Guide To Longboard Trucks

By: Billy James | August 7, 2023 | Longboards

Here are the basics to understand longboard trucks. The three most common truck types are reverse kingpins (RKP), traditional kingpin (TKP) and double kingpin (DKP).

Reverse Kingpin Trucks

Reverse kingpin trucks (RKPs) have their kingpins facing the outside of the board.

They are commonly found on longboards and occasionally on cruiser skateboards.

They have a lower baseplate angle. This means they have more lean and less turn than traditional kingpin trucks. This allows them to handle high speeds better.

RKPs Takeaways

  • Lower baseplate angle
  • More lean, less turn
  • Higher off the ground
  • Better for higher speeds

Traditional Kingpin Trucks

Traditional Kingpin Trucks (TKPs) have their kingpins facing the inside of the board.

They are commonly found on street setups, cruisers, and occasionally on longboards.

This means they have less lean and more turn than reverse kingpin trucks.

TKPS Key Takeaways

  • Higher baseplate angle
  • Less lean, more turn
  • Lower to the ground
  • Sketchier at higher speeds

Double Kingpin Trucks

Commonly referred to as DKPs, and are used on carving setups.

DKPs have their kingpins facing the inside of the board. As you could’ve guessed, they have two kingpins stacked on each other. As a result, they are higher off the ground. They were initially made for longboards with carving in mind.

DKPS Key Takeaways

  • Highest off the ground
  • Made for carving
  • Sketchiest at higher speeds

Now that you know the common types of longboard trucks, how do you know what size to pick?

What size longboard trucks?

While subjective/personal preference, it’s best to match your truck’s width with your deck’s width. We compiled a truck size spreadsheet that organizes all the brands and the sizes they offer.

Most newbies forget that the size and cores of wheels will affect the width of your trucks. For example, an offset core will add more width than a centerset core. If you’re not sure what that means, reference our wheels guide for a full explanation.

Reverse Kingpin Trucks

On RKPs, it’s a good idea to match the truck’s axle width more/less 0.5in.

Traditional Kingpin Trucks

On TKP trucks, the minimum width evenly matches the axle’s width, and the maximum width is 0.25” wider than the axle. This is to accommodate larger offset wheels.  

Street setups.

If using street wheels, it’s best to match the width of the truck perfectly with the width of the deck. To match the width, see axle width. 

If you want more specific recommendations, here’s a spreadsheet with the details for all top truck brands

Baseplate Angles

This measurement shows the degree to which the hanger sits in relationship to the baseplate. A lower angle will have more lean and less turn, whereas a higher angle will have more turn with less lean. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out this angled risers article.

Kingpin Orientation

Kingpins normally have the nut on the top of the truck allowing the rider to swap the bushings without removing the kingpin; however, the kingpin on many trucks may be or may be modified to be inverted. This is normally done to allow for more room to grind.

Below are some frequent questions.

How to tighten longboard trucks?

To tighten your longboard trucks, you’ll need a 3/8in wrench. You’ll want to tighten it without deforming your bushings. If your bushings look squooshed, then you overtightened your trucks. Not only will you not get the best performance from your bushings but it’ll also decrease their lifespan since their under so much pressure.

A good way to tell is if it’s tight enough is to try to spin your top washer in a circular motion. If it moves, you need to tighten your trucks more.

What are the best longboard truck brands?

Most longboard setups use Paris Trucks. They’re the most popular longboard trucks on the market.

However, below are some other popular brands.

Are longboard trucks and skateboard trucks the same?

No, longboard trucks (RKPs) are different from skateboard trucks (TKPs). However, you can use them interchangeably since the truck baseplates have standard hole patterns. RKPs are commonly used on longboards because they have a lower baseplate angle, increasing stability. They’re not recommended for skateboards since they’re higher off the ground and will affect how your skateboard will pop.

Try it for yourself! But you’re better off with TKPs on your skateboard.

Maintenance

Below are some maintenance tips & tricks for longboard trucks.

Axle Rethreading

If your locknuts do not go on the axle, you may have a damaged thread. To fix this, you need a re-threader tool that comes with many skate tools. In a pinch: you may be able to find a 5/16 imperial thread die.

Kingpin Rethreading

In this instance, you are best off replacing the kingpin rather than rethreading it, but it can be done with a 3/8 imperial thread die.

Cleaning & Repolishing

On raw, or metallic finish trucks, one can use stainless steel oven cleaner to remove most dust and debris. Do not use this with painted trucks. For painted trucks, use GOO GONE. Polish trucks use car wax and a microfiber cloth.

Billy James

I've been skating for over 20 years and it's had an incredibly positive impact on my life. My mission is to get more people into skating and help them carry it as a lifelong passion.

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