Top 10 Best Skateboard Bushings For Different Scenarios
As tiny as they are, skateboard truck bushings (or cushions) play a big part in making your board perform the way you need it to.
These plastic pieces usually come installed with your trucks. But when you need to spice things up or simply need a replacement, a few bucks on high-quality and properly installed bushings can make a night-and-day difference.
Since bushings may be challenging (even for experienced riders) to get it right, here is a quick guide to the best skateboard bushings for your needs.
Top 10 The Best Skateboard Bushings in 2022
1. Bones Wheels Hardcore Bushings - Best Overall
One of the biggest highlights that still draws a big number of loyal customers is the lack of break-in time. You buy them, install them on the skateboard trucks, and you're good to go.
Bones Hardcore bushings are available in all three hardness ranges: soft (81A), medium (91A), and hard (96A). If you prefer to stick with the same skateboard bushing brand when switching between skateboarding disciplines, these quality bushings aren't a bad choice.
For example, heavy riders will have a pleasant time with the hard variant of these cone-shaped bushings. The 96A bushings feel smooth even when under a heavy weight (more than 200 pounds) if you equip them on a flexy deck. They reset to the center position quickly after your skateboard's wheels leave the ground, allowing for easy turning and no wheel bite.
Average skaters, however, should go for the medium or soft versions of Bones Hardcore bushings as they don't need a big weight to compress during a turn like the 96A bushings.
Overall, the Bones Wheels Hardcore will make it easier for you to manage your skateboard on uneven roads. They are compatible with most standard skateboard trucks, come with a warranty from Bones, and the price is fairly reasonable, too, despite their popularity and high demand.
But keep in mind that you may encounter some ticking sound when the plastic sleeve snaps to the kingpin. If this happens to you, try wrapping Teflon tape around the bolt as a workaround.
2. Shorty's Doh-Doh Bushings - Runner-Up & Best Standard Bushings
Made from high-quality urethane, the Doh-Doh from Shorty's bushings are an amazing all-around choice for a wide array of styles, including carving and freeriding. Ledges, street, ramp, pool - get the right equipment setup, and the Doh-Doh will help you handle these skateboarding environments with ease.
This red version has a 95A durometer, right in the middle of Shorty's scale. Most riders will have an easy time getting used to them and practicing their techniques. These cone-barrel bushings can work well with tight trucks and retain the original shape without losing the firmness as well.
Even though they don't receive as much attention as the Bones models, the Doh-Doh is a solid option with similar properties. These standard skateboard truck bushings have rounded edges, providing them with more resistance to chipping and wheel bite. The presence of the Doh-Doh bushings can make your carving more responsive and smoother.
Big riders above 200 pounds should seek another option, however, since these 95A can't accommodate such a weight. They would be better off with extremely hard bushings like 100A models when riding a stiff deck.
Shorty's also positions the Doh-Doh as a higher-end product, so the price is slightly more expensive.
3. Independent Standard Cylinder Bushings - For Independent Trucks
Hardness: 78A, 88A, 92A, 96A
Independent trucks already have a strong, loyal customer base. And in this case, what's better than skateboard bushings coming from the same manufacturer too?
In addition to the medium-hard 92A durometer, these standard cylinder cushions come with other hardness options as well, including 78A, 88A, and 96A. This doesn't just guarantee you always have a perfect companion while buying Independent trucks but also makes the purchase decision and installation simpler and more seamless.
Independent makes conical bushings too, but the standard configuration (a combination of a barrel and a cone) and the ultra-high rebound formula can give your skateboard more rebound than a symmetrical cone setup.
If you come from softer bushings, this standard set will allow you to have stiffer trucks, grind better without too much resistance. These Independent bushings bring the right level of tightness and don't expose the kingpin too much (which could make your skateboard prone to wheel bite) like some standard bushings.
Independent could make some improvements upon its quality control and packaging. Some skateboarders have ordered them, and the bushings they received in the mail didn't belong to the same set.
For the price Independent is asking for, we can all expect more consistent packaging and delivery. On top of that, you will have to give these skateboard bushings a little time to break in before they reach the optimal working conditions.
4. Orangatang Nipples - Best Rebound
Hardness: Medium (87A)
As a set of completely barrel-shaped bushings, the Orangatang Nipples's target customers are those who want to have the most fun with their skateboards. Orangatang certainly put a lot of focus on how the Nipples bushings can quickly center (come back to their original shape) and make the riders feel like they're on a plank.
This ability is critical in longboarding and regular skateboarding with soft wheels. Without high-rebound bushings that can snap back quickly like the Orangatang Nipples, your wheels will feel unresponsive and mushy. Your overall riding experience will become tedious - undoubtedly not the reason you pick up a longboard in the first place.
The Nipples skateboard and longboard bushings offer three hardness options for these double barrel bushings: soft - 85A (orange), medium - 87A (purple), and hard - 89A (yellow). There are also four flat washes in each set in addition to the four main bushings.
When going into a long turn, you should push more of your weight into it and prevent the wheels from coming up. It's a natural response from your skateboard when you have high-rebound bushings, but it can lead to serious wobble.
This insane level of rebound of these barrel bushings may be a senseless choice for skateboarding at high speeds. It could work out nicely, but only when you're an experienced rider who knows to control what's under your feet.
And needless to say, the price tag of Orangatang may be just too much for the vast majority of skateboarders, especially when they don't see the benefits of these high-rebound skateboard bushings in their setups.
5. DreamFire 92A Bushings - Value Choice For Multiple Applications
The DreamFire 92A skateboard truck bushings serve you plenty of uses without costing too much. They can be used with either a regular skateboard or a longboard, while the medium hardness guarantees that no cracks or bumps can bother you too much during long-distance cruising or downhill rides.
These good skateboard bushings are also worth a look because of the slew of color options you can pick out to customize your skateboard and show off your creativity.
Despite such an approach price tag, the DreamFire model comes with everything a beginner needs to manually replace their stock bushings for the first time. In each set like this, you're provided four pivot cups and four cup bushing washers.
Like most other inexpensive products, the durability of the DreamFire bushings could be a concern. They won't break immediately, but these bushings look cheap and not the ideal choice for a long-term investment. The big pivot cups are also not compatible with some popular trucks out there. Make sure that you double-check this before buying.
6. Shappy 20 Pieces Skateboard Bushings - Best Skateboard Bushings For Loose Trucks
No other offer could match the price Shappy has set for its bushing set. With only half the money you must spend on other brands, the Shappy bushings still get the job done.
Beginners (especially kids) who want to learn balancing on a skateboard will have a great time with these soft bushings. The 88A durometer makes the riding smoother for light riders, especially those who prefer loose trucks.
But as expected, you can't demand the top-of-the-line quality out of these cheap skateboard bushings. They only fit 7-inch trucks, the pivot cups create some squeaking noise, and it doesn't look like the two conical bushings in the Shappy set can hold up well under the weight of a heavy rider.
7. Dime Bag Bushing Kit - General Budget Choice
Brand: Dime Bag
Hardness: 88A, 90A, 91A, 92A, 93A, 94A, 95A, 96A, 98A
The Dime Bag should be your go-to choice whenever you're in need of a quick replacement for your stock bushings, a test to determine your preference or just a great value buy in general.
There are cheaper products on the market, but the Dime Bag skateboard truck bushings don't cost too much either, and customers have pretty much every hardness under the sun to pick from. From 88A to 98A, there are nine skateboard truck bushing durometer choices (each with a different color) to match your setup.
The Dime Bag bushings won't help you push your skateboard to the limit, but they certainly have their use.
For instance, if you have a cheap board with stiffer bushings that make turning difficult, rebuilding them with these Dime Bag bushings could revamp your board without costing an arm and a leg.
Another common example of when these cheap bushings could bring some improvements is cheap trucks that don't bounce back much. The Dime Bag set can do the trick, and you don't have to fight with your skateboard every time you change direction.
Keep in mind that, as amazing as they are, the Dime Bag bushings don't fit every truck. Make sure you get the size right before ordering. Those with a long-term buy also should look elsewhere as these quality bushings are only suitable for some light skateboarding.
8. Orangatang Knuckles - Best Skateboard Bushings For Street
Hardness: Medium (90A)
While the Orangatang Nipples bring rebound back to its true meaning, you will have a whale of a time during turns with its brother - the Knuckles.
As their designs have many shared elements, much of this difference comes from the styles: the Orangatang Knuckles has a standard configuration (one cone and one barrel) instead of two barrel bushings.
The top bushing looks like a gumdrop, making the Knuckles snappier and less restrictive than the Nipples - a great deal when it comes to street skating. You can ride your skateboard up to 30mph without issues, thanks to the barrel that is slightly oversized and offers a surprisingly stable center.
This bottom bushing can also reduce lateral stop with a small insert, which is small and a bit flimsy. During the installation of the Orangatang Knuckles, make sure that the hanger of your trucks is properly installed, and the Knuckles’ inserts don't get smashed by the bushing seat, or your skateboard bushings would get chewed up right after the first ride.
They can't snap back almost instantly like the Nipples, but these cone-barrel bushings can turn swiftly without slipping from the pressure. As long as you don't use them for some extreme downhill skateboarding, they will make your skateboard’s lean more consistent, smoother, and faster.
9. Bones Wheels Hard Bushings - Best Skateboard Bushings For Heavy Riders
Bones is without a doubt one of the leading and most trusted wheel and bushing manufacturers. And for heavy riders that need more stability and tighter trucks to do flip tricks, Bones has a sweet offer.
With a 96A durometer, there is no need to over-tighten your trucks to compensate for your weight anymore. They can withstand up to 230 pounds and even more. Just let the bushings do the job instead. Set them up properly with these harder bushings, and your trucks will be stiffer with plenty of rebounds, allowing for stable rides in which carving is still possible.
Compared to similar products, the Bones skateboard bushings are more conical, and as a result, you will enjoy a nice progressive feel. When you lean off-center, the resistance increases gradually to avoid wheel bite and allow you to make slight corrections.
There aren't many things to complain about these skateboard truck bushings. Like other Bones bushings, they need no break-in time, and the price is fairly reasonable too. The only notable downside is probably the annoying popping noises you may hear while riding with them.
10. Dime Bag 88A Blue Bushing - Budget Soft Bushings
Brand: Dime Bag
As cheap as they are, these bushings can still give your skateboard a nice touch of custom rebuilding and extend its capabilities beyond the original design.
The Dime Bag 88A can enable you to lean swiftly with less effort, while steering is certainly better than what the default bushings of your skateboard used to offer.
With that said, tricks aren't yet out of the question. Tighten them a little, and you can still enjoy some simple tricks in addition to cruising, freeriding, and turning. Just make sure that no heavy rider is going to ride them (buy harder bushings), and you can stomach the fact that there is no color option other than the default all-blue theme.
How To Choose The Best Skate Bushings
Most (if not all) manufacturers use polyurethane plastic (PU) to make skateboard bushings.
That said, many formulas are used, and they result in bushings with slightly different properties. For example, bushings made from some formulas, like RipTide's WFB and Venom's SHR, compress faster than others. You can try various models from various brands to decide which is your preference.
However, there is no big disparity in how bushings from top brands perform because most of them use quality polyurethane with a great degree of rebound and lean.
Getting the right hardness is an important part of making your skateboard perform the way you need it to.
Like skateboard wheels, the durometer is the primary standard used to measure and indicate the hardness of bushings. Manufacturers usually use the A scale, whose measurements go from 1 to 100, to show how hard (or soft) their bushings are.
The general rule is, the higher the durometer, the harder the bushings. But skateboard bushings only use a small portion of the A scale as most of them range from 70A to 100A, representing the density of their materials.
Additionally, the B scale is used for some harder bushings where the A scale is no longer applicable. It allows the measurement to extend by 20 points, meaning, for instance, a 100A hardness equals an 80B durometer in the B scale.
Softer bushings will make it easier for your skateboard's hanger to compress, which in turn allows you to have easier turns. Kids and small adults also benefit more from softer bushings, thanks to the lesser resistance in each skateboard truck.
Meanwhile, skateboard bushings with a higher durometer create more resistance (a good thing for bigger riders), stiffer turns, and more stability at high speeds.
There is also an extra gray area between these ends called medium bushings, usually defined as bushings with durometers between 90A and 95A. They sit in the middle and carry properties of both soft and hard bushings to a lesser degree.
It's worth noting that different brands may assess the “soft,” “mid,” and “hard” terms and their respective durometer values in different ways. You should always check out the actual hardness specification instead of relying on the category set out by the brand.
The skateboard bushing shape and how it affects your performance are crucial knowledge that every skateboarder should master if they wish to customize the board.
The most basic shapes are barrels and cones, both of which are originally supposed to be used in a pair for each skateboard truck. But along with the development of skateboarding, more manufacturers and skateboarders have experimented with different shapes and configurations to elevate the riding experience and performance.
Many conventional bushings are still symmetrical, but sets in which the top and bottom bushings are different have also become popular. This mixing and matching method has created a handful of new bushing styles in addition to traditional configurations.
There are many unconventional designs, such as stepped bushings. But here is a breakdown of some basic skateboard bushing shapes you may need most of the time.
Double Cone Bushings
These bushings are pretty self-explanatory, featuring two same conical bushings. The wider end of each bushing touches the truck's hanger while the smaller face toward the baseplate (for the top one) or the ground (for the bottom bushing).
Due to the high level of deck lean they offer and lighter weight, double cone bushings are suitable for sharp carving and turning. Resistance during turning is also weaker as this shape isn't as supportive around the center as other styles, making them appealing to smaller and lighter riders.
Double Barrel Bushings
Both the top and bottom of this type are barrel-shaped bushings of the same width.
Double barrel bushings are the king of downhill skateboarding, which can be attributed to the superior ability to maintain stability and offer amazing responses at high speeds. This skateboard bushing shape also has another nickname, downhill bushings, for this exact reason.
But you can also use this bushing shape in other riding styles - the versatility made possible by its greater surface area and weight.
Compared to the double cone shape, they don't offer much turning, but a softer durometer could make up for this in part.
Also known as standard or conventional bushings, this combination is the most popular choice among modern skateboarders. The top bushing has a conical shape, allowing for more deck lean and easier carving, while the bottom barrel secures a firm fit into the bushing seat.
This mixture of two bushings does a wonderful job of simultaneously maintaining a great level of stability (thanks to the barrel-shaped bushing) and reducing the turning radius with the conical bushing. These standard bushings are commonly used for carving and freeriding at medium speeds.
Most ready-to-use pairs have the same hardness between the two bushings. But many skateboarders have found out that they can have a snappy feel by replacing the bottom bushing with a harder one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I Ride A Skateboard Without Bushings?
Absolutely not. Bushings are a key part of any skateboard, responsible for absorbing impact and pressure. Without them, your skateboard will become unstable, and you will lose control while turning.
What Are The Best Skateboard Bushings Brands?
Bones is still the most well-known and recognizable name in the business. Ask any seasoned riders with many years of skateboarding and several setups under their belts, and there is a high chance they will heartily recommend Bones bushings.
That said, many brands have done a great job catching up with Bones in terms of quality and market share. These brands include Shorty's, Dime Bag, Independent, and Orangatang.
When Should I Replace My Skateboard Bushings?
Whenever you discover tears, crumbles, and cracks. Strange noises are also a common indicator, but not necessarily because of broken or worn-down bushings. Sometimes these sounds come from dried-out bushings (which you can fix by adding some soap or candle wax) or moving washers (replace them).
What Are The Differences Between Top And Bottom Bushings?
Also known as the boardside bushing, the bottom skateboard bushing is located nearer to the board. It and the accompanying bushing washer do most of the work when it comes to withstanding the weight you put on the board through the skateboard bushing seat.
Unlike the bottom bushing, you will see the top bushing (roadside) in action as your skateboard gets near the maximum lean and turn. These bushings hold the skateboard trucks together and help them turn smoothly.
How Should I Set Up My Trucks And Bushings For Maximum Lean And Turn?
Go for soft cone bushings with flat washers, which can make your skateboard turn and lean as much as possible. However, you may encounter wheel bites with looser bushings, and your trucks won't bounce back to center as quickly as harder bushings.
Bushings may not be the most visible or expensive part, but you should never overlook their importance in the performance of your skateboard. A small tweak with those candy-looking components can result in a huge upgrade and even make your skateboard feel totally new.
If you want to stick to the most popular choice of the best skateboard bushings, the Bones Hardcore won't disappoint you. With a strong track record, these double cone bushings are a proven product with plenty of hardness options for all skaters.