What the heck are angled riser pads and why should you use them?
I'm gonna do a simple breakdown to help you understand.
If you'd rather watch a video, check it below.
I’ve spent a lot of time using surfskate adapters, taking them apart, shredding them, and overall trying my best to explain their riding feel. But I realized I’ve been missing something pretty vital and that something was my understanding of truck geometry.
At the core of everything, my goal has been to share my riding experience in an honest way. I’m in no way an expert. I’m still learning every day.
It’s interesting because I fell in love with skating from a riding perspective instead of a technical perspective.
I never really bothered to dive deeper into the components, up until the last couple of years.
Truck geometry? Bushing shape? Urethane durometer?
Nope… I just wanted to skate so I never bothered learning this stuff. And I think it was because I started out traditional skating, and I never really encountered anyone tweaking their truck geometry. Probably because it’s more applicable to longboarding/surfskating.
I was more focused on working up the courage to stomp a new trick. Truck geometry? That was completely foreign to me.
BUT, having a basic understanding of these concepts is important. Knowledge is a tool and you can use it to manipulate your setups to fit your riding style.
KNOWLEDGE (Tai Lopez voice).
So, Paris Trucks hit us up and asked if we’ve ever messed around with angled riser pads. And even though some of my setups like the Landyachtz surfskate have angled riser pads, I realized… I really don’t know much about wedging and dewedging.
And so they sent us two sets of trucks – their V3 180mm 43 degrees and 50 degrees. They included a set of 7-degree risers and standard ¼” risers.
My Testing Setup
In order to get a more accurate feel on the differences, I used two identical setups so I could focus on the angles.
- Yow Arica Deck
- Paris 43 & 50 degree trucks
- Orangatang 4-Presidents
Before I share my riding experience, I’ll do my best to explain baseplate angles and why they matter.
When you hear someone refer to a truck as being 43 degrees, 45 degrees, 50 degrees, they’re referring to the angle where the hanger meets the baseplate. This is referred to as the baseplate angle.
You can see a 43° Paris Truck below.
You can manipulate your baseplate angles by using angled riser pads, commonly referred to as wedging and dewedging.
By using angled riser pads, you can affect how your trucks turn and lean. A cheaper alternative that I think is often overlooked.
Distinguishing the difference between turn and lean is important because they’re different.
Turns vs Lean Example
Say you’re cruising and you want to make a sharp turn. Well, what do you do? You shift your weight either toeside or heelside. You lean to the edge of your deck.
So lean is essentially when your deck shifts towards the ground.
Turning occurs when you lean. Leaning your weight creates pressure, which then depending on the degree of your baseplate, will make your truck hanger turn in the pivot cup.
Usually, lower-degree trucks are used for higher speeds like downhill or freeride because they offer more lean and less turn.
And a higher baseplate angle has more turn and less lean, which is better for carving.
Wedging vs Dewedging
So, what's the difference between wedging and dewedging? Which way should they be facing to increase and decrease the angles?
Wedging increases the baseplate angle, and dewedging decreases it.
Wedging adds more responsiveness because it increases the baseplate angle, which allows the truck hanger to pivot more.
And dewedging adds more stability because it decreases the baseplate angle, which decreases the ability for the truck hanger to pivot.
I highly recommend you check out Longboard Technology’s YouTube video. He goes in-depth on how trucks work and it was super helpful to visualize everything. The dudes a straight-up genius and deserves more attention.
Okay, now I’ll share my riding experience. For the sake of keeping this simple, I tested three variations. Wedged in the front, doubled wedged, and front wedge with the back dewedged.
The first variation I tried was wedging the 50-degree front truck. The 50s combined with a 7-degree wedge in the front. Obviously, it turns the front into 57 degrees and the back stays the same at 50.
So, what does this do, and how does it translate.
Remember how I mentioned before how the higher the degree, the more turn you get?
That’s exactly how it felt. The front is more carvey and the back isn’t as carvey. Higher speeds felt okay and I didn’t feel like it got sketchy.
The next setup I tried was wedging both the front and the back. So I wedged both the 50s to 57s.
This was a setup that felt super responsive, but I noticed it was pretty easy to get speed wobbles.
I’d probably only do this if I was doing lowkey, soul carving. Any sort of speed felt sketchy.
Wedge & Dewedge
Then I did a split setup where I wedged the front 50 degree to 57 and used a 43 degree in the back with a normal ¼“ riser. Equivalent to dewedging a 50 in the back.
This setup felt really solid for my riding environment. Typically I’ll ride some hills that aren’t too crazy but I’ll reach speeds of 15ish mphs.
And the combinations of a responsive front truck and stable back felt really nice. I felt comfortable at higher speeds but was still able to carve fairly deep.
I feel like I could’ve made this much longer because you can take it a step further and mess with bushings shapes, durometer, bushing cups. Like there really is a lot you can do to manipulate your setup.
Hopefully this helped you get a better understanding of baseplate angles and how you can use angled riser pads.
Wedging and dewedging is an affordable option to get more turn or lean out of your setup and I think everyone should be aware of this technique.
Especially with surfskate popularity exploding, I think wedging and dewedging have been overlooked – I mean, I’m a prime example.