Bushings guide

Bushings guide

In this guide, we will be assuming

(1) That you are already familiar with basic longboard terminology and

(2) That you have already chosen your trucks for your longboard skateboard.

(3) Remember this guide is meant to be suggestive, since everyone's ideal setup may be slightly different due to weight, riding style, and a few other factors.

Fine-tuning your Longboard Trucks for the Best Ride

Bushings, pivot cups, and washers are some of the smallest items on your longboard, but they Bushings, pivot cups, and washers are some of the smallest items on your longboard, but they offer the greatest benefits in terms of comfort and control! When they’re customized to match your weight and riding style you are given a much better ride than with the stock components alone. Swapping out these main components will ultimately give you the proper amount of rebound and stiffness for optimal turning and stability.

Today most cruising, carving, freeride, and downhill longboards use Reverse Kingpin Trucks. However, Traditional Kingpin trucks (a.k.a. "regular skateboard trucks") are a great choice for street skating, park & pool skating, and even some cruising and mild freeride. That said, we’ve based the following guide on setting up your reverse kingpin trucks for some longboarding awesomeness.

Covered in this Guide

01
Bushing Shape

depends on your trucks and riding style.

02
Bushing Durometer

depends on your weight and riding style.

03
Washers

keep the bushings in place.

04
Pivot Cups

cushion the pivot point between your truck's hanger and baseplate.

How do I pick the correct bushings for my longboard?

Bushings are the colorful, rubber-like cylinders located in the center of your trucks. Typically bushings are made out of urethane and the vast majority of longboard skateboard setups use two bushings per truck (four bushings per longboard/skateboard).

The world of bushings can become very complicated considering the large number of factors and styles on the market, but don’t let that intimidate you! Just keep in mind the two main factors and you’ll be able to differentiate between the bushings you encounter: durometer (the hardness), and shape.

Other non-bushing factors to consider when selecting your bushings are: truck design, flex level of the deck, and rider weight. These factors (along with personal preference) all play a part in selecting the right bushings for your longboard skateboard setup, and it’s helpful to keep them in mind as you find the right bushings for your new (or old) setup!

01. Shape

Cones and barrels are the most frequently used terms to describe the shape of a bushing. "Standard" bushings are what we call a pair of bushings in which one is a barrel shape, and one is a cone shape. Stepped bushings are a hybrid between a barrel and a cone. Each shape/combo has its own unique performance characteristics. For example:

Cone Bushings

Cone bushings have a "conical" shape and are installed with the widest end of the bushing touching the hanger of the truck, and the smallest end facing away from the hanger (toward the ground or the baseplate). Cones are normally used for cruising and carving purposes because they have the least amount of mass, and the shape is less supportive around the center of the bushing, therefore providing less resistance when turning. This makes them great for lighter riders. Tall cones (0.750" in height) are less common but are also offered to fit specific trucks such as Ronin, Bennett, and a few others with larger clearances.

Examples:

Click on a product to see more details.

Riptide: APS Cone Bushings

RipTide Bushings offer two unique varieties of urethane. The APS (Animated Polymer Systems) an...

$7.99
Venom SHR Super Carve (Cone) Longboard Skateboard Bushings Pack

Note from Scott and Pablo: We love Venom bushings for their responsiveness and performance. In...

$10.00
Venom SHR Super Carve (Cone) Longboard Skateboard Bushings Pack

Note from Scott and Pablo: We love Venom bushings for their responsiveness and performance. In...

$10.00

Barrel Bushings

Barrel bushings have a symmetrical "barrel" shape (same width at top and bottom) and are the most common choice for all styles of riding. This popularity is due to the barrel bushing’s greater mass and surface area which provides stability and an appropriate level of response at faster speeds. Tall barrels (0.750" in height) are less common but are also offered to fit specific trucks such as Ronin, Bennett, and a few others with larger clearances.

Examples:

Click on a product to see more details.

88: Gummies Double Barrel Bushings

Take your board performance to the next level with the 88 Gummies bushings! Our double barrel ...

$9.95
Bones: Hardcore Barrel Longboard Bushings

Hardcore Bushings feature the SkateOne™ patented bonded insert technology that will transform ...

$16.50
Venom: Barrel Bushings

"Quantity: 1" is enough for one truck. Buy TWO (2) packs for your complete longboard! White an...

$9.00

Stepped Bushings

Stepped bushings are a less standardized shape in that each brand offers their own variation. Stepped bushings are frequently seen as a hybrid between a barrel and a cone, or as a hybrid between a barrel and a wider, flatter barrel thus creating a "stepped lip". Stepped bushings are typically larger in mass because they are intended to fill the bushing seat in your trucks. This aspect makes them feel somewhat restrictive when compared to a barrel or cone bushing, but this is contrasted by an increase in rebound. A few common examples of stepped bushings are the Venom Eliminator, Venom Freeride, Blood Orange Wedge, and the RipTide Chubby.

Examples:

Click on a product to see more details.

Riptide: APS Chubby Bushings

Quantity 1 = 2 bushings which is enough for 1 truck. Order quantity 2 for a complete longboard...

$8.99
Venom: Freeride Bushings

Venom's High Performance Formula Freeride (Barrical) Bushings are designed for... Well... FREE...

$12.00
Riptide: APS Chubby Bushings

Quantity 1 = 2 bushings which is enough for 1 truck. Order quantity 2 for a complete longboard...

$8.99

Insert Bushings

Insert bushings (to put it simply) have washers integrated into the design of the bushing. This helps by relieving the need for washers in the bushing equation. These bushings are most commonly used in traditional kingpin trucks.

Examples:

Click on a product to see more details.

Bones: Hardcore Barrel Longboard Bushings

Hardcore Bushings feature the SkateOne™ patented bonded insert technology that will transform ...

$16.50

02. Durometer

Harder bushings provide more resistance (better for larger riders) and softer bushings provide less resistance (better for smaller riders). Getting the correct durometer (hardness) for your bushings is the most important part in getting your trucks to perform the way you want them to. (As a rule of thumb, if you’re able to select the correct durometer for your weight and intended discipline, you’re gonna be OK!)

The following section is filled with a bunch of numbers and relationships between rider weight and bushing hardness. The durometer rating is represented by a number (usually between 70-100) that represents the density (we’ll just think of it as "hardness") of a bushing. This number is followed by the letter “a” to indicate it’s on the "Shore A" hardness rating scale. A bushing rated at 78a is on the softer end of the scale than a bushing that is 100a. (The Shore A scale only goes up to 100, but for all intents and purposes in the world of skateboard bushings, this is just fine!)

Here’s our general durometer guide for selecting bushings for various disciplines. This will be a good start if you just need a quick reference! (If you’d like to get some more in-depth info, choose your desired discipline below and read on!)

For Cruising and Carving we suggest using a Standard Bushing combination (Barrel/Cone) like so:

Cruising / Carving Weight Guide

Flexy
Medium
Stiff

50 - 100 lbs

65a

78a

81a

75 - 125 lbs

80a

83a

85a

100 - 145 lbs

85a

87a

88a

125 - 175 lbs

87a

89a

91a

145 - 195 lbs

88a

93a

94a

175 - 220+ lbs

91a

93a

97a

For High Speed Carving and Medium Speed Freeriding we suggest using a Double Barrel Combination (Barrel/Barrel) like so:

Freeride Weight Guide

Flexy
Medium
Stiff

50 - 100 lbs

68a

80a

81a

75 - 125 lbs

80a

83a

85a

100 - 145 lbs

83a

85a

87a

125 - 175 lbs

87a

89a

92a

145 - 195 lbs

89a

91a

93a

175 - 220+ lbs

91a

93a

97a+

For High Speed Downhill and Fast Freeride we suggest using Double Barrel combination (Barrel/Barrel) like so:

Downhill Weight Guide

Flexy
Medium
Stiff

50 - 100 lbs

65a

78a

81a

75 - 125 lbs

80a

83a

85a

100 - 145 lbs

85a

87a

88a

125 - 175 lbs

88a

90a

93a

145 - 195 lbs

90a

93a

94a

175 - 220+ lbs

91a

93a

100a