YOW Surfskate Bushings Guide: How to Maintain, Replace, & Upgrade
Bottom Line Up Front
YOW surfskates use standard TKP trucks, which means YOW surfskate bushings are common sizes: .5″ street barrels and .4″ short street cones.
YOW bushings are listed at 92a durometer. However, I have tested several sets with a durometer gauge and they all measure between 88a and 90a. Generally, I would say they’re about 89a.
Don’t overtighten YOW surfskate bushings, as that leads to breakage.
Since they come in common sizes, there are many good aftermarket options for replacing your YOW surfskate bushings. One great option is RipTide bushings.
If you upgrade your YOW bushings to RipTide bushings, the two durometers that feel closest to stock YOW bushings are the pink 87.5a and the yellow 90a.
If you want something that feels slightly softer than stock YOW bushings, start with the 87.5a. If you want something that feels slightly harder, start with the 90a.
What are the Sizes of YOW Surfskate Bushings?
YOW surfskates use standard traditional kingpin trucks like you see on skateboards, with the Meraki surfskate adapter on front.
This means that YOW surfskate bushings are very common sizes. The boardside bushings are .5” street barrels and the roadside bushings are .4” short street cones.
What is the Durometer of YOW Surfskate Bushings?
Durometer is the measurement of how soft or hard a bushing is. The durometer scale ranges from 75a to 100a. The lower the number, the softer the bushing. The higher the number, the harder.
YOW surfskate bushings are listed at 92a durometer. However, I have measured several sets using a Shore A durometer gauge and all of them measure between about 87a and 90a. Generally, I’d say they are about 89a durometer.
How to Maintain YOW Surfskate Bushings
When it comes to maintaining your YOW surfskate bushings, the two issues to be aware of are breakage and squeaking.
The most common way to break YOW surfskate bushings is to overtighten your kingpin nut, which squeezes the bushings too tightly and puts too much stress on them. This has been the case on almost all the issues I’ve seen people have online.
Personally, I like to ride surfskate trucks as loosely as possible. So what I do is tighten down the kingpin nut just enough until 1) the nyloc on the nut is fully engaged with the bolt threads, and 2) you can’t spin the washer with your fingers.
If your YOW bushings are squeaking, an easy fix is to apply a thin layer of lithium grease on each side.
Upgrade & Customize Your YOW Surfskate Bushings with RipTide Bushings
To upgrade your YOW surfskate bushings, you simply replace them with high-quality aftermarket bushings.
High-quality surfskate bushings are made with high-rebound urethane, which feels and performs much better and lasts longer than stock surfskate bushings. You get more flexibility and better rebound, which gives you 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. And since YOW bushings are common sizes, you can find a lot of options to upgrade your YOW surfskate bushings.
RipTide has made it easy for YOW owners by packaging bushings for YOW surfksates. Instead of you having to buy individual .5” street barrels and .4” short street cones, they provide all four bushings with cup washers in one package.
RipTide’s three urethane formulas are WFB™, APS™, and Krank™. Personally, I think their APS™ formula is best for surfskates. APS™ stands for Animated Polymer System. RipTide explains on their website,
“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.”
As far as durometer goes, given that YOW bushings measure at about 89a durometer, I think it’s best to stay within the range of between 85a and 95a.
Choosing your RipTide YOW surfskate bushings comes down to a combination of your weight and your preferred feel.
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.
The RipTide bushing durometers that feel the closest to stock YOW bushings are 87.5a and 90a.
Here are some general weight guidelines for upgrading your YOW bushings with RipTide bushings:
- 85a durometer: For riders less than 150 pounds (68kg).
- 87.5a durometer: For riders between about 150 pounds (68kg) and 185 pounds (84kg).
- 90a durometer: For riders between about 175 pounds (79kg) and 200 pounds (91kg).
- 92.5a durometer: For riders between about 200 pounds (91kg) and 235 pounds (107kg).
- 95a durometer: For riders over 235 pounds (107kg).
Your personal preferences may be outside of these guidelines, but they give you a good frame of reference.
How to Remove and Replace YOW Bushings
To remove your YOW bushings, simply unscrew the kingpin nut using a skate tool. Then remove the hanger and bushings.
Finish by placing the small washer on top of the cone bushing, followed by the kingpin nut.
Tighten it down enough so that the nut is at least flush with the top of the kingping bolt. This ensures that the nyloc on the nut is fully engaged with the bolt threads. If it’s not, your kingpin nut can rattle off while you’re riding, with obvious catastrophic results.