This is an article I have been meaning to write for a very long time, but as with many things, life caught up and this just kept falling to the wayside.
Many of you know I have been riding with Station Trucks for a while now, more specifically, the Pintos, and many of you know that I absolutely adore these trucks.
I get asked about these trucks a lot, so I figured it was time to write an honest review about the product, based on my own experience, and summarize it all up here in a blog article to be immortalized in the waves of time.
I will preface this article by saying, that at the time of writing this article, I’m not affiliated with Station in any official capacity. Since buying the trucks, I’ve been in regular contact with Station and some of their team riders via Instagram, and we’ve grown into friends and I’m just a happy guy with their product.
Update July 2021 – As of July 14th, I have officially joined the Station team as an ambassador, and will be helping them test their products, and in generally will be spreading the knowledge of CNC & Precision Trucks in the longboard scene. That doesn’t however effect my stance in this article in anyway, this article was written in May of 2021, and I still stand by everything I say here 🙂
Shall we begin?
Understanding what a precision truck really is
Before I even get into the specifics of what I like and don’t like about the trucks, you really need to understand what goes into a precision truck is, and what this translates into in skater-language.
Precision trucks aren’t a new thing, they’ve been around forever for most disciplines of skating. But if you look at most manufacturer descriptions for their precision trucks, you’re usually left with the question in your head -> Why should I spend so much money on these trucks?
So I wanted to change this and break down the differences between a “normal” cast truck and a precision truck.
It’s all about how the metal is made dawg – Cast Die vs. CNC
For some of the newer riders out there, you may not be sure of what type of trucks you actually have. General rule of thumb, if your set of trucks costed less than $100, you have cast trucks.
Currently, popular cast truck models on the market are Paris V3, Caliber V2, and Travelol’s Air Trucks.
CNC (computer numerical control) on the other hand, can be also identified by their price. For freestyle and dance, if you’ve spent more than $250 on trucks, there is a chance you may have precision trucks.
The most well known precision trucks in the dance and freestyle community are the Paris Savants. Caliber also has a precision model, and of course all of Station’s products are precision trucks.
How is a cast truck made?
Cast trucks are made by melting the metal into its molten / liquid-y form so it can be poured into a die of the desired shape, in this case the desired shape are skate trucks, and then it is cooled and worked into the finished product.
It’s very similar to pouring cake batter into a fancy baking pan, and when you pull the cake out of the cake out of the oven, the cake has taken the shape of the baking pan.
Cast truck benefits
- Cheaper to produce, so cheaper for the end user (you) as well.
- Reputable brands still produce great cast products. Not all cast trucks are created equal! Some of the crappiest cheaply produced cast trucks are still on sites like Amazon, stick with the big brands for cast trucks.
Cast truck disadvantages
- Lots of voids and impurities get left in the mold when it is finished, and the result is a product that is not as strong as CNC.
- Casting has a much higher degree of error in production, so parts and pieces won’t fit and flow together as tightly as with CNC.
How is a CNC truck made?
CNC is a different type of production method for trucks. With this method, we’re taking the metal in its finished form, and a machine is given calculations to carve out the desired shape, in our example that desired shape is a truck.
Think about taking a piece of wood and carving a bird out of it with a knife, that’s exactly what is happening with CNC.
CNC truck benefits
- Lighter and stronger than cast.
- The degree of error with CNC machining is so minimal, you will never experience parts not fitting properly or working improperly with each other during your ride. (Why precision is favored in Downhill)
CNC truck disadvantages
- Expensive AF to produce, so expensive AF for you as well.
The above video is, by far, the most logical and easy understand video on this topic between different metal working methods. Trust me, I looked around for hours on this topic, and also scoured through many boring articles, this is all you need to watch if you want to nerd out more on the metal making process.
In the video, you only need to pay attention to casting and CNC, as forging is a completely difference process, and at the time of writing this article, I haven’t been able to find a set of forged skate trucks appropriate for longboard dancing and freestyle.
5 things I love about the Station Skate Pintos
Ok, now that we clarified a bit of the basics around metal making, we can go into a bit of the specific things I’ve learned about these trucks that I’ve come to really enjoy.
1. The carve on these trucks is brilliant
If you like a surfy feeling in your carve when you dance, the Pintos will not disappoint!
I’m a fan of “enjoying the carve” when I dance on the board. I don’t like fast footwork in my own personal style, when I dance, I hang out in each carve as long as I possibly can before continuing, and I love that.
I’m currently riding the Pintos with the stock bushings and pivot cups they came with, and they’ve really developed something magical here, the trucks just move exactly how I want them to.
The trucks are also extremely predictable, both in carving and when I pop the board.
2. They’re beautiful AF
I smile every time I look at my Pintos. I love the purple baseplate, and the little skull that is part of Station’s identity.
I also love how the baseplate has these cutouts in them, which somehow make them look smaller. It’s just a nice unique touch to the trucks to make them even more unique.
3. I know they’re going to basically last me forever
We’ve talked specifically about the benefits of CNC manufacturing, however, there are other factors here to consider…for example, how good was the metal that was CNC’d in the first place?
I was curious about this, so I did more research on the topic. On the Pinto description page, it states that these trucks are made using aluminum alloy 7075 / 7175 / T7351. (Valid for all of their models).
Now to me, and to most longboarders, that means nothing, so I wanted to figure out exactly what we were dealing with here.
Well in a nutshell, 7000 series aluminum alloys are THE STRONGEST in production today. 7075 series aluminum alloys specifically are used very commonly in aeronautics to construct things like bodies and wings for airplanes and spaceships.
Furthermore, I found this quote on aluminum.org:
The strongest aluminum alloys – 7000-series alloys – can reach strengths in excess of 72,000 pounds per square inch. A 1.2-inch aluminum wire made from this alloy could suspend a fully-loaded tractor-trailer in the air.Aluminum.org
That’s some seriously strong stuff! If you’re researching any type of precision truck for any type of skating discipline, do your research and see what type of alloy the manufacturer is using.
I don’t know about how hard you skate, but I can’t imagine anything I’m doing to these trucks can be more intense than the daily stresses an airplane body goes through.
4. Every part of the truck is replaceable
This for me this is a pretty unique thing about Station as a brand as a whole. You can replace different parts of the trucks as you break stuff.
As mentioned above, you’re likely never going to break or bend the hangar or the baseplate. BUT you might snap a kingpin, OR the other more common truck injury, you might damage your threads that hold your wheels in place beyond repair.
That may sound like a small detail, but it is actually HUGE! A lot of other truck makers, even with their precision models, have the threads for the wheel built into the hangar. So if you fail too many aero flips like me, and bash those threads into oblivion, you’ll need to replace the entire hanger, OR THE ENTIRE TRUCK!
A lot of manufacturers only sell replacement parts for their cast models, not for their precision models.
This sucks for the environment, and sucks for your wallet!
You can check out Station’s full catalog of replacement parts here, and you’ll see that with this example, a replacement axel thread only costs 25€. That’s much more cost effective than shelling out lots of money for a new set of trucks, just because you ruined your threads.
5. Small shop vibes, made in EU
I’m a fan of supporting local businesses, and knowing the people behind the products I buy. Now of course, it’s not always possible as big businesses has its time and place in today’s world, but I love that Station is a smaller operation based in Madrid in Spain.
Furthermore, all the products are designed and produced in Spain. So if you decide to invest in their product, you know you’ll be getting a 100% European produced product.
So what don’t I like about Station Trucks?
Well, cost is obviously a big factor here. The Pintos are their entry level model, and they’re priced at 250€, which is almost the cost of a complete setup if you were to opt for cast trucks.
Hell, their premium models are REALLY expensive and can even cost as much as two complete setups. For example, their Hamlet Model, as beautiful as they are, cost 599,95€.
And while yeah, spending lots of money on anything sucks in general, I feel it’s justified with Station. I was a bit skeptical a bit myself at first, but now I can 100% say I believe in their costs and their product.
So I guess this is the one true downside. Of course I didn’t “like” spending this much money on trucks haha, but I’m very happy with them, and I feel the trucks really do justify their costs.
Conclusion and verdict, should you buy Station trucks?
That’s a very difficult question to answer in black and white, as everyone is going to have a unique situation for themselves.
Will these trucks make you a better skater? To be blunt, NO. They will not, real skill only comes with practice and dedication. Any part of your setup is just complimenting the dedication of the rider.
That being said, there is something special about these trucks. And it’s hard to quantify what that is in words. Yes I mentioned that the carve and predictability of these trucks is amazing, but it goes beyond that.
Ask anyone riding Station trucks, there’s just something special about them that makes the rider feel “at home” on them.
I guess if I were to try to put it in words, as I said, the trucks alone didn’t make me a better skater…but they did somehow make skating easier if that makes any sense at all?
I started riding with these October of 2020, and since then, my confidence and skills on the board have skyrocketed. Probably the biggest progression period of my longboard dancing career. I’ve noticed it, and fellow skaters have noticed it as well.
Sure, most of that is probably attributed to me being out there in this never ending pandemic practicing and grinding everyday, but I can’t help but wonder…would I have progressed as much in that time period with my old trucks?
So my advice is this, if you’ve got some extra money saved up, want to support an EU business, and invest in a truck that will last you for many years to come, then by all means, I can recommend Station with 100% with all of my heart.
Happy Skating <3
If you’ve got questions, as always drop me a comment below, I answer 100% of all comments on my articles personally 🙂