Changed the Bushings

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The Paris trucks for the Kaliber deck came with Paris’s own black 90a bushings which, for my 85kg (187lb) weight, is too soft for my liking with the board tipping too easily and feeling overall less stable.

My understanding is that Paris use the following bushings on their trucks:

  • Blue – 81a
  • Orange – 85a
  • Black – 90a (which mine came with)
  • Red – 93a

I am not sure for certain, but it seems to be a bit of lottery what bushing you get with Paris trucks – my last set came with the red 93a and this set, an identical specification 50° V2, with the softer black 90a.

With a view to trying out some new bushings, I put in 94a Mindless JuJu Race barrel+cones bushings (wanted to try a new make), which firmed up the board significantly – a night and day difference from the default softer Paris ones; although it does not feel as perfect (which could be down to the deck as well) as my Hackbrett-Paris set up with white Venom94a SHR barrels combined with Red 91a SHR cones.

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Try some out…

If you are unhappy with your board or never tried different bushings, I highly recommend having some fun trying ones with different durometer ratings and see how your board responds.

Buying replacement bushings also highlighted how much some people charge for them online. I initially looked on Ebay, and Amazon, and some sellers were selling the same ones, you can get from skate shops, for more than x5 the cost. The biggest rip-off was £13, and £2.95 postage, for just a cylinder and cone; which I can buy at my local skate shop for £4. Beware folks, there are unscrupulous people out there ready to rip off the unsuspecting.

A good post on silverfish on bushings: bushings-different-types-how-set-them-up

Durometer Guides

Below are the charts I use for guidance on weight and riding style.

longboard-bushing-durometer-guideVENOM BUSHINGS CHART

Grip Tape Shapes

I have had lots of comments and questions regarding Alfie and the grip-tape patterns and cutting.

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The first thing is that this was not done first time in one go – I had many many tries and had help from a Loaded replacement grip kit for some of the shapes.

There are 5 Loaded grip-tape kits I know of, which give you some nice individual shapes to play with.

In addition to these are a few pre-cut (laser-cut) patterns from the likes Lokton, however, the longer 40×11″ versions, as opposed to the smaller square 11×11″ ones, seem harder to find.

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If you have access to a laser cutter then life is much much easier and they are usually available at community maker/engineering facilities, if not these pre-cut patterns can save a lot of time and heart ache. Although the pre-cut sheets are relatively expensive, I would dread having to do these kinds of patterns with just a ruler and razor-blade.

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Example of intricate laser-cut grip tape

My relatively inexperienced pattern cutting to date has been much more basic, using only steel rulers and kitchen pots: saucepans and frying pans – sadly there is no community engineering workshop near me, otherwise, I would use a laser cutter every time.

My cutting with a razor-blade, or carpet knife, has had mixed success. Patterns drawn on the paper backing, even with new blades I have found often snags and produces poor ragged edges. Cutting on the top, direct into the grip, has produced much better clean edges, but obviously, it is not easy to draw on the top. The clean curved edges on Alfie were achieved by marking on the back paper of the tape the start and end point of the curve, making a small cut with scissors and then placing the saucepan or frying pan on the start and end points/cuts and cutting around the curve of the pan with the razor-blade.

Finally, grip-tape does not need to be black or gray, there are many other colours that can be used or mixed.

Blood Orange Grip tape

My next challenge is to grip with Zenit AB on order and arriving in a months time.