How to Prevent Speed Wobbles on Electric Skateboards?
Nov 02, 2023
- Understanding Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble
- Preventing Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble
- In Conclusion
We all love the thrill of riding electric skateboards, but there's one thing we all dread – speed wobbles. They can strike when you least expect it and turn a fun ride into a nerve-wracking experience. In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the world of electric skateboard speed wobbles. We'll uncover the main reasons behind these wobbles and, most importantly, share effective techniques to prevent them.
Understanding Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble
Speed Wobble or Death Wobble
Before we get into the prevention strategies, let's understand what electric skateboard speed wobble is. Speed wobble occurs when the steerable wheels of your electric skateboard begin to oscillate at a frequency ranging between four to ten hertz. At first, you might not even notice it, but as the oscillations grow in amplitude, you risk losing control and balance. It's especially unnerving when making turns at higher speeds, and it often happens when riding at speeds exceeding 20 miles per hour. Speed wobbles can lead to serious accidents, making it crucial to understand their causes and how to prevent them.
What are the Reasons for Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble?
Several factors can contribute to speed wobbles in electric skateboards. Let's explore them one by one.
Reason 1: Wrong Foot Placement
Beginners often place their front foot on the deck's center and the back foot over the back truck. While this is a correct posture, it can sometimes lead to speed wobbles. The ideal foot placement is to angle the front foot at 45 degrees to the board and position the back foot shoulder-width away from the front foot, creating a 45 or 90-degree angle. This optimal posture can help maintain stability and prevent wobbles.
Reason 2: Loose Trucks
The tightness of your trucks plays a significant role in your electric skateboard's stability. Loose trucks can make the board more responsive, especially during turns at high speeds. However, excessively loose trucks are a common cause of speed wobbles. It's essential to strike a balance – tight enough to prevent wobbling but loose enough for maneuverability. Adjust your trucks based on your riding preferences to find the sweet spot.
Reason 3: Difference in Tightness of Front and Rear Trucks
Another potential trigger for speed wobbles is an imbalance in the tightness of the front and rear trucks. If the front trucks are significantly tighter than the rear ones, you risk a fishtailing effect, leading to loss of control. Achieving even tightness between the front and rear trucks is crucial for stability.
Reason 4: Improper Weight Displacement
Balancing your weight on an electric skateboard is more science than art. Putting too much weight on the back foot can exert undue pressure on the bushings, causing the rear trucks to turn more than the front ones, resulting in wobbles. To prevent this, shift your weight slightly forward, placing more weight on the front foot.
Reason 5: Board Height
The height of your electric skateboard relative to the wheels can affect stability. Top-mount skateboards, which are taller, offer more turning ability but can be less stable. If you experience wobbles, consider switching to lower-degree trucks or adjusting your bushings. This will lower the board's position relative to the wheels, reducing the turning range and minimizing speed wobbles.
Preventing Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble
Now that we've identified the reasons behind speed wobbles, let's explore effective prevention techniques.
1. Truck Tightening
Tightening your trucks can reduce the turning ability that leads to aggressive swings on your electric skateboard. Ensure that both the front and rear trucks have the exact tightness needed for your riding style.
2. Adjusting Truck Tightness
If you encounter a lot of turns during your rides, consider loosening the front trucks and tightening the rear ones. This will provide more flexibility when turning.
3. Consider Wheelbase
Short electric skateboards have a smaller wheelbase than longboards. While short boards are more agile, they are also more prone to wobbling. Choosing a longer board can increase stability.
4. Opt for a Lower Base Plate
A base plate is essential for attaching trucks to the e-skateboard. If you're experiencing wobbles, consider using stiffer bushings to lower the base plate's position. This reduces the turning range, minimizing speed wobbles.
5. Choose the Right Board
Consider opting for a drop-deck e-skateboard as it's closer to the ground and offers greater stability. Similarly, a drop-down e-board can improve carving range and reduce wobbling.
6. Maintain Proper Weight Distribution
Avoid shifting your weight dramatically while turning. Allow the board to move naturally to maintain the pivot point and avoid wobbles. Shift your weight gradually to stay balanced.
Speed wobbles on electric skateboards can be a terrifying experience, but armed with the knowledge of their causes and prevention techniques, you can enjoy a safer and more stable ride. Remember that you don't need to apply all of these strategies simultaneously. Address the specific issue that's causing your speed wobble, and ride with confidence. If you ever feel the wobbles creeping in, don't panic. Relax, bend your knees, and lower your body. This simple technique, grounded in physics, can help you regain control and maintain balance.
With these tips, you can minimize the risk of speed wobbles and make your electric skateboard rides more enjoyable and safe. So, get out there, ride with confidence, and leave those wobbles in the dust.