How To Loosen Skateboard Trucks & Make Them Turn Correctly
Trucks On A Skateboard
Skateboard trucks are the metal mechanism that allows the board turn. They are made up of the hanger and the baseplate.
The hanger is the part that the axle goes through for the wheels to go on both sides. It’s held onto the baseplate with a big screw (kingpin) and a kingpin nut that you will be turning.
How to Loosen Skateboard Trucks
Loosen The Nut
Loosen the kingpin nut by turning it counter clockwise with a skate tool or 3/8” wrench. Don’t leave your nut hanging on by only a few threads where it can come off easily. Get new softer bushings if you need it that loose. Another thing is that if any of the nuts are loose by hand even though they are screwed all the way on, they need to be replaced. The nylon inserts in the metal nuts go bad after a while and don’t hold very well.
Flip Or Change The Washers
Changing the washers that hold the bushings can work to loosen trucks. You can remove the bottom washer on the baseplate like some transition skaters do. Or you can go full Daewon. You can also flip your washers over or switch them out with flat washers. The washers are curved to hold the bushings in, so without that curve touching the bushing, the less restricted the turn of the truck will be. Some skaters like a more restricted turn with the washers left on, even left on their Bones bushings which don’t need washers.
Change The Bushings
Changing the bushings is also a good way to make your trucks turn properly. What is proper is preference, but for most people this means that you wont get wheel bite like crazy while riding and they can carve without being too tight where you have to tic tac to turn.
If you get an old bushing that you want to use from someones old bucket of parts, clean it (or not) and bite it with your teeth to compare hardnesses with other random bushings. It works really well to gauge harder or softer bushings. Put them in a plastic bag if you don’t want to put dirty bushings in your mouth!
Bones hardcore bushings are ideal for getting the proper truck tightness because they offer different hardnesses. The blue softer ones are ideal for kids who do not weigh a lot. The bushings that come with their trucks can be hard and might not turn very well for them, especially on cheaper boards.
Heavier riders will want to get the black hardcore bushings, which will support their weight, yet still turn properly.
Cheap boards can greatly benefit from putting good bushings in them.
How To Know How Tight Trucks Should Be
A good way to check how tight skateboard trucks should be is to have the rider stand on the board and hold onto something. Have them lean their whole weight down on one side to turn the board. The wheels shouldn’t touch the deck. Watching the person on the board will also let you know whether they are unstable and should have the trucks a little tighter or whether they have control of the board with their ankles and can handle riding looser trucks.
After starting somewhere, the skater might want to change their board immediately or give it a little tighten after riding it for a while. The bushings will naturally compress and loosen as they are broken in.
How To Fix A Skateboard That Turns By Itself
If your board stays to one side, the bushings might need to be broken in more or they might just be cheap bushings that need replacing. One way to know for sure is to rotate the bushings and try riding it again to feel for a difference. Loosen the kingpin nut and rotate the bushinga quarter turn on the kingpin. The truck works by bending them side to side, not front to back. So switching how they sit can break in other parts that haven’t been squished that way yet.
If they are old and cracked, they need to be replaced.