Building your skateboard to your preference is a difficult task. There are so many parts to consider from the deck to the hardware. It might be tempting to skip the research on those smaller, less visible parts like the bushings but you could end up taking some nasty spills if you just bung in whatever you come across first.
Bushings are polyurethane parts that fit on your kingpin and are in control of the stability and responsiveness of your board. The different shapes and hardness give you completely different rides that can make your board fit your riding style more effectively.
To help you decide which bushings are right for you, we’ve brought together our favorite bushings along with a buyers guide and a FAQ so you can know what and why you are buying.
Top 5 Best Skateboard Bushings
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
If you are after quality at a low price, these bushings are for you! Coming in at under $7, you not only get two sets of bushings but also pivot cups and cup washers. This is perfect if you want to completely revamp your truck set up.
Dime Bag Hardware offer bushings ranging from 88A to 98A on the durometer scale which means you can tailor your board to how you like to ride. Different durometers are marked by different color bushings so you can tell what you’re getting when it arrives.
These bushings are standard cone-barrel bushings giving you both stability and turning flexibility. It should be noted, that if you are downhill or speed skater these probably won’t give you the level of control at high speed that you need.
These bushings are great for beginners and younger riders according to many reviewers. They provide enough rigidity to make the board controllable whilst not stifling the ride. There are plenty of experienced riders who swear by these bushings too and are blown away by the quality and cost.
One thing to note is that there seems to be a consensus that even the hardest bushings aren’t quite hard enough for the heavier riders. The material seems to compress too much at higher weights which can give you a poor ride.
- Full set of bushings, pivot cups and washers.
- Great price!
- Excellent for beginners or young riders.
- Color coded for convenience.
- Fits most standard trucks.
- Not hard enough for heavier riders.
- Appear to be softer than their durometer rating.
Just a customary search of skateboard bushings will bring up plenty of results for Bones Wheels. This company specializes in making wheels but also make bushings using their extraordinary knowledge of polyurethane. Bones’ Hardcore Bushings have a harder insert in the middle which means they don’t bulge out on the other side when you turn. This gives you a lot more control over your turning. This is especially helpful for technical riders who don’t want their deck to sag when landing tricks.
These hard bushings are ideal for anyone who likes a tight truck. The harder inner-core allows for a much quicker rebound while the double cone shape gives you lots of room for making sharp turns and carving. These are great all-round bushings.
Unlike the Dime Bag bushings, these are suitable for heavier riders. Their strength stops them from over compressing and bursting so you’ll get that smooth and stable ride you’ve been looking for.
Bones Hardcore bushings are shipped with two sets, so you can fully fit your skateboard. They also come with a flat washer so you don’t need to rummage around to find one that fits.
With a name like Bones Wheels attached to them, you know you are getting quality bushings. These things are built to last and will keep you riding your way for years. The best bit about these bushings, however, is that they don’t need any breaking in! Just fit and adjust and you can skate to your heart’s content.
- Bones Wheels brand quality.
- Hardcore for added control and rebound.
- Great for heavier riders.
- Full set included.
- Ideal for tight truck lovers.
- Some riders report squeaking when riding.
Independent are another well-known brand in the skateboarding community. When you buy Independent bushings you know they are backed by quality.
These bushings are standard meaning a conical shape bushing for the boardside and a barrel bushing for the roadside. This paring gives you great responsiveness on your turns whilst also supporting you for stability.
These come in at a 92A on the durometer scale and are advertised as medium-hard which is a much better descriptor than simply hard. They do have that pliability in them that you find in medium bushings but also offer great support like harder bushings.
These really seem to be a great middle of the road bushing choice. They will work well for you no matter what your skating style and will keep you stable and safe.
Made by Indy, these bushings fit all of their trucks but they also fit most standard trucks too which is great! It means that whatever your setup you will likely benefit from these awesome bushings.
Shipped as a full set, you get two conical bushings, two barrel bushings, and two washers so you can pop them straight into your board and get riding. There is a breaking in period with these trucks so make sure you are adjusting them after your ride to get them right where you want them as they relax into your setup.
- Made by Independent, well-liked, and trusted brand.
- Standard shaping makes them great all-rounders.
- Refined medium-hard descriptions means you know what you’re getting.
- Some reports of the bushings slipping out of the washers.
Another offering from Bones, this time their medium bushings. Like the hard bushings, the mediums are built around a harder inner-core giving you that extra support in your turns and preventing the bushings from bulging out.
The medium bushings are softer and therefore more pliable. These are great for riders who like a more carving style of riding. The rebound on these bushings is still there, thanks to the core, but they don’t give you so much resistance in the turn.
These also come as a full set so you get four cone bushings and two washers which means you only need to order one pack to fit your whole board.
If you like to maintain the aesthetic of your set up, then be warned these are white and yellow and stand out a bit more than the black and white of the hard bushings but on a practical level, we can’t fault them.
Being a medium, these bushings are great all-rounders. They will give you stability while also being a bit more flexible in the turns. They suit most types of skating though they probably aren’t stable enough for downhill skating.
- Bones Wheels brand quality.
- Hardcore for added control and rebound.
- Great all-rounders.
- Full set included.
- Softer and therefore slightly less stable.
- Odd color choice.
Shorty’s have been making these Doh-Doh bushings for over twenty years. They are a real crowd pleaser and have a bit of a cult following. Many swear that once they’ve tried Shorty’s they won’t use anything else.
These blue Doh-Dohs are made from the highest quality urethane and are built to last. These things will give you a good few years of smooth riding! Molded with rounded edges, the Doh Dohs are more resistant to chipping than other brands and can take a lot of beating.
These bushings are graded as a 88A which definitely places them in the soft category. This is great news if you love that light, surfy feel. They are perfect for carving and work well on streets as well as bowls. Their softer feel means that they absorb the impact of bumpy sidewalks much more comfortably than harder bushings.
Another great thing about these bushings is that despite being soft, they don’t allow the dreaded wheel bite to happen so you can cruise and carve without the fear of being thrown off.
Shorty’s are a well-established brand that prides themselves on quality.
Softer bushings for great responsiveness.
Softer than other makes.
Less stability due to its softer durometer rating.
Best Skateboard Bushings Buyer’s Guide
This is one of the biggest decisions you will have to make when buying bushings and it can be a confusing decision! We’ve outlined the different shapes, combinations, and what they are good for so that you can see at a glance what you need.
In general, three shapes can be combined in many different ways to give you the best ride. These are cone, barrel, and stepped bushings.
Cone barrel bushings are often referred to as standard bushings and are often supplied as stock with trucks. The cone shape is positioned closest to the deck and allows your board to turn and pivot smoothly, while the barrel-shaped top bushing provides support and stability. These bushings are the best of both worlds and are great for all riders but especially street and skate park skating.
Double cone bushings really ramp up the responsiveness of your turns. These are perfect for freestyle and street skaters who need precision in their turns and pivots. These bushings are installed with the widest part facing the truck so that there is less material nearer your deck and thus less resistance for turns.
Barrel bushings are going to offer you a lot of stability. They are the most commonly used bushings for skateboards and longboards. The larger surface area provides more resistance and gives you a more stable experience. If you are a speed demon or perhaps a downhill skater, these are the bushings for you.
Hourglass bushings are a bit of a hybrid. These are often just cone bushings flipped so that the smaller area is facing the trucks, but some manufacturers make hourglass-shaped bushings. The smaller surface area in the middle of the truck gives you a lot of leaning power and makes your board responsive. These bushings aren’t recommended for beginners and are generally used in slalom skating because of their surfy, leaning feel.
Stepped bushings are designed to fill the bushing seat and restrict the movement in favor of stability. These are really designed for longboards and aren’t recommended for standard skateboards in any combination.
Bushings are measured according to how hard or soft they are. Softer bushings create better turns and pivots as they are easier manipulated by your weight and pressure on the board. Harder bushings provide more stability as they are firmer. By selecting the right shape and durometer of your bushings you can micro refine the feel of your ride.
There are, annoyingly, two durometer scales used for measuring skateboard bushings. The first goes from 0-100 and is known as the A scale. Most manufacturers use the A scale though a few who make tougher bushings use the B scale. The important thing to remember is that the B scale is 20 points behind the A scale. So bushings that are rated as 90A by one seller would be just as hard as bushings rated as 70B by another seller. The B scale just gives manufacturers more space for harder bushings without messing up the scales.
Picking the right durometer for your bushings depends on the type of skateboarding you do and your weight. If you are a heavy rider, you are going to want harder bushings so that they don’t compress too much and turn you around when you’d rather not.
If we take an average weight of 155lbs, bushings rated between 80A and 90A are considered to be soft and flexible and provide responsive turns. 80A-90A will provide a happy medium, while bushings over 91A tend to be hard and provide more of a stiff ride. These points go up the heavier you are and down if you are lighter, so make sure to search for a weight chart when making your decision.
Fine Tuning your Bushings
Choosing the shape and durometer of your bushings isn’t the end of the process! You can further personalize and perfect your bushings through the use of washers and tightening them.
The tighter you have your bushings the more stability you will have as there is less space for them to compress into. If you are a downhill skateboarder you are going to want to get them very tight to reduce the wiggle room. Be mindful of the fact that overtightening your bushings can cause damage as too much friction is created between the bushing and the washer.
Choosing the right washers can help you tighten up your bushings but that’s a whole different article right there! In general, you want a washer made from a sturdy material that is going to hold its shape and not buckle. Most bushings are shipped with washers but you may want to buy your own if they look a bit flimsy.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should I replace my bushings?
As bushings are made from polyurethane, they do eventually break, dry out and lose their shape just like wheels. You’ll notice a change in the way your board rides when your bushings are on their way out. Cracks and splits are also a good indication that it’s time to get a new set.
Sometimes, people like to change their bushings for a different ride. If you want to get a freer experience perhaps it’s time to look at some softer bushings or perhaps a different shape.
Why do my bushings squeak?
If your skateboard is squeaking, then it is more than likely your bushings. Overtightening or just general wear and tear can mean that your washers begin cutting into your bushings. When this happens they will often squeak as they rub against your washers.
Taking your bushings out for a clean and wax might solve the problem. In other cases, you may need to replace your bushings.
Do I need to break in new bushings?
The short answer is yes.
Bushings are made of rubber and are naturally firmer when they are new. When you put new bushings on you will find them quite firm and perhaps a bit annoying at first. We recommend not tightening them as much as normal for the first few rides. This will give you a bit of wiggle room to work with. Check them out every few rides to see if you need to tighten the bolt as they loosen up.