Simple Guide To Longboard Trucks

By Billy | Updated: December 21, 2022 | Longboards

Picking longboard trucks can be confusing. Should you pick TKPs, RKPs or DKPs?

Maybe you don’t even know what I’m referring to. Don’t worry, I’ll break it down in simple terms so if you’re brand new to longboarding, you’ll easily understand.

First, let’s start by covering the most common types of longboard trucks.

longboard reverse kingpin trucks

Longboard Truck Types

Below are the most common truck types.

longboard truck types

Traditional Kingpin Trucks

Commonly referred to as TKPs and are used on popsicle-shaped skateboards.

TKPs have their kingpins facing the inside of the board. They have a higher baseplate angle, making them have more turn. They’re sketchier to ride at higher speeds.

traditional kingpin trucks

Reverse Kingpin Trucks

Commonly referred to as RKPs and are used on longboards (occasionally cruisers).

RKPs have their kingpins facing the outside of the board. They have a lower baseplate angle, making them have more lean and less turn. They handle high speeds better.

reverse kingpin trucks

Double Kingpin Trucks

Commonly referred to as DKPs and are used on carving setups.

DKPs have their kingpins facing the inside of the board. As you could’ve guessed, they have two kingpins stacked on top of each other. As a result, they are higher off the ground. They were originally made for longboards with carving in mind.

double kingpin trucks

Now that you know the common types of longboard trucks, how do you know what size to pick?

What size longboard trucks?

Below is a chart to give you an idea of what size longboard trucks to use.

To find the truck width, use a tape measure or ruler to find the distance between the axles. You may also use the chart above to find what width you are looking for.

Truck Width | Deck Width
108mm = 6.9in
129mm = 7.6in
139mm = 8in
144mm = 8.2in
149mm = 8.5in
159mm = 8.75in
169mm = 9.125in
215mm = 10in

When a skate tool is unavailable, you may use a socket set. Use the chart below for reference. In a pinch, you can buy 5/16 washers to use as axle washers and 3/8in washers to use for bushing washers from most hardware stores.

Nut Sizes
Axle Nut
5/16in
Kingpin Nut
3/8in
Baseplate Nut
7/8in

Baseplate Angles

This measurement shows the degree to which the hanger sits in relationship to the baseplate. In general, a lower angle will have more lean and less turn, whereas a higher angle will have more turn with less lean. If you have no clue what I’m talking about, check out this angled risers article.

Kingpin Orientation

Kingpins normally have the nut on the top of the truck allowing the rider to swap the bushings without removing the kingpin; however, the kingpin on many trucks may be or may be modified to be inverted. This is normally done to allow for more room to grind.

Frequently asked

Below are some frequent questions.

How to tighten longboard trucks?

To tighten your longboard trucks, you’ll need a 3/8in wrench. You’ll want to tighten it without deforming your bushings. If your bushings look squooshed, then you overtightened your trucks. Not only will you not get the best performance from your bushings but it’ll also decrease their lifespan since their under so much pressure.

A good way to tell is if it’s tight enough is to try to spin your top washer in a circular motion. If it moves, you need to tighten your trucks more.

What are the best longboard truck brands?

Most longboard setups use Paris Trucks. They’re the most popular longboard trucks on the market.

However, below are some other popular brands.

Can you put longboard trucks on a skateboard?

I’m assuming you’re referring to reverse kingpin trucks. This answer isn’t so straightforward. Will the baseplate fit on your skateboard? Yes. But, they’re not meant for popsicle-shaped skateboards since they’re higher off the ground and harder to do flip tricks with. Try it for yourself and see.

I’m not gonna tell you not to do it, but you’re better off with TKPs on your skateboard.

Maintenance

Below are some maintenance tips & tricks for longboard trucks.

Axle Rethreading

If your locknuts do not go on the axle, you may have a damaged thread. To fix this, you need a re-threader tool that comes with many skate tools. In a pinch: you may be able to find a 5/16 imperial thread die.

Kingpin Rethreading

In this instance, you are best off replacing the kingpin rather than rethreading it, but it can be done with a 3/8 imperial thread die.

Cleaning & Repolishing

On raw, or metallic finish trucks, one can use stainless steel oven cleaner to remove most dust and debris. Do not use this with painted trucks. For painted trucks, use GOO GONE. Polish trucks use car wax and a microfiber cloth.

Billy

I've been skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding since a young age. My shredding style is surf-inspired. The mission is to publish educational content for board sports.

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