Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble – How To Avoid
We all experience speed wobble while riding a conventional skateboard or an electric one, especially as beginners or when we try to push the board too hard.
That’s why this article discusses electric skateboard speed wobble, the main reasons, and most importantly, its prevention.
Speed Wobble or Death Wobble
The speed wobble happens when the electric skateboard’s steerable wheels begin to oscillate at a frequency ranging between four to ten hertz. Initially, you don’t feel any oscillations until their amplitude increases, resulting in the total loss of the board.
Furthermore, it makes it challenging for you to control and balance the electric skateboard. As a result, you’ll feel unsteady, especially while turning the e-skateboard at higher speeds.
Speed wobbling usually occurs when you ride the e-skateboard at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour. That’s why you shouldn’t go faster downhill or while making turns.
We all know electric skateboard speed wobble is frightening and may lead to some severe roadside accidents.
That’s why it’s essential to understand why the speed wobble happens in the very first place.
See also: How To Ride An Electric Skateboard
What are the Reasons for Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble?
There can be several reasons behind this problem in electric skateboards:
Reason 1: Wrong Foot Placement
Many beginners place the front foot on the deck’s center while the back foot goes over the back truck. This posture is correct; however, it may lead to speed wobble sometimes.
The preferred approach is to place the front foot not on the center but more forward. However, you need to be cautious and not let your heel or toes hang over the railing.
The ideal posture to ride an electric skateboard is to place the front foot at a 45-degree angle to the board. Moreover, the back foot should be shoulder-width away from the front foot, making an angle of 45 or 90 degrees.
Reason 2: Your trucks are too loose
Loose trucks can either be a favorable or bad thing. One of the most significant advantages of loose trucks is that they make the electric skateboard responsive, especially while turning at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour.
Conversely, loose trucks are one of the main culprits behind causing speed wobble. Obviously, the trucks swing aggressively when loose.
The rule of thumb is to tighten the trucks if you want to drive your electric skateboard at more than ten miles per hour speed. Moreover, you can always adjust the trucks keeping in view your comfort.
Reason 3: Difference in Tightness of the Front and Rear Truck
Another reason behind speed wobble is when the rare and front trucks don’t have the exact tightness. For instance, you’ll surely experience speed wobble if the front trucks are relatively tighter compared to the rear truck.
Consequently, the rear truck turns more than the front, leading to a threatening fishtail that will throw you off the board very soon.
The front truck and wheels play a significant role in steering the e-skateboard. However, you won’t be able to steer if the rear trucks have more turning ability.
Reason 4: Improper Weight Displacement
Balancing an electric skateboard isn’t an art but simple physics.
Some people tend to put more weight on the back foot, thus exerting pressure on bushings. It may cause the rear trucks to turn more than the front trucks, leading to speed wobble. You should put more weight on the front foot instead of the back foot.
Reason 5: Board Is Too High
The top-mount skateboards are relatively taller compared to drop-deck boards. Furthermore, they offer more turning ability, courtesy of the leverage on the trucks.
Conversely, you may encounter stability issues when the board is mounted higher on the wheels. You feel more stable and balanced riding a drop-deck skateboard than a top-mount board.
You may solve the issue by replacing the higher trucks with lower-degree trucks or opt for a restricted bushing setup. This way, you can improve your skateboard riding experience.
Preventing Electric Skateboard Speed Wobble
Now you know the primary reasons behind the speed wobble, you must be wondering how to avoid speed wobbles on electric skateboards. Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of prevention techniques to prevent speed wobbles.
First, you can tighten the trucks to minimize the turning ability that leads to aggressive swings on the electric skateboard. Furthermore, it’s essential to ensure the exact tightness of the front and rear trucks.
Alternatively, you can also adjust the trucks according to your riding preference. For instance, you require more flexibility if you have a lot of turns while riding the board. Well, in such a case, you must loosen the front trucks and tighten the rear trucks.
We all know what a wheelbase is. It’s the distance from the center of the front wheel to that of the rear wheel. It means short e-skateboards have a relatively smaller wheelbase than longboards. Yes, short e-boards make turns; however, they wobble more compared to long e-boards.
Additionally, a base plate allows you to attach the trucks to the e-skateboard. Your electric skateboard may wobble if you choose a higher baseplate. That’s why you should use stiffer bushings to ensure the lower position of the baseplate, leading to lesser turning range and, consequently, minimal speed wobbles.
Instead of a top-mount e-board, it’s better to choose drop-deck e-skateboards because they are closer to the ground, thus offering you more stability and less wobbling.
Similarly, a drop-down e-board is better than a drop-through, offering an improved carving range.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t even think about shifting your weight while turning. Let the board move with the flow; else, you’ll disturb the pivot point and encounter a nasty fall.
The key takeaway of the above guide is understanding the reasons behind speed wobble and using the prevention techniques accordingly. However, you don’t need to apply all of them simultaneously. Instead, address the particular issue that’s causing the speed wobble.
Lastly, if you feel speed wobble, don’t panic, relax, and simply bend your knee and lower the body.
You should never underestimate the effectiveness of this technique because it’s based on physics laws. Lowering the body towards the board shifts the pivot point closer to the ground. This way, you can restore the board’s balance.