independent stage 11 hollow trucks review

Independent Stage 11 Hollow Trucks Review

The Independent stage 11 hollow trucks weigh 10% less than most other skate trucks because they have a lighter, hollow axle and kingpin. I was curious about how well they skated, so I bought a pair and have been skating them for the past 9 months.

Here is my review of the Independent Hollow Forged Stage 11 skateboard trucks.

Specs & Highlights of the Independent Hollow Trucks




Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Durable / Long lasting
  • Grind Well
  • Warranty

Cons:

  • More expensive than standard skate trucks
  • Baseplate and kingpin wear down over time
  • Bushings need to be replaced (they do with most trucks)


Independent Trucks Size Chart to Match Skate Deck Width

Independent Truck Size Fits Skate Deck Width
109 Under 7.5 Inches
129 7.5 to 8 Inches
139 7.8 to 8.2 Inches
144 8.2 to 8.375 Inches
149 8.375 to 8.6 Inches
159 8.6 to 9 Inches
169 9 to 9.5 Inches
215 9.5 to 10.5 Inches

You would read this chart as the labeled size of the independent truck is to the left while the width of your skateboard deck is to the right.

Here are the two main size questions most of you need to know.

What size independent trucks go on a 8.0 inch deck?

The Independent 139 size truck size fits perfectly on an 8.0″ deck. The axel width of the 139 is eight inches, so it will correctly match the width of your skateboard.

This is the size that I tested for this review. You can see here that my wheels and the end of my 8.0″ Blind R7 skate deck line up perfectly.

What size independent trucks go on a 8.25 inch deck?

The Independent 144 size truck size fits perfectly on an 8.25″ deck. The axel width of the 144 is eight and a quarter inches, so it will correctly match the width of your skateboard.

So What Are Independent Forged Stage 11 Hollow Trucks?

Independent Forged Hollow Stage 11 skate trucks are 10% lighter than normal Independent trucks. They weigh less overall because the truck is a mid-profile aluminum truck with a forged baseplate and hollow kingpin and axle. The benefit between hollow components and durable aluminum is that you get the same tried and true quality of the standard Independent skateboard trucks in a lighter weight version.

Here is a quick overview video covering why these are lighter trucks.

My First Impression of Independent Hollow Trucks

While I’ve been skating on and off since the late ’90s, I’ve never actually owned a pair of Independent Trucks. The Independent stage 11 hollows are my first set of Independents. I always had this impression of Independent that they were a little too expensive for me and that I could find the same quality for a few dollars less if I went with different trucks from another brand like Thunder, Venture, or Destructo.

When I first got these, I quickly learned the real appeal of owning Independent Trucks. Out of the box, these skate very well. They felt predictable and responsive while turning. They grind incredibly smooth, and the hollow axle and kingpin make them light.

My first impression was that these are worth all of their hype and the extra $5-10 to get the lighter, hollow versions.

Why Are Lighter Skateboard Trucks Better?

Lighter skateboard trucks are better for street and park skating because it makes it easier to get your skateboard higher off the ground. Skateboard trucks are one of the heaviest components you can add to your board setup. When you select a lighter-weight skateboard truck, you significantly reduce your skateboard’s overall weight.

Pricewise How Do Independent Stage 11 Hollows Compare vs. Thunder or Venture Skateboard Trucks?

Here is a price comparison for the Independent Hollow Stage 11 Forged trucks and some of the other main hollow and standard skate truck options.

Independent Hollow trucks are $6 more than the standard Independent trucks and around $8-$22 more than standard Ace, Thunder, or Venture skate trucks. The additional cost goes towards the material that reduces the truck’s overall weight by 10%.

Thunder and Venture both offer comparable hollow skate truck options at the time of writing. The Independent Hollow Stage 11 trucks are $5 cheaper than Thunder Hollows and $4 more than Venture Hollow Trucks.

Independent also makes Forged Titanium trucks which are the lightest trucks that Independent sells. The forged trucks are $30 more than Hollows, and they offer a 15% weight reduction from standard Independent trucks. I’ve skated a friends set up who had these trucks. In comparison, it felt noticeably lighter to hold his board. I didn’t notice the additional 5% weight reduction while skating the forged titanium trucks.

Why Did I Buy Independent Hollow Stage 11 Trucks?

I bought the Independent Hollows because I never had a set of Independent trucks before. My friends have been praising Independent trucks for years, so I wanted to try them out. One of my concerns was that Independent trucks looked a little bulky. While I heard of benefits like, “these are the smoothest grinding trucks you will ever own.” I never heard anything about their lightweight. With the stage 11 hollow skateboard trucks offering an overall weight savings of 10%, I figured why not give them a try?

So How Do Independent Hollow Trucks Skate?

Independent Hollow trucks skate exceptionally well. The turning is responsive. They feel light overall, and they grind better than any trucks I’ve ever owned before.

What do I like about Independent Hollow Trucks?

Grinding

Over the years, I’ve tried Thunder, Ventures, Grind King, Krux, and Destructo skate trucks. The Independent hollow trucks grind smoother than some other brands I’ve skated. I’ve been skating these trucks for around nine months, and I still have a lot of grinds left in the hangers.

Durable / Long Lasting

These are trucks that can take a beating. I’ve been skating them for nine months, and they still perform as they did on the first day I skated them. I will easily get another year or two out of the trucks. That said, the lifespan of any truck depends on what you’re grinding and the number of hard impacts you take. If you are grinding rough concrete every day, your trucks will wear down faster than if you’re primarily grinding rails or boxes with metal coping. While I skate the occasional waxed curb, I mainly skate my Transformer Rail.

Responsive Turning

One of the first details you will notice while skating Independent Hollows is how responsive they are while turning. I tend to ride my trucks on the tighter side while leaving enough play for the truck to turn easily. The stock bushings the trucks came with are the medium durometer, and they have worked well for me so far. I just swapped my bushings for the blue medium-hard bushings, so I will see if that improves performance even more so for me.

Warranty

Independent offers an excellent 120 warranty after the time of purchase. Here is what is covered by the Independent’s warranty.

  • Manufacturer defects in the materials of the truck
  • Your truck axle bending
  • Your truck axles slipping
  • Any casting anomalies
  • Any deformation anomaly of your axle
  • Threading issues before skating your trucks

What do I dislike about Independent Hollow Trucks?

The Stock Medium Bushings

While the medium bushings will work perfectly for most of you, I skated my trucks on the tighter side and cranked my bushings down enough to rip them within the first few sessions of skating these trucks. The torn bushings never impeded the performance of these trucks. However, I note it here as you might want to pick up a different set of bushings depending on your tightness preference. Independent sells other bushings that you can get here and easily swap the stock bushings out for ones that will serve you better.

Wearing On Baseplate

Any set of skateboard trucks will wear down in the places that you grind the most. With the Indy Hollows, I’ve noticed my baseplates are grinding down more than I’ve ever seen before.

Over time my baseplate has begun to get a sharp edge that is now beginning to dig into the base of my deck. It doesn’t look like it digs in far enough to compromise the stability of my deck. However, I will need to keep an eye on it and file it down so that it doesn’t get any worse.

Wearing of Kingpin & Front of Hanger

Somehow while learning to feeble grind, I managed to grind down my kingpin and the front part of the hanger where the top bushing rest.

The kingpin does have enough clearance for you to smith grind or feeble. However, you might notice that yours wears down too. So far, this hasn’t impaired the performance of my trucks in any way. I was also able to swap my bushings out easily without replacing my nuts or kingpin.

Are Independent Hollow Trucks Good for Beginners?

Yes. These are perfect skate trucks for anyone, regardless of experience level. If you are a beginner, you will like how the lighter weight makes your board easier to learn to ollies and kickflips. If you are an experienced skateboarder, you will love the responsive turning and maneuverability the lighter weight offers.

Overall Rating of Independent Hollow Trucks?

Overall Rating

Considerations Rating Out 5
Turning / Responsiveness 4.75
Grinds 5
Weight 4.65
Feel While Skating 4.8
Overall Quality 4.8

Editor’s Rating: 4.8 out of 5 stars

Where Can You Buy Independent Hollow Trucks?

You can buy the Independent Hollow Stage 11 Skateboard trucks from Tactics right here.




Steve Weber is an avid snowboarder and skateboarder. He has been snowboarding for 26 years, skateboarding for 20, and is always looking for a new board sport to try out. When he is not riding or skating, he runs a marketing agency. Board of the world is Steve’s blog for skateboard and snowboard gear reviews. The blog’s goal is to help people find the right board for them and encourage people to have fun outside.