Best Skateboard Trucks

You’re scouring the web for the best skateboard trucks, and I think I know why. You bought a cheap complete skateboard with crappy trucks. That’s why. Now, those dirt cheap skateboard trucks are broken. Or, you just want to spruce your rides up with a different pair of super sturdy skateboard trucks. Or, perhaps you’re building your own brand new skateboard at home and are gathering in the finest components you can afford. Whatever the reason, I offer to guide you in your shopping journey.

 

Without further ado, here are…..

 

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List of 5 of the Best Skateboard Trucks

 

Here they are:

 

1.Thunder Polish Hi 151 Trucks (Sold in Singles*)

2. Venture Polished 5.25 Low Skateboard trucks (8.0″) (Best Budget Pick)

3. Independent Silver 139mm (Best for Grinding & Best

Overall)

4. THUNDER HI 147 SONORA BLACK (Set Of 2) (Best for Cruising)

 

 

5.Venture Polished 5.0 Hollow Skateboard Trucks

 

 

Let’s now review each of these skateboard trucks so you can decide if any of them impresses you.

 

1. Thunder Polished 151 8.25″ Skateboard Trucks Review

 

Have you ever wondered why everyone at your local skatepark recommends Thunder’s polished skateboard trucks? It’s because they give the rider an extremely good turning response.

The Thunder Polished 151 skateboard trucks are a high-profile choice that comes with standard baseplates. Made in San Franscisco, U.S.A, Thunder trucks are pretty sturdy and last a long, long time. If you’re a light-ish rider, like me, you’ll likely have these trucks around for 5+ years. And if you’re always riding, you can expect roughly 6-12 months.

These trucks are 8.0″ wide, ideal for pretty much everyone. With these trucks, you get the best of both worlds: stability and maneuverability. These are lightweight, too, weighing just 12 ounces, just slightly heavier than Thunder 145 HI. Carrying them under your arm shouldn’t be much of a challenge.

The hanger is 151 mm wide, or about 5.94″. Add 2.75″ for the axles, and they’re about 8.69″, which is more like 8.5″. Couple these trucks with a 8.25″, 8.50″ deck and let’s go skateboarding! You can also refer to the  Thunder truck size chart if you’re still unsure what deck width is best for these trucks.

And how high are they? They’re about 1.99″ above the ground, about as high as any standard truck.

Pros

  • Durable aluminum
  • Ideal width for most riders
  • Lightweight
  • Made by a reputable U.S. company
  • A nice, polished silver look

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Not compatible with some risers
  • Slightly heavier than several options on the market
  • Trucks sold in single units

 

You’re not surprised that these Thunder trucks aren’t cheap, are you? I ride these, and they’ve lasted over 5 years. I love that they turn superbly, and that every ride is about as stable as I like.

Oh, and you can’t use risers from competing brands including Independent, Loaded, Diamond, Girl, Rayne, Dooks, and Sector nine. That’s bad, but it’s not like Thunder risers are bad. Quite the contrary, they’re really good.

Note that these rather sturdy skateboard trucks are sold in single units. If you order this item, be sure to indicate the number as 2, otherwise, you’ll receive just one truck.

 

2. Venture Polished 5.25 Low Skateboard trucks Review

 

 

Are Venture the best skateboard trucks on the market? Well, it’s hard to say, but they’re really good. The Venture 5.2 trucks are another polished option, a low-profile pick sitting about 1.93″ above the ground.

They’re super stable, just what you need for landing all those challenging skateboarding tricks you’ve been practicing allover. Made of polished, long-lasting aluminum, these trucks are lightweight. They weigh about 12.87 ounces, just marginally heavier than the Thunder 147 HI.

The hanger measures 132 mm. That’s about 5.28″, meaning the actual truck width is 8.03″ or simply 8.0″. That makes these trucks ideal for both complete beginners and pros.

What board width would work best with these 8.0 Venture skateboard trucks? I consulted the Venture skateboard truck sizing chart, and you need truck width that ranges from 7.75″ to 8.25″.

The bushings are red, pleasantly contrasting the rest of the trucks. But I guess that’s not a huge advantage. After all, dust eventually covers the bushings, fully carpeting the original color.

Pros

  • Super stable
  • Made by a great U.S. company
  • Crafted from durable, lightweight, polished aluminum
  • Great for a host of skateboarding tricks
  • Gold-coated nuts
  • Inexpensive

Cons

  • Don’t turn very well
  • Not compatible with certain risers
  • Not as light as hollow trucks

 

Naturally, low-profile skateboards don’t turn as smoothly as high-profile ones do. But you could always use a quality set of riser pads and modify the overall profile to your preference.

However, you can’t use these polished 5.2L Venture skateboard trucks with riser pads from Girl, Paris, Dooks, or Loaded. But that shouldn’t be a bummer as long as you can buy Venture or any other quality compatible brands.

Some reviewers also reported receiving trucks without the expected reddish V symbol. Could that mean they weren’t original products? Well, that’s possible. However, the trucks were pretty sturdy and well-made in every case.

 

3. Independent Silver 139mm Review (Best for Grinding)

 

 

Since 1978, the U.S.-based Independent Truck Company has been making tons of quality skateboarding-related products. These products include riser pads, t-shirts, jackets, skate tools, ball bearings, skating wax, griptape, hardware, name it.

I know a dude who rides his skateboard looking like he’s some weird marketer for Independent. Heck, he even wears Independent socks! Well, I never want to go that route. And you probably don’t want to do that. But there seems to be a consensus among the skateboarding community that Independent is a superior brand that cranks out very high-quality goods.

If you’re looking for skateboard trucks that last forever while demonstrating top-level performance, go with Independent.

Now, back to the Independent Silver 139mm review at hand. The Independent Silver 139mm skateboard trucks are a low-profile pick that offers tons of stability. They’re also a lightweight option, weighing about 12.31 ounces. That’s somewhat lighter than the Venture 139mm 5.2 Low and a bit heavier than the Thunder Polished 147 HI. However, they’re not the lightest skateboard trucks I’ve seen. 

Are you wondering what deck is best for these Independent Stage 11 139mm silver skateboard trucks? These are 8.0″ trucks. And they should work perfectly with a 7.75″ or 8.25″ deck. How tall are these trucks? They stand 1.94″, as stable as you want for street and park skating. The hanger and baseplate are made from 356 T6 aluminum. And the axle is forged from 4140 chromoly steel. That explains why these trucks last so long.

 

Pros

  • Super durable
  • Turns amazingly
  • Wide enough for most riders
  • Great for street or part skating
  • Made by a trusted + proven U.S. brand
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Best for grinding

Cons

  • Not the cheapest option
  • There are lighter trucks

 

Yes, you can find something cheaper, of course. But it’s extremely hard to find any set of skateboard trucks that beats Independent skateboard trucks. You’ll really love how quickly these trucks react when you exert foot pressure during rides or tricks. These trucks are ideal for technical street skating.  And as far as grinding, you won’t find a better bet.

 

4. Thunder HI 147 Sonora Black Review

 

Made in the United States, this pair of 20.8-once Thunder Hi 147 Sonora Black skateboards is a cute-ish option that lasts years. Unlike all the other skateboard trucks I’ve reviewed, these ones are black with some sort of pattern on them.

Skateboard trucks are normally bought more for what they do rather than how they look. But these ones win in both the looks and performance departments. I’ve not rode them, but they’re a choice I’d seriously consider if my current ones fell apart. I guess these trucks would look extremely wicked underneath any kind of deck. They’d would also match perfectly with all kinds of deck graphics.

These trucks measure 8.0″ axle to axle. And what deck width would be best for the Thunder HI 147 Sonora skateboard trucks? According to the manufacturer, they’d work best with 7.9″ to 8.2″ wide decks. But they really should function just fine with anything between 7.75″ to 8.25″ decks.

Another nice thing I learned about these trucks is you can buy them individually. Unfortunately, Amazon won’t let you. So, if you’re looking to replace just one of the trucks rather the entire set, consider buying them from the manufacturer’s website.

Pros

  • Can be ordered individually*
  • Bonus: axle nuts + washers
  • They look really nice
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • A respected U.S. brand
  • Ideal for cruising

Cons

  • Many cheaper options
  • They arrive somewhat loose

 

Now, While these trucks aren’t super cheap, the price seems justified. Plus, they last. Also, I found that these trucks come a bit loose. They may not be ideal for speedy downhill skateboarding right out of the box. Luckily, you can always tighten them to a more stable fit.

The Thunder HI 147 Sonora Black are arguably the best skateboard trucks for cruising. Add a sturdy pair of riser pads to these high-profile trucks if you wish. But they should be high enough for 54″ to 60″ cruiser wheels.

 

5. Venture 5.0 Low Hollow Skateboard Trucks Review

 

This is another U.S.-made pair of polished skateboard trucks. If you’re looking for the lightest skateboard trucks, consider picking these hollow Venture 5.0 Low polished trucks. They’re a low-profile choice, and you’ll love them when it comes to pulling off different skateboarding tricks.

Venture 5.2 vs Venture 5.0, what’s the difference? While both are low-profile trucks (1.94″ above ground), there’s a couple of differences. First off, the Venture 5.2 uses solid trucks while the Venture 5.0 features hollow ones. Another difference is that the Venture 5.0 is lighter than Venture 5.2 by about 10.6 grams: 354.3 g vs 364.9 g respectively. These trucks are quite light, but they’re not the lightest set of skateboard trucks on the market.

The other difference is that the Venture 5.0 has a shorter hanger than its sibling the Venture 5.2: 7.6″ axle width vs 8.0″ axle width respectively. I’d expect less control with the Venture 5.0 trucks due to their being a bit narrower.

So, what deck size would be ideal for the Venture 5.0 polished skateboard trucks? Thunder recommends 7.4″ to 7.875″ decks.

Pros

  • Gold-colored nuts
  • Contrasting red bushings
  • Super light hollow trucks
  • Low-profile:ideal for street skating
  • Produced by a great U.S. company

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Misleading Amazon description***
  • Doesn’t work with some riser pads

 

Now, the Amazon description says trucks when it should actually be a truck. You’ll get just one truck and not a set! So you’d need to order another piece, and that’d increase the price considerably. Aside from that, these are awesome skateboard trucks for street skating.

And just like the Venture 5.2, these trucks aren’t compatible with some riser brands such as Paris, Girl, Loaded, and Dooks.

I recommend this option for experienced skateboarders as opposed to complete beginners, though. That’s because they’re narrow-ish and therefore not super stable. The good news is that they’re quite low and near to the ground. Falls likely wouldn’t be as bad as they’d be with taller trucks. But is there’s anything like a nice fall?

Best Skateboard Trucks Buying Guide

 

Consider all of the following, and you’ll love yourself more for stopping by.

 

parts of skateboard trucks
This is how skateboard trucks look like. View both the front and back.

1. Know all the Components

 

Choosing the best skateboard trucks is often a confusing exercise. It gets even more confusing if you don’t know what components go into a truck. Now, 8 crucial parts work hand in hand to make a skateboard turn. Here they are:

i. Baseplate

 

The baseplate comprises of two critical parts, the kingpin and pivot cup. It’s that metal component you mount to the deck. Baseplates have been evolving lengthwise — they’ve been getting shorter. While baseplate width has remained the same over the years at 42 mm, the length has decreased from 65 mm to just 55 mm. That means that deck hole patterns have also shortened.

So, what if you have a vintage-ish skateboard down in the basement that you’d like to repurpose? Finding skateboard trucks that would work with the hole pattern on your vintage deck can be challenging.

But there’s hope.

Certain skateboard trucks such as Independent and Tracker provide baseplates featuring 6 holes instead of 4. With such a hole pattern, it’d be easy to revive your vintage skateboard or custom-build a modern one. I’d go with an Independent baseplate any day.

ii. Pivot

 

The pivot is that section of the T-shaped hanger that dips into and stays in the pivot cup. This part provides the much-need axis that your skateboard needs for turning.

iii. Pivot Cup

 

The pivot cup sits in the baseplate and contains a centrally placed hole that anchors the pivot. I often hear people complaining their trucks were crappy — they came apart at the pivot after a couple months. Usually, the problem is that the pivot cups have deteriorated irredeemably.

So, dismantle your skateboard trucks every few months and check whether the pivot cups are still in good condition. Pivot cups are inexpensive, and replacing bad ones can literally save your trucks. It doesn’t matter where you buy your pivot cups, in my opinion. Independent Genuine Parts pivot cups for me please.

iv. Hanger

 

The hanger is the T-shaped component comprising of the axle and the pivot. Be sure your trucks don’t come with plastic hangers! The standard hanger is an all-aluminum affair. Aluminum trucks are relatively lighter than trucks made of other materials, no wonder they’re the most popular/common.

Magnesium, titanium, and steel are also common skateboard truck materials. Steel trucks are quite heavy, but they last longer than others. I’d advise you to go with aluminum trucks — they win big in every aspect you might consider when shopping for trucks.

Also, some trucks have hollow hangers and kingpins. Such trucks tend to be super light, but I’m not sure they’re the most long-lasting.

v. Axle

 

The axle is the part to which you mount your skateboard wheels.

vi. Bushings

 

These are urethane rubber pieces that slide over the kingpin. These bushings sit astride the kingpin, and they serve to stabilize your ride or power your turns. Soft bushings vs hard bushings, what’s better? If you value stability more than deck responsiveness, go with hard bushings and be sure to tighten your trucks considerably.

But if you’re planning on doing skateboarding trucks and aren’t a beginner, go with softer bushings. Softer bushings allow for better turning and deck responsiveness. Best bushings? I’d go with Bones Hardcore or Shorty’s Yellow Doh-Doh.

vii. Kingpin

 

The kingpin is the largest bolt in the hardware assortments, and it runs through the hanger, bushings, and ends up in the pivot cup. This giant bolt holds together all the components that make up each pair of trucks. Tightening or loosening the kingpin helps you fine-tune your setup, giving you optimized rides.

This component comes with the hardware. Since the hardware attaches the trucks to the deck, you really should buy a decent option. Independent Genuine Hardware Bolts, Fireball Dragon, and Bones 1-inch are all decent hardware.

viii. Kingpin Nut

 

When you turn the Kingpin’s head with a skate tool, the nut compresses the bushings. And that allows you to customize the overall fit.

2. Know What Type of Trucks You Want

 

The skateboarding market offers two main types of trucks namely standard kingpin skateboard trucks and, longboard or reverse kingpin trucks. Standard trucks are the most common, and they’re quite versatile. You can modify them in different ways to suit different skateboarding styles.

Reverse kingpin trucks are the normally wider and taller than kingpin standard trucks. They’re the mostly used for carving and cruising. Still, you can customize them for other riding styles if you wish.

Finally, we have hollow skateboards. Thanks to constantly evolving skateboard truck technology, riders now have trucks with hollow kingpins and axles. Hollow trucks are usually lighter than solid-axle ones. With these trucks, popping and flipping your board should feel a bit easier.

 

3. Truck Profile

 

Trucks can be low-profile, mid-profile, or high-profile. Profile basically expresses how high above the ground the trucks are. Most trucks are high-profile, and many companies offer only high-profile skateboard trucks. Luckily, some companies provide all three profiles. If a pair of trucks comes without a clear description as to profile, assume it’s a high-profile option.

So, what’s considered ideal skateboard profile for a beginner? I’d say go with mid-profile trucks and later go high or low profile as your skating needs evolve. Technical skaters like their trucks relatively nearer to the ground. Why? Because they’re need all the stability a low-profile truck design offers when landing complex tricks.

The best skateboard wheels for low trucks are small wheels measuring between 50 mm to 53 mm in diameter. This is the best setup for flip tricks and other kinds of tricks. Mid-level trucks work best with mid-sized wheels, between 53 mm and 56 mm. These trucks are the best bet for all kinds of street or park skating.

High-profile trucks are designed to go with large wheels — 56+ mm wheels. These are the best skateboard trucks for cruising and carving.

The beauty of high-profile trucks is that they turn really well. However, you have to sacrifice a bit of stability to have that.

 

4. Brand

 

Most trucks are long-lasting regardless of whether they’re made in China or the U.S. Still, there’s a few truck brands nearly everyone agrees are great. Independent, Venture, and Thunder trucks are arguably the finest truck brands in the world. Silver, Royal, Tracker, Krux, and even Mini Logo trucks are also a pretty decent bet.

I’m not saying don’t buy other brands. I’m saying these are proven brands that sell some of the best skateboard trucks ever made. I have presented only the best products in my best skateboard trucks reviews.

5. Price

 

What’s your budget look like? If you can comfortably fork over between $40 and $50, you can buy pretty much any brand you like. You can still spend less than that and end up with great trucks. My advice is don’t go too low as far as price. You get what you pay for also applies to skateboard trucks.

But tell you what? All trucks break at some point no matter how terrific they might be. A friend has been riding on $20 Tensor trucks he mounted 7 years ago, and I’ve never heard him complain once!

6. Skateboard Truck Sizes

 

How wide should skateboard trucks be? It all depends on the rider’s skating style. If stability is of greater importance to you, go with relatively wide trucks. Narrow trucks are ok, and they offer more maneuverability and easier turns than wider ones. But narrower trucks are significantly less stable than wider ones.

Do you want trucks that deliver a decent amount of both maneuverability and stability? Then, choose options whose axle width equals or almost equals your deck width. Well, they don’t have to be precisely the same width. But the trucks shouldn’t be wider or narrower by more than 0.25″ than your deck.

 

Here’s a truck sizing chart to guide you as you shop for the next pair of skateboard trucks.

 

[table id=2 /]

 

Different Companies Indicate Truck Width Differently

 

measuring skateboard truck width
Some skateboard truck brands show hanger width as their truck width while others show axle-to-axle width as truck width. Axle-to-axle width typically exceeds hanger width by 2.75″.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use the truck sizing chart of the specific brand you’re eyeing. Different companies measure truck width differently. Not all truck brands measure their truck width from axle to axle. Some companies measure their trucks from one end of the hanger to the other, omitting the axle lengths on either side. And that’s where all the confusion regarding truck width stems from. Now, each unmeasured axle length typically is 1.375″ long. There’s at least 2.75″ left out from the final measurement.

Look at the truck widths above. If you convert the mm measurements into inches, you’ll find that nearly all companies offer trucks in the 5″ range. But 5″ is extremely narrow and I don’t see how anyone can ride comfortably on such a skateboard. But the actual width is 5″+2.75″ which equals 7.75″.

So, what skateboard truck size is best for an 8.0 skateboard? You need 7.75″ to 8.25″ trucks. And buying 8.0″ trucks is likely the best idea.

7. Riser Pads Vs Shock Shocks

 

Riser pads increase the overall height of your ride. They’re mainly used to prevent wheel bite. You can use them, but don’t if you’re a beginner as they reduce the stability of your skateboard.

Some riser pads are rectangular while others are angled, but rectangular ones are more common. Angled risers/wedge risers are thicker on one end than they are on the other. You can arrange angled risers differently to create different turn capabilities. Riser pads are normally made of hard plastic.

Riser shocks are placed in the exact same location under the deck as riser pads. As the name suggests, riser shocks help make the ride smoother by absorbing shocks. They’re made of super dense foam or tough rubber rather than plastic.

Yes, riser pads absorb shocks, too, but they’re not designed for that purpose and they don’t do it adequately. Riser pads and shocks can seriously increase your truck profile, considerably reducing stability.

Best Skateboard Trucks Overall

 

The Independent 139mm Silver skateboard trucks are, in my honest opinion, the best skateboard trucks you can buy today. They’re sturdy and durable, and they turn really well. Also, they’re wide enough, making them ideal for basically all types of riders.

What’s more, an American company with a great reputation makes them. Moreover, thousands of passionate skateboarders have tested them and found them a great choice. The positive reviews these trucks have attracted online speaks volumes. Head over to Amazon and grab these trucks or any other option you may like better.