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Bushings at Blue Tomato

Bushings: Tune-up your board

Bushings, despite their small size, are an amazing way to fine tune your longboard or skateboard. You can create a whole new riding experience just by tailoring your bushings to your bodyweight and riding style. These tuning tips should work the same for both normal and reverse kingpin trucks.

  1. The right bushings for my riding style
  2. Bushing shape
    1. Cone bushings: conical bushings
    2. Barrel bushings: Cylindrical, symmetrical bushings
    3. Standard bushings: the best of both worlds
  3. Durometer: How hard the bushings are

The right bushings for my riding style

Bushings provide an easy way to squeeze every last bit of potential from your longboard trucks, even if you feel like you already have the perfect setup.
Those colourful little rubber rings in the centre of your truck are usually made out of urethane. Each truck features two bushings, totalling four across your setup. Despite the abundance of longboard bushings on the market, there are only really two things to concentrate on when making your decision:

  • Durometer (how hard it is) and
  • Shape.
When you boil it down to these two factors you get a much better overview of what’s on offer. From there, it comes down to:
  • Your truck construction (standard or reverse kingpin),
  • The flex of your deck
  • Your bodyweight

Bushing Shapes

Cylindrical and conical bushings (cone and barrel) are used the most in longboarding and skateboarding. The so-called “Standard” bushing set up features both a conical and cylindrical bushing. Stepped bushings are a type of bushing that combines both conical and cylindrical elements. Each shape has a specific influence on the performance of your setup.

Bushings from standard to cone to barrel

Cone Bushings: conical bushings

With conical bushings, the wide end makes contact with the truck hanger and the narrow end points outwards and away from the hanger. This bushing shape makes your longboard much easier to handle and is best suited to cruising and carving. The lower volume of a cone bushing gives the deck less support so even lighter riders can carve with ease. Different size bushings also give you a little more play room on trucks with more clearance.

Barrel Bushings: Cylindrical, symmetrical bushings

Barrel bushings are cylindrical, symmetrical bushings with a consistent diameter. They are a fantastic choice for all riding styles as they provide a bit of extra stability – and maintain plenty of manoeuvrability - at higher speeds.

Standard bushings: The best of both worlds

A mixture of conical and cylindrical bushings will give you a tighter turn radius and all the stability you need for high-speed riding. This combination tends to suit Carving and Freeride setups for riding at slow to medium speeds.

Durometer: How hard your bushings are

Harder bushings provide more resistance when turning, softer bushings provide less. The heavier you are, the harder your bushings ought to be. Only once you’ve found the right hardness for your bushings will your trucks actually do what you want them to.

The charts below show the relationship between body weight and the hardness of your bushings – normally with a value of between 70 and 100. The letter “A” refers to the Shore Hardness scale, which describes the hardness of bushings in skating and longboarding. This scale is usually used for materials that give way to the pressure of a push with a finger nail.

This overview should make it clear which durometer suits your riding style best, whether you’re into freeride, downhill or carving.


Cruising & Carving

Soft Medium Hard
25 - 45 kg 65a 78a 81a
35 - 55 kg 80a 83a 85a
45 - 65 kg 85a 87a 88a
55 - 80 kg 87a 89a 91a
65 - 90 kg 88a 93a 94a
80 - 100+ kg 91a 93a 97a+

Freeride

Soft Medium Hard
25 - 45 kg 68a 80a 81a
35 - 55 kg 80a 83a 84a
45 - 65 kg 83a 85a 87a
55 - 80 kg 87a 89a 92a
65 - 90 kg 89a 91a 93a
80 - 100+ kg 91a 93a 97a+

Downhill

Soft Medium Hard
25 - 45 kg 65a 78a 81a
35 - 55 kg 80a 83a 85a
45 - 65 kg 85a 87a 88a
55 - 80 kg 88a 90a 93a
65 - 90 kg 90a 93a 94a
80 - 100+ kg 91a 93a 100a


Now that you have all this info it’s time to get cracking. It might be that your preference is different to what we suggest – after all, getting these things right is a personal affair. With the help of these tables you can at least easily choose between medium, soft or hard bushings.

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