Venom and RipTide: A Guide to Aftermarket Longboard Hubs

Venom and RipTide: A Guide to Aftermarket Longboard Hubs

It can be hard to find a hub 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-great products. Here’s a brief explanation of the sleeve formulations offered by two of the biggest brands in the industry: Venom and RipTide. Between these two brands, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll find the right mix of aftermarket hubs to make your setup feel just right. Both brands are at the forefront of aftermarket urethane products and have something unique to offer in each of their formulations and forms.

cap options


Venom hubs are arguably the most widely used brand of hubs on the market due to their quality and reliability. Between the HPF and SHR formula in all the different forms they offer, there is something for every rider, from beginner to advanced.

Venom HPF – Venom HPF Formula hubs are one of the common choices for beginner and intermediate riders. While these bushings are the undisputed favorites of the advanced “basic” downhill community, their consistent ratio of rebound (or return-to-center) vs. lean (squishiness) puts a predictable spin on them that makes learning the basics of turning, carving, and hill-bombing very accessible. At the same time, they are a reference option for advanced level skaters around the world.

Venom SHR – Although often overlooked, the Venom SHR hubs are a great choice for more advanced downhill riders who want a more responsive feel to their setup, or avid cruiser/carvers/slalom riders who want that his turns and carves really “snap”. With a higher rebound formula, the SHR has a more aggressive return to center, while also having a more “soft” and “jerky” feel. With Venom SHR, the durometer a rider typically uses in the HPF formula feels like a softer durometer option (for example, a 91a SHR feels just as soft as an 87a HPF).

Turby waters:

RipTide is a company with a very loyal following. They offer a multitude of urethane formulations and bushing styles that can be used for different riding styles and skill levels. While there are a plethora of options to choose from, any avid RipTide rider will tell you that it pays to figure out what’s best for you. RipTide is generally sought after for its specificity and high quality.

RipTide APS: The APS formula offers the middle ground in terms of the bounce of the Riptide formula options. While these bushings offer similar return-to-center and stability to the Venom FPS formula, they offer a slightly “softer” and more “spiny” feel that is ideal for riders who enjoy these characteristics. The APS formula is one of the sharper options for beginning riders due to its happy medium between rebound and compression. However, the APS formula is also highly regarded by advanced riders, proving that APS hubs are extremely versatile.

RipTide WFB – This formulation features a self-lubricating compound, so there is a kind of residue on the outside of the bushing. This lubrication creates less drag and therefore provides a deeper lean and quicker transition turns. WFB offers a lower rebound than APS, making it ideal for riders who want extremely fluid deep turns. For this reason, the WFB is a good choice for intermediate to advanced riders who want extra control over their hubs.

RipTide Krank – This is RipTide’s highest bouncing formula. Compared to APS and WFB, this formula will spin less and have a very snappy and responsive return to center. When ridden loose for surfing and carving, its high-rebound formula will compress easily but return to center very quickly, making the formula ideal for high-energy pumping and carving. When reduced hard for downhill applications, this formula offers great stability and a quick transition from turn to tuck. These hubs are generally best suited for advanced riders or those who like extremely sharp carve/spin.

About mix and match brands/formulas:

The hub connoisseur who wants to dial in each setup as specifically as possible may decide to explore the mix of bushing brands and formulas to get the perfect ratio of lean to rebound. This can be an extremely rewarding process when properly experienced, but it can also be a difficult process. If you decide to venture down this path, it is recommended to always place the higher rebound socket next to the board and the lower rebound socket next to the road. This will allow the turn to be initiated more easily at the start of the turn and provide more resistance as the rider leans further into the turn.

From less rebound to more rebound, the above hub options are: RipTide WFB, RipTide APS, Venom HPF, Venom SHR, Riptide Krank.

Good luck! Experimentation is the best way to find out what settings work for you!

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