If you’re looking to have a good time skateboarding, then an overly wobbly skateboard is the last thing you need. These can be difficult to maneuver and may even cause serious injury.
So the question is: what causes a skateboard to wobble? And more importantly, how do you fix a wobbly skateboard? Fret not because we’re here to quench your thirst for curiosity. So without further ado, let’s jump on the skateboard ride.
What is the Reason Behind a Wobbly Skateboard?
A wobbly skateboard may not be everyone’s cup of tea. However, it can be challenging to control for beginners and can be a jukebox for making noise.
Essentially, the leading cause of wobbly skateboards is either soft bushings or loose trucks. Both are relatively easy to fix and require little to no effort.
Is a Wobbly Skateboard Dangerous to Use?
The answer to this question is heavily subjective and depends on a few variables. For example, if you’re new to skateboarding, using a loose and wobbly one may be difficult for you to get used to because of the skills required to balance it.
On the contrary, a skateboard with tight trucks would be relatively easy.
If you’re looking to ride a skateboard on smooth and well-built terrain like a skateboarding park, then the tightened trucks would be no hassle. However, if the terrain is rough, the wobble is your friend as it will break the impact from the rough surface and act as a cushion to keep the experience smooth.
If you were to use an over-tightened skateboard, then it could potentially cause a speed wobble, resulting in serious injuries. Therefore, the danger is relative and subjective, as some prefer wobbly skateboards over nonwobbly ones.
Fixing a Wobbly Skateboard
As we mentioned earlier, a wobbly skateboard can be due to two reasons. Either the trucks are loose, or you have soft bushings. Therefore, to fix the wobble, you will first have to diagnose which of the two issues it is.
How to Check the Cause of a Wobbly Skateboard?
To check the cause of the wobble, you must observe the skateboard when riding it.
Upon making turns on the skateboard, the issue is likely due to the trucks being too loose if you sense wheel bite or speed wobbles upon going fast. You can confirm this by trying to push the wheel against the underside of the board. If it easily budges, then loose trucks are likely the cause.
However, if you do not observe the abovementioned issues, the cause is soft bushings.
If you have loose trucks, you have an easy fix ahead of you.
To fix a wobbly skateboard caused by loose trucks, simply grab your skate tool and tighten the bolt in the middle of the trucks, called the kingpin. It is relatively large and won’t be difficult to tighten.
However, you do not want to over-tighten it as it could cause speed wobbles.
A good strategy is to tighten them by a quarter turn and test the board until you feel it suits you.
If you have soft bushings, you’d need to replace them with different ones to stop the wobble.
If you want tighter trucks, then we suggest going with stiffer bushings.
There is a large variety of bushings to choose from, so do your research before you decide which one to get.
How to Fix Skateboard Trucks That Lean on One Side?
Most often, a newly bought skateboard will lean on one side. This is primarily due to the bushings. Once you start using them, they will automatically fix in place. If they don’t, you can adjust the truck’s position accordingly.
Another case where trucks can lean on one side is after using them too much since the bushes get used and old. In this case, it is better to replace the bushings to take care of the issue.
Squeaky Skateboard Trucks
Squeaky skateboard trucks, similar to trucks leaning on one side, are caused due to bushings.
If the bushings are new, you can expect the noise to be there for a while. However, after using the skateboard for a time, this squeaky noise will also automatically disappear.
However, that isn’t the only cause. A similar case will be observed with excessively worn-out bushes which have been abused for a long time. This may cause the trucks to be unaligned; if it is the case, simply changing the bushings should take care of the issue.
It is also to be noted that the squeaky noise may not be due to the bushings but instead because of the pivot cup holder. Applying a silicon lubricant to the holder should fix this issue.
How Do I Replace Skateboard Bushings?
When it comes to skateboards, most issues can boil down to bushings. Either they are too old, too soft, or too hard. In either case, replacing the bushings should take care of the issue. But how do we do it? To do this, you will need a skate tool.
How to Replace Bushings?
To replace the bushings, use your skate tool to loosen the kingpin and nut so that you can remove the trucks.
Now disassemble the board by removing a washer and bushing one at a time. Next, use your hands to separate the hangars from the truck axles.
All that is left now is to install the new bushings. To do this, install the washers and the new bushings and mount the hangars. Lastly, tighten the kingpin and nut back in place.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Skateboard
If you’re thinking of buying a skateboard, then consider the following factors.
Size and Weight
The size and weight of the board determine what type of skateboarding style you want to do. For example, if you plan on doing tricks, a larger board will allow you to do them more easily. It will also make you need less effort and give you enough space to perform tricks.
However, if you don’t plan on doing tricks, a smaller board will be easier to handle and control on flat ground.
When choosing a size, remember that bigger does not always mean better. You should pick a size that fits your height and weight best.
You can find wood, plastic, carbon fiber, and bamboo boards. Wood, being the most popular material, offers a sturdy deck.
Bamboo provides a smooth ride and is lighter than wood. Similarly, carbon fiber boards are expensive and can crack over time.
On the contrary, plastic ones are cheaper than carbon fiber and won’t crack but may warp over time.
A wide wheelbase gives you extra maneuverability. Choosing between 6 and 8 wheels will depend on how much you plan on doing tricks. Make sure the wheels fit your skateboard nicely. Also, check out the bearings and bushings.
Check if they’re metal or pneumatic. Metal bearings slide smoother and last longer than pneumatic ones. Pneumatic bearings, however, provide a lot of grips and are great for beginners.
How thick should the deck be? This depends on the rider. Boards with thicker decks are stiffer, making it hard to move around. Thinner decks are better on the knees and ankles.
Skateboarding is a fun and thrilling sport that can be pretty time-consuming to master. Having a wobbly skateboard may or may not be the best thing for you.
If you are a beginner, you would likely find it a nuisance as it would make it challenging to balance. On the contrary, professional skaters prefer some wobble to help with the breaking impact when riding on rough terrains.
In this guide, we discussed how to fix a wobbly skateboard. Most often, these are linked to bushings.
What is a Wheel Bite?
If your wheels make contact with the underside of the skateboard and leave a mark, it is referred to as a wheel bite. It is often caused by poor technique and lack of practice.
In essence, a wheel bite is not that dangerous, but it can abruptly stop the skateboard upon significant impact. This, of course, can be dangerous. Using larger wheels often reduces the chances of a wheel bite.
What Does Speed Wobble Mean?
Speed wobble occurs when your board wheels rotate at different speeds and thus cause you to lose balance. This is caused mainly by improper alignment of the wheel axles, poor suspension system, worn-out bearings, etc.
As the speed wobbles increase, your stability decreases, and eventually, your board will fall over. To avoid speed wobble, ensure proper maintenance is done on your board.
What Causes Clicking Sounds?
Clicking sounds are primarily due to the cup washer. Upon any impact, the cup washer will move and cause a clicking sound. To fix this issue, disassemble the skateboard and adjust the bushings so they do not move. This should stop the noise as well.
A rare scenario involves the cup washers being too large for the board. We recommend you contact a skate shop to replace the cup washer with the correct size.