It’s not exaggerating to say that the true beauty of the Sidewinder Series lays in the trucks. Many people make a simile that assembling these trucks to a skateboard is akin to the additional joints your fingers have. And that’s not wrong, at least from my experience.
This article today will share the insight from my personal exploration as to what makes the Gullwing Sidewinder II Trucks become such that famous. Read on!
About the Sector 9 Gullwing Sidewinder II Longboard/Skateboard Trucks
Actually, this set of two is a great collaboration between Sector 9 and Gullwing – two of the world leading brands in the skateboarding industry. Whilst Sector 9 is specialized in manufacturing high-quality skateboards, its sister company – Gullwing – is more about unbeatable trucks.
Exactly, the Sidewinder II Trucks are produced by Gullwing to use on all of the Sector 9’s complete boards with the aim of bringing the pillars of strength underneath your feet.
They come in two base plate width options: The 9” and the 10”. But in general, both of them have some basic specs:
- Construction: Cast
- Geometry: Double
- Bushing Durometer & Shape: 89A Barrel/Cone
- Hole Pattern: 6
My Testing Results
Before bringing these trucks home for a test, I had done some research about them and found out two highlights:
- Quick, responsive turning radius
- Phenomenal carving performance
They are mentioned mostly by customers and even the manufacturer. So, I wonder if they are true or not? Besides, are some other skeptics like “Is it good at downhill riding?”, “Is it just good when pairing with the Sidewinder Series Longboard Deck?” and “Which deck shape must they be set up on?”.
Thus, this test will go over all of them!
After almost 2 weeks trying the trucks on different deck shapes and brands, here are the final results:
My vote: 9/10
In comparison to other trucks at the same price range, I find the Sidewinder II can allow me to make a turn of 80 to 90 degrees if keeping them medium to loose. Whilst the other trucks just deliver 8-foot turning radius or bigger, these can tighten to about 2-foot only. Amazing, right?
It is a big thank you to the double kingpin setup allowing the trucks to steer further than regular ones. And as a result, is the more turning radius, but a solid, stable and controllable ride.
The reason I only give it 9/10 is because of its extra difficulty to perform during a tighter turning radius. You will need a couple of minutes to get used to it, especially the beginners or intermediate riders.
My vote: 10/10
Since these trucks are the double kingpin, there is twice as much movement to generate better momentum through pumping/turning. From that point, I can make a carve on the tightest lines known to any riders.
In comparison to the CX or C7 Trucks, I consider these Sidewinder II are much better. Not only can I carve as smoothly as I’m on a snowboard but the trucks also allow for some pretty wicked carving.
Cruising and commuting
My vote: 9/10
The Sidewinder II are cruising trucks. Hence, there’s no strange when they are super awesome at riding on a flat surface with emphasis on quick tight turns and curves.
The biggest difference between riding on these trucks and other counterparts is its looseness to make my board extremely maneuverable. And as a result, is further steering to commute with effortless around many busy city streets.
My vote: 6/10
There’re mixed reviews about the performance of these trucks at a downhill speed. And I would say, it depends on how tight your bushings are and the hill you intend to ride on. But in comparison, mounting these trucks to a drop-through deck will be prone to get more wobbles than doing on a drop-down.
But as it took me nearly 5 hours for adjustment so, just 6 out of 10. Too much time taking! So, if you’re a beginner, I won’t highly recommend trying these for riding downhill.
Which deck shapes must the trucks be set up on?
Due to the recommendation from Gullwing, these trucks should be paired with either the Sector 9 “Sidewinder Series” longboard skateboard decks or the appropriately shaped deck to optimize its maneuverability and prevent wheel-bite.
However, a Sidewinder Series longboard deck usually prices $150 and up, which is a bit expensive to some riders with a tight budget or beginners who don’t want to spend much on their first board. That’s why they prefer a cheaper option. And the ideal replacement with “appropriate shape” is a drop-through.
You might need some adjustment on these trucks to have them worked perfectly together, though. It’s quick and easy to try. From my experience, this combination brings up three solid benefits:
- Bring a sick look due to the gullwing slithering snake logo on the base plate bottom
- Endless carving fun
- More turning radius
Take note that the Gullwing Sidewinder Trucks bring a drop-through deck about 1” up, which beginners might need some time to get used to.
What I Like
Great adjustability: You can easily adjust these trucks to have both kingpins worked perfectly together. Once getting them right, they are unlike anything you’ve ridden before.
Stability: These trucks eat cracks like a monster and it’s a big thank you to double cushion on the bushings. They absorb shocks pretty, especially when pairing with a drop-through deck, to reach up a speed of 20 to 25MPH.
Double Kingpin setup: This is what I love the most in this set because it results in a lot of benefits, such as the super tight responsive carves and tight turning radius to help you weave in or out of busy foot traffic in the city streets.
- Either going downhill with bad wobbles or need tons of time to adjust the kingpins
- Due to the harder carves, it’s pretty quick to get wheel-bite
- Heavier than other counterparts
What’s the difference between the 10 inches and 9 inches?
Though it’s just 1” difference in the wheelbase width, such that distance leads to a huge different performance in each kind of trucks:
- Wider wheelbase is more stable and less curvy while the shorter one gives snappier turns.
- Require specific types of rubber bushings to match each trucks’ stiffness.
You should pick trucks which are as wide as the board’s width, not the board’s length. It means that if your longboard features 9” wide, choose the 9” trucks and 10” wide boards should pair with 10” trucks.
Besides, never let the trucks wider than your deck.
Who should pick them?
The Sidewinder II Trucks will be the best choice for those who:
- Want to make a tight turn and carve
- Look for good trucks for carving, cruising, and commuting like going to the mall and crowded city street
- Find a well-worth investment but don’t cost a fortune
My final thought
Keeping with the theme of nimble yet stable, the Sidewinder II exceeds my initial expectation of good carving trucks. I’m really impressed by how tight of its turning radius whilst keeping perfect stability and control.
Despite some minor weaknesses, the trucks are well worth a try. They are easy to adjust, high-quality, and great at bouncing. For the price, you can beat this!