Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Riptides on the Road - the Barrel and Cone -- Riptide Bushing Review Part Two

Today is part two of an on-going segment about Riptide bushings. Now that everyone has a basic knowledge about bushings (if you don’t then see part 1) we can get into how Riptide bushings actually perform on the road and in your trucks. However, because Riptide offers so many shapes in two unique formulas we aren't going to cover all their offerings in one post. Instead, today we will focus on the most common shapes; the barrel and cone.

Pretty much every truck on the market comes with either a barrel/cone or a barrel/barrel bushing combination. Subsequently these are the two bushing shapes that people are most familiar with. As a rule 50 degree trucks are meant to be more nimble and sport a barrel/cone bushing combination while 45 degree (or lower) trucks are meant to be more stable and come equipped with a barrel/barrel combination. 
It took me a couple of days to figure out how to start setting up my Riptide effectively. When I immediately stood on Riptides in my normal setups I thought that they felt really... squishy. I guess that's the best word for it. To be totally honest, I wasn't in love with the feeling. Even the livelier Animated Polymer System (or APS) formula still felt squishy to me.

I wasn't used to bushings that behaved like Riptides when compressed. I feel like with most bushings as you lean the resistance increases dramatically and the bushings almost start to feel more dense in your truck the farther you lean. You essentially hit a stopping point before reaching your trucks limitations.Whereas with Riptides (both the APS and the WFB formula) the resistance doesn't increase as drastically; instead it is very uniform and consistent. That "squishy" feeling was really just me being able to lean farther than I was used to.
I realized this when I did a side by side comparison of Riptide Barrels in a set of Calibers against their stock Blood Orange Bushings. When just standing on the board and leaning with Blood Orange bushings my wheels lifted off the ground way before they did with Riptides. The same was true of a Barrel/Cone combination test.

Quick note: Riptide recommends buying a harder durometer in their bushings than you would normally buy with other brands and I wholeheartedly agree. If you buy your typical durometer, because Riptides lean so much, they are going to feel too soft for you.

Simply standing on a bushing and it feeling leany isn't the best way to evaluate it; so how do Riptide barrel and cones perform on the road??

Animated Polymer System (APS)
I found the APS formula to be nice and lively (as do most people). You get plenty of bounce off these bushings without sacrificing lean. They have a fantastic return to center property but because of that you really have to put effort into leaning on these bushings. I prefer APS Riptides in setups where I am not looking to lean for a super prolonged period of time. I most often ride this formula in freestyle and lower speed freeride setups.
World's Fastest Bushings (WFB)
The WFB formula, as it's name implies, was crafted with fast fast fast skating in mind. It uses the same base formula as the APS bushings but is also internally lubricated to decrease the resistance encountered when leaning. This makes for a bushing that turns super smoothly but doesn't try quite as hard to rebound to center right away. I prefer this formula for downhill and fast freeride setups where I don't want to have to throw my body weight onto a rail to start leaning.
Commuting



I feel like different people want different things out of a commuter. The two most common being an easy pushing board or a shred everything campus crusher. So I will try to address both of these needs.

Pushing. After trying a lot of bushing combinations my pushing setup settled with a Bustin Ibach, 200mm Surf-Rodz RKPs, Orangatang Kegels, and WFB Barrels Roadside/Boardside. I liked this combination for pushing because it was super stable. I tend to reposition my feet a lot when I am pushing a long time as I switch feet or they get tired. The nice stable base provided by WFB barrels was great because small foot repositioning didn't translate to a dramatic change in directions while pushing.  
Shred it all commuting. This bushing setup is going to come down to preference for most people. However, I landed on one that I really liked a lot. I prefer a very lively, nimble, and fun shredder when commuting. One of my favorite setups ended up being my Omen MiniSugar, Retro Bertz, 150mm Calibers, and an APS Cone Roadside in the front truck with everything else being APS Barrels. Using an asymmetrical bushing setup was great on this little directional board. The APS bushings gave me lots of rebound for pumping around and having a cone up front let me get really radical with steering. I used two barrels in the back to get a little more stability on the tail for manuals and popping ollies.
Freestyle
I am personally a huge fan of freestyle and I generally like my bushing setup to be symmetrical and have a lot of rebound. Which lead me to a use an APS barrel both roadside and boardside in most of my freestyle setups.

There is nothing worse than working on a trick all day and when you finally think you nail it... you slip off your board because your bushings still have your board all leaned over. (and yes, I know the answer to that problem would be to land more squarely on the platform, haha)

The APS formula is definitely the way to go for freestyle, in my humble opinion. Not only does it have a fantastic rebound that keeps it nice and centered the APS formula leans when you want it to. I found this property to do wonders for both board dancing and hitting lines. You can cross step the day away on a very consistent lean right into a big flip trick and not have to worry about whether your center point is flopping around.
Some of my favorite freestyle setups were:
-Original Apex 40 DC, Surf-Rodz TKPs, 66mm Abec 11 Freeride, and APS Barrels all around
-Bustin Boombox, 50* Calibers, Metro Micro Motions, APS Barrels all around
-Loaded Bhangra, 50* Paris, Orangatang Moronga, and APS barrels all around

If you're a lighter rider, or really looking for a surfy feel, you can always run APS barrels boardside and cones roadside. However, I found that combination to be a little too divey for my hefty 160lbs.

Downhill
**I want to remind everyone that this section of the Riptide Bushings review will not cover some of the more specialty shapes, only barrels and cones.

As everyone knows, or can at least guess, when you are haulin' down a big hill you want to be nice and stable. In order to achieve that stability I exclusively run WFB Barrels both roadside and boardside for downhill. They were designed to handle speed and after putting them to the test I totally agree.
The WFB formula feel great for longer downhill runs where you need both a strong center point and the ability to really lean into turns. I was skeptical that the internal lubrication would actually make a noticeable difference in the lean characteristics of the bushings, but it really does something special. The transition between the center point and turning feels almost non-existent. It is incredibly smooth and totally clean. I really like that I can lean hard into these bushings without feeling like they are fighting back.

Some of my favorite downhill setups:
-Loaded Chubby Unicorn, 45* Surf-Rodz RKPs, RAD Advantages, WFB Barrels all around
-Rayne Fortune, 46* GunMetals, Volante Serratas, WFB Barrels all round
-Original Arbiter KT, 45* Surf-Rodz, Orangatang 4President, WFB cone (roadside front), barrels everywhere else

Freeride  
It kind of seems like everyone likes something a little different for freeride. I know people who ride trucks that can barely turn and others who ride the squirrelist trucks in the world when they want to get sideways. I probably like my freeride setups a little looser than most people, but nothing crazy.

I don't know if I found a bushing setup I like the most for freeride, instead I found a couple that I liked for different things.

For more technical freeride (i.e. lots of spins, blunt slides, ect...) I prefer a setup that can get me back to my center point nice and quickly. For this type of freeride I usually used a APS barrel roadside and a WFB barrel boardside. I found this to be a golden combination of lean and rebound. I could get my board back to level after heavy leaning but didn't have to worry about it rebounding too quickly and highsiding. This combination gave me a best of both worlds scenario for freeride where transitions were both super smooth and really fast.
For faster and bigger freeride I wanted a little bit more lean, so similarly to downhill I generally used WFB barrels all around. When I am going for stupidly fast slide I really, really don't want to risk getting bucked or highsiding and the WFB barrels provide plenty of lean without any protest. This lets you really sink into your slides and get a lot of weight behind them. I found that I particularly like this setup for hitting bigger toesides because the WFB formula makes keeping your board in a leaning position so easy.
Some of my favorite freeride setups:
-Jati Chop Suey, 45* Calibers, Cadillac Swingers, APS barrels roadside and WFB barrels boardside
-Bustin YoFace 39, Indy 169, Street Hawgs, APS barrels roadside and WFB barrels boardside
-Loaded Tesseract, 45* Surf-Rodz, Orangatang Keanu, WFB barrels all around
-Landyachtz Tomohawk, 50* Paris, 66mm Bustin Snipers, WFB barrels all around

Final Thoughts
I think that a really easy rule of thumb for Riptide bushings is:  the APS is good for lower speeds and agility while WFB is great for higher speeds and stability.
The hype around Riptide bushing is well founded. They took me a little time to get used to, but now I am a huge fan and have a hard time transitioning back to other brands of bushings. The amount of lean you get you get with either formula is unreal. The APS formula is just as lively as I had hoped and the WFB is insanely smooth and stable. I can officially say that I am a part of the Riptide bandwagon.

If you have any questions, comments, concerns, loveletters....
Send them my way!!

Thanks for reading, and Stay Awesome,
Wayne


9 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience bro!
    This cleared alot my mind and teach me alot of the important of a nice bushing choising
    I'll share it!
    A.

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