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°