Home Bubbles Blog What’s Wedge? – Bustin Longboard NYC

What’s Wedge? – Bustin Longboard NYC

written by Bubbles May 27, 2012

Wedging.  A somewhat elusive concept that has the capacity to change the entire performance of a board.  But what is it?  What does it do?  How do you use it?  Simply put, wedging is mounting your trucks, so that the baseplates are NOT parallel to the ground.  Typically, most boards offered on the market come with no wedging, see for example our Robot, Ibach, Maestro Mini, EQ, and Boombox.  This means that whatever trucks you put on them, will perform exactly as they were built.

Sometimes thats not good enough though.  Sometimes a rider wants to change the way their trucks turn.  Often a simple bushing swap is enough to change the performance, but when you need an altogether different turn, you go to the wedge.

The turn characteristics of all trucks are determined in part to the baseplate angle of the truck.  Most often this angle is around 45-50°.  As the angle of the truck increases, the turn radius decreases, meaning higher angle, tighter turn.  However, on RKP trucks, this causes the inverse effect on the side-to-side “lean” of the board.  So as the angle increases, the turn radius shrinks, and the board tips less.  Taken to the extreme of a full 90° truck, the board would have no side to side lean and the hangar of the board would lie vertical to the ground (and therefore would not turn at all as the bushings would not be engaged).  This kind of performance is great for carving and turning as it will allow you to make sharper turns with less effort.

If we go the opposite direction, however, we get the opposite effect.  As the baseplate angle lowers, the truck will turn less and less, but will lean more in a turn.  This is generally regarded as more preferable for downhill situations as you will not be able to turn as hard (and throw yourself off the board!), but you will also get more lean out of the board which helps to keep you on top of it in high speed turns.  Again, if we take this to the extreme of a 0* truck, you will see that the truck does not turn the wheels at all, but rather, simply tips the board back and forth.

For those who remember their geometry, you’ll recall that the mid range of a right angle (90°) is 45°.  Trucks who’s angle lies at or close to 45° will generate an equal amount of turn as lean.  For example, check out the Bustin / Surf-Rodz Collab trucks.  Engineered to give the best of both worlds!

Wedging (or the opposite, de-wedging) is done at one of two points.  Either by the rider, with the use of wedged risers, or by the manufacturer in the board pressing phase.  Take, for example, the Maestro.  In this side view we can clearly see that the truck mounting spots do not lie even with the ground.  In fact, the front of the board is wedged up 10° and the back is wedged 18°.  This means that the Maestro will have a significantly tighter turn radius than most other boards with the same trucks.  The additional wedging in the back means that the Maestro will receive a lot of turning momentum from the back, very similar to surfing or snowboarding.

Maestro: 10° / 18°

Meanwhile, if we take a look at the Strike board, we see a different wedging set-up.  On the Strike, the front is wedged a full 20° with the back only pulled up by 12°.  Therefore, the Strike will generate a lot more turn from the front of the board, leaving the back more stable.  This is what makes the Strike such a great cruise board and also opens it up to mild – medium downhill opportunities.

Strike: 20° / 12°

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5 comments

Jeff Vyain May 29, 2012 at 11:39 am

I just have a few little things to add to this blog post, as I believe my dorkyness, at the very least, matches Jon’s, and if this were my post, I’m sure he’d have things to add as well.

As you increase your turning angle (add more wedge) you are going to put less pressure on your bushings. So while you are capable of getting more turn out of the board, you won’t have the necessary leverage to actually do so. This is why a lot of people like the Bear trucks on our pusher decks, because the Bear comes stock with an 83a bushing, so even with the wedging, they still turn quite easily. If you use a stock Paris, for example, which comes with a stock 90a bushing, you might want to change the bushings to something softer to actually receive the benefit of the wedge and get more turn out of the deck.

On the other hand, when you decrease the wedging or reduce the turning angle of a truck, you are going to get more leverage over the bushings, and you will want to run a harder bushing setup, as a result.

An ideal bushing setup for front and rear may feel very different from rider to rider, but generally, if you lean the board all the way over to one side and both the front and rear wheels lift up at approximately the same time, you are set up to receive maximum grip through a turn. This is a good thing, because sliding should be intentional. As far as how much turn you want out of your board, that is up to you.

This is great stuff to know when you’re putting your setup together. Understand the benefits of your board and how to maximize your setup to fit your style. Or just roll on down to your local shop and start asking questions. They should know this stuff.

That’s it for now. Keep up the good work, Jon!

A Board Run-through Part 1 – Bustin Longboards NYC | Bustin Longboards NYC - Longboarding News for the Evolving Skater June 4, 2012 at 11:08 am

[…] added kick tails for freestyle action and some very unique wedging patterns (see “What’s Wedge“) for a VERY lively performance.  The Maestro can trick, flip, slide, cruise, dance, leave […]

A Board Run-through Part 2 – Bustin Longboards NYC | Bustin Longboards NYC - Longboarding News for the Evolving Skater June 8, 2012 at 4:58 pm

[…] the Strike is fast, responsive, carvy, and yet stable all at the same time.  Check out our “What’s Wedge” blog post for more info on the Strike’s geometry specifically.  But in general, this […]

Simon July 20, 2012 at 7:46 am

Nice post and comment.

I have been into LDP for about two years and fully get the concept of wedging with regards to that, however I’m starting to learn slides/checkslides for downhill and garages. Can either of you comment on how wedging or dewedging affects the ability to break the rear loose and initiate the slide.

Thanks.

Jon "Bubbles" July 23, 2012 at 2:32 pm

I can’t speak for both Jeff and I, but my opinion on the matter is as follows.

A higher angle truck is going to mean that the wheels twist more horizontally, with less up and down movement. This means that by simply turning, a higher angle truck will reduce the amount of traction it has on the road more than a lower angle truck, making the release a little easier at low speeds.

On the flip side, because a high angle truck has less board lean, sliding at higher speed may be a little difficult as your feet may have a tendency to slip more.

hope this helps!

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