step 2: Get The Work Started
Keep your skateboard upside down on a flat surface. You can also use the floor or a countertop according to your comfort. Here’s what you to do next:
- Put the skate tool you got with your skateboard in the middle of the kingpin. A kingpin is a big nut fitted in the center of the axle. This axle nut controls the tightness of the trucks.
- Turn the tool clockwise. The more you turn, the tighter it gets.
- Turn the tool counter-clockwise if you want to loosen it for a softer feeling.
- Tighten the nut in small increments and keep checking for your preferred grip.
Step 3: Go For a Test Ride
Get on your skateboard deck and take a ride around your lawn or garden pavement. Possibly, go on a longer ride outside to test your trucks being tight enough to your taste.
Step 4: Carry Your Tool
A wise trick is to carry your tool on the first day of riding after the new set-up. A skate tool or a 14mm socket wrench isn’t very heavy to carry. You will find faults in your set-up on a hard day of riding. But know that you don’t have to carry the faults of yesterday, all day today!
Sit down and fix the screws if it hinders a smooth ride!
Most frequent questions and answers
What to do if my trucks just won't tighten?
At times, the kingpin might not respond to your tightening turns. It might be a case of rugged screws locks or rusting on bushings. Trying a new pair of trucks and changing your old ones might help the case. Besides, you will get to try newer brands too!
How tight can I tighten my trucks?
Honestly, it is a matter of personal choice. The truck tightness totally depends on how pro you are at riding skates. If you think you can handle some smooth yet swingy rides, you can let them go looser. But for beginners, it provides safe rides. Tight trucks causes wheels to have a better grip.
How can I tighten my truck without a skate tool?
If you don’t have a skate tool at hand, a very helpful tool may do the job, which is an adjustable wrench. Precisely, a 14mm wrench fits all the nuts. Hold the middle nut with the wrench and turn it clockwise and the rest is just the same.
How to recognize which truck suits me?
There are trucks with different specs and styles from different brands in the market. While making your choice, keep in mind that:
- Higher pins are for grinds, manuals, and other tricks.
- A lowered kingpin is best for popping ollies and kickflips.Buy the ones whichever suits your skating style and get it fitted to your board.
How tight should skateboard bushings be for beginners?
If you take our advice, beginners should start with pre-tightened trucks or bushings. However, you can make a few changes here and there to match your carving style. Keep in mind that tight trucks give you stability and better control. Rest is your personal preference.
Why are bushings important in tightening?
Bushings play an important role in keeping the skateboard screws in place and the deck above the ground. It’s the rubbery rings fitted around the kingpin. The bushings assist the board in turning and swinging smoothly.
Now, the bottom bushing which is between the hanger and the base of the truck can be tightened too. It is fitted on the kingpin so tighter bushings means tighter trucks.
It is important to keep in mind to buy harder bushings for longevity and bumpless rides.
In The End…..
For a sportsman, it is important to take care of the plaything he is toying around with. A skateboard is a magic carpet for skaters, thus should be the feeling of the rides too!
Tightening or loosening becomes easier if you have a handy guide to follow up. We just took care of that. It’s your turn to do the rest!
Let us know if you have any queries in the comment section below. Do share if you have any sneaky tips and tricks and help fellow skating people out!