So you bought your child a complete skateboard, and they are having issues with turning, carving, or even just riding in a straight line. Some of these issues can be down to learning how to skateboard, and in other cases, you might need to change their truck bushings.
What are skateboard bushings?
Skateboard bushings are a fundamental part of a skateboard, and they are also a part that is criminally forgotten about. They may be forgotten about as it seems really geeky to talk about bushings or you may not even realize that they can be swapped out.
Your skateboard will have two bushings in each of your trucks unless you’re Daewon Song. There will be a bushing at the top of your trucks that face the street/road, and there will be a bottom bushing that faces your board.
Your bushings are very similar to your skateboard wheels in that they are both made from polyurethane and come in various sizes, shapes, and hardnesses. The bushings in your trucks are the ones the manufacturers feel will most suit the average person. How many of us though are average?
Skateboard bushing hardness: the main ride characteristic
Skateboard bushings, much like skateboard wheels, are measured by their hardness. The rating is given in durometers. For bushings, we tend to measure in the Shore A scale. The Shore A scale goes from 0, for soft and flexible materials, to 100, for rigid and inflexible materials.
You don’t need to know much more than that about the measurement scale. There is a simple way to think about skateboard bushings. The harder the durometer, the tighter your trucks will feel. When we say tight trucks, we mean less responsive trucks.
There is something else we need to add to this idea, how much your child weighs. The heavier they are, or you are, the harder a durometer they need. Now I could give you equations to work out where you want to be, or I could just give you a chart. I’ve gone with a weight to bushing durometer chart.
|Weight||Durometer for tight trucks||Durometer for loose trucks|
|< 10 st||81 -85 A||86 – 90 A|
|10 – 12.5 st||86 – 90 A||91 – 95 A|
|12.5 – 14 st||91 – 95 A||96 – 100 A|
|14 st >||96 – 100 A||100 A|
What shape of skateboard bushing do I need?
Skateboard bushings tend to come in one of two shapes. The two shapes are cone (tapered) or barrel (straight). Come bushings make a board easier to turn, barrel make a skateboard more stable.
Most people will end up with a barrel board side and a cone top side. Going this way will offer you a happy medium between stability and turning. If you carve a bowl like a demon, you might want a double cone setup, cone bushings both road and board side.