What are Bushings on a Skateboard? – Skateboard Bushings Guide

The rubber rings called Skateboard bushings are considered to be one of the important components of a skateboard. These rubber rings are connected to the axle of the skateboard that helps in smooth rotation and spin. These rubber rings are made of polyurethane that increases the lifespan of the bushings and creates resistance against chemicals, heat, and UV.

There are two types of bushings and each side of the skateboard is equipped with pair of bushings that have specific functions. One pair of bushings that are present above the hangers on the kingpin is called top bushings. The function of the top bushing is to allow the skateboard trunk to have a smooth turn. The bottom bushings are present between the baseplate and the hanger of the skateboard.

These bottom bushings have the ability to get loose and tight through a nut that makes the trucks of the skateboard highly responsive. Here the tightening of the bottom bushings means less responsive and more stability. Whereas loose bottom bushings relate to less stability and smooth turning ability. The adjustment can be done according to the preferences of the rider.

Characteristics of Skateboard Bushing

Shapes of Bushing

Depending upon skateboard type, there are different shapes of skateboard bushings. Different forms of bushings in pair form, many having symmetrical shapes from top to bottom. Basically, there are three basic shapes of bushings including conical, eliminator, and barrel. These various bushing types are then combined together depending upon the skateboard type.

In Double Barrel bushing, the top, and the bottom one are of similar shape i-e barrel shape. These barrel-shaped skateboard bushings are suitable for downhill skateboarding that increase the stability and speed of the skateboard and keep the rider safe at high speed. These barrel-shaped bushings are stiff and are unable to spin than a conical bushing.

Moving towards Cone barrel bushing, they are suitable for carving and turning. These types of skateboard bushings are suitable for cruisers and longboards. They are versatile and highly durable, having less support at the middle that makes them suitable for carving. They also have the ability to build a deck lean.

Cone-shaped skateboard bushings consist of two types of conical bushings. As these types of bushings provide a large amount of lean deck, they are also called super carving bushings. These bushings are specifically designed to experience twisted and sharp carving. Cone-shaped skateboard bushings are further classified into the following two types i-e double-stepped and barrel-stepped.

Bushing Durometer

The durometer is one of the major components of the skateboard that measures the firmness of the bushings. There is a durometer A scale test that is needed by the durometer having a range from 1-100. Most of the manufacturers use a durometer B scale, having 20 points lower which can further be expanded by further 20 points that are used for tougher bushings, making harder wheels.

Bushings are divided into the following categories like soft, medium, and hard by various brands. For lightweight skateboards, soft bushings are mainly used. People that prefer loose trucks use soft bushings but are not suitable for high speed and do not have much stability. The medium one is suitable for all-around skateboarding and is highly responsive.

Hard bushings are highly stable while turning and are stiff. These bushings are heavy in weight. For people who want to have their skateboard highly stable, then these bushings are highly recommended to those riders. So the classification of these bushings is done on the basis of rider preferences and type of skateboards.

How to Put Bushings on a Skateboard?

At times due to many problems, skateboard trucks either start to turn only in one direction or stop turning in both directions. Due to these issues, the rider is unable to ride on the skateboard, and at this time of wear and tear the bushings should be replaced to have a better skateboard experience. Before replacing new bushings, the replacement of the truck is also very important. And all of this procedure is done in various steps.

Tools

The best tools are required when it comes to the replacing or putting of bushings and trucks on the skateboard. The Skate tool is mostly used for putting bushings and replacing trunks but if in case you do not have it, the alternative to the skate tool is a regular socket wrench. There is a need for a skate tool that can perfectly fit at the nut and end of the kingpin. As styles may vary, so the selection of the tools should be done according to the styles of trucks and bushings.

Breaking Down Skateboard Trucks

In this step, the first thing that needs to be removed is the nut. After the nut is removed, all the parts of the trucks are now disassembled. You have to be very careful while breaking all these parts as they are very small and can be misplaced easily. The hanger is also opened as it aids in holding the truck present at the axles.

Putting Bushings on Skateboard

After breaking down all the parts of the trucks, now you need to put the new bushings on the skateboard after analyzing their shapes. The very important step in this process is that you need to clean all the parts of bushings whether you are putting or replacing the new bushings on the skateboard or not. You can change the parts of the bushings while replacing them.

 

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FAQs

Are skateboard bushings harder?

The hardness and firmness of the skateboard bushings are measured by the durometer. Soft bushings are suitable for compression of the hanger and make the skateboard turn easily and smoothly. Whereas on the other hand, harder bushings are more tough and stiff and are unable to turn easily.

How do I make my bushing softer?

The harder bushings can be converted into their softer version by simply putting the bushings in the hot water for a few minutes. After that place them on the skateboard.

Is it better to skate loose or tight?

If you are someone who rides on tight bushings and trucks then loosening these bushings can help you in improving the performance of your skateboard. Loose bushings help to have safe landings at high velocity.

What happens if your trucks are too small?

If in case your trucks are too small or narrow or they are unable to be fit according to your skateboard, then you will be unable to see your wheel and that can also result in many problems.

Conclusion

Skateboard bushings are rubbery in nature that are considered to be the most essential component of skateboarding. These rubber rings are connected to the axle of the skateboard that helps in smooth rotation and spin. They are made of polyurethane that increases the lifespan and durability of the bushings and creates resistance against chemicals, heat, UV, and oil.

There are two types of bushings that are present on each side of the skateboard having specific functions. One pair of bushings that are present above the hangers on the kingpin is called top bushings whose function is to allow the skateboard trunk to turn smoothly. The bottom bushings are present between the baseplate and the hanger of the skateboard have the ability to get loose and tight through a nut that makes the trucks of the skateboard highly responsive.

Due to many problems, skateboard trucks either stop turning in both directions or start to turn only in one direction causing many issues for the rider as they are unable to ride on the skateboard and at this time of wear and tear the bushings should be replaced to have a better skateboard experience. Before replacing new bushings, the replacement of the truck is also very important. And all of this procedure is done in various steps.

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