If you’ve ever watched a skateboarder roll down the street and then all of a sudden pop into the air on a skateboard, you’re probably wondering the same question a lot of people do: how on earth do they do that? It almost seems magical how they just seem to explode off the ground, and then just kind of float. Skateboarder, meet, the ollie. It’s not in the category of “easy skateboard tricks,” but if you learn how to ollie, you’re well on your way to fame and fortune as a professional skater.
The top part of the truck is screwed to the deck and is called the baseplate, and beneath it is the hanger. The axle runs through the hanger. Between the baseplate and the hanger are bushings, also rubbers or grommets, that provide the cushion mechanism for turning the skateboard. The bushings cushion the truck when it turns. The stiffer the bushings, the more resistant the skateboard is to turning. The softer the bushings, the easier it is to turn. Bushings come in varying shapes and urethane formulas as well as durometers, which may affect turning, rebound and durability. A bolt called a kingpin holds these parts together and fits inside the bushings. Thus by tightening or loosening the kingpin nut, the trucks can be adjusted loosely for better turning and tighter for more stability (useful when landing tricks). Standard kingpin nut size is 3/8" - 24tpi. The position of the hanger respect to the baseplate is also determined by the pivot, a rod that slots into the corresponding seat in the baseplate. The pivot stops the hanger from rotating around the kingpin. The pivot must allow some movement around the bushings and therefore is not a perfect fit. The space between the pivot and its seat in the baseplate is filled by a pivot cup, a plastic part that will take most of the wear and tear of the pivot and assist in centering the hanger needs to be lubricated every so often.
Smile and wave – Feel free to look around at all the other people at the skatepark that stood by and marveled at your new-found accomplishments (all one of them). I’m sure by this point you’ll be picking up roses that are being thrown at your feet, and taking a well-deserved bow as they begin to chant your name. Take it all in, thank the crowd for their undying affection, and then go get a snow-cone. You deserve it, champ.