Choosing which trucks you’re going to be riding is almost as personal and specific as deciding which deck you want to destroy.
Shape, size, colour, which company your loyalties lie with, will all be forceful factors in which lumps of metal you’ll attach your wheels to. And seeing as trucks are the longest lasing piece of equipment in the skate arsenal, it’s an important choice.
I have to say, I’ve tried a fair few trucks in my years of skating and always stuck with the classics. Once you get into your rut and know what you like, it is very hard to change. And why would you need to change? What you have is good, it is healthy, and you will defend your choice to the bitter end. I don’t see the need for gimmicks on probably the most important bit of your setup.
I have however, experienced some weird things going on with stalwart truck companies changing their designs and ruining them forever. This is what led me onto something I’d never tried before. Like a schoolboy getting cornered by the older kids while they smoke behind the bikesheds, the half-excitement, half-scared feeling as someone nudged me and said, “Here mate, you wanna try some Royals? You might like it”.
Picking them up for the first time felt odd. Very light, very smooth, and this weird pattern on it saying ‘Chocolate’. The bright colours almost hypnotised me and I felt drawn to putting them on my board, all the time hearing that nagging voice telling me that this wasn’t what I was used to. But like that little schoolboy’s first ever drag on a cigarette, the rush was awesome. That giddy feeling of something you know you shouldn’t be doing, but it feels so fucking good that you don’t give a shit.
These Royals are like that. An odd feeling at first, and you really aren’t sure if you like it, but after the first couple they feel amazing. I got over the all-over print look very quickly, but if you are one of those people that has to have the latest fashion trend good-looking setup, you might want to think about your deck choice a bit before. Combined with a Potato Wheels deck for a while, my board looked like the bastard lovechild of Thomas Burberry and Louis Vuitton.
That paint job, might I add, is the fucking scariest thing I have ever experienced whilst riding a skateboard. All this ‘ultra-slick’ gimmick stuff they have on decks and whatnot means fuck all. Just paint the things and they are smoother than a pornstars crotch. Getting into just a bog-standard 5-0 felt like I was riding a rollercoaster at Alton Towers at first, as the paint provides a near frictionless base for grinds. Once the paint comes off a bit, they were much more controllable though.
Another thing that really impressed me was how long it took to wear the bushings in. The stock ones that come on most trucks are usually on the harder end, and these were no different. But they took less than 2 hours to fully soften up and have fantastic control without being looser than an Essex bird on a Saturday night.
One final thing that really surprised me compared to other trucks I’ve had was once I’d done up my truck bolts, they never came loose. I suppose it’s because I’ve never skated anything other than raw trucks, but the painted baseplate gives an extra grip on your nuts. Much like an Essex bird on a Saturday night.
Having always been a bit sceptical of truck companies and not wanting to ever leave the niche I had found in my years of skating, I was pleasantly surprised by these Royals. I don’t know why I was because the build quality is second to none, they don’t have any ridiculous gimmicks, and above all, they do their job exactly how they are meant to. I’m not sure I’m fully converted yet, but I’ve tasted the possibilities and I would definitely consider having a set again. Now all I have to do is find the right deck and shoes to colour co-ordinate myself and I can go out in public…