The lesson I wish to teach here is that you can setup your trucks in a way that increases stability (reduce the chance of wobbles to zero!) and also increases agility, all at the same time! You can make tighter turns and curves at higher speeds and sharper angles, all while reducing the chance of wobbles to zero and increasing your confidence, safety and ability no matter what you are doing or where you are riding. Who wouldn’t want to have some cake and eat it too? Interested?
Split angles are just another name for having two different truck angles, it could be in any configuration but I thought I’d break down the most common uses and setups that I have found work for me with electrics.
Split angles can be achieved many ways, the Evo deck is a fine example of angles built into the deck itself. Different trucks, baseplates, wedges and decks, all contribute to the truck angle and change it. The term “split angles” could mean almost any configuration and that fact means it could contribute to a setup that’s completely impossible to ride if you don’t know what your doing. That’s why it’s important to understand split angles if you are going to seek the benefits of using them.
When we say, “truck angles” we are specifically talking about the angle of the truck pivot in relation to the deck (it’s leverage). Measure all truck angles by the pivot itself, not the kingpin (common mistake). All trucks, be them TKP or RKP or even things like Moe’s 3-link trucks, all have an angle, even if it’s zero.
I discovered split angles myself when I bought a Carver skateboard, they are more of a “surfskate” than a skateboard and are designed to pump in a surfing style to propel them forward. I used one of these to commute to work for a year once, it’s a great workout, but I wanted more speed and efficiency. Carvers are designed for fast acceleration with a low top speed and I was always sweaty coming into the office, lol.
Carvers have a unique truck setup, with a TKP (traditional kingpin) rear truck with rake like an old Tracker RTS (pumping slalom rear truck), while the Carver front trucks are super weird special designs. The CX is a RKP (reverse kingpin) with crazy amounts of rake and it really does work, it feels like surfing and everyone should get a chance to try one of these. The ability of these boards comes from the extreme split angles and rake of the trucks.
The physics of pumping is debatable and it’s not important for electrics unless you wish to charge while riding and get a workout. All you really need to know is that split angles make pumping more efficient, just like a flexible deck and well-tuned bushings. Split angles have been used in skateboards for decades to significant effect.
I soon discovered something called LDP or Long Distance Pumping. And this is what the ultra skaters do to break those 24-hour endurance records, I believe they are above 300 miles within 24 hours now (unpowered). This was obviously the more efficient way for me to get to work without sweating as much. These take what is learned from old slalom setups and surf skates like Carvers to create the ultimate pumping machine. The Subsonic Pulse and Skate Kings Blaster are notable examples of a long slalom board to facilitate a longer wheelbase and pumping trucks under a flexible deck with tons of leverage. They are not meant to be stable or for high speed but for a giant longboard they can turn on a dime (put a pin in that thought).
Then came the Gbomb bracket setups which allowed you to pump a lowered deck, combining pushing and pumping efficiency into one setup made to go far. The newest Gbomb model, the Black Panther, comes with a zero-degree rear torsion tail truck, it’s lightweight and totally unique. It can be paired with a Bennett Vector, Bhanger or Poppy front truck which all turn like mad with tons of rake. This is the most extreme example of split angles you will find and it works beautifully.
Rear truck at zero degrees, front truck at 65 degrees (0/65)
Ok now that you have some examples of extreme split angles here is some more practical use for us electric builders. Because that’s why we are here, right?
Downhill riders discovered split angles a long time ago and they use them to reduce speed wobbles. While a LDP rider will take the front angle to 65 degrees and the rear to zero, a downhill setup will be more moderate, angles in the 20-45 area and gently tuned for how fast they are going. These days downhill setups have trended toward very narrow truck widths to gain traction in the corners, and with such narrow and fast turning hangers, the angles have been going down, along with the wheelbase to keep the turn radius the same while having more stability. A giant longboard simply isn’t a necessity anymore to gain stability for high speeds, we now have very low angle trucks which do the same thing on much shorter decks.
This downhill setup features 47/23 split angles
The best truck solutions for electric longboards I have found, that are readily available, are the Calibers and TB218 (Torque Board 218mm). Both use the same baseplate geometry and you can interchange them, even with Randal and other brands as well. This means you can tune your truck angles without having to use wedges or bent decks, and you can find upgrades to make them work much better.
Caliber II trucks work the best with Riptide pivot upgrade in WFB 96a, use an ice pick and pliers to take out the old one and put in these, you will thank me. Same thing on the TB218 and Randal baseplates. http://www.riptidesports.com/wfb-96a-pivot-cup-choices/
Caliber II’s take Riptide barrel bushings, because the truck is only 180mm wide the leverage isn’t high when compared to the TB218. Riptide Krankz work perfectly for beginners in this application and are very forgiving. Sometimes I prefer APS for a more precise rebound which I use for long range riding and even WFB for a squishy dead feeling if I’m going to do some speeding. Use the chart on his website to find the right ones for your weight.
Torque board 218mm trucks are wide and have a ton of leverage, they also have a wider bushing seat, lending better to the Riptide Cannon bushings on the road-side. I really like the Fat Cone bushings on the board-side of TB218 trucks, but I weight 200lb’s, lightweight guys may get away with Cannons on the board-side, who knows. Try it and let us know.
The following is stolen directly from Riptide’s website, experiment and find what you like. The most common is the barrel/barrel, I would always start there and change as needed.
• The Cone / Cone setup is for those looking for a very carvy or surfy feel. With this choice, the further you lean, the less resistance there is.
• The Cone / Barrel setup is for those looking for a carvy or surfy feel but with a bit more stability. With this choice, the resistance is constant throughout the range of motion.
• The Barrel / Barrel setup is for those looking for higher stability at higher speeds but still highly maneuverable for slides, high speed carving and downhill applications.
• The Barrel / FatCone setup is for those looking for higher stability at higher speeds but still highly maneuverable for slides, high speed carving and downhill applications. This setup is ideal when you need to restrict the ends of the lean to prevent wheelbite or if you just like a more progressive feel to your setup.
• The Barrel / Chubby is our go to set up for most applications due to its versatility. It is excellent for Freeride, Fast Freeride, Technical Downhill, Downhill and just flat out speed.
If you are using a single motor or dual diagonally mounted, go with the Calibers. If you are building a short wheelbase, like less than 19 inches from inside bolts to inside bolts, then go with the 44 degree Calibers on front and rear. If you are going for a faster more stable long wheelbase setup like most people are, then a split angle is the best option. Get the Randal 35-degree angle baseplate for the rear truck, and 50-degree Caliber baseplate for the front. this way you don’t need wedges or you can further tune with wedges after that. Rule of thumb is to not have the front truck over 65 degrees.
Rear 35 degree baseplate further dewedged a few degrees.
Front 50 degree baseplate wedged even further.
With a split angle setup, you can haul-ass at high speed without wobbles that are generated in the rear, since the rear truck just leans more than it turns now. And to make up for that lack of maneuverability, the increased front angle at 50-65 degrees will help you get around those turns you need to carve on your favorite routes. Tune your front angle to make it around those turns, altering them or changing them based on your experience in your area on your routes. That part is subjective and both the front angle and your wheelbase will determine if you make those turns in style or you must get off and reset the board.
If you are using or wanting a dual motor setup, TB218 are the shit, they are wide enough to carry some big motors and one of the only solutions now. As I stated above, these take the same baseplates so you can also use the 35 degree Randal baseplate in the rear to make the rear end feel dead and stable, while using any Caliber 44 or 50-degree truck with a combo of wedges on the front to get the desired turn radius. Keep in mind this also allows the truck to lean a lot more in the rear so pay attention to your motor clearance if you’re going to run those giant motors side by side. I have had to use 1 inch risers on my TB218 setups, get a strong stable riser for these super wide trucks, they need a kingpin upgrade as well.
The axles of the TB218 trucks are longer than your typical skateboard truck and you can simply use spacers to get the desired width, think of them as variable width trucks because you can put the spacers on the inside or outside of the wheel bearings depending on the needs of your setups. Obviously precision spacers from companies like Don’t Trip will help a lot, bearing spacers work in a pinch, but I would recommend finding some thick precision spacers made for the job.
The take away for eskaters is that we can learn from all those types of skateboards that came before. We can take the agility of a Carver and combine it with the stability of a downhill setup and take advantage of everything learned before and push it forward. I now view split angles as a necessity on eskates to increase performance without any drawbacks, who wouldn’t include the feature in their build?
If you need specific help with a setup already built and you are getting into tuning the finer details, post what you have and what you want it to feel like over here in the Bushing Setup help thread: http://www.electric-skateboard.builders/t/bushing-set-up-help/42036/439
Here’s a Turning Radius Calculator which will help you understand how everything relates: https://nelsonlongboards.com/pages/turning-radius-calculator
Here’s some very detailed math on your turning radius setup thanks to Nelson longboards: https://nelsonlongboards.com/blogs/blog/80421639-different-wheelbase-same-turning-radius-dial-in-your-next-setup-with-the-power-of-math
If you have any questions speak up so everyone can hear you and if anyone has edits or additional info to add, please do. Congratulations on getting through my post, I commend your thirst for knowledge. As a reward, here’s a video of my fat ass pumping a gbomb… https://www.facebook.com/pirateSquishy/videos/10155575119688697/