Venom & RipTide: A Guide to Aftermarket Longboard Bushings
It can be hard to find a bushing setup that works well for you as a rider. With so many different brands to choose from, it can be hard to separate the quality products from the not-so-quality products. Here is a brief explanation of the bushing formulas offered by two of the foremost brands in the industry: Venom and RipTide. Between these two brands, it is pretty much a guarantee that you will find the right combination of aftermarket bushings to make your setup feel perfect. Both of these brands are at the forefront of aftermarket urethane products, and have something unique to offer in each one of their formulas and shapes.
Venom bushings are arguably the most commonly used bushing brand on the market due to their quality and dependability. Between HPF and SHR formula in all the different shapes they offer, there is something for every rider from beginner to advanced.
Venom HPF: Venom HPF formula bushings are one of the common choices for beginner to intermediate riders. While these bushings are an indisputable favorite of the advanced “core” downhill community, their even ratio of rebound (or return to center) vs. lean (squishiness) gives them a predictable turn that makes learning the basics of turning, carving, and bombing hills very approachable. At the same time, they are a go-to options for advanced skill level skaters all around the world.
Venom SHR: While often overlooked, Venom SHR bushings are an excellent option for more advanced downhillers that want a more responsive feel to their setup, or for avid cruiser / carvers / slalom riders that want their turns and carves to really “snap”. With a higher rebound formula, the SHR’s have a more aggressive return to center, while also having a “softer” more “twitchy” feel. With Venom SHR’s, what durometer a rider typically rides in HPF formula feels about one durometer option softer (ex: a 91a SHR feels about as soft as an 87a HPF).
RipTide is a company with a heavily loyal following. They offer a multitude of urethane formulas and bushing styles that can be utilized for many different riding styles and ability levels. While there is a plethora of options to choose from, any avid RipTide rider will tell you that it is well worth figuring out what suits you best. RipTide is generally sought after for their specificity and high quality.
RipTide APS: The APS formula offers the happy medium in terms of rebound out of the Riptide formula options. While these bushings offer similar return to center and stability as Venom FPS formula, they offer a slightly “softer”, more “turny” feel that is ideal for riders that enjoy these characteristics. APS formula is one of the netter options for beginner riders due to their happy medium between rebound and compression. However, APS formula is well loved by advanced core riders as well, showing that the APS bushings are extremely versatile.
RipTide WFB: This formula features a self lubricating compound, which is why there is a sort of residue on the outside of the bushing. This lubrication creates less resistance, and therefore provides deeper lean and faster transitioning turns. WFB offers lower rebound than APS, making it ideal for riders that want extremely fluid deep turns. For this reason, WFB is a good option for intermediate to advanced riders that want to have extra control over their bushings.
RipTide Krank: This is RipTide’s highest rebound formula. Comparatively to APS and WFB, this formula will turn the least and have a very snappy, responsive return to center. When ridden loose for cruising and carving, their high rebound formula will compress easily but snap back to center very quickly, making the formula ideal for pumping and high-energy carving. When cranked down tightly for downhill applications, this formula offers great stability and a quick transition from turn to tuck. Typically speaking, these bushings are best suited to advanced riders or those who like an extremely lively carve / turn.
On Mixing and Matching Brands / Formulas:
The bushing connoisseur that wants to perfectly dial each setup as specific as can be may decide to explore mixing bushings brands and formulas to get the perfect ratio of lean to rebound. This can be an extremely rewarding process when experimented with properly, but can also be a difficult process. If you decide to venture down this path, it is recommended to always place the higher rebound bushing boardside, and the lower rebound bushing roadside. This will allow the turn to initiate more easily at the start of the turn, and supply more resistance as the rider leans deeper into the turn.
From least rebound to most rebound, the bushings options above are as follows: RipTide WFB, RipTide APS, Venom HPF, Venom SHR, Riptide Krank.
Good luck! Experimentation is the best way to figure out what setup works for you!