Time for another no-nonsense post about quality material, in this case, the best skateboard trucks for street skating. Now before I begin I would like to point out that skateboarding is all about personal preference, some love Indy trucks, others say Thunders are the best.
It doesn’t really matter. Some are (in theory) better at certain disciplines than others but even then it really depends on what you like. I picked 5 top brands and will explain why and what they are good at. I skated 4 out of 5 trucks
At the end of this post, I’ll explain how you pick the right size, bushings, and other truck-related stuff.
There are many different brands of trucks available, but what is the best for street skating? Let’s do an analysis of the different offerings out there.
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1. Independent Truck Co.
You can’t go wrong with Independent Trucks. Indy’s are one of the standards and definitely a high-quality truck for street skating. They are beefier looking than the competition, and are known to be long-lasting, and able to take the punishment that street skating puts on trucks.
They are available in a low and a high version. They make for a slightly narrower wheelbase which is nice for manuals and balancing grinds. The 55mm Standard height of an Indy lets you use a slightly larger wheel which is nice if you are skating some rougher street spots and want more speed.
Indy’s are known to be quite heavy and you can tell just by looking at how chunky they are. A lot of people like this extra bit of heft that comes with Indy’s. However, if you want to skate Indy’s but want a lighter option, Independent Truck Co. has you covered.
In addition to the heavy Standards, they also have Indy Hollows, and Forged Titanium options available in pretty much every size. It shouldn’t be hard for you to find the Indy truck that suit you. Check the CCS skate shop for prices (affiliate link).
2. Thunder Trucks
Thunder Trucks are regarded as the most stable and responsive trucks available, and this is what you need when you are street skating. You need a truck with quick responsive turning, to pinch easily on grinds, and to give a stable landing. Thunder Trucks offer exactly this.
Thunders have a larger wheelbase than Indy’s, which may or may not be for you. They definitely feel different than Indy’s or any other brand. Thunders are also quite low in height, at 50mm standard.
This is nice if you have steep kicks on your board, but not so nice if you are prone to wheel bite and want to ride a wheel above 53mm. But they offer the Team Hollow edition that have a 1mm taller baseplate than the rest, if you want a little extra room.
Thunders can be considered a middle-weight truck. The Standards are lighter than Indy’s, but they offer several models that are lighter still (from heaviest to lightest): Team Editions, Lights, Team Hollow, Hollow Lights, Titanium Lights. Check for sizes and price on Amazon
3. Grind King Trucks
You may or may not know about GrindKing Trucks. Back in the 90’s they were constantly innovating ways to make skateboard trucks better. GrindKing invented the inverted kingpin, which gives the highest kingpin clearance and prevents hang up on grinds, especially Smith, and Feeble grinds.
Almost every year Grind King came out with a new and more innovative skateboard truck. Then they just disappeared. Well, 2019, Grind King came back with the Disruptor.
The GK Disruptor is the most innovative skateboard truck to date. It has a washerless truck system, and has the lowest kingpin height for the smoothest grinds ever possible. The bushings have an integrated aluminum sleeve and washer. The “Anti Focus” baseplate is hollow, and rounded, not squared, the lessen the chance of your board breaking.
On top of that, the design of the truck is one of the gnarliest you’ll encounter. They just look really solid and aggressive! They recently came out with the GK Sparks which make a typical grind look spectacular by creating bright sparks.
It has the same dimensions, bushings, and Inverted Kingpin as the Disruptor, except there are six Spark Plug inserts on top of the hanger and one in the baseplate for getting sparks when you do nose and tail slides. This will probably look really cool when grinding a concrete ledge at night. Check Amazon for availability.
4. Venture Truck Co.
Ventures are designed to provide a light-weight, responsive, high-quality truck for street skating. They are a proven name in the skateboard industry. If Stevie Williams and P-Rod endorse them, they must be good.
Ventures are generally a pretty light-weight truck, but they still have a pretty beefy hanger, that is sure to last against they punishment you inflict when shredding the streets. Venture offers trucks in 3 heights: Low, Mid, and High.
They also offer different weight classes: Team, V-Lights (have a hollow Kingpin and forged Baseplate), V-Hollow (have hollow axle and kingpin, and V-Titanium (titanium body and axel with hollow kingpin).
Ventures offer a lot of color and selection. You should be able to find the perfect Venture truck for you. The only downside is that it’s one of the few brands that makes it hard to attach the truck if you only have a skate tool. Available on Amazon, click here for prices.
Those colorful crazy looking trucks with the sexy hole in the hanger. Krux claims to be perfect for street skating. “Krux Trucks brings everything you need with the best cushions in skateboarding. Krux Hollow Trucks are great for tech shredders and makes flip tricks easier. Perfect for ledges, rails and any other street terrain too.”
Krux trucks now come with the Downlow Kingpin (DLK). An inverted type Kingpin designed to prevent any kingpin snags or hangups during grinds. Perfect for smiths and feebles and lighter too!
Krux bushings are called “Magic Cushions” and they are supposed to have no break-in period. That is a really nice feature. Some bushings take forever to break in, and it feels like you are constantly adjusting your kingpin.
Krux has been in the truck game since 1989, so they must make a good product. As a bonus, you can basically get them in any color you can imagine. I wouldn’t mind ripping the streets on those Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle trucks they came out with.
6. Royal Truck Co.
Royal Trucks are more for the skater on a budget. They are cheaper in cost than their competitors, but they are a good truck for the money. They break in easily, have classic geometry, are responsive, and turn sharply.
Royal doesn’t offer any lighter options, but they do offer both standard and low heights. They also offer an inverted kingpin option to help prevent hang-ups during Smith and Feeble grinds.
Royal makes a decent truck, that is comfortable to ride, and responsive for street skating. Royal Truck Co. was started by master street skater Guy Mariano, and with pros like Jerry Hsu and Griffin Gass, they are made for Street Skating.
7. Tensor Trucks
Tensor shouldn’t be left out of this list though some think they are a bit expensive, it really depends on which truck you pick. Tensor was founded by Rodney Mullen and likes to push technology forwards, just like grind king. They offer the lightest trucks you can possibly get (Tensor Mag Light Lo) though it won’t really make you ollie any higher.
Tensor was one of the first that used magnesium in their trucks to make them lighter but found a great mixture that won’t make them weak or lose structural integrity.
Your trucks should fit your board. This goes for all styles of skating, not just street skating. You want your axels to fit the edge or just past the edges of your deck. You don’t want your axels to be smaller than the width of your deck.
Having proper fitting trucks allows you to see your wheels, so you know where they are on the obstacle, and provides the proper stability for landing. If your trucks are narrower than your deck, things are off-balance and its a bit like riding a magic carpet.
What Sizes are Best?
Generally, street skateboards are between 7.75” and 8.25”, and your trucks should match the width of your deck. Deck size is, of course, personal preference. If you are a smaller, younger rider you could get a smaller deck, and if you are a bigger rider, you could get a bigger deck.
It’s important that your skateboard fits you. That its wide enough to have the stability you need to land tricks, but also narrow enough that it can easily be controlled and flipped for technical street skating.
How to Measure Trucks
Truck manufacturers use inconsistent measurements for truck widths. Some measure in Inches, others in mm. Some measure the hanger width, others measure the axel. Some companies measure the hanger and come up with different numbers. It’s all a bit confusing and difficult to decipher.
Lets look at a few popular brands for a 8” board width:
|Deck width (Inches)||< 7.5″||7.5″ – 7.99″||8.0″ – 8.49″||8.5″ – 8.99″|
|Independent||109||129||139, 144||149, 159|
|Thunder||143||145||147, 148||149, 151|
All these trucks are the same size, and fit an 8” deck, but each company sizes them differently. (Where does ACE get their numbers from?!)
Your best bet, is to do some research into what size truck works for what size of deck. Every Truck brand has a sizing chart on their website. Or take your deck to a skate shop, and measure the truck on the deck.
What About Height?
Skateboard truck height comes down to personal preference, but as a general rule, Low or Mid Truck Height is preferable for street skating. It will also depend on your deck shape, and wheel size.
- Low Trucks – 46-50mm tall
- Mid Trucks – 50-56mm tall
- High Trucks – 55-60mm tall
Usually, a street skating setup will have smaller wheels (49mm-53mm) and a fairly steep concave to the deck, so low or Mid trucks should work fine. Big wheels and low trucks on a mellow concave deck is a recipe for wheelbite.
High trucks with small wheels on a steep concave deck will feel less stable and require more effort to pop. If you have a low profile deck, you might like how it skates with low trucks. If you aren’t sure, Mid Trucks are easily available and always a safe option.
Just like truck widths, skateboard truck manufacturers all have different ideas about what Low, Mid, and High mean. Venture and Independent Lows are 48mm, but Tensor Lows are 46mm.
The standard Thunder trucks could be considered Mid at 50mm, but that is definitely on the low end of the Mid Scale. The standard height for Independent Trucks is 55mm. Which is considered a high truck.
Does Truck Shape Matter?
Of course it does! Different truck manufacturers make trucks with different geometry and dimensions. The truck dimensions you like depends on your personal preference, but here are a few things to consider when purchasing trucks for Street Skateboarding:
Is the hangar more vertical/perpendicular to the baseplate, or does it have a bit of an angle one way or the other? This will affect the wheelbase of your setup. If the truck is basically at 90 degrees to the baseplate, it will make a wider wheelbase, than a truck that is angled in slightly toward the center of the board.
What does that mean? Wider wheelbase means more responsive turning, but not as sharp of a turn, as a short wheelbase. It may also be harder to balance manuals with a wide wheelbase, but it can feel more stable for landing. Thunder Trucks make for a wide wheelbase, while Independent and Royal Trucks make for a narrower wheelbase.
You might want to select the appropriate wheelbase depending on the type of street skating you do. If you are tackling more ledges and manual pads, maybe a shorter wheelbase will work best for you, but if you are looking for stability for jumping gaps or to get the pinch when grinding rails, a wider wheelbase may suit your style better.
What could this possibly have to do with anything? Well, the amount that the baseplate sticks out from the hangar, and your wheels will directly effect how your slides feel. If the baseplate sticks out past your wheels, it will be in direct contact with the ledge or rail when you nose or tailslide.
If it doesn’t, then your wheels will be on the obstacle during slides. This changes the way that slides feel, and how fast they are. If your wheels are dragging on the ledge, your slide will obviously be a bit slower, and shorter.
This is where you pull out the wax and season the obstacle to your liking. (Make sure to get approval from the other skaters. Nobody likes to slip out on a ledge they didn’t know was waxed to death.)
The shape of the hanger can tell you a fair bit about trucks, durability, break-in time, and how they will grind. Trucks with a chunkier, beefier hanger, and more metal to it are likely to last longer. It will take a bit longer to break in for a comfortable grind.
Think Independent Trucks. They have probably the beefiest hanger on the market. They are heavier but have been known to outlast their competitors. Thunders have a fairly slim profile to their hanger and are known to break in faster resulting in a nicer right out of the box. They just don’t last quite as long as Indy’s.
The Final Verdict
I would have to say that the best trucks for Street Skateboarding are Thunder Trucks and GrindKing. They have a low profile design, are very responsive and stable, and have a very smooth and satisfying grind feel. The stock bushings are excellent, and feel broken in right out of the box. If you get one of the lighter versions (See the review of Thunder Hollow Lights) they feel less fatiguing than heavier trucks.
As for GrindKing, they just offer really well thought out designs like the clever smooth rounded kingping nut for example. It’s a smaller company but a lot of love went into the design.
Lastly you cannot go wrong with Indy’s especially if you are wanting to skate transition and bowls. Indy’s are excellent in the streets, and excellent in the parks. They turn sharp and offer excellent balance for manuals and grinds. They are a good all-round truck and you probably skate a variety of different terrain, so why not?!
All the trucks listed in this article will be excellent for street skating, and if you don’t like my recommendations, then I suggest you try one of the other options. The most important thing about selecting trucks, is that they will fit your board width properly. Not too big and not to small. Other than that, they will all ollie, slide, grind, turn, and flip just fine for you. Street Skateboarding is all about personal expression, and skating for yourself. Find the truck that suits your style of Street Skating.