Downhill longboarding is known for its extreme style that requires speed when riding down a hill. The best longboard trucks for downhill longboarding are trucks with reverse kingpin with a size of 180 millimeters and have low degree base plates. Longboard trucks with rigid bushing seats are also suitable for downhill riding. The best option truck setup for downhill is double-barrel setups with an accurate bushing durometer proximate to the rider’s weight.
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Different Parts of Longboard Trucks
Getting familiar with the five main parts of a longboard truck can be a great help when purchasing the bed longboard truck for you.
- Baseplate – baseplate is the part of the longboard truck that connects the truck to the deck of the longboard. Its purpose is to give even pressure on the base of the longboard. The baseplate is mounted to the deck by four screws and six mounting holes.
- Kingpin – It is the huge pin that holds every part of the trucks altogether. There are two categories of the kingpin, which only differ on location. Standard Kingpin or SKP are positioned facing towards the middle of the board. Longboards that uses standard kingpin are mostly used in longboarding with stunts because the bolts of SKP do not intervene with the rails. There is also what we called a Reverse Kingpin or RKP that most commonly used for a longboard. RKP caters mainly in control as well as stability, particularly at a higher speed. In reverse kingpin, the kingpin is placed towards the front of the board. This is the best kingpin truck for carving, downhill, and cruising longboard.
- Bushings – Generally, every longboard truck have two bushings that give support between the various moving pieces of the trucks. Bushings also vary at a different level of hardness. The harder bushing has stiffer trucks. This means that the rider must lean harder to make the board move.
- Hanger – Hangers are the T-shaped shaft on the longboard trucks that connects the wheels to the main unit of the truck. When you do rail grinds, the hanger will be in direct touch with the bars.
- Risers – among other parts of the longboard truck, risers are an only elective accessory to the trucks. Risers are primarily used to modify the height of the board adjacent to the surface that reduces the tremor of the board. Risers are not costly and are relatively manageable to put in.
5 Tips When Choosing Downhill Trucks
Listed below are the factors that you need to consider when choosing the appropriate longboard truck for your downhill ride.
- The truck’s width – The first factor that you must consider in selecting your downhill truck is the width. Always remember that both the width of trucks and decks should correspond with each other. The reason why both trucks and deck should match is to avoid the risk of accidentally touching the wheel with your foot when running at high speed. The trucks shouldn’t be thinner than the deck as it may cause a possible wheel bite. For downhill longboarding, the ideal wheelbase is 26 inches to 31 inches with a longer deck for high stability and great speed. These types of wheelbase are usually 9 inches to 10 inches wide, 180-millimeter longboard trucks are the adequate option for a downhill setup.
- Placement of the kingpin – Riders who use a standard kingpin for their trucks are mainly hardcore downhill skaters with advanced techniques. Standard kingpin trucks make the board extra twitchy in high-speed nooks. The reverse kingpin truck, on the other hand, makes the board more safe, predictable, and steady in spinning at elevated downhill momentum. Reverse kingpin is wielded in top-mounted on board and drop through longboards. Top mount decks are more responsive and have tighter and more precise movements while drop-through decks are more stable and initiate an easier glide but have a lower ride height. Some of the SKP that’s widely used by extreme riders are Caliber Standard Trucks, Independent Trucks, Bennett Vector Trucks, Paris Street Trucks, and Tracker Trucks.
- Baseplate Angle – baseplate angle alters the ride forcefully. Most longboard truck manufacturers usually offer two varieties between 40 and 50 degrees. Trucks with low base angles are more stable at speed rather than those trucks with higher angles like a 50+° baseplate angle. A low-angle truck has less turn resulting in providing more stability and less responsive to the rider’s movement and also to road humps when riding downhill. For free ride and downhill style, the best baseplate angle to use is the one that ranges from 40 degrees to 45 degrees. This type of baseplate angle makes a good deck with good leverage over its wheels. This kind of leverage secures the passenger when soaring down a hill.
- Bushings and bushing seats – bushings are the mounted urethane pads in the bushing seats on each side of the trucks’ hanger. Though it’s more often neglected, the bushing is an essential aspect when choosing the best truck for a downhill setup. This urethane pads give cushioning and friction when turning that results in a diverse riding emotion. The bushing seat is also important. It resists the bushing from moving extensively, making the trucks more stable and less swerving at tremendous speed. The stability of your bushing setup can also be modified. The bushing’s hardness, size, and shape are vital to make your downhill trucks extra responsive and stable at high acceleration. Restrictive and loose are the two kinds of bushing seats. Some seats are also deep, shallow, chambered sharp, right, loose, stepped, flat, and some are round. Bushing seats have three categories: Round, flat, and stepped.
Bushing seats that fall into the category of Round allows the bushing to flex and flow through the truck accompanied by rebound and centering. Round bushing seat have great carving feel. Stepped bushing seats are deeper, sharper, and tighter, on the other hand. These features constrain the riders to perform tricks when turning. The stepped bushing seat gives the rider an extra specified center position that is very suitable downhill. Flat bushing seats are the original and most adaptable out of the three. Flat bushing seats allow very limitedly or no rebound to the bushing. This category of bushing seat has freedom in bushing forms, yet has limited resilience with momentum. You must remember that when doing a downhill ride, the faster you ride, the firmer the bushing seat you need on your trucks, the harder and more constraining the bushing structure you should employ.
5.Truck Construction – There are three common forms of truck construction that are all made out of metal.
Cast Trucks are skateboard and longboard truck that is made from cast aluminum manufactured by pouring melted metal into a mold and waited to solidify into a cast truck. Most riders use this type of truck on their longboards as it does not require fixed tolerance for cruising and free-riding on a speed of 30mph. In terms of strength, cast trucks are weakest in terms of durability. This type of truck also bends on heavy freestyle, and heavy riders may also experience wiggling in cast trucks because of sufficient force being laid on them. In terms of price, cast trucks are the cheapest type of truck in the market because they are the very easiest to produce. The bushing seat of the cast truck is rough and round. Cast trucks have the roughest composition and texture.
Precision trucks are manufactured using CNC machines, which allows a much rigid tolerance and extra detailed shaping that establishes limited slop and move in the truck. Precision trucks, in terms of strength, are very strong due to the perfect cutting of the aluminum. It also has straight grain metal, unlike the cast trucks. The machine used in making precision trucks is expensive, and the aluminum material also used expensive, which makes precision trucks the most expensive out of three. The bushing seat used in precision trucks has super tight tolerance that lessens the amount of slop. With a perfect hardware and bushing made possible by the CNC machine, overall, a precision truck is the most elegant among the other types of truck.
Forged trucks have the same kind of aluminum used in making precision trucks. The method of manufacturing this type of truck is not by melting and cutting, but by means of forging it into the desired form. Some manufacturers forge trucks, but the remaining small aluminum is being manufactured through CNC machines to create a more quality product. Forged trucks are the strongest truck among the three. The process aligns the metal perfectly into the shape of a longboard truck. The downside of this kind of truck is that it creates massive material because the procedure instructs crushing the metal. Forged trucks cost more than cast trucks but cheaper than that of precision trucks. The bushing seat of the forged trucks is better than the cast truck but not perfect, unlike the precision truck. In terms of finish, forged are much better than cast but not as pretty as the precision trucks.