- What are skateboard trucks?
- What are low trucks?
- What are the benefits of low trucks?
- What is wheelbite?
- High vs. Low Trucks
- Hi Lo Trucks
- What is the lowest skateboard truck?
- Are Thunder Trucks Low?
- Are Independent Trucks Good for Street Skating?
- Truck Heights of Brands
- Other Factors
- 10 Best Trucks for Skateboarding
- The Bottomline
When it comes to the minutiae of skateboarding, there is a debate about low trucks versus high trucks. Skaters who prefer the more technical side may enjoy low trucks, as they have a lower center of gravity.
However, we did a very deep dive on the benefits of low trucks, so sit back and enjoy. We did more than 10 hours of research, to give you this deep, epic, and comprehensive guide to low trucks.
[See these rad wheels from Orangatang.]
- Why it's rad: While not the highest quality or technically low, Core Trucks are some of the most affordable while still being decent.
- Ride Height: 53mm
- Buy at Stoked Buy at Amazon
Independent Mid Hollow Trucks
- Why it's rad: Independent, aka Indy, are the industry standard for skateboard trucks. Mid forged are not technically low, but they are the lowest for Indy.
- Ride Height: 50.5mm
- Buy at Amazon
Ace AF1 Low Trucks
- Why it's rad: Excellent fit and finish, lots of rad color choices. Includes helpful re-threading tool. A true low truck.
- Ride Height: 49mm
- Buy at Amazon
What Are Skateboard Trucks?
Skateboard trucks are often overlooked, but they are actually quite important. They are the metal devices found under your deck, mounted to the bottom of your board.
Trucks have three main parts: the hanger, the baseplate, and the bushings.
- Hanger - The axle assembly that holds the wheels and does the turning with support from the bushings.
- Baseplate - The assembly that mounts to the deck with hardware and gives the hanger a place to rotate.
- Bushings - The urethane grommets that sit on either side of the hanger, supported by the kingpin in the baseplate.
Trucks handle the steering and mount the wheels on their axle. Trucks have a baseplate (which connects to the skateboard deck), a pivot cup, and a hanger (which goes against bushings - which are urethane cushions).
Without trucks, you’ll be totally lost when it comes to your skateboard actually going anywhere. Trucks are often a forgotten about piece of a skateboard, as the deck and wheels typically get a lot more attention.
However, trucks are crucially important for steering. And you’ll definitely notice the difference between high quality trucks and cheap ones.
[Learn all about Spitfire Wheels.]
What Are Low Trucks?
Low trucks is a term that simply refers to skateboard trucks with a ride height less than approximately 50mm.
Trucks that are called low trucks will place the axle and hanger assembly closer to your deck. While the difference is sometimes not huge, the feeling and ability to do tricks will definitely be impacted.
Low trucks sit closer to the board. This is important, as it makes flip tricks a little easier, and you’ll be able to do technical riding, with a little more ease.
Getting a little technical about it, with low trucks, you’ll have a lower center of gravity and smaller rotational inertia, which can be very important for technical tricks. We also recommend going with smaller wheels (typically between 48 mm and 53 mm) to 1) avoid wheel bite and 2) further lower rotational inertia.
What Are The Benefits Of Low Trucks?
Generally speaking, low trucks work best for more technical skating. This is because the wheels will be sitting closer to the board, resulting in faster board rotations (aka less rotational inertia) during flip tricks and a lower center of gravity.
You will also have an improved center of gravity. Low trucks also work best with smaller wheels, like 48 mm to 53 mm sizes.
Interestingly, lower trucks generally work much better for things like ledge grinds, as well as technical skating in a skatepark. If you don’t go with smaller wheels on your low trucks, you are more likely to face wheel bite.
[One of our favorite brands - Landyachtz.]
What Is Wheel Bite?
Wheel bite is simply a name for when one of your wheels actually comes into contact with your deck during a turn and causes the board to slow or stop suddenly. Obviously, this causes problems.
You will either fall of your board entirely, or at least lose your balance. Low trucks do mean your wheels will be more likely to come into contact your deck, since they will be closer to your board.
However, even low trucks shouldn’t mean that you will have any issues with wheel bite. If you’re very worried, we recommend taking your board into a local skate shop or emailing us at email@example.com and we can help you fine tune your skateboard.
You can also avoid wheel bite by adding risers. This increases the space between your deck and your wheels, but ultimately defeats the purpose of having low trucks in the first place 🤦🏼♂️
If you use a higher truck baseplate degree, you can also help avoid wheel bite. Of course, you can also choose a different deck entirely.
This is easiest to understand with longboard trucks because typically the axis of rotation is directly parallel to the baseplate angle. This is what determines how the truck hanger turns and leans. However, that is not the case with traditional skateboard trucks, so baseplate angles are often not stated or compared.
For shortboards, if wheelbite is a huge problem with your low trucks, you can add an angled riser. This will increase the turn and decrease the lean, resulting in more wheel clearance. However, we would recommend using smaller wheels first.
Longboard truck example: If you want to choose a different degree for your truck baseplate, a 50 degree angle will usually help you avoid wheel biting. Baseplates with a 44 degree angle (or less) have more lean, so it will make your wheels come closer to your board - thus increasing your chances of getting wheel bite. But again, we would recommend using smaller wheels first.
By changing your wheels to something smaller, you will automatically increase the space between your wheels and your board.
If none of these options appeal to you, you can also increase your trucks resistance to turn by getting bushings with a higher durometer. This will decrease your turn radius and will thus help you avoid the dreaded wheel bite. Bushings are actually another unsung hero of the skateboarding world.
[Learn everything about skateboard turning.]
What's The Difference Between High And Low Trucks?
If you are doing simple tricks, you may not notice a big difference for trucks. But professional level trucks from brands like Indy or Thunder Trucks are made in various heights to match the needs of high level skateboarders. Each height will make a difference for grinds and more technical tricks, as well as for flip tricks.
Truck Heights Defined
- Low Truck
- Ride height of less than 50mm
- Mid Truck
- Ride height of 50mm-51mm
- Ride height of 52mm - 56mm
That’s because low trucks have more stability, especially when compared to higher trucks. If you have more control of your board, you can do more when street skating, though your board may not be as good for commuting.
Flips and other types of tricks will be a little easier with lower trucks. Additionally, higher trucks will also mean bigger wheels.
Higher trucks with big wheels may be ideal for longboard or distance skateboarding. They are not as ideal for street skating, however.
|Low Trucks||Mid Trucks||Regular / High Trucks|
What Is A High Low Truck?
Hi Lo is a brand of trailers and does not apply to skateboarding - perhaps that’s what you are looking for here. If not, the difference between high and low trucks is covered throughout this article. Keep reading!
What Are The Lowest Skate Trucks?
While we don’t know everything, the lowest skate trucks we’ve seen are 46mm and these are by Tensor Trucks. Most low trucks are somewhere below 50mm.
[Learn these easy skateboard tricks.]
Are Thunder Trucks Low?
Thunder Trucks do have low trucks that measure in at 49mm ride height. Thunder is unique in that they have various baseplates (BP) for the various widths. Changing the baseplate alone can change the ride height.
So while Thunder does not have the lowest of the low trucks, they do have some of the most customizable trucks in the industry.
Are Independent Trucks Good For Street Skating?
Independent is a tremendous brand, with a stellar reputation. Their trucks are the leader in the street/park skateboarding industry.
Independent Trucks have developed a reputation for being heavier, which sometimes may not be ideal for all types of skating.
However, they do make the Stage 11 Titanium trucks - which are more geared for the light truck scene specifically.
Independent Trucks while heavy, also have a reputation for lasting forever. So while they may cost a tiny bit more upfront, they usually end up lasting a long, long time.
This makes them a top pick, in our opinion. You don’t want to constantly have to be changing your trucks out, so they are a very solid choice for anyone - whether you’re a beginner, an expert, or a novice.
No matter what brand you go with, just make sure you feel comfortable with the trucks you choose. You might want to buy two sets, so you can swap them out and see back to back what skateboard combo works best for you.
[Look at this rad guide, and discover the best rideshop.]
Truck Heights of Various Brands
We made this handy chart for you to reference your favorite brands.
|143||Team BP - 50mm|
|145||Team BP - 50mm
Forged BP - 49mm
|147||Team BP - 50mm
Forged BP - 49mm
|148||Team BP - 52mm
Forged BP - 51mm
|148||Team BP - 52mm
Forged BP - 51mm
|149||Team BP - 52mm
Forged BP - 51mm
|151||Team BP - 52mm
Forged BP - 51mm
|161||Team BP - 53mm
Forged BP - 52mm
|181||Team BP - 53mm|
|Low (all widths)||46mm|
|Regular (all widths)||52mm|
Other Factors To Consider
Picking the right low skateboard trucks is not the only thing you need to look at, when putting together a complete skateboard. Our in-depth buyer’s guides go over whether or not you need large wheels, all about the ABEC rated bearings hype, risers, whether or not kingpins matter, how important skateboard wheels are, and what simply comes down to personal preference.
If you go on YouTube, you will find great videos on the more technical aspects of skateboarding - usually the more subscribers a channel has, the better their content will be. Check the comments sections and read what people are saying about the content. Truck companies will always list tech specs, like truck height.
Also remember that new trucks may take a little while to break in, so if you don't like them at first, we recommend to keep skating them. I've bought things that I did not like at first, but then ended up loving them once I got used to the gear.
Whether you go with higher trucks, lower trucks, brand names like Independent Trucks or Venture Trucks, small wheels, expensive skateboard bearings, or even start on a longboard - you’ll still have a rad time skating. Wheel size is important, as is your skateboard deck, but just match your hanger size to the deck width and you'll be good to start.
If you’re just popping ollies in a casual manner, you may not ever need to worry about high or low trucks. Just keep skating, and having fun - and dive into the tech specs when you’re a more advanced skateboarder.
[Check out the best skate board park.]
The Bottom Line On Low Trucks
There you have it - more than you ever wanted to know about low trucks. Skateboarding is a bit of a technical sport actually, most boarders just never think about it.
You have to have every piece working together, and hit ramps at the exact right angles, in order to get the right position for tricks. If you don’t, you’ll fall.
We hope you enjoyed this comprehensive guide. If you liked this one, be sure to check out some of our other articles.