Longboarding is a great way to enjoy speed and freedom on the roads with some thrilling tricks. However, there is one major problem that longboarders find themselves facing frequently, and that is speed wobbles. When you’re cruising at high speeds downhill, your board tends to wobble uncontrollably, making it challenging to maintain balance and control. But worry not! There are many ways you can prevent and stop speed wobbles on a longboard. In this article, we will discuss what speed wobbles are, how they are caused, and some tips on how to stop them from happening.
What are speed wobbles?
Speed wobbles are what happens when a longboard quivers and shakes, making it difficult to control, at speed. They can happen to anyone at any time, regardless of their experience. Speed wobbles can be dangerous as they could cause you to lose control of your longboard and lead to potentially severe injuries.
What causes speed wobbles?
There are several things that can cause speed wobbles on a longboard. These include but are not limited to;
1. Uneven weight distribution: An improper weight distribution on the board could cause speed wobbles, especially when going downhill. If your weight is unevenly distributed on the board, you may lose balance, and the board may start to wobble.
2. Bushing tightness: Bushings are the small rubber rings that attach the trucks to the board, and they play a crucial role in controlling the board’s movement. If your bushings are too tight, it may be challenging to turn the board and overcome speed wobbles.
3. Riding technique: How you ride the board also determines whether you experience speed wobbles. Longboarders who ride with their feet too far apart or stand with their knees locked could experience speed wobbles.
4. Poor quality bearings: Bearings are the small metal balls that allow the wheels to spin. If they are low quality or poorly maintained, they could cause the board to wobble.
5. The surface of the road: Uneven surfaces can cause speed wobbles, especially when riding at high speeds. Any bump or debris on the road can affect the board’s movement and induce wobbling.
Six ways to stop speed wobbles from happening
1. Get in the correct stance
The first step in preventing speed wobbles is to make sure you have the correct stance on the board. Your feet should be shoulder-width apart with your knees slightly bent. This stance will allow you to control the board and distribute your weight evenly.
2. Loosen your trucks
If your trucks are too tight, it may be challenging to control the board and correct any wobbling. Loosening the trucks will give you greater maneuverability and control over the board. Adjust the trucks until they feel comfortable while keeping in mind that you don’t want them too loose where they could lead to the board’s wobbly movements.
3. Lean forward
Leaning forward on the board can help reduce speed wobbles. By doing so, you shift your weight towards the front of the board and keep it under control. It will help you maintain stability in a way that leaning backward can’t.
The most effective way to stop speed wobbles is to brake. Slowing down your speed reduces the stress on the board and minimizes wobbling. Making it easy to regain control of the board. Be sure to apply the brakes gradually and avoid slamming them too hard, causing the board’s wheels to lock up and leading to a fall.
5. Practice riding with one foot off the board
A good technique to get better at is riding with one foot off of the board and dragging it behind you. This will help distribute your weight across the board better by keeping the front and back trucks level. It makes it harder to lose control and start wobbling.
6. Invest in high-quality bearings
Investing in high-quality bearings will make sure the board runs smoothly, reducing wobbling caused by poor bearings. Of course, they will cost more, but they are worth the investment as a smoother ride is a safer one.
In conclusion, speed wobbles can be scary, but also preventable. By using these methods mentioned above, you’ll be able to either prevent speed wobbles or stop them in their tracks. Remember to take things slowly as you build your skill, and you’ll eventually find yourself riding with ease and confidence. Stay safe out there!