Let's start our "semignar" with discussing the traditional kingpin trucks. These trucks are what the general public thinks of when they picture a skateboard in their head. These trucks are rooted back to the most elementary designs in which the hanger is attached to the base plate with a kingpin sitting at nearly a 90 degree angle, or in other words, straight up from the board. This design has tons of functionality and tailors to many, if not all, disciplines of skateboarding. This design is perfect for grinds due to the fact that the kingpin nut is hidden behind the hanger and is sheltered from abrasion that my strip kingpin threads leaving you in quite a pickle when you want to customize your ride. Also the angle of the base plate being low, it allows the board its self to ride lower to the ground versus the ride obtained when using RKP's (Base Plates will be discussed in detail in an upcoming Shreducation Semignar). I have found from personal experience that this lower ride allows for fatter ollies and more stability upon landing said ollies but extends to airs or gaps of any kind as well. These trucks also tend to be more responsive with a tighter turning radius which has proved very useful in my endeavors into transition skating where tight bowl corners require the ability to conform to the curvature. The downside to TKP's is that they tend to not be as stable when greater speeds are being reached due to that tighter turning radius and the susceptibility to succumbing to road variations and vibrations. This is not to say that TKP's are not being used by some of the top free-riders and downhillers in the scene right now with marvelous results, but as a general rule they are not favored for this route of riding. The companies whose TKP's I have personally ridden are Independent, Gullwing, and Venture with my clear favorite among those listed being Indy. I have heard nothing bad about the semi-newly released Caliber TKP however, and even received a recommendation straight from Big Dave Tannaci (@bigdave_hsf) himself in New Mexico.
I am such a huge advocate of this art we indulge in because of the opportunities for uniqueness that if so constantly offers and I really hope that this has helped peak your interest a little to go out and see what the wonderful world of trucks has to offer! Remember, when experimenting its best to use local equipment bought from local shops in your area because they may be able to offer more specialized suggestions. Show them some love! JAH Bless and shred on!