Skateboarding can be challenging for beginners, and they have to overcome various difficulties while doing so. Now, speed wobbles are one of the most common challenges longboarders face, especially newcomers.
So, to prevent you from falling on your face, I have tried to break down the ins and outs of speed wobbles. What speed wobbles are, what causes it and how to prevent it from happening; everything is covered in this article.
So, without further ado, let’s start.
What Are Speed Wobbles
As a beginner, if you’ve only heard about this phenomenon but never encountered it in person, you need to know what speed wobbles exactly are. As the name indicates, speed wobbles mostly happen when riding at high speed.
While riding your skateboard at high speed, it starts to go down just by a slight sideways movement. Then this movement triggers the osculation of the rear truck. When that happens, riders try to compensate for the shake with counter turns.
But as it’s not possible to keep up with the osculation, they end up making the shaking worse. Eventually, the board run off under the rider’s feet, leaving him falling on his face.
What Causes Speed Wobbles
Various reasons can trigger speed wobbles, and knowing them will help you avoid them in future. So, let’s have a quick breakdown of things that cause speed wobbles.
1. Uncontrolled Speed
As mentioned previously, speed wobbles only happen when going at high speed. Whether riding downhill or just racing, speed can throw you off anytime, and wobbles just make that more dangerous.
2. Loose Trucks
Most of the time, speed wobbles is initiated from the rear truck, so it’s pretty obvious that loose trucks will be a reason behind speed wobbles. Now, it’s not only about the loose trucks but the balance of sensitivity between two trucks.
If the front truck is tighter/ loose than the rear truck, that can cause violent fishtailing and throw you off the board.
3. Wrong Foot Placements
This is another common reason behind speed wobbles. In our subconscious mind, especially beginners, we prefer to place our feet on the back of the board while riding at high speed.
When we put all the pressure on the rear truck, it compresses the bushing. Ultimately the compressed bushing triggers wobbles just like loose trucks does.
Do Longboards Get Speed Wobbles
High speed, when uncontrolled, cause speed wobbles. That means, no matter whether it’s a regular board or longboard, everything has the same potential of getting speed wobbles.
However, the chance is definitely higher for longboards.
Because most of the skateboarding types that deal with high speeds are done with longboards. For example, skate racing and downhill skating are two of the most common types of skateboarding where speed wobbles happen, and longboards are the preferred choice for both.
How Do You Get Rid Of Speed Wobbles
Now that you know what causes the speed wobbles, let’s get you familiarized with some ways of getting rid of it.
Practice is the most basic thing you can do to deal with wobbles. As a beginner, it’s completely fine if you face speed wobbles a few times. You might as well fall on your face. But you also have to keep practising to understand the turns and how your boards react to movements.
Eventually, you’ll understand the board, be comfortable with speed and how to make turns so that you don’t get wobbles.
- Turn consistency and timing
The sideways movement you make for turns ultimately starts the speed wobbles. That’s why knowing how and when to turn is an important stage of this whole process. First of all, don’t make any sudden turn that can initiate the wobbling.
Next, even if you manage to get into a wobble, try to get out of with calculate and slow carves. Carving faster will just make things worse.
- Proper weight distribution
As mentioned earlier, putting your feet at the back of the foot causes speed wobble. To prevent that, bend your front leg more to shift the weight to the front part. The more pressure you shift from the rear truck, the better chance you can compress the bushing and encounter speed wobble.
How To Deal With Wheels And Trucks To Get Rid Of Speed Wobbles
Calibrating your board the right way is another key factor in avoiding speed wobbling. Now, there are several adjustments to make in your trucks and wheels, and each of these adjustments plays a significant role to prevent wobbling.
For starters, tightening the truck is a key solution since this whole wobbles start from the truck. If your truck is loose, it’s more likely to osculate. However, there is a drawback as tightening it will make it harder to turn.
So, before you hit the road, experiment with the tight trucks and find the perfect sensitivity for yourself.
Then you have to fix the baseplate height. Often, we see riders using lower baseplates, which ultimately lowers the board’s centre of gravity. This low centre of gravity just fuels the wobble more.
Lastly, you need to have a longer wheels base to minimize wobbling. So, how does a longer wheelbase helps? It helps by providing a wider area to balance, and it becomes easier to balance when a wobble is about to happen.
Check Out Best Wobble Free Wheels Here.
Can Speed Wobble Cause An Accident
That depends on the level of speed wobble you got and the surface you are skating on. Typically speed wobble isn’t a safe thing for skateboarding.
If you end up falling on the ground, there is a high chance that it will be fatal, and you’ll end up with serious bruises or even broken bones without protective gears.
How To Prevent Wobbles On An Electric Longboard
Preventing wobbles on an electric longboard is the same as you do for a regular longboard. Calibrating board, practice, and posture can help you eliminate speed wobbles.
However, if I have to point out one thing, that’s the higher speed of electric longboards than regular ones. As they have faster acceleration, it’s pretty easy to get into a wobble. So, before you speed up, make sure you are confident enough to handle it.
That’s a wrap for today. I hope my article was helpful enough to understand the basics of speed wobbles. At some point as a beginner, every skater encountered this challenge, and it’ll just catch you off-guard when it first happens.
But eventually, with practice and some adjustments to your board, you can easily overcome speed wobbles and have a smooth and safe riding experience.