Every skater will at some point try Independent trucks in their journey. Yes. They are that much of a staple in the skateboarding industry.
You’ve probably seen their logo on some hoodies before, but today, we’re going to talk about the real deal. Their trucks. Indies, as they’re called by skaters.
Independent Trucks Co. has been around since 1978. The two founders created the brand to ensure they could ride solid and durable trucks themselves. As the brand grew, skaters from all around the world praised the durability of their products. Still to this day, they’re recognized as the most long-lasting truck of the bunch.
And if this isn’t enough, the Independent Trucks skateboard team is full of incredible skaters such as Tony Hawk, Bucky Lasek, Grant Taylor and Ben Raybourn for the transition legends, Chris Joslin, Mason Silva, Tiago Lemos, and Louie Lopez for the street riders.
I’ve ridden at least 5 different pairs of Independent Trucks. Broken a few. Hence, I’m pretty sure I can give an honest answer about “why do some skaters only swear by Independent Trucks?”
Independent Trucks Stage 11: The Go To Skateboard Truck?
Every one or two years, Independent redesigns its entire trucks catalogue to stay on top of the market. The Stage 11, as its name shows, is the latest iteration of the classic polished indie. The Stage 11 has been around for a while now, and for good reasons.
Through this review, we will first go into a deep analysis of the Stage 11, before talking about almost every Independent trucks currently available. I left out the Independent Inverted Kingpin as I haven’t skated them yet.
I first bought Independent Trucks because everyone said they were the most resistant. Tired of breaking my trucks, I was finally up to test the real thing.
After riding them for a bit, the trucks make you feel super-secure on your board. The wide shape allows for precise turns while its height prevents from low-impact wheel-bites.
I’ve never felt more stable on my board than on Indies. But it came at a price; they feel heavier than other trucks.
The stock bushing is quite malleable. Whether you skate tight or loose trucks, the bushing will adapt to your preferred tightness.
Eventually, after months of skateboarding, the bushings will crackle. As long as you don’t change the tightness of your trucks, they won’t budge so you can still ride them safely.
Independent trucks aren’t the cheapest, but they are the most durable and can be consideres on of the top skateboard trucks for skaters that are serious about their business.
However, the longer average lifetime of the product surely justifies its higher price. It could actually cost you less money in the long run to invest in Indies early on. Consider investing in trucks as they are the hear and sould of your skateboard and the longest lasting component.
You could save some money on your deck or get cheaper wheels if you are on a tight budget.
They’re definitely one of the most long-lasting trucks. There is no doubt about that, Independent trucks are the most durable trucks you can buy. Depending on your skating, they might last you years before showing any signs of wear.
However, like any trucks, they aren’t unbreakable. If you mainly like to skate gaps, they probably won’t last you more than a year. I’ve broken a few, but they sure were resistant.
Because of their form, Indies grind amazingly well on rails and copings. Their weight helps to lock in firmly on pool coping and crusty ledges. In addition, the “No Hang Up Yoke” technology helps to get out of grinds tricks without struggle.
Once you form those grind strides on the axles, you’ll have a great time blasting through grinds across transitions and curbs.
The Stage 11 base model weight in at 400g. If you didn’t get it already, resistance is what the brand is all about. Hence, Indies Stage 11 are on the heavy side of trucks.
In comparison, the classic Venture truck weight only 365g.
The classic indies have a full-on baseplate, which make them more resistant to chocs. In fact, this is the main reason these trucks are heavier than others.
As a benefit, the full baseplate protects your kingpin better, meaning it won’t break as easily.
Classic indies are the definition of versatility. You can definitely skate any obstacles with Stage 11.
Although, because of their weight, they might not be the first choice for technical skaters. They really shine skating transition or big rails. The shape of the hanger allows for crisp grinds and easy lock in.
Independent Trucks Hollow
The Independent Hollow comes as a lightweight version of the Stage 11 with hollow axle and kingpin. Independent swapped the titanium hanger and baseplate of the Stage 11 for aluminum ones. This helps reduce the weight of the truck, making it 7% lighter than the Stage 11. (368g vs 400g)
These trucks will appeal to more technical or lightweight skaters that want to ride a more reactive and maneuverable set-up. That’s exactly why Lizzie Armanto and Louie Lopez picked these trucks as the base for their pro models.
Also important to note: the Indie Hollow trucks only come in high. This may displease the riders that prefer the stability and reactiveness of a lower truck.
Independent Trucks Forged Hollow
The Stage 11 Forged Hollow is the second lightest truck in the Independent catalogue. 10% lighter than the Stage 11, it weighs in at 358g—which is 42g less still.
The trucks only come in mid-profile (55mm) which makes for the perfect polyvalent skateboard trucks. The Forged Hollow is significantly lighter than the Stage 11 and Hollow. This makes them reactive and effortless to maneuver, yet resistant enough to take on massive impact.
Once again, there’s no doubt why Chris Joslin jumps down massive gaps with Forged Hollow. He even chose this model for his pro Independent truck.
Independent Trucks Forged Titanium
The Forged Titanium is the lightest truck ever released by Independent. 15% lighter than the Stage 11 with its 344g, they offer the highest strength to weight ratio out of all the Independent trucks.
The trucks only come in mid-profile with a length of 53.5mm for optimal performance and wheel clearance. Their lightness comes from the Hollow Chromoly kingpin and the Ti64 titanium axle. Both these additions help lose weight on the truck overall, without affecting its durability.
The only down side: as they’re the lightest trucks ever made by Independent, the Indies Forged Titanium are the most expensive trucks ever released by the brand as well.
Are Independent Trucks The Most Durable Skateboard Trucks?
I haven’t had Indies break on me unexpectedly like I experienced with other brands. The least time it took me to break one must have been a year, skateboarding nearly every day for 2 to 3 hours.
As mentioned at the start, Independent Trucks are made to last. We can safely say the founders kept true to their words.
Who Are They Made For?
Each skater will have a distinct opinion on this. All-in-all, they are the go-to trucks for any impact skaters.
If you plan on mostly riding transition such as quarter pipe, mini-ramp, bowl and vert, they’re the classic choice.
They’re also great for curb and rail skating. I noticed them wearing off slower than, for instance, Venture and Tensor trucks.
They will also be the perfect fit for heavy skaters. Once again, they’re great at taking shocks and impact. Being heavier, they can logically sustain greater force and torsion before breaking.
However, I won’t recommend them if you mostly like to skate low impact stuff such as manual pads, ledges and flat bar. Pick lighter trucks.
Same thing goes for street kids. You might experience more difficulties learning flip tricks riding classic Indies compared to lighter trucks.
Which Independent Trucks Should You Choose?
If you’ve never ridden indies before, start with the Standard Stage 11. It will give you a feel of the distinguishable indie curvature for a very reasonable price.
However, if you’re looking for lighter trucks, than the Hollow—and Forged Hollow—make a great compromise between price and weight. Finally, if you’re a low-impact technical skater the Forged Titaniums are worth their price.
Are Independent Trucks worth it?
There’s a reason independent trucks are the best-selling trucks. Indies built their reputation on the solidity and durability of their products, so you really can’t go wrong with any of their trucks—as long as you choose the right size.
Independent Trucks Size Chart
If this review made you to want to test out a pair of Independent trucks, check out this chart to know exactly the size that fits your deck.
|Independent Trucks Size||Board Size|
|109||For Decks 7.3” and under|
|129||For Decks from 7.4” to 7.7”|
|139||For Decks from 7.8” to 8.2”|
|144||For Decks from 8.0” to 8.5”|
|149||For Decks from 8.25” to 8.65”|
|159||For Decks from 8.6” to 9”|
|169||For Decks 9” and over|
I’m not touching the Independent Trucks VS Tunder debate, it’s what you prefer and I skated Thunders for years. Love them! I feel like they made grinding easier for me, but it’s just anecdotal.
With INdependent trucks you can’t go wrong, they are the most durable trucks and from a budget point of view, the best choice. Not because they are cheap, it’s about how long they last.
If you like to experiement, that argument won’t work. In the end it’s up to you what you like best. If you can, try different trucks and see what works for you. This is not hard science, it’s all about your style and what works best for you.