Roller-Skate Trucks 101

Jessica Holland

Trucks aren’t usually the first thing skaters think about when picking out their first pair of roller skates or building a dream set-up. But they have a huge impact on your skating, and it's important to understand what they do. 

Chuffed founder Trayhurn has tried them all, and our staff writer Jess asked her some questions about what she's found out: how trucks can make a difference to your skating, how to choose the right type for your style and body, and why the new ChuffedCore 2.5-inch (64mm) truck coming out in collaboration with Garry Manfroid from Brunny Hardcore was designed the way it is.

We hope this guide will help you figure out the trucks that will feel most comfortable, and whether the new ChuffedCore trucks are right for you. 

 

 

WHAT ARE TRUCKS?

They’re the part of the roller skate that attaches to the kingpin and sits between the cushions. Your wheels attach to the truck, and it’s the mechanism through which you can adjust your movements.

If you are still unfamiliar with the different parts of your skates and how to adjust them, learn about it here. 

WHAT ARE GRIND TRUCKS?

This is a slang term, it could come down to the individual marketing of each brand. Some brands call their trucks grind trucks, some call them wide trucks. For me a grind truck would be any truck that facilitates grinding, and that would usually be a bit wider than the standard 2-inch narrow trucks that come on many complete set-ups.

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A WIDE TRUCK?

As mentioned, a lot of trucks that come on standard roller skates are around 2-inches. Most of the time, what we call a wide truck is around 3-inches. Our ChuffedCore trucks are 2.5-inches. We often call them a “wide-ish” truck, because they’re wider than the standard 2-inch, and they perform the functions of the wider 3-inch trucks that are out there.

WHY DID YOU COME UP WITH A 2.5-INCH GRIND SURFACE?

I’ve tried every truck out there from the narrow 2-inches to every variety of wide trucks, and it really felt to me that there needed to be some middle ground. I know a lot of other people have been feeling this way too. I think the 2.5-inch grind surface is the perfect size to be able to perform grind tricks without losing the manoeuvrability of a smaller truck. For me, it also doesn’t cause as much wheel bite, clipping of wheels, etc as I have experienced with a 3-inch truck.

WHY DIDN'T THIS ALREADY EXIST?

I think that people have often in roller skating looked towards skateboarding for equipment, so people had used the smallest skateboard trucks available, like Penny trucks, which are around that 3-inch size. People may have had some success with those, and therefore didn’t think that they needed to be any smaller. I don’t know any human who has a foot that’s the size of a Penny skateboard, so I believe that these trucks at 2.5 inches are more suitable for the majority of foot sizes than other wide trucks on the market.

It’s also quite expensive to develop a new size that doesn’t exist in the market when there’s already moulds existing for say a 3-inch truck. When you’re making a brand-new product, those development costs are higher, and I guess it’s a greater risk, but one that we really thought needed to happen, because we’re really confident that this size is more suitable for a foot, as opposed to the 3-inch truck, which are the size required for a small skateboard like a Penny.

WHAT ARE THE PROS OF WIDER TRUCKS? WHAT KIND OF TRICKS CAN YOU DO WITH WIDE TRUCKS?

Wider trucks will help you can perform a wider variety of grind tricks (like 50-50s, soul grinds, mizous, acids… a lot of these names come from blading) more easily. I’m not going to say that you can't do these on narrow trucks - you can! I’ve done it. But I was literally grinding on the kingpin of my skates, which is a very small surface area on which to perform a grind. So I would say you need to invest a lot of time and have a lot of precision in order to do 50-50 grinds on narrow trucks, and the sensation is not the same as grinding on your actual truck..

Wide trucks can also be more stable skating bigger things like large bowls or vert.

WHAT ARE THE CONS OF WIDER TRUCKS?

The cons can be at times - especially if you have smaller feet - a loss of manoeuvrability. I feel like when I’m wearing really wide trucks I need to skate with my feet wider apart to prevent my wheels clipping, which can mean that I have to adjust my stance. For example, doing a 360, I would always be very nervous doing this on a wide truck. On a narrower truck, I find that it's much easier. This is a big reason behind why we went with 2.5-inches. I feel like I can still do everything that I could do on a 2-inch truck, but I get that extra bonus of being able to perform grinds more easily, and have that added stability.

DO WIDE TRUCKS CREATE MORE WHEEL BITE?

I do find that the 3-inch trucks available in the market create more wheel bite for me. I’ve been able to overcome that wheel bite on a 2.5-inch truck with a small wheel, something around 54mm. I’m not feeling the wheel bite on my frontside slides the way that I was feeling with other wider trucks.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE SKATING ON CHUFFEDCORE TRUCKS AND HOW THEY COMPARE TO THE WIDER TRUCKS? WHAT TRICKS WILL THEY HELP ME DO? 

They’ll definitely help you to get 50-50 grinds and other grinds a lot more easily than on a narrow truck. For me they also felt easier than on a really wide truck. I felt like on a really wide truck there was too much clearance on either side of the wheel, so that I would slide around a little bit on the coping. With the 2.5-inch size I feel I can really lock on and get nice, long grinds on a variety coping, ledges, rails... The feeling of being in tune with my equipment has really come with these trucks, too. On a wider truck, I was often worried about clipping my wheels, or feeling that my stance was heavily affected. These just feel like they’re the right size for my feet, so I feel really stable and in control of my skating.

IS IT AN ACCURATE GENERALISATION TO SAY WIDER TRUCKS ARE BETTER FOR STREET SKATING AND NARROWER FOR CARVING BOWLS?

No, I think I would disagree with this. Wider trucks are good for anything that involves grinding, whether that be on the street or on coping, and also I find that for carving bowls, especially big bowls, a little bit of width under your feet gives you a better base for stability, makes you feel like you can control those carves and speed a little more. So I think the right wide trucks can be suitable for pretty much all styles of skating.

DO I HAVE TO CUT MY KINGPINS DOWN TO GRIND WITH CHUFFEDCORE TRUCKS? 

Kingpins should not stick out too far with this truck. This has been something that has been heavily incorporated into the design by designer Garry Manfroid, so if we say that a skate is compatible with these trucks, we would also say that it has full kingpin clearance. That has definitely been factored into the design process since the beginning.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHY YOU CHOSE THE MATERIALS?

The hangar on the ChuffedCore trucks is made from T6 aluminium which is a really common material used in skateboard manufacturing. It’s a high-quality, high-strength aluminium alloy that grinds really well. The top-quality skateboard trucks that are used for grinding use this material. The axle is a choice of steel or titanium. Both of these are really high-strength. Titanium is just a little bit lighter. Usually it’s about 45% lighter than steel.

DO YOU HAVE ANY WHEEL SIZE RECOMMENDATIONS IF YOU ARE USING CHUFFEDCORE GRIND TRUCKS AND BRUNNY SLIDERS?

Personally I skate a 54mm wheel on my Chuffed skates with my Brunny sliders. I feel like I’m nice and low, and can lock on to my grinds. I believe Garry skates on around a 58mm wheel. I think anything bigger than 58 is a little large for grinding, so my recommendation would be a wheel of between 54mm and 58mm for most skates and plates. Again, it all comes down to preference, so if you feel something is working for you, then you do you! 

WHAT PLATE ARE THE CHUFFEDCORE TRUCKS COMPATIBLE WITH?

We haven't been able to test them on all plates, but these are the plates we have checked for fit. On these plates, they either fit right away, or need some changes to the cushions and pivot cups. 

Compatible with no modification required:

  • Chuffed Skates standard plate
  • Suregrip Avanti
  • Suregrip Probe
  • Sunlite
  • Marvel

Modifications required for fit on:

  • Crazy Venus. Changes to cushions required.
  • Powerdyne Triton. Changes to cushions required.
  • Crazy Apollo. Changes to cushions required. 
  • Neo Reactor pro. Changes to cushions and/or pivot cups required.
  • Luigino Pilot F-16 Falcon. Changes to cushions and/or pivot cups required.

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