Skateboard bushings are the rubber rings that attach to the kingpin on your trucks. They help with turns and they are available in several different styles.
What is the Bushing on a Skateboard?
Bushings come in pairs. The top one helps the board to turn while the bottom one can be adjusted as needed to change the responsiveness.
Most setups use two bushings per truck and as there are two skateboard trucks, there are typically 4 bushings per board.
Which Skateboard Bushings Should I Get?
The best skateboard bushings for you will depend on your weight, riding style, and preference.
Skateboard Bushing Shape
Although skateboard bushings are very simple, they come in a variety of different shapes and all of these can impact the way that the board feels underfoot:
- Cone Skateboard Bushings: Conical-shaped bushings that are installed so that the wide edge touches the hanger on the skateboard trucks.
- Barrel Skateboard Bushings: A barrel-shaped bushing that is symmetrical.
- Double Barrel Bushings: If you have double-barrel bushings, it simply means that both of the bushings are barrel-shaped.
- Standard Skateboard Bushings: One of the bushings is a cone shape and the other is a barrel shape.
- Stepped Skateboard Bushings: These bushings feature a “stepped” lip and are a hybrid of the barrel and cone-shaped bushing.
- Double Stepped Bushings: Both of the bushings are stepped.
- Hourglass Skateboard Bushings: Bushings that feature an hourglass shape.
There are many other variations of skateboard bushings, as well. Manufacturers have been getting pretty creative with shapes and combinations.
Which Shape of Skateboard Bushing is Best?
Barrel bushings are the most complete type of bushing. They are suitable for most types of rider.
If you’re not sure what to get, barrel bushings are a good choice.
Standard bushings are also good as a balanced option and provide some decent speed and a lot of stability.
Cone bushings are ideally suited for cruising as they have a low mass and don’t provide a lot of resistance when turning. Conical bushings are also great for smaller and lighter riders for much the same reason.
Skateboard Bushing Hardness
In addition to the shape of the skateboard bushings, the hardness can also impact how they ride and feel.
Stiffer bushings offer more resistance and may be better suited to larger riders while softer bushings are more suitable for smaller and lighter riders.
Hardness is displayed via something known as a durometer, which indicates the density and displays a number between 70 and 100 as per the Shore A scale. Soft bushings have a lower score than hard bushings, so 80a is much softer than 100a.
Softer Bushings vs Harder Bushings
For riders over 175 lbs., harder bushings are best and you should aim for something that is at least 91a. For 100 lbs. and up, anywhere between 85a and 90a is fine.
Only very small riders and children will benefit from soft bushings that are around 70a on the scale.
Summary: Skateboard Bushings
As you can see, there are a lot of different skateboard bushings out there and they have a noticeable impact on the skateboard trucks and the performance of the board on the whole.
Whether you need soft bushings, medium bushings, or hard bushings, and whether you should opt for a conical shape or something more uniformed will mainly come down to your weight and the type of board you’re riding.
As a beginner, you don’t need to worry too much about this. If you already have a board, your stock bushings will be sufficient, and unless you need to replace them or build your own board, you’ll be good to go.