Measuring Skateboard Trucks
An important part of skateboarding is having the right equipment. One of the most absorbing aspects of this sport is trying out new gear and switches with a new setup. And one of the most stimulating aspects of switching out skateboard equipment is the notion of getting a new setup with a longer wheelbase, or getting a setup with different turning capabilities. The trick is that you have to take into account the weight of your skateboard deck, the width of your trucks, the width and height of your wheels, in addition to the overall length of your skateboard deck.
It’s not like you can take a ruler and measure your skateboard deck. Just like anything else, you have to take various factors into account.
Overloaded trucks are a key factor in making your skateboard experience miserable. So is having a front-heavy setup. The good news is that getting the best dimensions for your ride is simple and can be an advanced addition to your skateboarding experience.
Here’s a simple trick to get the right length for the board. You can use this DIY skateboard truck comparison tool to measure all your trucks for your board.
Measuring the Length of Truck
If you’ve ever tried to switch your skateboard trucks, then you’ve probably discovered that they don’t always fit into the trucks you’re replacing. Skateboard axles vary in length, which affects the height of the board and the ride quality. The most common distance between the axle and the hanger is 181mm, but that doesn’t mean you can always find skateboard trucks in that size. You can even order custom-sized skateboard trucks online, but you’ll have to know the size you want.
In this post, I’m going to show you how to measure your skateboard trucks so you can find the right-sized truck for your board. You can use an old board, a ruler, and pencil to get the measurement. Measure from the axle hole on one truck to the axle hole on the other truck to get the measurement in inches.
Measure On A Skateboard
For beginners, it can be a little tricky to size skateboard trucks. There are a few different types of trucks, and with so many other variables such as deck width, wheel size, and a variety of riding styles to consider, it can be hard to figure out what size is right for you.
If you aren’t sure, you can always measure the length of your skateboard deck to determine your truck’s size.
Measure the distance from the center of your kingpin to the center of your deck.
This is known as the axle-to-deck, or A2D, measurement.
Variations With The Tightness Of The Trucks
While skateboard trucks typically come in one standard size, there are some variations and options you should be aware of. For example, you can buy trucks with less hanger (axle) offset or no offset at all. The result is that the wheels on the skateboard will sit closer (or even directly) against the deck and remain closer to level in certain turning situations.
In boards and trucks that feature traditional offset, the kingpin will stick out from the center of the baseplate. The more offset there is in a skateboard truck, the more of the axle will be outside of the deck itself. As with any piece of hardware, the more offset, the more room there is for the axle to move around.
Offset is an important part of what makes skateboarding possible. It provides a point of rotation around which the board can rotate. Without it, you’d have to lean into the truck in order to make turns. However, the skateboard would be more likely to fall over and send you flying at high speeds if it didn’t have enough offset.
By tightening or loosening your skateboard trucks, you can adjust the amount of offset. This can increase or decrease stability, ride height, or the risk of wheel bite. Having a little wheel bite happens when the wheels are too close to the deck and touch the board when you turn or slide.
Measure The Kingpin
Determining the size deck that’s right for you requires knowing the truck size. The key measurement here is the “kingpin to mount” dimension. This is the distance between the mounting holes on the deck and the truck. The driver will poke through these mounting holes to fit into the axle nuts.
The hole at the back of the truck is where the kingpin fits into. The truck is the wheel assembly of the skateboard truck, and the deck is the flat portion on top that’s attached to the trucks.
Don’t let the measurement between truck mounting holes confuse you. The effective truck width will be different depending on the truck. Since this measurement can vary by type of trucks, it may be helpful to look at an assortment of trucks to see how the mounting holes are aligned. The size of the truck will also determine the size of the wheels. Using a larger truck will require larger wheels and vice versa.