Your skateboard’s trucks are a big consideration when choosing parts for your board. But how about your bushings? Within those trucks, bushings are a critical component—those little rubber-looking (they’re actually polyurethane) pieces that surround the kingpin are a key piece of your trucks.
Of all the pieces that make up your trucks, bushings play a big role in determining your board’s feel, steerability, and maneuverability. In fact, if you like or don’t like the way a pair of trucks skates, the bushings may be the most critical component in determining how your board feels under your feet.
Not all bushings are the same. They can vary in terms of hardness and shape. The bushings that you use should reflect the type of skating you typically do. That is, if you’re focused on speed, carving, and bombing hills, you’ll want different bushings than if you focus on doing tricks and skating stair sets, for example. Your size and weight can also influence the type of bushings that feel best and most natural.
Here’s a look at some of our favorite skateboard bushings and at a few other tips and knowledge tidbits on bushings for your skateboard.
Best Skateboard Bushings
 Independent Bushings – Standard Cylinder Soft Bushings
If you skateboard then you know Independent Trucks—they’re perhaps the most famous maker of skateboarding trucks, with a long and rich involvement in skate history. As key to any trucks, bushings can be sold and purchased separately, and these Independent Bushings provide a soft bushing that’s great for a making your board maneuverable and mellow. Here’s a look at some of these bushings’ features:
- High-rebound urethane build
- Properly sized to fit Independent trucks (and some other brands too!)
- Cylinder shape
- 88a hardness. Soft bushings for a smooth ride
These bushings, no surprise, will be ideal for Independent trucks, but they’ll fit some other brands’ trucks too. So if you want a set of soft bushings, remember the Indys name for bushings and not just for trucks!
 Shorty’s Red Doh-Doh Bushings
Shorty’s skateboards and gear bring their signature laidback style to all their products. But that doesn’t mean their gear skates any worse. These medium-hardness bushings deliver quality urethane for a balanced ride. Since they have rounded edges with their mold, they’re more resistant to chipping. It’s never a bad idea to keep a pack of these skateboard bushings on hand if you need to swap out chipped or worn out bushings in your trucks or if you want to customize the feel of your board. Some features include:
- 95a medium-hard bushings for a stable ride
- Not-too-hard, not-too-soft feel
- Provides balance and flexibility while turning and riding
- Doh-Dohs have been on the skate market for more than 20 years!
Your first aid kit for your skateboard should include some skateboarding bushings like these Doh-Dohs. If your trucks feel not quite right, whether they’re just not responsive or feel overly loose and difficult to control, it might be time to swap out your bushings instead of replacing your trucks entirely. Sine these 95a hardness bushings are about in the middle in terms of hardness, you get a nice balance between having stability and being able to easily turn your skateboard.
 Bones HardCore Hard Black Bushings
Bones’ bushings are made to skate. That is, they’re made to be ready to go right out of the box and onto your trucks, with minimal breaking in required. These bushings are on the hard side in terms or hardness, meaning they’ll provide a steady ride even when you’re skating extra fast. In fact, the HardCore insert in the center of these bushings connects the two sides of each bushing together by bonding them to the HardCore insert.
This means that the bushings resist being squeezed out on the other side due to a strong chemical bond, resisting your turning force. As a result, these double action truck bushings keep you in place for a stable ride, especially at high speeds. Some features include:
- Quality urethane for all Bones bushings and wheels
- Your turns will be fluid, not rigid, even with hard bushings
- Double action truck bushings for an extra-stable ride
- Rugged design for fast skating
It’s true that many skaters might say that they can skate equally well with all different bushings, but it can be surprising how much small differences add up. When you choose quality bushings like these Bones bushings, your board will behave and respond with that much more precision.
What difference does hardness make in terms of bushings?
We’ve mentioned that bushings vary in terms of hardness, or durometer, and come in different durometer measurements like 95a or 80a. The hardness of bushings is probably their most important quality in terms of feeling a difference between different types of bushings.
Softer bushings typically run a durometer measuring at or below 90a. Typically brands list their bushings as either soft, medium, or hard.
Soft bushings are ideal for skaters who want the most maneuverability and want to turn easily on their boards. If you ride loose trucks, soft bushings pair well.
Medium bushings typically range in durometer from 90a to 96a. They’re still responsive and provide flexibility in terms of board feel. They’re a great all-around option for skaters who skate street but also like to cruise and go down hills or ride some transition.
Hard bushings are rated at a durometer of 96a and up. These bushings are best for skateboarders who need the maximum stability on their boards. If you like to bomb hills or skate transition at high speeds, harder bushings could be best.
Harder bushings also pair well with tighter trucks, as they won’t as easily compress under tension. Heavier skaters might also want harder bushings for more stability.
Can skateboard bushings break?
Your bushings in your trucks can break, especially if your skateboard has tight trucks or the trucks are old and heavily used. By “break,” it’s most common that skateboard bushings become chipped or cracked. After prolonged use sets in, skateboard bushings are prone to chipping or developing cracks. They may still work fine, but if you notice that your trucks and board maneuverability are off, check out your bushings.
It can be difficult to tell if your bushings are cracked or chipped without unscrewing the nut atop your kingpin. But doing a little surgical work and on your board and inspecting the bushings can be helpful. If your bushings are chipped or cracked, swap them out for some new ones.
Can my trucks’ bushings be changed out?
Absolutely. The bushings that come with your trucks can be changed out to soft, medium, or hard bushings, or whatever you like. If you like your trucks’ features, such as their weight or width, etc., but they just don’t feel right or have the same rideability as to what you’re used to, try swapping out the bushings.
Just unfasten the kingpin nut up top and then remove the washers and necessary pieces to access the bushings. Swapping out bushings is a simple way to change your board’s rideability and control. The little extra effort required is worth it to make the most of any new (or well used) pair of trucks.