Words by David Rajewski
Setting up the bushing in a long distance pumping board can be incredibly tricky, especially for someone just getting into the sport. In this article, I explain how to best set up your board for the most amount of bushing rebound and turn. Now let's get started...
Getting Started - What You'll Need
To really fine tune and perfect your LDP bushing set up, we recommend picking up following.
- Bennett Truck - This will be the front truck of your LDP. We recommend starting with a 5.0" on the RoeRacing Mermaid or RoeRacing Triton. For smaller decks, you can use a 4.3" and larger decks a 6.0".
- Khiro Big Bad Bushing Kit - This includes two sets of every type of Khiro small cone and barrel bushing, as well as pivot cups and washers. This will allow you to quickly and easily change the performance of your LDP skateboard.
- Cindrich Base Plate - A direct replacement for the Bennett Truck, this baseplate was designed with LDP in mind. Unlike the Bennett, it can better resist the pressures of back and forth motions and is less prone to breaking.
Getting Started with LDP Bushings
LDP Bushings need to smash and rebound to be effective. When the wedging is properly configured, the truck should swing up/down and back/forth while being supported by the bushings. The bushings should allow the rider to swing the trucks freely, but with some restraint so control and flow is manageable. While this can be done with the stock Bennett Bushings, triple stacking Khiro bushings can be much, much more effective.
As you can see in the above picture, this bushing configuration is quite unique. I'll explain the logic from baseplate to kingpin nut.
First, the Khiro Small Cone is placed. This should act as a support to the main two barrels above. This of the small cone as the rebounder, pushing the bottom barrel (and thus the hanger) back to center. It is wise to choose a durometer (aka duro) harder than the barrels used. This is because that small cone has to fight the barrels to return to center. Make the small cone hard so it can win the fight.
Second, the first Khiro Barrel (board-side barrel) is placed. This is going to take a bit more weight than his buddy the road-side Khiro Barrel, so rebound isn't the primary concern here. Use something that'll flow well for your weight. Usually this means going with something soft. However, some people actually do a hard bushing board-side so the bushing doesn't compress too much and leave you with a loose road-side assembly. These subtle changes are why we suggest getting the Khiro Big Bad Bushing Kit.
Third comes the hanger, pretty straight forward.
Fourth, the second Khiro Barrel (road-side barrel) is placed. This guy is for rebound and return to center. We recommend matching his duro with the lower barrel to start, but the possibilities are truly endless. Nonetheless, typically people place a harder barrel road-side than board-side.
Lastly, the washer and nut is placed and the nut is tightened down. For riders using the stock Bennett baseplate, this can be very hard to do. However, we assure you it is possible. Throw your weight into it! For those using the Cindrich plate, it should be easier as the Cindrich grade 8 kingpin is a bit longer. When tightening the nut, it should be tight enough that you cannot move anything with your fingers (ie spin the washers, etc). However, do NOT tighten so much so the bushings are smashed down. Pre-smashed bushings cannot flex and rebound and thus defeats the purpose of the bushings! If your truck is too loose, change the bushings to a harder duro configuration.
Now, with washers there are many different ways to go. The stock Bennett comes with a large cupped washer and we recommend using this. However, you might find that leaving the bushings cupped is more restrictive than you'd like. Feel free to flip the washer over so that it effectively becomes a flat washer. This will allow your bushings to move more freely. Just be careful that your crazy wedging leaves enough ground clearance for the washer flanges sticking out at the road.
If you read super extra carefully, you'll notice we did NOT put the stock bottom washer in this set up. With the small cone on the bottom, you won't need it.
And there you have it! This should be read to stand on to test for wheel bite.* Please, for the love of your one and only bone structure, test for wheel bite BEFORE riding. You can do this by simply laying the board down and standing on it while hanging onto a railing or table. Lay ALL OF YOUR WEIGHT into one lean and see if you can get the wheels to touch. Then, lay all of your weight into the other lean. If they don't touch, you're probably good! However, take your time as bushings tend to break in with use and they could become more loose, causing your set up to bite even after you test.
A NOTE ON GROUND CLEARANCE - Bennett Trucks, when wedged all LDP crazy, can have poor ground clearance. Triple stacking bushings does not help with this. Make sure you have adequate ground clearance with longer kingpins and crazy wedging. We recommend going no smaller than 70mm wheels.
A NOTE ON KINGPIN SELECTION - With these insane bushing set ups, longer kingpins are typically needed. In addition, it is important to note that your bushings will last much longer if you can get them off the threads of the kingpin. Bushings during LDP are flexing and moving like crazy. With each motion, kingpin threads act like dull knives, slowly but surely slashing up bushing insides. If you purchase a longer kingpin, then cut it down, you'll have more of the smooth surface of the kingpin in contact with the inner part of the bushings. This can greatly extend the life of your bushings. See the picture below for further understanding.
A NOTE ON THE REAR TRUCK - After reading all this, you're probably thinking "well, what about the rear truck?" Just remember this rule: On a Mermaid or Triton LDP set up, the rear truck should turn enough so that 1) it can keep up with the front trucks turning fast and 2) the wheels do not leave the ground. The main concern with the rear truck is just to keep it grounded and grippy. Set up your rear bushings so that both rear wheels will remain on the ground at all times.
A NOTE ON THE BUSHINGS VS. WEDGING - Which should I configure first, the bushings or the wedging? This is a very common question and does not really have a simple solution. Both configurations, while related to each other, are completely different. Wedging is going to control turn vs. lean, a concept we dive into more in our Turn vs. Lean Truck Article. If you are not getting the full turn/lean from your trucks, your bushings are at fault. If you are not getting ideal turn/lean from your trucks, your wedging is at fault. The way to tell how much your truck should turn/lean is to configure it without bushings inside and rotate the hanger in the pivot cup. See how it looks... does it look like it can propel you forward? You are going to have to get a feel for this as it is tricky to really know what works without seeing a real live board working. I recommend looking at your current set up and asking yourself "what can I do to make this propel even MORE?" Through tweaking and tuning, you'll begin to understand what it takes to get your board to propel hard based on your ride style. Never stop asking for MORE.
For the over-achievers in the room, I have included some additional diagrams of common LDP bushing set ups. There are literally thousands of combinations possible. Use these to spark ideas, generate imagination, and just to straight up copy for your pumping pleasure.
LDP bushings with different durometers
* For those just getting into skateboarding, wheel bite is when the wheels touch the deck during a turn. This usually results in the wheel completely stopping (and thus the board completely stopping) and you going flying forward.Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.