How to Adjust Skateboard Trucks: A Complete Guide

Skateboards come with trucks that may be modified to fit the rider’s height and weight. These trucks are critical for a clean and smooth ride. If it’s too tight, turning will be complex, and you will feel unstable. Your size and style of riding will determine the appropriate level of tightness.

Skateboard trucks can be adjusted tight or loose depending on the rider’s preferences. Your skateboard trucks should be tight enough to let you control the board easily but free enough to allow you to control the board effortlessly. Unfortunately, there is no standard for how tight a truck should be; your trucks should be as tight as you want them to be.

Adjusting the Skateboard Trucks

Black skateboard standing with wall

Let’s get started on how to adjust skateboard trucks and bushings without further ado.

Kingpin Nut

Firstly, tilt the trucks to see how tight they are. Begin by standing on the skateboard and shifting your weight back and forth. They are too tight if you can’t even tilt the deck.

Take hold of your skateboard, flip it over, and grip both wheels. The grip tape should completely cover your fingertips. Apply pressure on one wheel, then the other, to test the trucks. The degree the wheels tilt is determined by how tight your trucks are.

Using a skate tool, tighten the kingpin nut, a bolt in the center of the board in charge of the truck’s tightness. It is located between the wheels around the pin that points directly to the ground while skating.

Twisting the kingpin clockwise tightens it while turning it counter-clockwise loosens the trucks. Tighten in tiny increments, and repeat tightening or loosening as needed.

Test the truck to ensure that everything is how you want it. You can only tell whether your skateboard wheels are comfy. Go ahead and put your board through its paces. Remember to have your adjustment tools with you throughout the first few rides after this adjustment. This will allow you to make modifications as needed.

Additionally, you may use risers to lessen vibrations and raise your board. Risers may be attached to your board and trucks to assist you in obtaining the lift or feats you require. In addition, they will help lessen landing vibrations.


The bushings should be adjusted if your trucks still require adjustment after playing around with the kingpin. When your bushings are loosely packed, your turning increases, but your turning decreases when they are firmly packed. When you tighten your trucks, these bushings contract; you may get the same result if you entirely replace the bushings.

Bushings come in a variety of softness and hardness. The softer the bushings, the looser the trucks feel, and the stiffer the bushings, the tighter the trucks feel. Having said that, specific bushings must be broken in, so keep your skate tool on you.

Turning your truck’s kingpin nuts a few times to relieve some of the strain on the bushings is beneficial in various ways. But, first, get soft bushings and set your trucks accordingly if you want the feel of loose trucks.

You may tweak your skate style as your bushings and trucks change, knowing that overtightening your trucks might cause bushings to fail. It can blow out the bushings if you continue tightening your trucks. You should use caution when tightening your trucks. Unless they are exceedingly loose, go slowly and complete a half rotation at a time.

If you want tight trucks, acquire firm bushings and tighten or loosen the trucks until they feel just right. You won’t blow up your bushings this way. Note that if you are not suffering from wheel bite, you may be able to loosen your trucks a bit more. However, keep them tight enough, so the kingpin nut does not come out or cause the bushings to rupture.

Remember that if you’re not confident you’re doing it right, getting assistance from a local skate shop is perfectly okay.

Keeping Trucks Tight

People with large frames should maintain their boards as tight as possible. For instance, if you weigh approximately 200 pounds, keeping your trucks loose will mostly lead to wheel bite and wheel burn. Furthermore, it is harder for a heavier person to maintain balance on a shaky board.

With loose trucks, your wheels are always in contact with the surface, making it simple to tumble. As a rule of thumb, skaters with heavier frames may require the toughest bushings they can locate.

If you want to flip stunts, you should tighten your trucks. This will provide you with greater stability when landing stunts. Always keep your trucks snug in case.

Moreover, if you’re experiencing wheel bite, chances are that your trucks are loose. So tightening your trucks might just solve the issue.


  • Improved balance and stability
  • Landing stunts at faster speeds
  • No wheel bite
  • Fewer speed wobbles


  • Can’t turn or carve well
  • May blow out a bushing if overtightened

Keeping Trucks LooseYoung skater adjusting skateboard with tool.

Skating free can make setting up certain skateboarding tricks substantially simpler. It’s easier to control your board. You’ll spin easier and faster. Manual becomes less complicated.

In the case of longboard cruising, your wheels must be big and soft, and your trucks must be loose. When going at high speed down a roadway with severe turns and twists, you need a skateboard or longboard that is not too tight to make the turning process seamless. Loose trucks are perfect for this as they provide more excellent cutting and turning.

Another instance where somewhat loose trucks might be better is if you are a newbie—in the experience of most skaters, beginning by keeping your trucks open and then tight works better than starting tight and going loose. But, again, it all comes down to preference.

Furthermore, putting up different skating tricks is easier with looser trucks than tighter ones because board control is more straightforward. Not to mention that you’ll be able to turn more easily and quickly.

However, loose board landings are a touch shaky. But if you do it enough, you can get used to it and adapt well. To begin with, balancing on boards designed extremely loosely requires far more talent. Remember that boards were designed to be optimally loose rather than very loose.

If the trucks are too loose, ollieing will become more complicated, and your board will slow down. Likewise, executing flip tricks and popping the skateboard should be avoided. Overall, you’ll notice an irregularity in your skating.


  • Turn more easily
  • Able to carve
  • Can perform tricks easily


  • Chance of wheel bite
  • Difficult to land flip stunts
  • Less stable

Loose or Tight: A Comparison

So, how to adjust skateboard trucks precisely, right? Some believe tighter trucks provide them more control, stability, and a better overall experience than loose ones. However, others claim that setting the trucks slack enough allows for more excellent carving and turning and smoother rides.

Whether you decide to keep your trucks loose or tight depends on the purpose and use. For example, if you skate on the street or at skateparks, you should set them pretty tight to offer additional stability, but if you want to cruise, you will want them to be quite loose to achieve smoother turning. However, if you skate vert, you will want them to be somewhere in the middle.

There are pros and cons for each, as discussed above, and we recommend readers reevaluate their purpose and need before deciding on their desired level of truck tightness. Then, you must determine what works best for you.

It’s usually a good idea to skate free and then tight, or vice versa, to discover which truck tightness you like the best. Skate for a few minutes, then make some tweaks and continue skating. Eventually, you will find the sweet spot.

Final Words

Now, if you’re wondering how to adjust skateboard trucks properly, there is no fixed rule. Trucks modified a bit tighter aren’t always better than loose ones, and vice versa. However, there are times when you’ll want to keep your trucks tighter or more flexible.

Loose skateboard trucks are most suited for people who prefer cruising and have maximum turn capability. You will want soft bushings and more flexible trucks in such a case. However, tighter trucks may serve you best if you want greater control and ease in landing tricks. You’ll need hard bushings and tighter trucks if you want to ride the street and skatepark. You may also ride vert with either soft bushings and tight trucks or firm bushings and loose trucks.

Leave a Comment