Trucks are the soul of your skateboard, decks come and go but your trucks stay for a long time. Your deck will feel so different depending on the trucks you use. Are you aware of what type of trucks you currently have? No biggie. Neither did I for a long time until I skated someone else’s deck with different trucks. I was amazed how stable it felt, I wanted that exact same setup and went looking for what exactly I need.
So which one is the best? I can’t figure it out as I like all of the brands and you can’t go wrong with any of them. Independents perform the best in skate parks, bowls, and ramps. They are the heaviest, last longer, but turn slower. Thunders are great for street skateboarding, are more responsive and turn better. The downside is they wear down faster. Ventures are cheaper, provide more stability but offer less turn.
The best truck depends entirely on where you skate, your style, and your personal preference. You can’t say that Thunders are better than Independent trucks or Ventures are better than Independents. Your personal preference is anecdotal which isn’t exactly hard science. It really depends on what type of skateboarder you are so let’s get into the details.
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How They Turn
One of the most common things you hear is that Thunders turn better and Indys have some sort of delay. While this is somewhat true one can argue that indys just have a sharper turn once you cross a certain threshold. Now if you want more responsive trucks you probably should go with Thunders but if you prefer sharper turns go with indys.
Which One Provides the Most Stability
Ventures, I love how they feel skating mini ramps. I’ve skated Thunders and Independents but Ventures just feel a bit more stable. As I mainly ride mainly mini ramps because I’m an older skater I fell in love with Ventures, personal preference! I do however also love my indys. Hard to pick a side here.
Which One Grinds the Best
Thunders grind great but they wear down faster, Venture is in the middle indys wear down the slowest. Indys are great for chunky ledges because of all the metal on the truck. At a certain point, grooves will start to form which helps you to lock-in you grind.
Thunders however often need replacement once you groove them in. Overall Thunders are considered the best when it comes to grinding.
It doesn’t really make a difference, some argue lighter trucks make flips easier but I think that has to do with confirmation bias. So far I haven’t seen any proof, except for anecdotal claims. In general, Indys are the heaviest and Thunder trucks the lightest.
If you’re looking for something lightweight, consider Tensor. They actually make the lightest trucks in the world, does it make a difference? Find out here.
There’s no standardization when it comes to sizes and height. This means, for example, buying a low venture truck could be a mid/high Thunder truck. Thunder has the lowest high trucks and Venture has the highest ‘high’ trucks. Independent is sort of in the middle.
It’s a bit confusing but keep this in mind when you get new trucks. Low or high doesn’t really matter to everyone, some prefer highs and some prefer lows.
Mounting Holes Wear and Tear
When you shred the streets a lot this might become an issue. Grinding curbs and jumping stairs can stretch the holes resulting in unstable trucks. There’s no fix for this, you just have to buy new trucks. Since Thunders grind away the fastest, the mounting holes are also more likely to stretch.
Pricing and Durability
Venture trucks are the cheapest and Independent the most expensive, Thunder trucks are in the middle. Independent has a lot of more meat to grind through and the axles are supposed to be the strongest. Can’t really confirm this myself but indys are more durable in general so it’s safe to assume they have the strongest axles.
I recently got myself a pair of titanium Indys and I absolutely love them. If you’re looking for reliable and durable trucks you should go for it. They will last you for years and save you money in the long run, check for prices on Amazon.
Ventures are really good trucks and provide greater stability. They last longer than Thunders but Indys last the longest. If you’re on a budget or you grind away a set of trucks every 2 months, you could consider Ventures. Ventures are a bit stiffer than Indys and Thunder which also has to do with the stock bushings. I personally like the Ventures stock bushings but that’s because I don’t like loose trucks.
Most stock bushings need to break in before they start performing as they should. Some people don’t like stock bushings and immediately replace them with the ones they prefer. When you’re a beginner it doesn’t really matter. If you’re interested though, I have a huge guide about bushings.
As for hardness or durometer, Ventures have the hardest bushings, Thunder the softest and Indys are in the middle. Don’t worry too much about this though, you’ll learn what you prefer along the way. You can also just use the bushings of your old trucks, saves you from getting used to a new set.
Independent for Skateparks and Transition
Indys are great for transition skateboarding. If you like to do technical skateboarding in skate parks Independents are what you’re looking for. If you like to skate in parks and hit the streets I’d still stick with independents, unless you have the budget to ride two different setups. Check for prices on evo.com.
Thunders for Street Skating
Skaters like Thunder because of their grinding performance. Thunders seem to perform a bit better on the street but also wear down quicker compared to Indys. Another often mentioned benefit is that they turn quicker and are more responsive.
So when you do some technical trick and want to make a last-second correction Thunders are the best choice. The downside is that they wear down faster because they have less metal to shred. Check them out on evo.com
Ventures or Indys for Mini Ramps, Bowls, and Verts
If you like stability and only skate mini ramp, go for Ventures or Indys. Both trucks offer a bit more stability than Thunders where Ventures offer the most. Venture has both low and high trucks, get the highs if you want to skate transition.
Hollows, Titanium It’s Just a Gimmick
I admit I got a pair of Independent Titaniums and I know it doesn’t matter. I just like to support brands and go all out. I could’ve just bought the standards and wouldn’t notice a difference.
If I didn’t have the disposable money I would just go with the standard trucks, they’re just as good as the flashy Titaniums. You could save some money for better wheels or bearings or that fancy deck you just need to buy.
Some Argue the Type of Board and Your Trucks Impact Performance
Let’s talk a bit about what most people don’t consider, the type of board you have. The space between the bolts and curve of the nose (or tail) can have an impact on performance. Wheels on Thunder trucks have are positioned further out and Indys position wheels further in, Venture is, again, in the middle.
Why does that matter? One reason is supposed to be the turning radius. When your wheels are closer to each other, you’re able to make tighter turns.
This is a nice theory but I’m not convinced yet, there are many variables that affect the performance of your board and trucks. I do love videos of Ben Degros though, one you should definitely follow. Overthinking stuff like this won’t improve your skills. So just go out there and skate and work on that muscle memory.
The Final Verdict
I’m an old skater and can’t remember I had these discussions with my friends, once the internet became a thing and Youtube got big, all hell broke loose. Worshipping a brand is a bit sad, it’s like these Apple VS Samsung debates (seriously what’s wrong with these people). I think we should all take a deep breath and support the brands that actually do something to improve skateboarding technology.
The trucks that are suitable for you depends on where and what you skate. Some love Indys for street skating and others prefer Thunders or Ventures. See if you can try them out, maybe a friend or even someone at a skate park. You need to feel and test these trucks before you can say which one you prefer.
All of them are high quality builds and will last you a long time, depending on how aggressive you skate. You can’t go wrong with any of them, even more so when you’re a beginner.