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Carver CX Bushings Guide

by | Mar 11, 2023 | Maintenance, Upgrades & Customizations

Watch Carver CX Bushings Guide on YouTube
Watch How to Upgrade Your Carver CX Bushings with RipTide Bushings on YouTube
The Carver CX is one of the simplest surfskate truck designs, and easiest to maintain. It has no springs to maintain or replace, but rather uses only bushings to propel the surfskate.

In this Carver CX bushings guide, I’ll first walk you through how to properly install your Carver CX bushings to avoid breakage.

Then I’ll show you how to adjust your Carver CX, as well as how to maintain Carver CX bushings to avoid squeaking or other issues.

Next, I’ll reveal how to upgrade your Carver CX bushings with aftermarket bushings.

And finally, I’ll give you guidelines for customizing your Carver CX bushings to get the precise feel you love.

How to Remove, Install, Adjust, & Maintain Carver CX Bushings

 
When removing and installing your Carver CX bushings, the most important thing to remember is that there are two different sizes.

The two taller bushings are .65” tall, and these go on the boardside of the truck.

The two shorter bushings will be either .58” or .56” tall, depending on when you purchased your Carver CX. These go on the roadside of the truck. (Carver CX bushings used to be .58”, and they later changed them to .56”. Either size works, as long as your kingpin nut is screwed on enough to be at least flush with the top of the kingpin bolt.)

carver cx bushings
Removing your Carver CX bushings is simple. All you have to do is unscrew and remove the kingpin nut.

Then you can pull the hanger off, along with the top washer and bushing. Then remove the bottom bushing and washer.

To reinstall your Carver CX bushings, be sure to use the taller bushings on the boardside of the truck.

Start by placing the bottom boardside washer onto the truck, followed by one of the taller .65” bushings, with the narrower end facing the deck.

Next, install your hanger by placing sliding the d-hole over the kingpin bolt and placing the pivot in the pivot cup.

Next, place one of the shorter bushings onto the top of the hanger, with the wider end facing the hanger.

Now place the final washer on top of the narrow end of the bushings.

Finish by screwing the kingpin nut onto the bolt, at least until it is all the way on and flush with the top of the bolt.

Repeat these steps for the other truck.

How to Adjust Carver CX Bushings

 
The Carver CX surfskate truck is somewhat adjustable. All you do is tighten or loosen the kingpin nut to change the resistance and turnability as desired.

A looser kingpin nut will allow for more turning, while a tighter kingpin nut will make the trucks more stable.

Just be sure that your nut is always at least flush with the top of the kingpin bolt. This ensures that the nylon in the nuts is engaged with the bolt threads. If it’s not, your kingpin nut can rattle off while you’re riding, with obvious catastrophic results.

carver cx bushings
Also be careful not to overtighten, as this can damage your bushings.
carver cx bushings
Personally, I like my Carver CX trucks as loose as possible. That means tightening the kingpin nut down just enough so that 1) it’s flush with the top of the kingpin bolt, and 2) you can’t turn the washer with your fingers.

If you’re new to surfskating, you may prefer to tighten your Carver CX bushings, as that will make your truck more stable.
 

How to Maintain Your Carver CX Bushings

 
To maintain Carver CX bushings, the two issues to be aware of are squeaking and possible breakage.

If your Carver CX bushings are squeaking, an easy fix is to use a thin layer of lithium grease on each side. Not only will that stop squeaking, but it also makes your turns smoother and easier.

To avoid breaking your Carver CX bushings make sure that 1) you have the right sizes on boardside and roadside, and 2) you don’t overtighten your bushings.

Overtightening them can squeeze them too tightly, which creates too much friction as the trucks move from side to side.

How to Upgrade Your Carver CX Bushings

 
Upgrading your Carver CX bushings is a simple matter of replacing them with high-quality aftermarket bushings.

Aftermarket surfskate bushings are made of high-rebound urethane that feels and performs much better than stock surfskate bushings. They give you more flexibility and better rebound, providing a wider range of motion, smoother turns, and a more lively feel than stock bushings.

Some of the well-known and popular brands for aftermarket bushings include RipTide Sports, Venom, and Sabre.

When upgrading your Carver CX bushings, it’s critical that you get the right sizes, particularly for your boardside bushings.

If you change the size of your boardside bushings, it changes the geometry of your truck. This makes your pivot sit at a different angle in your pivot cup. Depending on how far off you are, this can change the feel of your truck, and lead to wheelbite and even breakage.

If your boardside bushing is too short (stock size is .65”), your hanger will sit onto the kingpin like this and rub against it as you pump:

If your boardside bushings is too tall, it will sit onto the kingpin like this and create the same rubbing issue on the other side:
The size of your roadside bushing is also important, though not quite as critical as your boardside bushing.

For example, if you have too tall of a bushing, you won’t be able to engage the nyloc in your locknut, and it vibrates off while riding.

carver cx bushings
If it’s too short, your kingpin protrudes with a lot of exposed threads, which means you don’t have the same resistance when leaning on the truck, which can lead to damage.
carver cx bushings
Until recently, there have been no aftermarket bushings with precise sizes to match the stock Carver CX bushings.

However, RipTide now offers Carver CX bushings in the right sizes. They’re made with RipTide’s APS™ formula, which stands for Animated Polymer System. They explain,

“As the name implies, this compound is very lively and offers high rebound with lots of control and lean. For the same durometer, the APS will turn 10% to 15% more than the same durometer of other brands.”

RipTide Carver CX bushings come in five different durometers and 2-packs and 4-packs to customize your ride.

carver cx bushings

Do You Have to Use RipTide Bushings for Carver CX?

 
It’s possible to use other bushings that are not the precise sizes for the CX. However, if you do this, you have to modify them to make them the right sizes. If they’re too tall, you’ll need to cut them to the right size. If they’re too short, you can use washers to make them taller.

For example, one common bushing size is .6”. You could modify this to fit a Carver CX roadside bushing by cutting it down to between .56” and .58”.

You could use a .6” bushing for a Carver CX boardside bushing, as long as you add a washer to make it high enough so that the d-hole of the truck does not rub against the kingpin on either side.

Personally, I find it much simpler and easier to just use the right-sized Carver CX bushings from RipTide.

If you experiment with other bushings, just make sure you modify them as needed to prevent the truck hanger from rubbing against the kingpin.

How to Customize Your Carver CX Bushings

 
You can customize your Carver CX bushings by changing either the durometers or types of bushings (cone or barrel), both of which can change the feel drastically.
 

Customize Durometers

Durometer refers to the softness or hardness of a bushing. The scale to measure durometer ranges from 75a to 100a. The lower the number, the softer the bushing. The higher the number, the harder.

Standard Carver CX bushings come in 89a durometer.

RipTide Carver CX bushings come in five durometers, 85a at the softest, to 95a at the softest.

The closest match to stock Carver CX bushings is the yellow 90a durometer. (However, keep in mind that RipTide APS bushings feel a couple durometer points softer than stock Carver bushings. So the 90a bushings feel more like 87a compared to the Carver 89a.)

Softer bushings give you a looser, flowier feel and a wider range of motion, but with less rebound back to center.

Harder bushings give you a tighter, snappier feel and a reduced range of motion, but with quicker rebound back to center.

Choosing your Carver CX bushings durometer comes down to a combination of your weight and your preferred feel.

To customize your Carver CX with RipTide bushings, start with these general weight guidelines:
 

  • 85a Durometer RipTide Carver CX Bushings (Blue): 140 pounds or less
  • 87.5a Durometer RipTide Carver CX Bushings (Pink): 140 – 175 pounds
  • 90a Durometer RipTide Carver CX Bushings (Yellow): 175 – 205 pounds
  • 92.5a Durometer RipTide Carver CX Bushings (Dark Blue): 185 – 235 pounds
  • 95a Durometer RipTide Carver CX Bushings (Red): 235 pounds or more
riptide bushings for waterborne surf adapter
Your personal preferences may be outside of these guidelines, but that gives you a good place to start.

If you’re not sure which durometer to choose for your RipTide Carver CX bushings, I would say to start with the yellow 90a. They’ll most closely match what you’re already used to on your CX.

From there, you can play with the durometers on either side of the yellow 90a: the softer pink 87.5a durometer and the harder blue 92.5a durometer.

You can also mix and match durometers to customize further. For example, you could have different durometers on your boardside and roadside bushings. You could even have different durometers for every bushing.

In my experience, I’ve discovered a couple general guidelines for customizing your Carver CX bushings:

If you want to mix and match duros on boardside and roadside, it’s typically better to use harder bushings on boardside than on roadside.

This is because the boardside bushing carries your weight. This means that, relative to the roadside bushing, it is more prone to deform with the extra weight. A harder boardside bushing gives more rebound back to center.

If you want to mix and match duros on front and rear, it’s typically better to use a harder duro on the rear and softer on front.

This is because what makes surfskate trucks work is the combination of a loose front truck with a more stable rear truck. A softer rear truck decreases your rebound and carving ability.
 

Customize the Type of Bushing

Carver CX surfskates come standard with cone bushings for both boardside and roadside.

However, you can customize even further by using barrel bushings.

riptide bushings for waterborne surf adapter
Conical bushings give you less resistance and a wider range of motion. Barrel bushings have more mass, and therefore give you more resistance and a decreased range of motion for a stiffer, more stable feel.

Bottom line: If you want a wider range of motion, stick with conical Carver CX bushings. But if you want more stability and higher rebound, you can try using barrel Carver CX bushings.

If you use barrel bushings, you only want to use them on boardside, with a conical bushing on roadside.

Carver offers a firm bushing set with barrel bushings on boardside and conical bushings on roadside.

carver cx firm bushing set
RipTide also offers Carver CX bushings packs with barrels and cones.
 

Have Fun Playing with Your Carver CX Bushings!

 
By using RipTide bushings for Carver CX, you can drastically change the feel of your surfskate and customize it with precision.

So have fun playing with your Carver CX RipTide bushings and dialing in the feel that you love.