Skateboard Wobbles How To Stop

Carole Stephens
• Monday, 17 January, 2022
• 7 min read

So you’ve been progressing in your riding, hitting bigger hills, gaining more speed, and you’ve found yourself face to face with the bane of the longboarder’s existence: Speed Wobbles. Speed wobbles are a complicated phenomenon that happen when the board begins to oscillate back and forth, which can happen naturally based on many factors such as wind, draft, and the surface you are riding on.

skateboard stop wikihow street
(Source: www.wikihow.com)


I want you to put the balls of your toes on the floor, when your raise your knee your ankle will begin to “bounce”. When the board moves to one side your ankles will compensate and shift it to the other side, and then back again, and eventually the board will be moving back and forth so fast it will become unbridgeable.

I know a lot of people who have eaten pavement simply due to tense ankles. This will take some time to get used to, but once you find a way to calm yourself and relax your body, you’ll be able to hit bigger hills and higher speeds.

If your board begins to wobble simply start a light carve back and forth. If the board is too long for you and you haven’t properly adjusted your riding stance, you can experience speed wobbles as well.

There can be many other reasons for speed wobbles but these are the main three I have run into in my time riding. Once you conquer the dreaded speed wobbles you’ll be ready to hit any hill.

The first thing to know is that speed wobbles are entirely due to the actions of the rider. Your brain tries to keep you going straight when you hit small imperfections in the road and over corrects.

stop tricks skateboarding
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Before you know it, you are wobbling all over and eventually lose control and eat it real good. However, it is ultimately up to you to skate within your limits and ALWAYS wear a certified helmet and other protective gear.

Practicing GOOD habits with the right long board gear can get you CLOSER to perfect. However, there are always places for you to improve your long boarding skills and there is always a chance for you to fall on your face, I don't care how well you practice and how good you get.

The only way to truly overcome the dreaded wobbles in most situations is to build your skills by becoming more and more comfortable with speed. In this case, the source of the problem is the over correcting action that the rider takes when hitting the imperfections in the road.

The only way to truly overcome the dreaded wobbles in most situations is to build your skills by becoming more and more comfortable with speed. Most riders start by utilizing set-ups that make it hard to get wobbles.

Top mounts might be used by the pros, but they are usually not a good starting point for a first speed board. Top mount long boards generally make it easier to get speed wobbles because they position the rider above the trucks.

skateboard stop speed carving shed
(Source: stixrideshop.com)

Note that this is not to say if you get a board like the Landyachtz Eve you'll instantly be able to bomb like a mad man. Let's dive into each one of those options, why they seem to work, and why they ultimately can lead you into a false sense of security, wobble hard, and make you face plant harder than your mom can garden.

If your current long board set up wobbles bad, your first and cheapest option is to tighten your trucks. Tightening your trucks is simply postponing the point at which you wobble.

In addition, I can't tell you how many times I've seen skaters absolutely destroy bushings by over tightening their trucks. Lower degree baseplates give the rider more lean and less turn.

Back to the fundamentals: less turn = less over correcting = less speed wobbles. The last option you have in terms of changing set up to help reduce speed wobbles is to increase the wheelbase of your long board complete.

Think about a go-kart (Landyachtz Dinghy) and a full size car (Loaded Bhangra). The go-kart is quicker in sharp corners, but more squirrelly when you get going fast in a straight line.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

Once again I am going to reiterate: a longer wheelbase is simply postponing the point at which you wobble. The way in which you ride the long board, regardless of the set up, is going to impact your success or failure at avoiding speed wobbles.

Because turning and controlling a long board is largely based on the front truck, it's important to keep your weight there. Another common method for overcoming wobbles on your long board is to carve them out.

By consciously forcing a carve back and forth, the over correcting action of your brain can be overcome. Seriously consider buying 2-3 boards over time, with each set up getting more and more into turning and less into complete stability.

CJ: For starters, speed jobs can be caused by a number of different reasons. Loose trucks can give you too much turning ability, making your set up hyper-responsive for any speed over 10-20mph.

I guarantee you over 90% of speed jobs come from leaning way too far back on your board. Its very natural for the human body to lean back when going an uncomfortable speed.

skateboard electric uphill skateboarder riding
(Source: e-skateboarder.com)

Place your front foot as far forward as possible without hanging your toes or heel over the railing. Speed wobble occurs when the rear of the board begins turning before the front of the board, the front truck will stay relatively straight while the back truck will turn back and forth violently resulting in a hefty amount of road rash.

One of the most common mistakes that beginners encounter when learning how to ride is putting all the weight on the back truck of the board. When riding make sure to keep your knees bent and most of your weight on your front foot.

Sudden movements make speed wobbles worse, so when you shift your weight, do so with caution and confidence. Lower angles will cause the truck to turn even less which will make for a more stable ride.

A lot of us here at Motion Board shop ride with 184 mm Caliber Trucks with 44 degree baseplates. It’s easier said than done when you’re bombing a hill and start to wobble, but relaxing your body will go a long way.

Bending your knees will lower your center of gravity and give you much more stability, but it won’t always get rid of speed wobbles. Get low, relax your legs and focus on keeping your upper body over your board and positioned slightly forward.

(Source: www.flickr.com)

Attack the hill and if your board starts to wobble, stay relaxed and confident. It’s much easier to feel relaxed while bombing a hill if you know you could throw a speed check or slide to a stop at any time.

Learning various stopping techniques and being comfortable doing them is one of the most important skills any long boarder can have. Every long boarder faces speed wobbles at some time, and for unaware beginners it happens unexpectedly and may have discouraging consequences.

Hopefully, in the end you’ll be much more prepared for speed wobbles and will know the techniques to stop them. In the sense of physics, it’s a quick oscillation (4-10 Hz) of your rear truck.

When you start a turn, you counter the subconscious corrective movements which increase the wobble amplitude. Your legs should be as relaxed as possible in order to dampen the movement and stop overcorrecting.

Longer base also makes your board harder to turn and less wobble-prone, again, postponing the wobble triggering speed. All three options won’t help you to completely prevent speed wobbles and when it happens, you might crash harder.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

In my opinion, when it comes to speed wobbles it’s always better to work on improving your technique rather than cutting corners by cranking down the bushings or lowering your deck and reducing maneuverability. And when you start feeling that wobbling in your rear truck, just keep calm, double check if you’re in a proper tuck and begin a slow turn.

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