Today’s review is on the Voxter MK3 precision downhill trucks. With a design that stands them apart from normal RKP trucks, these trucks are certainly different. But is this fresh design worth the $429 sticker price? Or is a more traditional downhill truck a safer (and better) bet? Let’s find out in the Valkyrie Voxter review below.
- Baseplate Angles: 45/45
- Hanger width: 160-170mm
- Rake: 2mm
- Pivot: Riptide WFB Pivot
- Price: $429
These are some specifications of the trucks I rode. The Mk3s have a lot more hanger and baseplate options available. You can find out more about them here at the Valkyrie website.
Valkyrie Voxter Review
My initial impression of the Voxters was underwhelming. I mean, you have this legion of die-hard fans who swear by them for skating; saying how stable they are, how amazing they are, etc. But I just didn’t get that within a few rides … but the more I did ride them, the more these things become apparent to me.
The Voxters don’t FEEL different in any huge way, but in subtle ways. Ways you can only appreciate after a long time of riding them. And after a few months on them, I can confirm, these trucks ARE amazing.
They’re stable, super smooth through the lean, turn on a dime, and are so consistent at that edge of lean. I’ve had so much fun on them, and they’ve honestly been key to getting my confidence up to try faster stand-up slides.
Of course, they have their downsides – dialing them in is particularly a headache. But what truck doesn’t have its setbacks?
Altogether, these trucks are pretty awesome and I believe the hype is well warranted. Job well done by Valkyrie.
Disclaimer – I’d like to point out that these trucks aren’t suited to the style of skating I’m most familiar with; I prefer narrow trucks, with a low-angle baseplate in the rear for mostly hands-down skating. I’ve mostly been using these for freeriding and stand-up slides – which I normally do sparingly. Sooo, I don’t think my review will be as good, as thorough, or as insightful as it may usually be.
But what can I do! I was lent the trucks, and beggars can’t be choosers innit. Thanks, Connor for letting me thrash them for a while.
What makes these trucks special
Obviously, these trucks are unlike anything else in the game. I mean, take a look at that baseplate and hanger.
The design is even patented and everything …
Naturally, the question anyone would have is; “does this different design mean superior performance? Or is it just a gimmick?”.
I found out about these trucks back in 2017 and I’ve been excited to try them since. I’ve heard all sorts of amazing things from the company, from people who purchased the trucks, and I’ve been getting stoked on the great media their team riders put out.
But the truth is, skating is believing. Until I have a piece of kit under my feet, I will always doubt claims from other riders.
So, are they are a gimmick? Do they live up to the hype? Do they perform in any mind-blowingly superior ways? Let’s find out together.
How do these trucks turn?
These trucks don’t turn all that much.
When you’re going slow, this kinda sucks, but this isn’t an issue when you’re going fast.
At faster speeds, you have all the turning you need and you’ll be able to make all the corners; I never once felt like I lacked any turning on actual downhill runs.
They do lean a lot though, and it feels like they lean more than they turn. To get access to all that turn, you have to lean quite a bit.
I have been able to get what feels like “more“ turning out of them by using a riser.
And weirdly these trucks actually feel more like a 40* truck than a 45* one thanks to all that lean.
Of course, not turning too much also translates to added stability.
Are they stable?
Voxters are inherently stable and they feel quite solid at speed.
They do have a center but you will have to do a tiny bit of work to keep them going in a straight line.
Unlike other trucks, you don’t feel “held” in place in that center. You’re there, but it’s easy enough to quickly dive off of it.
But yeah, because you can easily dive off the center, you still need to be careful about your balancing and weight placement – but not THAAAT careful. The center is decently “wide”.
(You can also accentuate and enhance that center depending on how you set up the trucks.)
Let’s talk about the “center”
As I’ve said, the center is there, but unlike other trucks (think Rogues) you don’t feel held in place. It’s easy enough to articulate the truck left or right and it doesn’t take much work to get the truck to turn.
What’s different is that you don’t have an insert bushing, or a queen pin, or a massive pivot cup holding the hanger in place. It’s more like an “inherent” center point.
It’s hard to describe, but it’s like the truck isn’t forced to sit in place, it just naturally sits that way.
They feel unlike any other truck I’ve skated. But it isn’t a HUGE difference. It’s subtle. Very subtle.
Articulating off the center
And when you finally articulate off that center, you do so in a very milky way.
Listen, I know. What the f*ck does milky even mean. IDK, but it just makes sense. Bear with me here.
The center point is there, but it is super easy to come off it. And when you do come off it, it isn’t a sudden dive or lean, but very smooth and very controlled.
Other trucks that use urethane inserts or a queen pin kind of fight/provide resistance when you try to come off the center point. They “fight” you at that initial point of lean/articulation. Valks don’t fight you.
Of course, in other trucks, the inserts also provide the return to center and help support you as you go through the lean. Without a similar slop stopping system, it means you don’t get any assistance for the return to center in the Voxters. All of the support and return to center is controlled by the bushings. More on this later.
I’d say, the center for Valks feels like a smoother, less rigid feeling version of a spherical insert.
But yeah, if you want to a stable center but also want to be able to rapidly dive off the center and into the turn, these trucks are an excellent choice. I imagine the Mk2 Slaloms are enjoyable to skate on because of this.
How do they lean?
These trucks lean a lot. A LOT.
They are super leany, and you will never feel like you don’t have enough lean.
A big challenge to riding these trucks is either getting used to that lean or setting them up in a way to restrict and control that lean.
Without setting them up accordingly, the lean can feel endless.
Trucks that have an endless lean aren’t the nicest to skate – especially for stand-up slides; you need an end to the lean so you can use it as a point to kick your board out into the slide. Some people don’t need this, but most do.
What usually controls the lean in trucks (support/restriction)
Most trucks use a stepped, cupped, or dished bushing seat, a urethane insert, or a low rebound pivot to support the hanger, provide feedback as it leans, and eventually a “stop” to that lean.
I’m not entirely confident about the above statement, if you disagree or have any insight, feel free to leave a comment.
What (kinda) controls the lean in Voxters
The Voxters only have a small stepped bushing seat and a very low-resistance, high duro pivot (95a WFB Riptide pivot) to manage the lean.
The low resistance pivot doesn’t do much to provide feedback and resistance during the lean. It’s smooth through the lean.
The Voxter MK3s bushing seat does help with restricting the bushing and providing some feedback and support, but not much. The unique design of the Voxters is overpowering, and you still get A LOT of lean.
When the V1 Voxters came out, they didn’t have the deep bushing seat featured on the MK3s today. They had a shallower one. The V1 Voxters were known for turning bushings to mush and leaning a lot. People had to run super hard bushings to get a decent feel from the trucks.
The succeeding iteration of the Voxters (V2s Voxters) featured a slightly deeper bushing seat. People were able to run softer bushings more successfully. I believe the same bushing seat is still featured on the MK3s.
Ok, so, WHAT controls the lean in Voxters?
But yeah, for Voxters, it seems most of the work of support/resistance/feedback/return to center through the lean has to pretty much be done by the bushings.
With the immense lean from the design, only a tiny bit of help from the deep bushings seat, and only a little assistance from the high-rebound pivot, the bushings are worked hard to provide most of the feedback, resistance, and support through the lean.
To get decent feedback and support, you need to use either more voluminous bushings or higher rebound ones.
More on how to use higher rebound and voluminous bushings below.
How to set up Voxters (make or break)
You need to do this
You have to abandon your traditional DH skater-like thinking a little bit.
These trucks are different and will require you to set them up in different ways to get the performance you need.
No more “I can’t run kegs in my trucks, how embarrassing”. You have to be more open to trying new things.
It is a pretty frustrating process (if you don’t have any help from experienced Voxter riders), but it is certainly worth it, as these trucks perform pleasantly well when dialed in.
How to dial in Voxter trucks
So all the lean and return to center in these trucks is controlled by the bushings.
The bushings are worked A LOT, and because of that, some bushings don’t work quite well in these trucks.
Lower rebound bushings don’t work well
Bushings like the HPF Venoms do not work the best in these trucks.
They just flop over and don’t provide enough resistance/support/feedback/return to center through the lean.
This issue is most apparent when you use barrel bushings in this formula.
High-rebound bushings work BETTER
What works well in these trucks is super high-rebound bushings.
Some people have had luck with:
- Krank bushings (Riptide),
- SHR bushings (Venom),
- Hardcore barrel bushings (Powell-Peralta)
- Ronin bushings (Ronin)
The above bushings just have more rebound than HPF Venoms. They provide more feedback/resistance when you engage them.
Instead of the truck just flopping over, with these you get a smooth, controlled lean, with feedback throughout it.
Venom HPFs CAN work well IF …
To make HPF venoms work (and other similarly reboundy bushings) you’d have to go super hard or use the very voluminous shapes.
When you use the hard HPF barrels, you get a strong center point, then a hard-to-turn truck, and then wheelbite suddenly. It doesn’t feel good at all. You get no support/feedback through the lean.
Some people do choose to use Venom barrels, but they haven’t felt great to me for most types of riding.
That said, I did find it ok to run HPF barrels when I was strictly doing hands-down riding – it wasn’t that important to me to get a gradual lean or an end to the lean. They felt pretty ok.
But to get the HPFs to work well (for most people), you will have to combine the barrel with a more voluminous bushing like a Keg on the boardside.
Voluminous bushings are a good idea
Going for more Volumous bushings like a Venom Keg, Venom Barrical, or a Riptide chubby, can give you a more gradual lean, and more resistance towards the end of the lean as you engage the trucks.
Most people combine a tall barrel and keg. For example, I run 87a roadside barrel and an 87a Keg board side.
Some people also like short bushings
Going for short barrel bushings – which you can if you use a bushing shim on the boardside, can give you a quicker end to the lean. It’s an ok way to ride these trucks too.
I run my Voxters this way
If I wanted to run strictly tall/short barrels bushings, I had success running the higher rebound bushings like Ronins or the Hardcores. I didn’t have the Riptide Kranks and Venom SHRs so I couldn’t test them.
I run 92A fruit punch Ronins all-around.
If I wanted to use the Venom HPF, I had to use a Keg board side. I would end up running an 87a Keg board side and an 87a barrel roadside.
I weigh about 75kg/165lbs.
The slide feels amazing on these trucks
Approaching that edge of traction is not intimidating at all on these trucks. I felt ok, going hard into corners knowing I might need to chuck a small drift or scrub as I’m going through the corner, or going fast to do big stand-up slides.
It’s hard to describe, but the moment just before you break into a slide was so consistent on these trucks. I’m not talking about the transition from grip to slipping, I’m talking about the moment before. Like the point where you get to that edge of lean.
These things just felt perfect at that moment. Perfectly consistent and perfectly predictable. Of course, if you mess up as a rider, it will feel awful. Same if you don’t set up your trucks right. But for the most part, you can rely on these trucks to feel the same time and again at that moment.
I haven’t felt the same way about any other truck I’ve skated. Smokies, Rogues, RF1s, Savants, they all felt a bit awkward at that moment and need a bit of skill to keep them on the line.
Valks just didn’t need me to do that work. They just did it. And this characteristic made me love them.
These trucks didn’t like flush mounting
It’s not just because you’ll get wheelbite easily, but these trucks didn’t perform very well when I had them flush-mounted.
They just didn’t feel good. I couldn’t get to that depth of lean where I would feel comfortable kicking out the board into a slide.
I had to negate any flush mounting for them to feel best.
What I didn’t like about Voxters
Hard to set up
If it were not for the members of the longboard family discord group I would be at a loss as to how to set these up. So if you don’t have any experienced Voxter skaters at your disposal you might have some difficulty figuring it out.
Seriously, I would have had such trouble, going around in circles, trying to figure these things out. They use the same parts as other trucks, but they are not the same, you have to approach them with a fresh mindset.
Why not a different pivot?
You don’t get that many different pivot options with the Voxters, only the Riptide 95a pivot.
I reckon a 97a Venom pivot would slap in these trucks.
The Riptide pivot just makes these trucks react and lean very quickly.
In other trucks, I’ve found the 97a pivot provides a bit more resistance than the Riptide pivot, and the lean is more gradual and controlled. It’s still quick, but more gradual.
Someone please lathe a 97a Venom bushing and try this lol. I would try it myself, but ehh, I don’t got the tools or the time …
I reckon it would give a more gradual lean and you could run bushings like the HPF barrels without as much struggle over how little support they provide.
(If you do this, it could be good to experiment with the 93a pivot too).
I tried it
And I did (kinda) try this!
The Rogue pivot kinda fits the pivot pin of the Voxters. It doesn’t fit the pivot hole, so I had to wrap the pivot in some duct tape to make it fit.
What I found was the lean was still quick but it was more gradual. It also felt a lot easier to hold the lean at an angle.
By comparison, the Riptide pivot just wanted to go edge-to-edge quickly. The lean wasn’t gradual and I had to work a bit more to hold an angle. Not a bad thing if you want to get to the edge quickly to kick the board out into a slide.
Not saying the 97a Venom pivot is outright better, but it could be a good way to run these trucks.
I wish there were more Pivot tube options for these trucks. But I reckon that’s more a failure of the aftermarket, than a failure of Valkyrie.
The other thing …
After a few rides, I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t impressed. I mean, you hear Valkyrie riders saying all sorts of stuff – “These are the best trucks ever”, “Valks are so good”, etc. They felt kind of run of the mill to me, and I wasn’t feeling anything special.
But … the more I rode them the more that I appreciated them. These trucks don’t feel different in any “huge” way. But the more time you spend on them the more you notice the little things; how consistent they are in the slide, the stability, how smoothly they come off the center. All these things are super subtle and require at least a few days of riding to get the feel of …
(Also remember I mainly skate precision these days, perhaps the jump from a cast to Valks would make the differences more apparent).
And it’s only after being on them for a while that I can truly say that these trucks are special. They’re pretty f*cking good.
In summary, they’re not different in any big ways. But the small things you notice the more you use them is what makes you love em.
Did you enjoy this Valkyrie Voxters Review?
This one has been hectic to make ngl. It’s taken longer to put together than expected. It’s hard to describe how these trucks do the thing accurately … but maybe I also made it more complicated than necessary haha. I think I haven’t spent the most time on these trucks and I’ve rushed myself to understand and accurately articulate my thoughts. So maybe that’s played a part too. Nonetheless, I hope this review has been insightful. Thank you for reading!
Also, you can always join my Patreon to see all the product reviews before they drop publicly. There are always a handful available – I make more and can only post on Youtube weekly. Big thanks to all my patrons for the support – David, Squirrels Adventures, Mike, Jed, Mowgii, Jan, Josh, Jay, Jay, Bryan, @owencampbell777, @dkwan, Alex, Kasajja, Domnik, Reuben, @pablo.vega.andrade, Vlad, Asa, Helge, DeLacoste, Peder, Josh, Mike, Anthony, @issishreds, Greg, Jackson, Slipa, Louisa, Bill, Steve, John, Austin, @bomber_p_, and Justin. I couldn’t write articles like this without you guys’ support.