Riders often ask, “What’s difference between all of the truck options?” Original offers several brands of trucks that come in four different styles—OS spring loaded trucks, TKP trucks, RKP trucks, & Low-Degree RKP trucks. Some of these trucks are more ideal for a certain type of skating than others, so read up to get your PhD in truckology. Then, check out our complete truck selection here.
RKP Trucks: Base Plate Degree Differences
Classic longboard-style trucks are called reverse kingpin trucks (RKP) and turn more responsively in comparison to traditional kingpin trucks (TKP). Reverse kingpin means that the truck’s kingpin nuts face away from each other when mounted to a deck, whereas a TKP truck’s kingpin nuts face each other. RKPs are designed primarily for carving, sliding and more stability at high speeds. RKPs are divided into two kinds of trucks that differ by the degree of the base plate. The base plate is where truck attaches to the deck.
The lower the degree angle of the base plate, the more a rider must lean & shift their weight to turn their board. A 43°/44° base plate makes your wheelbase marginally shorter than a higher degree base plate mounted on the same wheelbase option. The increased turning resistance in a 43° or 44° truck makes for a more stable ride at high speeds. If your board does not turn easily, it will in theory not wobble as easily.
The 50° base plate turns easier than the 43°/44° base plate. Trucks with 50° base plates are designed for cruising, carving, and lower speed downhill riding. A 50° base plate makes your truck setup almost half an inch taller than a 43°/44° base plate. Trucks with 50° base plates are more responsive to a rider’s shifting bodyweight than trucks with 43°/44° degree base plates. The responsiveness of 50° trucks is great for maneuverability, but may increase the chance of speed wobbles when riders skate fast roads.
Forged axle or precision trucks are tougher and do not bend as easily as regular cast trucks due to the decreased amount of microscopic air bubbles in forged metal. Forged trucks are carved from a solid block of metal, where cast trucks are made liquidized metal poured into a mold. Air bubbles often mix into the cast metal during the pouring process, making for slightly weaker trucks.
If your longboarding is strictly downhill-focused, set your board up with a pair of 43°/44° trucks. If you want to bust more dance moves than power slides, or if you’re new to downhill riding and learning to slide at lower speeds, start out with a pair of 50° trucks.
Reverse Kingpin vs. Traditional Kingpin
Traditional kingpin (TKP) trucks are stiffer and more suited for complex flip tricks than most RKP trucks. The TKP trucks shift less than other trucks as you land tricks. Stable street skating truck set ups have an axle width similar to the width of the deck. TKPs provide only moderate carving or turning ability at slow to medium speeds. We suggest TKP trucks for skating fast through your local park or bowl, RKPs for downhill, and Original S-Series trucks for carving and cruising.
Bushing Trucks vs. Original Spring-Loaded Carving Trucks
RKP & TKP bushing trucks turn against the resistance of a pair of rubber bushings. Original Spring-Loaded Carving Trucks turn against the resistance of a spring in each truck. Riders apply torque to the spring as they lean, and the spring responds with a rapid snapback motion that creates quick and lively carves similar to surfing cutbacks. Original Trucks boast the most board lean in the longboarding industry. Our trucks turn harder than any bushing truck on the market and make the most of carving any street or sidewalk.
We developed three longboard truck sizes & three different spring options. Riders under 160 lbs, beginner carvers, and anyone who loves to surf should ride the S6 150mm or S8 200mm Original Trucks with the lighter black or red tension springs.
Remember, your Original Trucks must be wider than your board plus the width of the pair of wheels on each truck to maximize mad carving abilities & prevent wheel bite. Original Truck kingpins need some extra clearance, which is why our Pintail & Apex series decks have oval cutouts near the mounting holes. Our trucks fit most every other board as long as you mount OS trucks with a pair of ¾ risers. Unlike traditional bushing trucks, you cannot drop-through mount Original S-Series trucks. If you ride a drop-through deck, just top-mount your OS trucks. Top-mounted Original trucks still sit lower to the ground than top-mounted bushing trucks!
Finally, check out this helpful video about how to maintain Original Trucks with OS team rider Brian Bishop!
Congratulations, you are now a certified Truck Master! A good understanding of truck design can take your longboard set up to the next level. Share this with the crew, because I’m handing out a pop quiz the next time we skate together.
If you need help picking out your next pair of trucks or have any other shred-related questions, hit up our live customer support chat seven days a week on any page on our site.
If you want to ask us anything else, send your wacky questions and snarky statements to [email protected] for a chance to get featured in our monthly Letter to the Shreditors column!