Which longboard truck size is the best for your deck?

In Blog - 06/06/2017

Serious longboarders understand that there’s much more to crafting the perfect ride than choosing a deck style that matches your boarding preferences. In reality, choosing the right longboard truck size can play an equally important role in getting perfect performance from your board setup.

So which longboard truck size should you select, and how can it make a difference for your setup? Let’s take a look.

Finding the Right Size

In an ideal world, your longboard truck size and the width of your deck would match perfectly. This is because when there is a perfect match, your trucks and wheels will be optimally aligned with your board’s leverage points, which in turn will deliver superior performance.

Of course, we don’t live in a perfect world, which means that a lot of the time, your trucks will be wider or narrower than your deck. This isn’t necessarily a problem. In general, as long as your trucks are within ¼ inch of the width of your deck, you shouldn’t encounter any serious performance issues. However, if the difference between your trucks and your deck width is greater than ¼ inch, you will probably have some major problems with your ride.

If you can’t perfectly match your truck size and deck width, the most common recommendation is to err on the side of having your trucks be a little too wide. This adds greater stability to your ride and is less likely to result in serious performance issues.

It’s worth noting that choosing the right longboard truck size should also take your riding style into consideration (this should also naturally influence the width of your deck and other factors that go into the construction of your longboard).

Wider trucks are known for providing additional stability, but also for being less responsive. As a result, they are most frequently used by freeride or downhill enthusiasts. Narrower trucks are the opposite: they give up some stability for improved responsiveness, which makes them a popular choice for freestyle, carving, and commuting.

Other Factors

Your longboard truck size isn’t the only factor you should consider when assembling your board. Your truck’s bushing seat, as well as the angle of its baseplate, can also have a significant impact on your board’s performance.

The bushing seat plays a crucial role in your truck setup because it manages your truck’s turning ability. Most longboards come with moderately restricted setups to provide a more versatile boarding experience, but electing either a tight bushing seat or an open bushing seat can greatly influence your ability to ride in your preferred style.

Tight bushing seats can greatly limit the turning of your trucks, which boosts stability and speed for downhill and freeride riders. However, this can lead to lower responsiveness when traveling at low speeds. Open bushing, on the other hand, makes it easy for carvers and freestylers to get the sharp turns and high response they crave.

Baseplate angles are important to consider, as they also influence the turning ability of your trucks. For example, many baseplates come at 50 degree angles, as this increases responsiveness and dive. Riders can enjoy high responsiveness even when traveling at low speeds, making this high degree baseplate angle ideal for carvers, freestylers, and cruisers.

Lowering the baseplate angles to 42 degrees may not sound like it would make a huge difference, but this can greatly improve stability and help you avoid oversteering and other problems when traveling at high speeds. Lower baseplate angles are generally used by downhill riders and fast freeriders.

Conclusion

By accounting for longboard truck size, bushing seat setup, and baseplate angles, you’ll be able to fine-tune the performance of your board and get more out of your next ride — no matter what riding style you prefer.