When we talk about a longboard dancing setup, it is very easy to overlook the bushings. I mean let’s be honest, with any setup the deck, the trucks, and the wheels usually get all the glory.
But you really shouldn’t overlook your bushing setup, as that is just as important! Those little flexy piece of goodness hiding in your trucks are doing a lot of work with every step you take, and they’re an integral part of upping your longboard dancing game.
Meet Brandon DesJarlais
Brandon is a buddy of mine that I had the pleasure to meet at the 2019 About You Pangea festival in the North of Germany. We we’re both participating in the event’s first ever longboard dancing / freestyle competition…And then only he participated in it because I broke my foot at this event warming up…doh! ?
Anyways, Brandon is an interesting longboarding persona, because his background is actually heavily rooted in downhill, but he is also a very talented freestyler and dancer.
A useful side note, Brandon releases trick tutorials on his Instagram every Tuesday, so be sure to check him out there too!
Recently, he got picked up by Paris Trucks as a team rider, and has been pushing out some top quality content on his social channels – one of his most recent videos goes over this exact topic – what are the best bushings for longboard dancing?
And no, you’re not going to get an exact concrete answer to that question in this guide or in that video.
The reason for that is, like with many things in life, that answer is going to depend. Rider style, rider weight, rider height, the deck, the wheels, when we can actually all skate together after the pandemic, these are all factors (ok maybe the last thing is not lol) that go into this complex bushing equation. There is no one size fits all equation for bushings.
What we can say is this guide and his video will definitely help you better understand what bushings are, and some of the important things you need to consider when choosing a new bushing set.
Longboard bushing terms and concepts to be familiar with
I really recommend watching Brandon’s video from start to finish, pausing in between his tests to maybe do some of your own research.
As mentioned, he official rides for Paris Trucks and for testing purposes, all of the bushings he is using in this video are From RipTide, so there will some specific terms to those brands, but generally speaking, the principles discussed here can be applied to any truck & bushing setup.
That being said, you must familiar with some basic bushing terminology and concepts before watching the video, otherwise a lot of the info will fly right over your head.
Longboard bushing durometer
Bushings use a durometer system, just like wheels do. Simply put, this is a number system to indicate how hard the bushings are.
You’ll hear Brandon saying a lot of number and letter combinations in the video, in case you forget, the general rule of thumb is lower number means softer bushing, higher number means harder bushing.
There’s a million combinations a person can try before finding the perfect bushing durometer that is perfect for him or her and for the setup involved, but generally speaking here are your guidelines for dancing:
|23 – 45 kg||65a||75a||81a|
|34 – 57 kg||80a||83a||85a|
|45 – 66 kg||85a||87a||88a|
|57 – 79 kg||87a||89a||91a|
|67 – 89 kg||88a||93a||94a|
|79 – 91+ kg||91a||93a||97a+|
Longboard bushing shapes
The shape of the bushing also plays a role, but unlike the durometer, the shape and the roles the play organically is much easier to understand.
All you need to know here, is Brandon will cover canons, cones, and magnums. But the shape range doesn’t end there, depending on the manufacturer, you’ll encounter some other special ones, but the ones covered in the video are some of the most common.
Other things to be aware of before watching
Just another quick summary to breakdown some terms that may be new to you, which are referenced that are in the video.
APS Formula – You’ll hear Brandon mention this phrase a couple times, and this is a special bushing mix offered from RipTide. APS stands for Animated Polymer System and their site claims their formula offers 10-15% percent more turn than other brands of the same durometer.
KranK Fromula – Another term that gets mentioned in the video is KranK, another special blend specifically from RipTide that is their Performance Under Pressure formula. Simply put, this is a bushing mix that changes under pressure. For more info on APS and KranK formulas, you can hit up the RipTide site.
Washer – In case you are completely new to hardware terms, the washer is the small metal ring thing that sits between your bushing and the nut that is holding it on to the truck.
160 pounds = 73 kilograms – As mentioned, rider weight is an important part of this overall equation. Brandon states he weighs roughly 160 pounds, but as most of our readers are currently in Europe, that translates to about 72 kilograms.
Alas, the video – have fun!
I really love this video, it’s well made and it’s nice to see Brandon playing around and failing some stuff too. Good reminder that even some of the best riders don’t land everything 100% of the time, and there’s always room for all of us to improve.
I hope you dug it too, and hopefully bushings are now a bit easier for you to wrap your head around. If you’ve got questions, hit us in the comments on on Insta!