What to look for when shopping for skateboard & longboard bushings
Skateboard bushings are made of urethane and are a part of skateboard trucks. They sit on the kingpin between the baseplate, hanger and kingpin nut. The hardness and shape of the bushings directly affect the steering behavior of your skateboard.
The right bushings can be crucial for an ideal setup. Bushings for skateboards and longboards can differ in many ways. In the following you'll find out which bushings are suitable for you and your trucks.
Frequently asked questions about skateboard bushings
- Which skateboard bushing hardness suits me?
- Which types of bushings are available?
- Which bushings do I need for my skateboard?
- What do I have to consider when changing the bushings?
- Which bushings do I need for my longboard?
- What are washers needed for?
- How can I adjust my steering or skateboard bushings?
- When should I replace my skateboard bushings?
- What can I do about squeaky bushings?
Skateboard bushing basics - the differences
You always need two bushings per truck. Even though they sometimes look the same, there are differences between the upper and lower bushing. Mostly the lower bushing is a bit higher than the upper one. In the skatedeluxe skate shop you can usually buy skateboard bushings as a set for two trucks. It's best to pay attention to the hardness and shape of the bushings.
- Top Bushing
- Bottom Bushing
Bushing hardness - you determine how steerable your skateboard is
Since bushings, like skateboard wheels, are made of urethane, their hardness is also indicated on the A scale. The higher the A-value, the harder the bushing. The rule here is that hard steering bushings make the skateboard's steering sluggish. In contrast, soft bushings make the truck's steering rather agile or maneuverable.
- 85A bushings are quite soft and "easy to steer".
- 100A bushings are very hard and are rather "hard to steer".
If you're not sure which bushings are right for you, your body weight can be a guide to choosing.
Select the skateboard bushing hardness by body weight
Of course, your weight also plays a role in how steerable your bushings are. As a rule of thumb: the more you weigh, the harder your bushings should be. For a 75kg person, we recommend bushings of 86A to 90A for soft steering. If you prefer harder steering at the same weight, we suggest using 91-95A bushings. With the help of the following table, you can determine which bushing hardness suits you.
Sure - the specifications are only recommendations. Even if you're a little heavier, you can ride soft bushings. If you weigh very little, we recommend avoiding very hard bushings, because you might have problems steering properly. If you've found the right skate bushing hardness, you can find matching sets in the shop with the filter "bushing hardness".
|Body weight||Bushing hardness -
|Bushing hardness -
|65 – 80kg||86-90A||91-95A|
|80 – 90kg||91-95A||96-100A|
|> 90kg||96 - 100A||100A|
Bushing types - the shape makes a difference
There are several bushing shapes, all of which are based on two basic types. The most well-known shape is the "cone". These bushings are simply shaped like a cone and are one of the traditional skateboard bushings. Also standard are the so-called "barrel" bushings, whose shape is best described as a cylinder.
Cone bushings are more agile than barrel bushings. In addition to cone and barrel, there are sub and intermediate forms, which are mainly used on longboards.
- Cone Bushing
- Barrel Bushing
Bushings for skateboard trucks
Skateboard bushings are limited to cone and barrel bushings. You can find the corresponding sets in the skatedeluxe skate shop using the "Traditional Bushings" filter.
Some skateboard truck manufacturers - and accordingly also bushing brands - combine cone and barrel bushings. Barrel bushings usually represent the lower bushing. Other brands rely on cones for both top and bottom bushings. It's not uncommon to use only barrel bushings for skateboard trucks.
So apart from the bushing hardness, you can also fine-tune the steering behavior of your trucks through the shape of the bushings. The combination of cone + cone is more agile than cone + barrel bushings.
Changing skateboard bushings - what to remember when shopping
If you want to buy new skateboard bushings for your trucks, you should check to see which bushings were installed in your trucks as the standard. We recommend using the same type when changing your bushings.
- Independent or Venture trucks have cone bushings on the top and barrel bushings on the bottom.
- Thunder Trucks use two cone bushings per truck.
- To maintain the same steering characteristics, your new bushings should keep thaing same combination.
Of course, your trucks can also work with other bushing types and you have an opportunity to experiment here. However, your skateboard might steer a little differently, which can take some getting used to at first. To be on the safe side, you can simply buy the replacement bushings of your truck brand.
Tip: In the product descriptions of the skateboard bushings in our shop you'll find the height of the top and bottom bushings of each set. This way you can measure whether the bushings fit your trucks. Note, however, that bushings lose their shape when skating and used oness are slightly flatter than new ones. In some cases you can simply go without the lower washer. But in general, we recommend using washers.
Bushings for longboard trucks
Since there are different types of longboard trucks, which can greatly differ from skateboard trucks in terms of structure, there are also special longboard bushing types. While traditional cone and barrel bushings can also be suitable for some longboard trucks, special bushing shapes have been developed due to their application in different areas.
Tall Cones are simply taller cone bushings and very steerable. Stepped Cone and Double Stepped Barrel bushings are often used for downhill longboarding. With these bushings it's especially important that your trucks are suitable for them. You can find more information about this in our Longboard Wiki.
- Tall Bushing
- Stepped Cone Bushing
- Double Stepped Bushing
Bushings and washers - the dream team for responsive steering
Washer, cup washer or flat washer refer to the metal washers that are installed in the trucks together with the bushings. The bottom washer is located between the lower bushing and the baseplate, while the top washer is located between the upper bushing and the kingpin nut. Accordingly, the top and bottom washers have different diameters; the top washer is usually somewhat smaller.
Washers are useful because of various properties:
- They provide an even distribution of force on the bushings.
- They protect the bushings a bit from damage and deformation.
The Bones Hardcore Bushings are a special case. These have a hard plastic core that takes on the properties of washers. To reduce the high pressure of the kingpin nut on the upper bushing, a top washer is supplied with Bones Bushings.
In general, we advise you to always use washers for balanced steering. If you need spare parts, you can easily order replacement washers online from our skateboard equipment.
Tips & Tricks about skateboard bushings
New trucks always come with fresh bushings. While skateboard trucks can last a very long time, new skate bushings are needed every now and then for an optimal riding experience. Here you'll find answers to some common questions.
To make your steering easier or harder, you only need to adjust the kingpin nut. The best way to do this is with a skate tool.
- Turning it to the right, or clockwise, tightens the kingpin nut and makes the steering harder.
- Turning it to the left, or counterclockwise, loosens the kingpin nut and makes steering easier.
- The best way to proceed is in small steps, e.g. half turns (180°) and adjust both trucks equally. Test them in between and refine your adjustment if necessary.
Attention: The kingpin nut should always be fully seated on the thread of the kingpin. At a certain point, your trucks just won't get any looser and you'll need softer bushings. Softening skateboard bushings is not possible or practical. The same goes for the other way around: if your bushings deform or even "slip out of the truck" when you tighten the nut, you need harder steering bushings.