Alright, most of you are probably thinking, “My board rides great just the way it is, why would I change it?” but you don’t understand what you are missing. Bushings that come pre-set in a stock truck are usually not the best bushings for your riding style. They are sort of a “one size fits all” bushing because the manufacturers want something that everyone can enjoy. Yes, they work but you’re probably not going to get the best ride out of them.
Simply by spending a couple of dollars and changing your best longboard bushings, you can create a big change in the way your board carves or responds, and it can even give you more stability. They’re a very cheap way to make a drastic change to the way your longboard rides.
Now, we don’t recommend that you purchase new bushing right when you get a new board, ride it for a while. Get the feeling of how it turns and rebounds to center. After you feel that you need change, then you can accurately buy a new setup to suit your needs.
When you do decide to customize your bushing setup we always suggest Venom bushings. Why? Because they have a lot of different varieties in shape, as well as many options in the durometer rating. So you have a lot of different ways to customize and get that perfect setup that suits you the best.
Outline Of This Content
Top 3 Best Longboard Bushings That You Need
One thing to note about bushings before we get started is that they all have a very good return to center as well as a very high rebound rate. They feel very comfortable to ride with for every riding style.
Venom Super Carve Bushings
The Venom super carve Venom Bushings have a cone shape and are made up of the least amount of polyurethane compared to the other styles of bushings. The least amount of turn resistance while still having enough spring to keep you on track. The low amount of resistance allows them to compress easier so you can lean farther and carve deeper.
Another great feature is that they allow turns and slides to be easier and quicker to initiate. You’ll be able to turn on a dime and do slides like a breeze because of how smooth the transition into a turn is with them on.
These are mostly recommended for cruising around, carving, or freeride rather than downhill because they don’t give much stability at high speeds and can lead to speed wobbles.
The Super Carve Bushings are available in 78a, 81a, 85a, 87a, 90a, 93a, and 97a. Remember to pick the proper durometer for your weight for optimum performance. Yes, you may like the green one best but they won’t perform as they were designed to if you weight too much or too little.
Venom Downhill Bushing
Venom Downhill Bushings from Venom are built for speed. They are seen as the highest quality by expert downhill riders and longboard enthusiasts. One reason for that is that it can give your setup a very stable feeling that gives you the confidence to grab some intense velocity.
In short, these longboard bushings have more urethane in them making them wider. Because of this, you can expect a more stable ride than with a super carve bushing because they require a farther lean in order to respond to you. This is great news for those downhillers out there. Say goodbye to speed wobbles, say hello to control.
Keep in mind that they also have more rebound than the super carves. You’ll lean hard into your turns and the bushing will resist the lean more and rebound you back to your center of gravity. This also makes them great for the beginners out there because you’ll feel more comfortable on your board.
The Venom Downhill Bushings are available in 78a, 81a, 85a, 87a, 90a, 93a, and 97a as well. Enjoy!
Venom Eliminator Bushings
This bushings are the only style with a step shape allowing them to be wider, resulting in the most restriction of any bushing. They are going to try and keep you in your center point as much as possible and now allow as much turning as the Downhill Bushings just because they have more urethane. They were made generally for downhill racing where maximum speed and control is needed.
One common complaint about regular bushings is that when people apply them to their precision trucks that hold spherical bearings, they feel the board twitch and become somewhat unpredictable. The Eliminator is the only that is designed to prevent that issue. One side of the bushing has an indent to prevent contact with the spherical bearing and eliminates any possible twitching.
The Eliminators come in 78a, 81a, 85a, 87a, 90a, 93a, and 97a. One thing that we do recommend is that when choosing Eliminator bushings, pick a durometer that is one lower because they are known to be too restrictive. Picking one that is slightly softer is often the best way to go.
Which Duro Should I Choose?
Well firstly, what is a duro? Duro is the short form of “the durometer rating”. In other words, how soft the bushings are. They are rated on a scale of numbers that end with the letter “a”. A durometer rating with a lower number (78a) means that the bushing is going to be softer, compress smaller, and rebound slower than a higher number (97a). A higher durometer rating is always going to try harder to keep it's shaping while a softer one is easier to manipulate.
Choosing the right duro is easy! The bushings are going to perform as intended if you choose them based on your body weight:
50 - 100 lbs
73a - 80a
75 - 125 lbs
78a - 82a
100 - 145 lbs
80a - 85a
125 - 175 lbs
80a - 87a
145 - 175 lbs
82a - 90a
175 - 195 lbs
85a - 93a
195 - 225 lbs
90a - 93a
90a - 97a
Advantage of Longboard Bushings
Standard Bushings are relatively inexpensive and can seriously change the performance and feel of your current truck set up. Different styles will create a unique carving style, stability, responsiveness, and rebound. Many riders find it fun and helpful to get multiple bushing kits and experiment. It’s the only way you’re going to find out what you really like.
Not only can you pick multiple durometers to customize your board. Some riders even find it useful to mix styles together. Because your trucks need two bushings per truck (a total of 4 for the entire board) you can have a downhill and super carve bushing on the same truck to create the “best of both worlds”.
The barrel on the bottom to give you great stability and the cone on top deliver smooth turns. This combo is used by riders who cruise and freeride but sometimes encounter the odd massive hill. As a matter of fact, Venom understands this need for the community and creates personalized “standard” packs for you in 78a, 81a, 85a, 87a, 90a, 93a, and 97a.
Some riders even find it best to have completely different bushings in the front compared to the back. Having softer bushings in the front allow for smooth and easy turns while having harder bushings in the back to provide stability and rebound.
Play around with different bushing setups until you find something that you really enjoy. Longboard bushings are a very easy and cheap way to customize your riding to a completely different experience