Low Trucks Vs. High Trucks – The Ultimate Guide
Ah yes! The question of the perfect truck size! How exciting! You simply can't purchase a skateboard without considering the trucks. It's like trying to buy a cake without sugar. Utterly pointless!
The trucks are the backbone of your ride, determining the height, structure, and of course, the ever-important ride characteristics. Are you after a smooth, mellow cruise or a wild and crazy ride? Well, it all comes down to those little metal things underneath your board.
Now, let's get down to brass tacks. High trucks will elevate you to new heights, increasing the distance between your deck and the ground. But if you prefer a shorter distance to the ground, then low trucks are the way to go. You see, it's all about personal preference, and what makes your heart sing. So, let me school you on the basics of your trucks, with this rough guide.
- Low Truck - 49mm
- Great Reviews
- Under $70
- High Truck - 55mm
- Great Reviews
- Under $50
What Exactly Are Skateboard Trucks?
Skateboard trucks are the sturdy metal contraptions that connect your deck to your wheels. They're like the spine of your board, keeping it all together and making sure you don't go flying off into the sunset.
Without them, you might as well be trying to ride a plank of wood down a hill! And let's not forget the fashion statement they make. With a variety of colors and designs, you can make your trucks the envy of all your skateboarding pals.
These little beauties have three main parts: the hanger, the baseplate, and the bushings.
The hanger is like the superhero of the group, holding the wheels and doing all the turning with a little help from the bushings.
The baseplate is like the trusty sidekick, mounting to the deck with hardware and giving the hanger a place to show off its skills.
And let's not forget the bushings, the little urethane grommets that sit on either side of the hanger, supported by the kingpin in the baseplate.
Now, I know what you're thinking, "Trucks? Who cares?" But consider this, without trucks, you might as well be trying to ride a unicycle down a mountain. These little guys handle the steering and mount the wheels on their axle.
And don't be fooled, high-quality trucks are the key to a smooth ride, while cheap ones will have you feeling like you're on a rickety old wagon. So, let's give a round of applause for the often-forgotten hero of the skateboard: the trucks!
What Are Low Trucks?
Low trucks are basically skateboard trucks that ride lower than your grandma's sedan - or in other words, 50mm or less. We measure the ride height from the baseplate to the middle of the axle.
And let me tell you, when it comes to low trucks, size matters. These little guys will bring your axle and hanger assembly closer to your deck, giving you the ability to do tricks like a pro!
But wait, there's more! With low trucks, you'll have a lower center of gravity and smaller rotational inertia. I know, I know, it sounds like some fancy-pants science experiment, but trust me, it's important for all you technical tricksters out there.
And if you really want to up your game, we recommend going for small wheels between 48 mm and 53 mm. Not only will this prevent pesky wheel bite, but it'll also lower that rotational inertia even more.
What Is This Wheel Bite You Speak Of?
Well, well, well, look who's getting too close for comfort? That's right, wheel bite! It's the bane of every skateboarder's existence.
It's when your wheels get a little too friendly with your deck and cause you to come to a sudden stop. It's like hitting a speed bump, but worse because you're on a skateboard, and you're probably going to eat it.
Now, low trucks are great for many reasons, but they do increase the chances of wheel bite since they bring your wheels closer to your deck. However, that doesn't mean you're doomed to a life of sudden stops and scraped knees. No sir!
There are many solutions to this problem, including adding risers to higher trucks to increase the space between your wheels and deck. But, let's be honest, that defeats the purpose of having low trucks in the first place.
If you're not into risers, you can try using higher degree baseplates or even switching up your deck. If none of these solutions float your boat, you can always go for smaller wheels to increase the space between your wheels and deck.
Or, if you want to get fancy, you can even change up your bushings to increase your trucks' resistance to turning. Who knew that the little guys in your trucks, the bushings, could be heroes too?
What Are The Benefits Of Low Trucks?
Low Trucks are a game-changer for those who love to skate with style and precision. The beauty of low trucks is that they offer a lower center of gravity, which basically means you're closer to the ground - making it much easier to stick those tricky flip tricks.
Plus, with less rotational inertia, you'll be able to spin your board faster than a hamster in a wheel!
But wait, there's more! Low trucks are like the peanut butter to your jelly when it comes to ledge grinds and shredding in the skatepark. The wheels are closer to the board, giving you better control, a tighter center of gravity, and better balance for technical maneuvers.
Just be sure to pair them with smaller wheels, like 48mm to 53mm, to avoid getting wheel bite - because nobody likes to go from cruising to face-planting in seconds.
What Are The Lowest Skate Trucks?
Oh boy, it's time to bust out the measuring tape! We've seen some seriously low skate trucks in our time.
Take the Tensor Trucks 46mm, for example. Now that's what we call low.
Most low trucks come in somewhere below 50mm, but we wouldn't be surprised if someone out there is trying to break the record for the lowest truck ever made.
Let us know if you come across any, we're dying to know!
Are Thunder Trucks Low?
Ah, Thunder Trucks! These guys may not have the lowest of the low trucks, but they sure are one-of-a-kind. At a ride height of 49mm, you'll still be able to get the benefits of low trucks, but with a little bit of extra wiggle room.
And the best part? Thunder is all about customization. They've got a whole range of baseplates for different widths, so you can get the exact ride height you're after. Talk about being spoilt for choice! Whether you want to go lower or just need to fine-tune your setup, Thunder's got you covered.
What are High Trucks
Ah, high trucks! They typically vary in height from 52mm to 56mm, depending on who made them and their design.
High trucks give you some more room from the ground, which can make cruising around a little bit smoother.
You can slap on any wheel size you fancy, small or large, and the ride will still be pretty darn smooth.
What are the Benefits of High Trucks
If you're a beginner looking to get into skateboarding, high trucks may be the way to go. They offer a slower speed, which is perfect for those who are just starting out and don't want to risk losing control.
High trucks are also very versatile and can accommodate different wheel sizes, making them a great choice for skaters who want to experiment with different setups.
Plus, you'll be less likely to experience wheel bite, which can really slow you down and ruin your ride. You can also have looser trucks with high trucks.
One of the best things about high trucks is the amount of ground clearance they offer. This means that you'll be able to navigate obstacles and uneven terrain with ease, as you won't have to worry about your board getting caught on anything.
High trucks also balance out the weight distribution, which helps prevent damage to your bolts and other components. And if you're into slow downhill styles or navigating tight corners, high trucks will definitely come in handy.
All in all, they're a great choice for skaters who want a comfortable, reliable setup that can handle a variety of situations.
The perfect compromise between high and lower trucks, like a skateboard diplomat mediating between two warring factions. With a ride height somewhere between 50 mm and 51 mm, they provide a middle ground for skaters who can't quite make up their minds.
You won't be riding as low as the "down with the low" crowd, nor will you be soaring as high as the "high trucks, ride high for life" crew. But hey, at least you'll have some peace in the middle of the skateboard warzone.
We'll focus the rest of this post on high or low trucks, as they are more commonly discussed than mid trucks.
What's The Difference Between High, and Low Trucks (and Mid Trucks Too)?
If you're new to the game, you might not notice much of a difference between trucks. But trust us, once you get to the pro level, the height of your trucks can make all the difference.
So what's the deal with these heights? Lower trucks, with a ride height of less than 50mm, offer more stability compared to their taller counterparts. This is great for street skating and doing flips and other technical tricks.
But if you're more into commuting on your board, low trucks might not be the best option.
If you're looking for something in between, mid trucks with a ride height of 50mm-51mm might be just what you need. They offer a good balance of stability and maneuverability.
And then there are the regular/high trucks with a ride height of 52mm-56mm. These are better suited for longboarding or distance skateboarding as they allow for larger wheels.
However, they're not ideal for street skating as they have a higher center of gravity and are harder to do flip tricks with.
Who Should Choose High Trucks?
If you're a beginner, listen up, because high trucks are the way to go! Sure, it might feel a little wobbly at first with the deck further off the ground, but trust us, it's more supportive.
Plus, you'll avoid that pesky wheel bite that can ruin your ride.
And if you're tall, don't even think twice, just go for those high trucks. With your long limbs, controlling the skateboard tail won't be a problem at all.
As for those longboard lovers out there, high trucks are your best friend. They'll balance out that length and large size of your board like a pro.
Who Should Use Low Trucks?
If you happen to be a kid, or have one and tend to influence their decisions, low trucks may be your best bet. I know that seems to contradict what we said earlier about high trucks being for beginners, but hear me out.
Low trucks easy to control and keep things safe for the little ones.
Also, if you're a pro looking to up your game and show off your sick tricks, low trucks are where it's at. They provide the support and stability you need to take your skills to the next level.
How to Choose - Low or High Trucks
So, you're new to the skateboarding game and have no clue what trucks to choose? Don't worry, you're not alone. It can be a daunting task, and even seasoned skaters can have a hard time deciding which trucks are right for them.
But fear not, here are some tips to make it a little less overwhelming.
Check Your Deck Size
The size of your truck is a big deal when it comes to stability and turning radius. So, before you get all excited about picking out a truck, make sure you check the size of your deck first.
Don't just guess or you'll be in for a bumpy ride. Here's a handy tip: the wider and longer your deck is, the taller your truck should be.
And if you really want to get technical, you should measure the base width and wheelbase of your deck to ensure a perfect fit. Trust us, your skateboard will thank you for it.
Before choosing the right skateboard truck, let's figure out your level. Are you a beginner or a pro who can do some crazy tricks that will blow our minds?
For the beginners out there, a slightly taller truck is your go-to. It will make it easier for you to control the board and minimize those pesky wheel bite situations that always seem to happen.
Now, for the pros, you need low trucks. Why? Because you're all about speed and pulling off those jaw-dropping tricks.
And let's be honest, low trucks are like your best buddy, always supporting you through every wild maneuver.
If you're looking to conquer those gnarly downhill slopes, then high trucks are your new best friend.
But, if cruising the streets and showing off your street style is more your thing, then low trucks are the way to go.
It's all about being flexible with your choice, just like how you need to be on your board. So, before you start searching for the perfect truck height, think about what style you're going for.
Are you a speed demon or a chill cruiser? Choose wisely, my friend.
With high trucks, you can throw on any wheel size without worrying about your ride being thrown off balance. But if you opt for low trucks, stick loose trucks with smaller, not larger wheels (50-53 mm) to avoid wheel bite and disaster.
Pop Pop Pop!
The age-old debate about whether high or low trucks give you more pop continues to rage on. Some folks swear by one or the other, and base their arguments on all sorts of factors like tail height, pop speed, and board angle.
But let's be real here - there are so many variables at play that it's hard to say for sure. You can even mess around with wheel size to adjust the height of your board, making the whole thing even more complicated.
And let's not forget about deck shape and tail steepness, which can throw a whole other wrench in the mix. After trying out a ton of different trucks ourselves, we've come to the conclusion that high or low doesn't really matter when it comes to pop.
Are Independent Trucks Good For Street Skating?
Independent Trucks are the real deal, they’ve earned their stripes as the top dog in the street/park skateboarding scene. But let's not forget their beefy build can be a burden for some skaters who prefer a lighter set of wheels.
Thankfully, Independent offers a solution for those who like to keep it light with their Stage 11 Titanium trucks, a perfect fit for the low truck enthusiasts.
Despite their heavyweight reputation, Independent Trucks are known to last for ages. So while you might have to shell out a little extra cash upfront, you'll end up saving in the long run by not having to constantly replace them.
In our humble opinion, Independent Trucks are an A-grade choice for any level of skater. Whether you're a pro or just starting out, you'll be stoked with the durability they provide.
Of course, at the end of the day, what matters most is your own personal comfort. So why not pick up a couple of sets to test out and see what feels best for your unique style?
What Is A High Low Truck?
Oh boy, looks like someone's a little lost! Hi Lo might be great for trailers, but not so much for skateboarding. Unless, of course, you want to use your skateboard to tow your trailer, in which case, be my guest and let me know how that goes.
Truck Heights of Various Brands
If you are looking for the truck height from different brands, this should help. We've organzied it by high, mid, and low skateboard trucks for easy reference.
|Tensor||Low (all widths)||46mm||Low|
|Thunder||145 Forged BP||49mm||Low|
|Thunder||147 Forged BP||49mm||Low|
|Thunder||143 Team BP||50mm||Low|
|Thunder||145 Team BP||50mm||Low|
|Thunder||147 Team BP||50mm||Low|
|Thunder||148 Forged BP||51mm||Mid|
|Thunder||149 Forged BP||51mm||Mid|
|Thunder||151 Forged BP||51mm||Mid|
|Thunder||148 Team BP||52mm||High|
|Thunder||149 Team BP||52mm||High|
|Thunder||151 Team BP||52mm||High|
|Thunder||161 Forged BP||52mm||High|
|Tensor||Regular (all widths)||52mm||High|
|Thunder||161 Team BP||53mm||High|
|Thunder||181 Team BP||53mm||High|
Other Factors To Consider
So you wanna put together a complete skateboard? Well, it’s not just about picking the right low skateboard trucks.
If you want to get more technical, hit up YouTube for some rad videos. Just make sure the channel has a decent number of subscribers, otherwise, you’re wasting your time.
Don’t forget to check out the comments section, and see what people are saying about the content. Truck companies usually list tech specs, including truck height, so keep your eyes peeled for those.
Here are a few YouTube channels we like:
Oh, and don’t sweat it if your new trucks take some time to break in. Give them a chance and skate them a bit. Who knows, you might end up falling in love with them. It’s happened to me, and I’m not even ashamed to admit it.
Whether you’re rocking high or low trucks, brand name Independent Trucks or Venture Trucks, small, not large wheels, expensive bearings, or even a longboard, just remember to have fun.
Match your hanger size to your deck width, and you’ll be good to go.
If you’re just cruising around and popping some casual ollies, don’t sweat it too much. Dive into the tech specs once you’ve leveled up your skating game.
The Bottom Line On High, Low, and Mid Trucks
Well, well, well, you've made it to the end of our extensive low trucks guide. Congratulations! We know you didn't ask for all this info, but let's face it, skateboarding is a complicated sport, and you can't just wing it and hope for the best.
Every part of your board needs to be in tip-top shape if you want to nail those sweet tricks without eating pavement. It's all about hitting those ramps at just the right angle and making sure everything works together like a well-oiled machine.
But don't worry, we've got your back with this guide. And if you enjoyed reading it, be sure to check out our other articles - we've got plenty more juicy skateboard knowledge to share.