Top 8 Best Skateboard Trucks For Beginners To Start Practicing
Trucks are usually the part of a skateboard that lasts for the longest time. A good pair can stay as a part of your journey of mastering your hobby even if many decks and sets of wheels have given out.
As important as trucks are, a quarter of an inch can make things go horribly wrong, especially if you can't get the best skateboard trucks for beginners right from the beginning of your journey. Believe us - you won't want to swap your trucks out and in often.
The good news is, the market is spoiled for good choices from top skateboard truck brands. And here are the models that should be on your shortlist.
Top 8 Best Skateboard Trucks For Beginners in 2021
1. INDEPENDENT Stage 11 Standard - Top Pick
Originating from a top brand, the Stage 11 Standard trucks are especially appealing to those seeking well-rounded trucks for their skateboards.
Right off the bat, they present significant improvements over the beloved Stage 10. INDEPENDENT retains the iconic look from the previous version and slaps into the Stage 11 a reworked geometry and modern performance features.
INDEPENDENT uses 4140 Chromoly steel to craft the axles. This material is both lightweight and sturdy - a combination that guarantees your skateboard trucks endure wear and tear better. The INDEPENDENT Stage 11 Standard trucks also have a 356 aluminum baseplate and hanger with similar properties.
These durable skateboard trucks won't weigh you down either. They have 90A medium bushings, meaning you will have a nimble, precise ride with plenty of stability and control.
Thanks to their form, these trucks grind well on copings and rails. This grinding capability comes from the Hang-Up-Yoke; the name INDEPENDENT calls the enhanced yoke around the cushion seat to handle grind tricks with ease.
And the best thing about them (especially for beginners) is the Stage 11 Standard trucks are available in several sizes. The 149 option offers a hanger width of 5.9" (150 mm) and an axle of 8.5" (216 mm), which means it goes well with any boards between 8.2 and 8.5 inches wide.
Like other INDEPENDENT trucks, the Stage 11 carries a lifetime guarantee. This warranty doesn't cover any damage due to neglect, abuse, customers' modification, and lack of hardware maintenance.
But to get all those awesome features for your first pair of trucks, you will have to pay the price.
INDEPENDENT usually sells its trucks individually, and each may cost as much as a full set of regular models. And INDEPENDENT trucks aren't well-known for their customizability either. Only a typical steel finishing option, and that's it.
2. PARIS CLASSIC QUALITY TOYS EST. 1936 Paris V3 - Runner-Up
The Paris V1 and V2 are the favorite trucks among the skateboarding community. And the newest iteration of this premium all-around truck lineup uses a new alloy forming process. These techniques are derived from forging, extrusion, and casting to give the V3 a huge boost in strength.
The axles are made from SCM440 alloy steel, the kingpins from SCM435 alloy, and the bushing formula from 90A urethane. They're materials commonly found in high-end trucks. But what makes the Paris V3 different from the rest of the pack is the true T6 heat treatment for increased durability.
The 180mm option is great for most applications if you're just getting into skateboarding. Any 9-10 inches wide board would work great with that hanger, which also fits most riding styles.
Your skateboard will feel responsive, allowing for an effortless, fluid ride thanks to the 50° baseplate, while the open bushing seat is particularly useful if you need smooth pumping and carving with lively turns.
In this new version, the manufacturer also redesigned the hanger's shoulders and barrels to add more material and brought an additional support beam to the baseplate to improve strength. The result? The unmatched ability to make rail-to-rail carves and deep diving.
It's not a secret that these premium trucks are expensive. And compared to INDEPENDENT, PARRIS only makes three size options available: 180mm, 165mm, and 150mm.
3. CCS Skateboard Trucks - Best for Price
CCS has become one of the biggest skateboard equipment stores, where you can pick up products from a huge array of brands. But CSS makes and sells some equipment of its own, too, such as these affordable trucks that can get the job done without punching a hole in your wallet.
The material choices for the construction are only standard aluminum and steel. They won't last for many years if you're going to abuse them with constant jumps on rough terrain daily, but for beginners, the CCS skateboard trucks are sufficient to help you learn the first few techniques.
There are four size options - 109mm, 129mm, 139mm, and 149mm, all of which are durable and lightweight enough for the price. The axles don't slip under pressure, and the baseplates can withstand regular wear and tear pretty well.
The soft bushings that come with the CSS trucks are responsive, but some may find them too soft and gummy for their skateboard. If this is the case, you can try replacing them with another bushing set.
4. VJ Skateboard Trucks Set - All-In-One Choice
Sometimes, we just want to stock up a complete package to start skateboarding immediately. The VJ skateboard set is the perfect choice for that. In addition to the trucks, it also comes with skateboard wheels (including bearings and spacers) and riser pads.
The trucks in this 5.0 set are mid-sized. They have 7.6-inch axles and 5-inch hangers, making them suitable for 7.5-8-inch skateboard decks. If you want to ride a bigger board, go for the 7.0 package, for example.
The VJ trucks don't seem high-end by any means, but the aluminum used to craft them is lightweight and durable enough for the learning phase you're heading into.
Another good thing about buying this all-in-one combo is that you can save plenty of money and don't have to do a lot of research to make a decision.
Later on, when you start to have strong opinions about your skateboarding equipment preferences, there are better ways to customize your board with better replacements, including the trucks.
5. Gullwing Sidewinder II - For Longboards
It's not uncommon that you first opt for a longboard instead of a regular board to cruise and carve around. And if you do, have a look at the Gullwing Sidewinder II trucks.
You have two size options: 9-inch and 10-inch axles. Both of them are flexible enough to handle longboards (which tend to be wider, taller, and more responsive) and give you a smooth ride.
They have a slightly bigger angle than other trucks to respond quicker to your movement and create bigger carvings. The 89A bushings are softer, so even beginners should have no trouble riding them without losing stability and control.
On top of that, the Gullwing Sidewinder II trucks have dual pivot hangers - the ideal companion for carving and cruising where riders demand a full range of motion on turns.
The thing is, you should not go downhill with these carve-specific trucks as the high speed may get out of hand. The range of bushings and decks compatible with the Gullwing Sidewinder II is also limited, which could be a head-scratcher for newcomers.
6. INDEPENDENT Stage 11 Hollow - Best Hollow Option
The Hollow version of the Stage 11 is nearly the same as the Standard version. But these skateboard trucks have a hollow kingpin and axle, making them significantly lighter than the Standards (up to 7%) while keeping the same amazing durability and performance.
Your board will be more responsive with lightweight trucks, and it'll be much easier to land tricks.
Compared to competing hollow trucks from other brands, the INDEPENDENT competitors are much more impact-resistant. Beginners need to ride with confidence, and the blend of reliability and flexibility of the Stage 11 Hollow will help you with that.
These lighter trucks don't skimp much on durability because other parts are pretty much the same. The baseplate and the hanger are made from strong 356 aluminum, and the Chromoly alloy steel is the hollow axle and kingpin’s material.
However, if you think the Standard version of the Stage 11 is already expensive, expect to pay even more for these hollow trucks. The steep price of the Stage 11 Hollow could put off many beginners, who may not see many benefits from having lighter skateboard trucks to justify the added cost.
7. Venture Polished 5.2 High Trucks
Compared to the 1.9-inch (48.3-mm) Low version, the 5.2 High skateboard trucks from Venture have a height of 2.5 inches (53.5mm). This boost in height makes your skateboard stay higher above the ground, avoids wheel bite, and provides improved and accentuated pop.
Unlike Ace and INDEPENDENT skate trucks that usually allow for tighter turns, these beauties from Venture have different strong points: durability and stability.
It's tempting even for beginners to ride outside of dedicated skate parks, and if you have these high skateboard trucks with you, your skateboard will have a much easier time handling rugger urban terrains.
The Venture Polished 5.2 High trucks can fit any mid-range skateboard between 7.8 and 8.0 inches in width. They're widely available on many skateboarding stores and fairly cheaper than INDEPENDENT trucks if you buy the whole set.
But as Venture has a notorious reputation for sturdy construction, its skateboard trucks also require a longer break-in period before reaching the optimum turning capability.
8. INDEPENDENT Stage 11 Forged Titanium - The Most Long-Lasting
When money is no object, and you can afford to go all-in with the most durable trucks around right from the beginning, this is your best bet. The Forged Titanium version takes the Stage 11 to another level with a super combination of material and manufacturing processes.
Made from aerospace-grade forged aluminum, the baseplate is thinner while retaining high strength and density. The axle benefits from ultra-light Ti64 titanium and becomes much lighter, while the level of rebound and strength is almost the same.
What's more, INDEPENDENT utilizes the A356 T6 alloy and makes it go through a heat treatment process to give the hanger a better grind feel, durability, and strength.
The final result is the Forged Titanium variant that is 15% lighter than its Standard model while all other physical properties gain a huge boost.
With this top-notch strength-to-weight ratio and INDEPENDENT's lifetime warranty, you can expect these lightweight skateboard trucks to stay with you for many years to come.
Buying Guide For Best Skateboard Trucks for Beginners
The width of a set of trucks is the single most important factor in deciding whether they fit your skateboard deck.
Too narrow trucks will make your skateboard unstable, and your shoes could come into contact with the trucks while riding if they're too wide, among other issues.
To make the matter worse, there is no single way to measure the width of a truck. With skateboard decks, it's easy: all of them are measured in inches at the widest point. But truck brands use different methods to describe the size.
Some use inches; others measure in millimeters. Some standardize the axle, while the rest use the hanger.
The safest way to know whether the best beginner trucks skateboard is compatible before buying is to understand how that specific brand presents the dimension of its skateboard trucks.
You will want a pair of trucks that have their axle nuts positioned within 1/4 inches from the deck's edges once mounted on your skateboard deck. This small area is the optimal place for the position to mount your skateboard trucks.
The total length of the axle shouldn't be more than 1/8 inches away from the deck's edge. This rule means when you have an 8-inch deck, for example, any skateboard trucks with an axle between 7.875 and 8.125 inches in width are a perfect choice.
A slightly bigger margin (up to 1/4 inches) should work out too. But we don't recommend it for beginners.
Once you've determined the width that will give your skateboard a good fit, other considerations like height should have your attention next. Brands usually categorize their skateboard trucks into low, mid, and high profiles.
The height of a truck is measured from the axle's center to the baseplate, which equals the distance between your deck and the truck. This measurement shows how high your skateboard will be above the ground, how it will perform, and what you can do with it.
Low trucks usually have a height shorter than 50mm. Your board will be closer to the ground, more stable, and as a result, you will need less effort to handle it without falling. On top of that, their lighter weight helps with the control of your skateboard.
But the short distance between the deck and the axle of low trucks also means a higher risk of messy landings or wheel bites, especially when you ride on soft, uneven terrain. Smaller wheels and riser or shock pads can reduce this risk on low trucks to some extent.
Any trucks higher than 53mm are usually called “high.” Your skateboard will stay further from the ground and have a steep incline when popping. Therefore, you can do a higher Ollie (at least in theory).
Additionally, high skateboard trucks do the best job avoiding wheel bites, and you also have more options for wheel sizes.
Keep in mind, though, that the higher height and steeper angle when turning are harder to handle and can throw beginners off balance.
Mid-sized trucks lie in the middle of the spectrum, usually between 50 and 53mm in height. They're a perfect fit for all-around skateboarding, particularly when you've not made up your mind about which style you want to learn after the basics.
Overall, as someone who is just getting started and can't decide which option is the best, mid-skateboard trucks are the safest bet. But if you need as much stability as you can have while practicing at a skatepark, get a lower truck.
Truck Brands And Their Measurements
Some brands like INDEPENDENT measure their skateboard trucks by the hanger width using the metric system. For example, 139 INDEPENDENT trucks have a hanger width of 139mm - almost the same size as a 5.5" hanger truck.
This choice could be confusing for newcomers as skateboarding stores, and other brands (such as Venture) use axles or the inch scale to present the size. Specifically, the hanger of a Venture 5.2 model is 5.2 inches (132mm) wide, while the axle width is 8 inches.
Pay close attention to the detailed specifications of each brand and series, and don't assume every measurement in the model name is comparable.
Terrain & Style
If you plan to learn skateboarding at your local skate park for the time being and leave the door open for other options later, look for an all-around setup with mid-skateboard trucks. They're neither too unstable nor too prone to wheel bite.
On the other hand, if you're only into street skating, both mid and low skate trucks work fine. Some lightweight versions with hollowed-out axle and kingpin, which can help you aim for higher flips and Ollies, are available as well.
Cruising and skating in bowls and ramps will need your board to maintain a high speed for longer. Stick with high or at least mid-skateboard trucks. They make wheel bite less of a problem and allow the space for bigger wheels.
Bushings are urethane molds between the baseplate and kingpin. They distribute pressure from the deck into the trucks, allowing riders to turn, carve, and carry out other movements.
All new skateboard trucks come with bushings installed. But when you need to narrow down options even more or find a replacement for your broken bushings, the hardness information (measured in Durometer) may come in handy.
Hard bushings (above 95A) require more effort from the rider to perform turns, making the trucks more stable simultaneously. Most stock bushings are on the softer side, responding to pressure quicker and allowing for easier turns.
Brands sell skateboard trucks both individually and in a set of two. Newcomers in need of trucks only for practice before moving to higher levels should be fine with a $50-60 pair.
They aren't designed for taking much impact from grinding rails or jumping downstairs. But if you only have a simple set of trucks to get your skateboard rolling, many affordable models get the job done easily.
For greater durability, more stability, and more responsive turning, expect to pay more money out of your pocket on higher-end skateboard trucks. Some premium models from top brands may cost as much as an expensive skateboard itself.
These trucks are made of better materials with a higher strength-to-weight ratio. Some manufacturers even get to the top of the game by introducing rarer materials like titanium.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Install Skateboard Trucks Without Help As A Beginner?
Ask a friend to lend you a hand if you’re a beginner and have never repaired or replaced any skateboard part before. But if you want to install the trucks all by yourself, it’s not hard either.
Start with the hanger first. Place it into the baseplate, then slide the kingpin through the hanger. Complete the assembly of the skateboard trucks by sliding the washer and bushings into the kingpin and securing it with a wrench.
When both trucks have been fully assembled, attach them to the deck securely with four provided nuts.
What Should Beginners Know About The Fit Of Skateboard Trucks?
If you’re buying skateboard trucks for the first time, check out the width (axle or hanger) specifications of the trucks. Learn more about these measurements in the Width section above.
What Is The Proper Truck Height For Beginners?
Starting with mid trucks is the safest choice. Low trucks may lead to wheel bite, while your skateboard may become too unstable with high trucks. But don’t be afraid to switch to higher or lower trucks later if necessary. It all depends on your riding styles and personal preferences.
I’m Just Starting Out. Should I Buy Expensive Skateboard Trucks Already?
If you’ve made up your mind about which riding style you’re going to learn, then yes. Quality trucks last for a very long time and will prevent many issues for you later.
What Are Top Skateboard Truck Brands For Beginners?
The top names in the market include Independent, Thunder, Venture, PARRIS, Ace, Tensor, and Gullwing. They all produce trucks in different widths and heights, so don’t worry; you have several choices of quality trucks, even for your beginner board.
It's worth noting that the trucks should work well in conjunction with other components of your skateboard. And overall, your first setup should make the learning process as smooth as possible.
All the best skateboard trucks for beginners above come from trusted brands and offer several high-quality options for newcomers to pick out.
Still haven't come to a decision yet? The INDEPENDENT Stage 11 Standard trucks are durable, stable, and can guarantee a smooth ride when you're just getting into this hobby.
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