When it comes to skateboarding, the quality of your equipment can significantly impact your performance and safety. One common question among both novice and seasoned skateboarders is: “Are plastic skateboard trucks bad?” The short answer is that plastic trucks are generally considered to be less reliable and durable than their metal counterparts.
Are Plastic Skateboard Trucks Bad?
The quality of skateboard trucks can vary significantly depending on the materials used, the manufacturing process, and the brand reputation. Trucks made from plastic are generally considered lower quality than metal alloys, typically aluminium. Here are some reasons why plastic trucks are generally not recommended for most types of skateboarding:
Plastic is generally less durable than metal. Trucks experience much stress and impact, especially during tricks and stunts. Plastic trucks are likelier to break or wear out quickly under these conditions.
Metal trucks, particularly those made from high-quality alloys, offer better performance in terms of turning and stability. Plastic trucks often provide a different level of control or precision.
Plastic trucks can pose a safety risk due to their lower durability. They are more likely to break suddenly, potentially causing a fall or injury.
While plastic trucks are generally lighter, the weight of metal trucks can be beneficial for specific tricks and maintaining momentum.
Plastic trucks are usually cheaper, but their lower durability means you’ll likely have to replace them more often, potentially costing you more in the long run.
Types of Skateboarding
Plastic trucks may suffice for casual cruising on flat, even surfaces. However, metal trucks are recommended for any other type of skateboarding—especially tricks, flips, and skatepark or downhill riding.
Plastic is less eco-friendly than metal, which can usually be recycled more efficiently.
Most serious skateboarders prefer trucks made from quality metal alloys for these reasons. Beginners are also generally advised to invest in a decent set of metal trucks for both safety and performance reasons.
How Do Plastic Skateboard Trucks Affect the Performance of the Board?
Plastic skateboard trucks can affect the performance of a skateboard in various ways compared to traditional metal trucks, usually made from materials like aluminium or titanium. Here are some considerations:
One of the most apparent ways plastic skateboard trucks affect performance is through their weight. Compared to metal trucks, plastic trucks are significantly lighter, enhancing the board’s manoeuvrability and making tricks feel more effortless. The reduced weight allows riders to pop their board higher and efficiently perform technical tricks. Lighter trucks can also contribute to a smoother and more responsive ride, allowing for quicker turns and better control.
While plastic trucks may offer certain benefits in terms of weight, they generally lack the durability of their metal counterparts. Metal trucks are known for their robust construction, able to withstand the wear and tear of intense skateboarding sessions. On the other hand, plastic trucks are prone to cracking or breaking under heavy use, especially for riders who engage in more aggressive skateboarding styles or land tricks with significant impact.
However, it’s worth noting that advancements in plastic truck technology have led to the development of more durable options, making them a viable choice for riders seeking enhanced performance without compromising too much on longevity.
Stability is a critical factor when it comes to skateboard trucks. Metal trucks are often favoured by riders who prioritize stability, as they offer a solid and reliable base. The rigidity of metal trucks ensures a more consistent ride and helps absorb vibrations from rough surfaces, providing a smoother experience.
Plastic trucks, on the other hand, tend to be more flexible, which can result in a slightly less stable ride. This flexibility may be desirable for riders seeking a more surf-like or loose truck feel, allowing quick and fluid turns. However, metal trucks are generally the preferred choice for riders who prefer a more stable and predictable ride.
Cost is another factor that plays a role in the decision-making process for skateboarders. Plastic skateboard trucks are often more affordable compared to their metal counterparts. This affordability makes them an attractive option for beginners or riders on a budget.
However, it’s important to note that cheaper plastic trucks may need higher performance and durability than higher-end metal trucks. Riders who are serious about skateboarding and plan to engage in more demanding tricks and maneuvers may find investing in higher-quality metal trucks essential for optimal performance and longevity.
Plastic skateboard trucks are generally considered inferior to those made from metal alloys like aluminum. They tend to be less durable, offer poorer performance, and can pose a safety risk due to increased likelihood of breaking. For these reasons, they are not recommended for most Types of Skateboarding, especially tricks and high-impact activities.
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