Bushings are perhaps the most important components of longboards and many riders often overlook it. Whether you recognize its importance or not, it can make a great difference in your longboard rides. The major mistake people make about this is the assumption of one size fits all mentality. Because of this, many riders do not care to research about the various bushings in order to derive maximum value from their rides.
Many riders tend to ignore the fact that there are different factors that could influence the choice they eventually make when it comes to skateboard / longboard bushings. The fact is that there are many factors that can influence the type of longboard bushings you use such as your ride style, weight, budget, and several others. There shall be more on this in the course of this discussion.
If you are one of those finding it hard to get the right longboard bushings, the important information contained here is going to assist you in making an informed decision.
- 1 What are Skateboard / Longboard Bushings?
- 2 Skateboard / Longboard Bushings Guide
What are Skateboard / Longboard Bushings?
Bushings are important for longboard riders because they provide urethane support and they are usually mounted on the kingpin. They are designed to fit into the seat provided for it called the bushing seat located on the two sides of longboard hanger. Longboard bushings are needed because they provide adjustable level of resistance when you are turning the board, and the other components of the truck, especially metals from colliding and grinding on one another. It is designed in such a way that each truck should do with two bushings. The bushings would help you to customize the way that you want to use your truck such as the shape, size, as well as bushings durometer, and several others.
Skateboard / Longboard Bushings Guide
Here are the most important factors to consider when you are looking for the right longboard bushings. They are as follows:
A very important factor that could guide the decision you make is the bushing durometer. Durometer is important in bushings just as it is in longboard wheels. Ensure that you get one with the right durometer ratings. The best durometer ratings are put at 78 to 83a, as well as 84-90a hardness ratings. Many people would choose those considered to be hard at the rating of 91 to 98a. Very soft hardness rating is 78a and so on. You have to consider the most appropriate durometer before you can finally make your choice. In general, it is better to consider a softer rating than those with harder ratings. This is because they are considered to be more responsible than the harder counterparts are. However, it is important to state that while considering the bushing durometer selection that you have to consider your weight range because it would affect the performance of the bushings when you eventually make your choice.
This is another important factor you should always consider when you are making your choice. The faster you ride the board, the more responsive it is expected that the bushings would be. If you intend to ride your longboard at a very fast rate may be a free ride or downhill speeds. It is important that you select a harder bushing durometer, because it would perform better. If on the other hands that you want to use the longboard for transportation purpose, then it is better that you opt for softer durometer. It has to be more than the weight chart has suggested. This would make the longboard to be more responsive.
There may be instances that you want to customize your durometer, you have to consider the process of customization before you can make your choice. If you want to enjoy a supportive and stable base, then you have to think of board side bushing. This would deliver what you want.
The bushing shape
The bushing shape is another important factor that you must consider when you are making your choice. You have to be cautious of this to ensure that you make the best choice. There are various sizes and shapes of bushings. The most common among them includes the tall cone, short cone, barrel cone, eliminator, as well as stepped barrel and free ride and stepped cone and so on. As there are different shapes, there are different characteristics that are associated with the various shapes on the market. If you want to use two different shapes at the same time, it can perform better when you place the harder and the more responsive ones at the board side.
Choose between tall and short cones
There are short and tall cone and each has its own unique characteristics. They are meant to provide a different range of motions and this makes it easy to carving feel, as well as dives. You can use this one for transportation purpose. They are better because they make the board to be more responsive and lively as well. When it is in slow speed, it slows the speed, and less responsive and less stable in high speeds. If you want to be restrictive in your movement, then you can opt for a tall cone. A good benefit of using tall cone is that it is more stable, and very often it is used for reverse kingpin trucks. Short cones on the other hands are often used for roadside bushing and they are often used in Standard kingpin trucks and, so on.
Another important factor that you have to consider when you are making your choice is the barrel. This one is designed for a specific purpose and that is to fill up the entire bushing seats. This is needed because it offers the rider a better control and stability. This is more stable during free ride and downhill riding and so on. If you are looking for bushings that are more useful for carving and transportation, then you have to for softer barrels. Normally tall cones are often shared with barrels, and the aim is to ensure that riders enjoy all stable ride throughout the use of the longboard. If on the other hands that your major aim is to achieve a high speed running and effective support during such running, then you have to try double barrel setup. It would be more appropriate for you. It is also better when you try this with a softer durometer roadside bushing.
Another important factor that you should always consider when you are making your choice includes eliminator. Eliminator is another name for stepped barrel bushings. It is meant to be very restrictive and the aim is to prevent wheel-bit in a standard setup. If you want to use in the RKP then the aim is to make for stability during the ride. When it is there, it is meant to fill the whole bushing seat and they provide further bevel that makes for more efficient and effective support, as well as control.
As said earlier, this is designed to be restrictive in shape and because of that, they make it easier for its users to ride in a softer durometer, and you do that more than you are usually accustomed to do. There are great advantages you derive from this, and the first is that it makes it possible for you to have a supportive shape, as well as soft responsive urethane and so on. Normally, they are often used in the board side section and they are also paired with barrel bushings as well.
This is regarded as a mix between a cone and thee bushing eliminator, and the essence is to offer its users the best of both of the worlds. One end is meant to provide a supportive base, and it usually locks in, and this makes for increased stability. The other end tapers, is to allow for a wider range of motions from its hanger. This is indeed an innovative shape and the aim is to make for uniqueness and similarity in terms of performance.
If you are looking for the best bushing for your longboard, another most important factor you have to consider is how to swap the bushings. Consider how easy it would be to change your bushings when it becomes necessary to change it. In most cases, when you want to change your bushings, there may be the need to disassemble and reassemble the trucks.
Bushing washers are important when you are making your choice of bushings. You have to ensure that you get the right type in view of the relevance of bushing washers in longboard movements. You have to opt for the correct shape when you are making your choice. Bushing washers can be cupped at its edges, or it can be flat in shape. Ensure that you get the right type for your truck. You should know the differences that exist between the two types, and their relevance and this will inform the type of decisions you are going to make concerning the bushing washers. If you want a washer that can stretch to more areas, then you can opt for the flat product. The other feature of this one is that it offers little or no resistance. The cupped shape on the other hand is known to restrict the bushings movements and the implication is that it can provide resistance. While making your choice, you must ensure that you get those washers that are of the same shape with your bushings. This is recommended because it makes for efficiency and high performance.
Bushing seats are important and they can influence the final choice you make about your product. This is an important part of your longboard because it helps to prolong the lifespan of your bushing. When the longboard is running, the bushings would be subjected to a series of pressure such that it could damage easily. To prevent it from damaging, you need to install the right bushing seats. Moreover, they have to be installed at the right place where it can provide the required support. There are different kinds or styles of the bushing seats that are available and you to select the right one and put it in place. Two styles available include the restrictive and the open styles. When it is an open bushings seat, it does not sit that deep, and it offers less resistance. It is important that while making your choice that you ensure that you select the right bushing seats. Ensure that they are of the same shape. This is the only way you get the best from your bushings in terms of efficiency and performance.
What type of riding set ups
Type of longboard bushings you want to use should be determined by the type of riding set ups you want. There are bushings that are meant for downhill and free ride setups. This means that when you want to use this type of bushings that you are more interested in stability. It does not offer the best in terms of ability. It suffers from low resistance turn ability. If you are planning to ride more on larger hills, which means more of free riding, downhill riding, as well as racing, it is better that you opt for downhill and free ride setups or the combination. You are going to be better in terms of performance and efficiency.
Carving set up
In the same way, there are bushings that are designed for carving set ups. Some riders may like to mimic their surfers and snowboarders counterparts. If that is the case, you can opt for this type of bushings because they are designed for this type of set ups. The major feature of this type of bushings is that they offer low resistance bushing shapes. Moreover, they tend to focus on turning ability and not on riding stability. This means that riders would not be engaging in free ride, downhill ride and they are not to be engaged in racing and so on. If you want to use this type of bushing, you must consider your weight to ensure that you make the right choice.
These would assist you in selecting your skateboard / longboard bushings. There could be several others.