Bushings are support cushions made of urethane that are attached to the kingpin and are fitted into the bushing seat on either sides of the hanger. The best longboard bushings are the one that prevent the metal parts of the truck from grating on each other by providing adaptable levels of resistance while turning. They are important components of your longboard and can be customized by adjusting size, shape and Durometer. Each truck should have two bushings each.
Mostly, bushings are not given much thought while buying longboard. Mostly, when we go for buying a longboard, bushings are bought keeping in mind, ‘one size fits all’ policy. The point we ignore is that not everyone enjoys same riding style and have same body weight. And if we are ignoring the right bushing for our longboard trucks, we cannot guarantee smooth and stable ride. It is, therefore, recommended highly by the experts that bushing shapes and durometers should be customized to cater your individual needs in order to get the best ride you are aiming for.
Here are some of the best available bushings in the market:
- BONES™ Wheels HardCoreBushings
- Orangatang Nipples Longboard Skateboard Truck Bushings (Set of 4)
- Bones HardCore Soft Skate Bushings (2 Truck set)
- Venom Downhill-93a Green Bushing Set
How Do I Pick the Correct Bushings for My Longboard?
Bushings are one of the smallest components of longboard and are often overlooked by many who are either buying a longboard or customizing different components of their longboard, which is a mistake. They may be small but play an important role in providing you comfort and control while riding. When they are customized according to your style of riding and your body weight, you will definitely feel marked difference between this ride and the ride you experience with stock components.
There are various factors that should be kept in mind while choosing the right bushing for the trucks of your longboard but you should not be intimidated by the choices you have to make. All you have to do is keep in mind two things that would help you in choosing the right bushing for your trucks; Shape and Durometer of the bushing.
1. Bushing Shape
There are two basic shapes of bushing available in the market right now; Cones and barrels. We can get Standard bushings, which come in pair; one is of cone shape and one of barrel shape. Stepped bushings are also available which are hybrid between cone and barrel. Both shapes feature their own unique characteristics, which we are going to discuss below:
Conical in shape, Cone Bushings are mounted on the trucks with the widest end of the bushing touching the hanger while its smaller end faces away from the hanger, towards the baseplate to be exact. Cone bushings are mostly usedfor cruising and carving style of rides as they showcase least amount of mass making it less supportive around the center of bushing. This provides less resistance while turning. They are best for riders with lighter body weight.
Tall cones, which can be 0.750” in height, are rarely used but they are available to fit specific trucks like Ronin, Bennett etc. that offers larger clearance
Barrel Bushings come in symmetrical shape like that of barrel. Mostly, this shape is chosen for all kinds of rides. It provides stability in your ride as it comes with greater mass and surface area. When you are riding at high speed, it is very responsive and stable. They also come in Tall barrels with 0.750” in height, which are not very common but produced for specific kinds of trucks such as Ronin, Bennett and few others with larger clearances.
- “Standard” Bushings
Standard Bushings is basically a term used for describing a set of bushings in which one is barrel and the other one is cone. This combo provides the longboard smaller turning radius due to the cone and greater amount of stability thanks to the barrel Bushing. This kind of ideal combination can offer best carving experience as well as mild to medium speed freeriding.
- Stepped Bushings
Stepped bushings come in non-standardize shapes and each brand presents its own variation for it. They are available in hybrid cone and barrel combination or as a hybrid between a simple barrel and a wider and flatter barrel shape. This creates ‘stepped lip’. They have larger mass as they are manufactured to fill the bushing seat of your trucks. Venom Eliminator, Venom Freeride, Blood Orange Wedge and Rip Tide Chubby are a few examples of Stepped Bushings available in the market.
- Bonus: hourglass Bushings
Apart from the main shapes available in the market for bushings, there are other shapes also made available by the manufacturers. Hourglass bushings, as the name suggests, have hourglassshape, which provides less stability but more leaning in your ride. It is not recommended for the newbies but if you are a pro, then you can enjoy the new riding experience provided by this innovative bushing shape introduced by the manufacturers. Tall hourglassBushings with 0.750” height are not readily available but are offered for special trucks such as Ronin, Bennett and few others.
- Insert Bushings
Insert Bushings are manufactured with washers being incorporated into the bushing design.In Insert Bushing, there is no need to manually add washers due to its default design. These bushings are used in traditional kingpin trucks, which are most commonly used.
2. Bushing Durometer
Just like wheels of longboards and skateboard, bushings also have durometer ratings to assess theirhardness. Generally speaking, softer bushings provide less stability but are more responsive while harder bushing provide more stability but is less responsive. For an ideal ride, it is imperative that you get the right hardness for your bushing.
We are going to discuss some numbers and relationships between the rider’s weight and the durometer of the bushing. It will guide you to get the correct bushing with the right durometer according to your weight. Durometer ratings are usually represented by numbers between 70 -100. The letter ‘a’ indicates that it is on ‘Shore A’ hardness rating scale. A bushing with 78a rating means it is softer as compared to, if it is rating scale 100a.
Here are some useful figures that will help you choose the right bushing according to your weight for different kinds of rides.
For Cruising and Carving, use Standard Bushing Combination (Barrel/Cone):
For fast Freeride and high-speed Downhill rides, it is highly recommended that you use Double Barrel combo.
1. BONES™ Wheels HardCore Bushings
Bones Wheels HardCore Bushings are available with quality urethanes that provide exhilarating surfing experience because of its revolutionary design. It provides smooth and positive turns and full control on your ride. Like all Bones products, Bones WheelHardCore Bushings come with a warranty. They are available in different sizes as well. You will find your trucks to be more responsive after mounting Bones Bushings on your trucks and your ride will improve.
2. Orangatang Nipples Longboard Skateboard Truck Bushings (Set of 4)
The Orangatang Nipples Bushings are manufactured to assist you in your carvings to make perfect bounces and energized rebounds. Its slightly larger and wider shape and size, provides your trucks more support and balance, giving you a very responsive ride. Its urethane is special formula, Randy Thane that makes your riding experience quite exhilarating. Each pack comes with two taller bottom bushings with 0.66” height and two shorter bushings (0.56”) and four thin and strong flat washers.
3. Bones HardCore Soft Skate Bushings (2 Truck set)
Bones HardCore Soft Skate Bushings are fused to the inner core and helps support the cushion and make it stronger. This will provide you with much better ride and shorter break-in time. You achieve much smoother turns and more control over your ride as your trucks centers better. Bones HardCore Soft Skate Bushings comes with 4 bushings for 2 trucks and 2 Top Replacement Washers.
4. Venom Downhill-93a Green Bushing Set
Venom Downhill 93a is designed to keep your longboard trucks flexible and adjustable. They are made with high quality material and are manufacturedto provide you best ride every time you mount on your longboard. They are durable and have the durometer rating 93a, which provides stable ride downhill when you need control and stability, especially at high speed.
How to install Bone Bushings
Here is a YouTube video link for comprehensive guide to install Bone Bushings.
We have discussed top bushing brands available in the market right now. Still, if you do not find them of your liking or the ones you like are not on the list, then here is a link that will provide you with many other options of bushings available in the market that you might like.
Longboarding is a craze and its fan base is not restricted to any age. It is an adrenaline-powered game that is enjoyable for the surfers and spectators alike. And like any game, the equipment plays an important role in the quality of play. Longboard Bushings may be one of the smallest components of the longboard, but they play an important role in providing you with the ideal ride you are aiming for. Therefore, it is imperative to be careful about the kind of bushings you purchase for your longboard. With advents in sports and the technology in industry, they are manufacturing bushings according to your body weight as well as the style of ride you enjoy. So whenever you buy them for your trucks, make sure you buy the best longboard bushings, the ones that fulfil your specifications if you want to experience exhilarating ride and enjoy the sport to the fullest.