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How to Choose Right Longboard Trucks
Longboard trucks are T-shaped pieces made of metal that are mounted under the deck and are attached to the wheels. Two trucks are needed for a longboard and they can be measured the width of the hanger or the axle.
Longboard trucks are available with ‘inverted’ or ‘reversed’ kingpins. Longboard trucks are known to be reverse kingpin as they are on the other side of kingpin. Longboard trucks have softer bushings that allow them to offer easy turning ability and more manoeuvrability. However, downhill trucks should feature stiffer bushings so that the ride is stable at high speed.
Whenever you are going to buy longboard trucks, you will also be given two skate trucks that are needed to assemble the truck of your longboard. You can buy different components of the trucks separately and replace them independently as well. They are available in various colours and sizes in the market.
Features of Longboard Trucks
Various components of longboard trucks are as follows:
Axle: Axle is a long pin that runs through the hanger and attacks the two wheels.
Hanger: Hanger is a triangular metal part that is the largest part of longboard and is mounted to support the axle that runs through it.
Kingpin: Kingpin is the large bolt found inside the bushings and it holds together the parts of trucks together. Instead of heavy kingpins, now hollow and light kingpins and axles are being used these days thatdoes not have too much weight without compromising the durability factor.
Bushings: Bushings are soft urethane rings that are fitted around the kingpin making it possible for the board to turn smoothly.
Trucks are vital components of your longboard so the quality of trucks is imperative if you want a quality ride.
Traditional vs. Reverse Kingpin
While purchasing a truck, you have to keep in mind manythings; one of them is choosing the direction of the kingpin. Two main kingpins that are available for longboard trucks are traditional and reverse. In a reverse kingpin, the kingpin is mounted on the other side of axle, pointing in a different direction. In traditional setup, the kingpins are facing each other.
Reverse kingpins, as compared to traditional kingpins, turn more and are taller, which helps in carving and turning and make them easier. Baseplate angle also affects the turning ability of the trucks mounted with reverse kingpin. You can alter the turn you get from reverse kingpins by changing the baseplate angle. For this very reason, reverse kingpins are quite popular among longboarders.
Flipping the Truck Hanger
‘Flipping the hanger’ or ‘flipping trucks’ are often used expressions by longboard surfers; what do they really mean and what does these expressions have to do with longboard rides? By flipping the hanger to the opposite direction so that they face to opposite sides, they lower the truck near to the ground, increasing stability of the ride. For many riders, lowered deck nearer to the ground provides them better control but this may result in wheel bite.
You can flip your truck’s hanger only with reverse kingpin, as the hanger is flat. Remover your hanger by taking out the kingpin from the baseplate. Turn the hanger’s direction and reassemble it. There is no need to rotate the bushings as well.
How to Choose the Right Longboard Wheels
Longboard wheels are the components, which make your world move while on the longboard so it is obvious that the quality of wheels cannot be compromised. Mostly they are made of Polyurethane and they are available in various sizes, colours and durability levels. You can choose from them according to your needs and style. For longboards, usually larger and softer wheels are used that provides them with smoother rides in rough areas.
All said, in case of larger wheels, it is highly likely; you will get indented deck due to friction between the two. Best way to avoid this is by getting riser pads or mid to high longboard trucks.
Here are different things to inspect before purchasing the longboard wheels for yourself in order to get best ones that suit your needs and style of ride.
Choosing Longboard Wheels Diameter
Diameter of a longboard is measured in millimetres. Smaller the diameter means smaller the size of wheels and vice versa. Smaller wheels will give you slower ride while wheels having more diameter being larger, will give your faster ride. Bigger wheels also ensure smooth cruising. It also affects the acceleration rate and the ability to turn.
Longboard wheel size range from 54mm to 60mm. Your height and weight should be in your mind while deciding the diameter of your wheels.
Choosing Longboard Durometer
Durometer refers to the hardness of the longboard wheels. Generally, harder wheels are faster while softer ones are slow. On the flip side, harder wheels are not safe for downhill rides while softer wheels have more grips and can provide you better ride downhill. Longboards having wider and larger decks need larger and softer wheels to ensure stability.
Most company use Durometer A Scale for the wheels’ hardness, which range from 1 to 100. Lower numbers mean softer the wheels. Some manufacturers of longboard wheels use B Scale. So whenever, you are buying wheels for your longboard, keep in mind these provided scales for better choice of hardness you want for your wheels.
Choosing wheel Shape
Shape of the wheels can figure as higher as its durometer or size. Different styles of riding calls for different shapes that make or break the quality of ride you get. There are basic three shapes available for longboard wheels.
- Square Edge: Square edged wheels are, of course, square in shape and they provide maximum grip to the wheels, having most part of the wheel in contact with the ground. It helps to provide stable ride while maintaining the speed. Its best choice for downhill rides.
- Bevelled Edge: Bevelled edge wheels are neither square, nor round. They are something in between. They are cut at an angle on the side, giving you a contact patch on the edge of the wheel. It is best to be used for taking a turn.
- Rounded Edge: These wheels, being rounded from both sides, like a car tyres, gives you flexibility to carve and slide. It faces less friction on the pavement when you want to enjoy sliding.
Choosing Wheel Core
For best quality longboard wheels, plastic cores are used. They are located inside the wheels to support the bearings. Wheel cores are installed to fulfil two purposes. The principle one is to spread the heat from the rotating bearings evenly throughout the wheels to prevent them from melting from friction. There are three kinds of cores available for the wheels.
- Backset Cores: Wheels with Backset cores features core which is even with the back of the wheel. They allow more flexibility on the outer edge of the wheel giving you room for more carving and sliding.
- Centerset Cores: Centerset cores are placed at the center of the wheels, just as the name suggests. Street and vert skating calls for this kind of core for the wheels as having symmetrical cores gives riders the ability to rotate and flip. You cannot flip with Backset or Sideset cores. Centerset core allows equal distribution of weight throughout the wheel giving it long lasting endurance.
- Sideset Cores: Sideset core comes in between Backset and Centerset cores. They offer more grip to the wheels as they distribute weight towards the outside of the wheels and support from the core near the back of the wheel. However, keep in mind; Sideset cores do not allow you to flip your longboard due to the location of the core.
Contact Patch Size
Contact patch refers to the area of the wheels that is in actual contact with the ground. It is important part of longboard wheel and affects the performance of the rides greatly. Larger longboard wheels features larger contact patch.
Larger contact patch offers large area to distribute your weight on. This prevents excessive compression of the urethane and lowers rolling resistance. This slows the wheels down.
The size of contact patch depends greatly on the shape of the wheel. Rounded wheels will have little contact patch and have less contact with the ground. While square edged wheels will feature larger contact patch size. Placement of contact patch also affects wheels’ performance.
Purchasing a longboard is not as tough as it seems. You have to consider few basic things before you go for a certain component. You have to keep in mind the kind of rides you are into. Because, the wheels, bearings, bushings and other parts individually, are manufactured to compliment various styles of rides. Therefore, if you want to enjoy best rides, you should buy longboards or longboard parts that assist you to enjoy the style to the maximum. They should support your riding methods and offer you stability and control. Every component comes with detailed usage. All you need is to give a little attention and you will find your thing without any hassle.