Today I’m looking at the best longboard trucks on the market. If you want to learn which are the best for dancing, freestyle, downhill, and freeride, check it out below.
Best Longboard Trucks
The Paris V3 trucks are considered some of the best all-around trucks by most riders.
You name it, whether you want to do downhill, freeride, freestyle, or dance, they have options suited to each style.
Paris trucks are very turny but stable. They also have a smooth, consistent, controlled lean. This makes them good for all sorts of riding.
The stability and good turn make them great for downhill. You can go fast on them but you’ll never feel as though they lack for turn (or stability).
For dance, the smooth controlled lean will allow you to hold the turn for long without the truck ever suddenly twitching or turning too deeply.
Finally, the V3 trucks are super strong. For freestyle, this means the trucks will simply hold up to slams and abuse without bending.
That said, a minority find them to be too turny and too reactive to input, and prefer the stiffer feeling Caliber trucks below.
Stock, they come with either a barrel and cone bushing combination or a barrel/barrel combination if you choose to go with the 50* or 43* options respectively.
With the Paris V3s, you can pick hanger widths from 150mm, 165mm, and 180mm. You can also pick baseplates between 50* and 43*.
If you’re doing downhill, the 43* trucks are best. And for anything else, the 50* is better.
Caliber trucks are runners up for the best all-around truck category.
They’re pretty good trucks in their own right, but they haven’t been updated since like 2012 and are a little outdated in today’s market. They still feel good though.
Caliber trucks don’t have rake (the other trucks – Bear Gen 6 and Paris V3 do).
The Calibers are rakeless, this gives them the feeling of a linear turn, where the trucks only turn as much as you lean on them.
They also sit lower than the other trucks on the list. Because of these two features, the Calibers have a stable feeling ride. The linear turn gives the rider a feeling of control and stability – as the trucks to do exactly what the rider intends them to do.
Finally, sitting lower makes these trucks feel a little bit more stable and calm at speed.
However, these features make the trucks feel very dead and unreactive. Whilst they are stable and have a consistent feeling turn, a lot of people feel like they don’t turn enough – which is why a lot of people don’t like them too much.
When you have options like the Bears and Paris that are both stable and turn great, why go for the Calibers?
That said, at 50* they are both stable and turny enough.
Stock, they come with a barrel/barrel combination for the 44* trucks and a cone/barrel combination for the 50* trucks. You can pick between two hanger widths – 180mm and 159mm.
Bear Gen 6 trucks are some of the best you can buy on the market today. Updated for 2020, these trucks far surpass the old Bear Gen 5 trucks – which a lot of people disliked.
These trucks feel like a hybrid between the Calibers and the Paris. They have the quick, deep turn of the Paris, but the solid consistent like lean of the Calibers.
They are surprisingly stable at speed and have a solid, calm feel. When it comes to turning, they feel even turnier and carvier than the Paris. They’re in my opinion the best trucks on the market.
That said, they do tend to dive into the turn. Whilst I think this is ok and kinda nice, some beginners may find that they dive too quickly into the turn, and they might some trouble getting accustomed to that.
Stock the Bears come with a broad variety of options. You can pick baseplate angles from 50, 40, and 30 degrees. For hanger widths, you can pick between 180mm, 155mm, and 130mm’s.
Arsenal trucks come in two main sizes, you can pick between a 50 and 44-degree baseplate and a hanger width of either 160mm or 180mm. They have a tall bushing configuration.
They’re gonna be good for downhill – a lot of people have said they’re their favorite cast truck for downhill. They’re both turny and stable, whilst also having a deep lean – thanks to the tall bushings.
However, the tall bushing makes them feel awkward for other types of skating. A lot of people don’t like them for casual cruising or dancing as the tall bushings makes them feel a bit sluggish. They’re best used for downhill and freeride.
The Sidewinders are a double kingpin truck designed by Gullwing. They articulate and turn a lot. When it comes to turning, they are one of the best trucks around.
The Gullwings were designed as a land surfer truck, to articulate quickly and turn as quickly and as tightly as a surfboard does on water. They do this well.
However, though they turn great, they often make boards not designed for them break.
They put a lot of stress on the necks of drop-through boards as they change where the stress is strongest.
Most boards are designed for regular trucks and aren’t going to be good for them. So yeah, only use these on the boards built for them (often by sector 9).
Finally, because they are so turny, they often wobble when you take them to any sort of significant speed. They’re not stable.
If you want an RKP truck that turns very deeply, Atlas trucks might be right for you. Though not regarded as the best all-around trucks and not good for speed, these things have a great turn.
They have a unique ball-pivot which allows them to articulate deeper and have a deeper turn than other trucks.
When it comes to speed, this leads to them wobbling and twitching pretty often as the truck wants to turn deeply for the slightest input. But yeah, they are great for those slow speed turns.
They are also very strong and are quite lightweight. They’re a good option if you want a truck for slow speed skating.
How to pick longboard trucks?
What type of trucks are there?
There are two main types of trucks. You have traditional kingpin trucks (TKP) and reverse kingpin trucks (RKP). They are both suited to different styles of riding.
What are TKP trucks?
Traditional kingpin trucks are trucks that have the kingpins facing each other. Or rather, the kingpins are on the inside.
This design makes them excellent for turning at slow speeds, excellent for doing tricks, and great for smaller wheelbases.
They’re great for tricks because the kingpin sits lower than the hanger. This allows a skater to do grinds on coping without messing up the kingpin.
If the kingpin is too tall, it will get scratched and messed up, the nut could also get damaged and you could have trouble removing it from the kingpin.
The hanger is also a lot thicker and stronger allowing them to withstand repeated slams without bending easily.
You’re mostly going to see TKPs on skateboard decks and smaller cruisers. For wheelbases under 20inches, TKP trucks are the go-to option. A lot of people find that RKPs are too turny under that wheelbase.
That said, TKPs aren’t the best for skating very fast. They have a progressive turn that makes them react very quickly to your input instead of gradually. RKPs are better for skating quicker.
Finally, TKPs usually sit quite low. If you’re gonna be running huge wheels (bigger than 60mm), you’re likely going to need some riser pads. Wheelbite is very easy to get on TKPs.
What are RKP trucks?
Reverse kingpin trucks are trucks that have the kingpin facing away from each other, or rather outwards.
They are based on the design of the traditional kingpin truck, but they’ve been adapted so they are better for higher speeds and offer more control.
They’re not gonna be the best for tricks and stuff. Most of them can’t withstand repeated slams without bending a little, and their kingpins usually sit quite high so they’re not good for grinds either (but some have been designed to be good for this stuff too).
However, they excel at cruising and stuff where you want to simply keep going straight.
Yes, RKPs are quite turny – even turnier than TKPs. But with their design they are more stable – you have more control and have a more forgiving lean to turn ratio. This is why you’ll see most longboards built for speed with RKPs.
Finally, you’re going to be seeing RKPs on most boards with a wheelbase longer than 20inches.
You have to pick the right truck for what you want to do
When it comes to picking trucks, you have to pick the one for the type of skating you want to do. There are so many different options out there and they are all suited to different styles of riding.
For example, the trucks you’re gonna use for downhill skating aren’t going to be the same as the trucks you’d use for longboard dancing. There have some differences that make them suited to either type of skating. The main difference is gonna be the baseplate angles.
I explain what the baseplate angles are and all the parts of a longboard truck below.
What are the parts of longboard trucks and how to pick them?
This section talks about the different longboard truck parts. Understanding them and what they do will help you pick the right truck for your needs.
This is the part of the truck that holds the axles. It bears most of the rider’s weight. The hanger’s width is usually indicated in millimeters.
The hangers also have a bushing seat where the bushings will interact with the hanger. They also have a pivot, which will go into the pivot cup located on the baseplate.
This is where the wheels and bearings go. They go on the axles and are then bolted on by an axle nut.
The axle to axle width is often measured in inches – you typically want to match the width of your axles to the width of the deck you want to use. This should you allow to make the most out of your trucks and get the best performance out of them.
This is the part of the truck that sits on the deck. It is bolted on to the deck. The baseplate supports the truck. It has a kingpin passing through it. It also has a hole in it to accommodate a pivot cup.
What is the baseplate angle?
The baseplate angle is the angle that the hanger will sit at, in relation to the ground. The higher the angle, the more turny a truck will be. The lower the angle, the less turny a truck will be.
Most companies will disclose the angle of their trucks (mainly applies to RKP trucks). If not, it is safe to assume the angle is 50*s.
A 50* truck is gonna be great for cruising, dancing, and most types of longboarding. A 45* and less truck is gonna be great for things going fast – it’ll be good for downhill, freeride, and if you just want a bit of stability in your ride.
You can also mix baseplate angles (a higher one in the front and a lower one in the back), for stability at higher speeds without sacrificing the turn too much. But that brings some complications and you might have to get different bushings and such.
If you want to skate faster than 45mph regularly it’s something you should look into. Overkill for most beginners though.
The kingpin is a long bolt that goes through the baseplate. It allows the bushings and hangers to be attached to the baseplate to form a complete truck.
There is a nut at the end of the kingpin that is tightened down.
These are the little barrels or cones of urethane in a truck. They have holes that will allow them to slide on to the kingpin. A truck is going to have two – one is going to be between the baseplate and the hanger, and the other between the hanger and the kingpin nut.
You’re also going to also have two washers – one that goes between the bushing and the baseplate and another that goes between the kingpin nut and the bushing.
The pivot cup is a little cup that sits in a hole in the baseplate. The pivot cup holds the pivot from the hanger and it dictates how smoothly the pivot can rotate.
What do you think? Which truck is right for you?
It can seem intimidating but taking the time to pick the right truck is worth it. Trust me, you’ll be thanking me (or rather yourself) later.
If you’re still having trouble settling on a truck, I highly recommend the Paris V3s.
They’re honestly the best all-around truck and will feel great for most people and most types of riding.