Skateboarding is all about the thrill of the ride, the rush of the wind, and the freedom of the open road. But what happens when your trusty skateboard just isn’t cooperating, and turning feels like an uphill battle? Fear not, fellow riders; you’re not alone in this.
Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just starting your journey on four wheels, understanding why your skateboard isn’t turning as smoothly as you’d like is essential to enhancing your riding experience.
In this blog post, we’ll dive into the five most frequently asked questions about why your skateboard isn’t turning effortlessly.
From tight trucks to worn-out bushings, we’ll explore the common culprits behind this issue and provide practical solutions to get you back on track. So, let’s roll into the world of skateboarding troubleshooting and make those turns as smooth as ever!
What Is Skateboard Turning?
Skateboard turning refers to the action of changing the direction of a skateboard while riding it. Turning is a fundamental skill in skateboarding and is essential for maneuvering, controlling speed, and navigating different types of terrain.
Skateboards are typically equipped with trucks, which are the metal components that attach the wheels to the deck. The turning mechanism of a skateboard is primarily controlled by these trucks.
Here’s how skateboard turning works:
Skateboard trucks consist of several components, including the baseplate, hanger, bushings, and kingpin. The hanger is the part that holds the skateboard wheels, and it pivots on the kingpin, allowing the board to turn.
The bushings are rubber or urethane components that provide resistance to the turning motion of the skateboard truck placement. They are placed on either side of the hanger and compress when you lean on the board to initiate a turn.
Softer bushings allow for easier turning, while harder bushings provide more stability and less responsive turning.
To turn a skateboard, you shift your body weight in the direction you want to go. Leaning your body to the left will make the board turn left, and leaning to the right will make it turn right.
The placement of your feet on the skateboard also plays a crucial role in turning. Your front foot is typically placed perpendicular to the board’s length, with your toes hanging over the edge slightly. Your back foot provides balance and control.
You can control the sharpness and speed of your turns by adjusting the amount of weight you put on your toes or heels. Leaning on your toes will initiate a turn in the direction you’re leaning, and leaning on your heels will initiate a turn in the opposite direction.
Turning on a skateboard takes practice to master. Beginners may find it easier to start with gradual, gentle turns and progressively work up to sharper turns as they become more comfortable and confident on the board.
It’s important to note that different skateboard setups, including the width and shape of the deck, the tightness of the trucks, and the type of bushings used, can all affect how a skateboard turns.
Skateboarders often customize these elements to suit their individual preferences and style of riding.
Common Reasons Your Skateboard Isn’t Turning
If your skateboard isn’t turning properly, it can make riding difficult and less enjoyable. There are several common reasons why your skateboard might have difficulty turning, and addressing these issues can help improve your riding experience.
Here are some common reasons your skateboard isn’t turning as it should:
If your skateboard’s trucks are too tight, it can hinder your ability to turn smoothly. Tight trucks provide stability but reduce maneuverability.
To fix this issue, you can loosen the kingpin nut on your trucks slightly. Be careful not to make them too loose, as this can lead to instability.
The hardness of the bushings in your skateboard’s trucks affects how easily it turns. If your bushings are too hard for your weight and riding style, turning can be difficult.
Softer bushings can make turning easier, while harder ones offer more stability. Consider replacing your bushings with ones that better suit your preferences.
Wheelbite occurs when the wheels of your skateboard come into contact with the underside of the deck while turning, causing the board to stop abruptly. This can happen if you have large wheels or if your trucks are too loose.
To prevent wheel bite, you can use riser pads to increase the distance between the wheels and the deck, or you can tighten your trucks slightly.
Uneven Weight Distribution
Proper weight distribution is crucial for effective turning. If your weight isn’t evenly distributed between your front and back foot, it can affect your ability to turn smoothly.
Make sure you’re leaning in the direction you want to turn and that your feet are in the correct positions.
Obstacles or Debris
If there are obstacles, debris, or rough terrain on your skating surface, it can impede your ability to turn. Always skate on smooth surfaces, and be cautious of any debris or obstacles in your path.
Worn or Damaged Components
Over time, skateboard components can wear out or become damaged. Check your trucks, bushings, and wheels for signs of wear or damage and replace them as needed. Damaged components can negatively impact your skateboard’s turning ability.
If you’re a beginner skateboarder, it may take some time to develop the skills and balance necessary for smooth turns. Practice regularly to improve your turning abilities.
Make sure your skateboard size setup, including deck size, wheel size, and truck type, matches your riding style and preferences. An inappropriate setup can affect how your board turns.
Lack of Lubrication
Proper lubrication of your skateboard’s bearings is essential for smooth rolling and turning. Make sure your bearings are clean and well-lubricated.
By addressing these common issues and making necessary adjustments to your skateboard setup and technique, you can improve your skateboard’s turning performance and have a more enjoyable riding experience.
Techniques to Improve Turning in Skateboarding
Improving your turning skills in skateboarding is essential for better control, maneuverability, and overall riding enjoyment. Here are some techniques to help you enhance your turning abilities:
Practice Balance and Weight Distribution
- Begin by working on your balance while riding on a flat surface.
- Focus on evenly distributing your weight between your front and back foot. Proper balance is crucial for effective turning.
Learn to Carve
- Carving involves making smooth, controlled turns while riding down a slope or on a gentle incline.
- Practice carving back and forth to get a feel for how your skateboard responds to your weight shifts.
Master the Kickturn
- The kick turn is a fundamental turning technique that involves lifting the front wheels off the ground and pivoting the back wheels.
- Start with slow, small kick turns and gradually increase the height and speed of your turns as you gain confidence.
Use Your Shoulders
- Your upper body plays a role in initiating turns. As you want to turn in a particular direction, rotate your shoulders and hips in that direction.
- This rotation helps to shift your weight and provides a signal to your lower body to initiate the turn.
- Pay attention to your front foot’s position. It should be angled slightly in the direction you want to turn, with your toes pointing toward the edge of the skateboard.
- Your back foot should be in a comfortable position for balance and control.
Adjust Your Trucks
- Experiment with the tightness of your skateboard’s trucks. Looser trucks offer easier turning, while tighter trucks provide stability.
- Find a balance that suits your riding style and comfort level.
Practice Sharp Turns
- Work on making sharper turns by leaning more into your turns while maintaining control.
- Start with wide, gentle turns and gradually increase the sharpness as you become more comfortable.
- Learning to ride a switch (with your non-dominant foot forward) can improve your overall balance and turning skills.
- It can be challenging at first, but practicing riding switch regularly can make you a more versatile skateboarder.
- Combine various turning techniques to improve your overall control. For example, use kickturns to change direction quickly, and then use carving for smoother turns on open terrain.
- Consistent practice is key to improving your turning skills. Spend time regularly on your skateboard to build muscle memory and gain confidence in your abilities.
- If possible, skate with more experienced skateboarders who can offer tips, demonstrate techniques, and provide feedback on your form.
- Always wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards, especially when practicing more challenging turns and tricks.
Remember that improving your turning skills takes time and patience. Be persistent and gradually push your limits as you become more comfortable and confident on your skateboard.
What Happens If My Skateboard Doesn’t Turn Easily?
If your skateboard doesn’t turn easily, it can affect your riding experience and make it challenging to maneuver effectively. Several factors can contribute to a skateboard not turning easily, and it’s essential to identify and address these issues to improve your riding.
Here’s what might happen if your skateboard doesn’t turn easily and potential solutions:
Difficulty in Turning
If your skateboard feels stiff and unresponsive when you lean into turns, it may be due to tight trucks. Tight trucks provide stability but hinder maneuverability.
Solution: Loosen the kingpin nut on your trucks slightly. Be cautious not to make them too loose, as this can lead to instability. Find the right balance that allows you to turn comfortably while maintaining control.
Wheelbite occurs when the wheels of your skateboard come into contact with the underside of the deck while turning, causing the board to stop suddenly. This can happen if your trucks are too loose or if you have large wheels.
Solution: Use riser pads to increase the distance between the wheels and the deck, preventing wheel bite. Adjusting your truck’s tightness can also help.
If your skateboard has hard or stiff bushings, turning can be challenging. Bushings are the rubber or urethane components inside the trucks that provide resistance to turning.
Solution: Consider replacing the bushings with softer ones that match your weight and riding style. Softer bushings make turning easier and more responsive.
Your skateboard setup, including deck size, wheel size, and truck type, may not match your riding style and preferences, making turning difficult.
Solution: Consult with experienced skateboarders or a skate shop to ensure your setup is appropriate for your riding style. Making adjustments to your setup can significantly improve your turning abilities.
Lack of Maintenance
Worn-out or damaged components like worn bearings, cracked wheels, or warped decks can hinder your skateboard’s overall performance, including turning.
Solution: Regularly inspect and maintain your skateboard. Replace any damaged or worn-out parts to ensure your skateboard functions properly.
Inadequate Weight Distribution
If your weight is not evenly distributed between your front and back foot or you are not leaning properly into turns, it can affect your ability to turn easily.
Solution: Focus on proper weight distribution and body positioning while riding. Lean into turns to initiate them effectively.
If you’re a beginner skateboarder, it may take time to develop the skills and confidence necessary for smooth turns.
Solution: Practice regularly to build your skills and improve your turning abilities gradually. Seek guidance from more experienced skateboarders if needed.
Addressing these issues and fine-tuning your skateboard setup to match your preferences can significantly improve your skateboard’s turning performance, allowing for a smoother and more enjoyable ride.
When to Seek Professional Help?
Seeking professional help for your skateboard-related issues can be beneficial in certain situations. Here are some scenarios when it’s a good idea to seek assistance from a professional skateboarder or a skate shop:
Custom Skateboard Setup
If you’re new to skateboarding or want to customize your skateboard setup, consulting with a professional at a skate shop can be helpful.
They can recommend the right deck size, truck type, wheel size, and other components based on your riding style and preferences.
For more intricate skateboard repairs or maintenance tasks, such as replacing bearings, bushings, or grip tape, professional assistance can ensure the job is done correctly. They have the expertise and tools to handle these tasks efficiently.
Advanced Tricks and Techniques
If you’re looking to learn advanced skateboard tricks or techniques like flip tricks, grinds, or slides, seeking guidance from an experienced skateboarder or skate coach can accelerate your progress and help you avoid injuries.
When you’re experiencing problems with your skateboard, such as difficulty turning, unusual noises, or unusual vibrations, and you can’t identify the cause, a professional can diagnose the issue and recommend appropriate solutions.
Skatepark Etiquette and Safety
If you’re new to skateparks or unfamiliar with skatepark etiquette and safety rules, it’s a good idea to seek advice from experienced skaters or park staff. They can provide guidance on park rules and help you navigate the skatepark safely.
Safety Gear Selection
Choosing the right safety gear, including helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards, is crucial for your safety while skateboarding. Professionals can assist you in selecting the appropriate safety gear and ensuring it fits properly.
Learning Skateboarding Basics
If you’re a beginner skateboarder and want to learn the basics, consider taking lessons from a skateboarding instructor or attending a skateboarding clinic. They can provide structured guidance and help you develop a strong foundation.
Community and Networking
Professionals in the skateboarding community can connect you with other skaters, events, and opportunities to enhance your skateboarding experience. They can introduce you to local skateboarding groups and help you become part of the skateboarding community.
Remember that seeking professional help is not only about improving your skateboarding skills but also about ensuring your safety and getting the most out of your skateboarding experience.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced skateboarder, don’t hesitate to reach out to professionals or experienced skateboarders for assistance when needed. They can offer valuable insights, tips, and support to enhance your skateboarding journey.
How to tighten bearings on a skateboard?
To tighten bearings on a skateboard, first, remove the wheels using a skate tool or wrench. Insert the bearings into the wheel’s center, ensuring they sit flush. Reattach the wheel onto the truck axle and secure it with the nut. Repeat for all wheels, ensuring a snug fit.
What if my skateboard turns too much or not enough?
If your skateboard over-turns or under-turns, it’s likely due to improper bushing hardness. Softer bushings allow for easier turning, while harder ones offer stability. Swap out your bushings with ones that match your turning needs to improve control.
Why does my skateboard feel sluggish when turning?
A sluggish skateboard may be caused by worn or dirty bearings. Clean and lubricate your bearings regularly to ensure smooth and efficient turning. Consider upgrading to high-quality bearings if you want a noticeable improvement in performance.
Can wheel size affect my skateboard’s turning ability?
Yes, wheel size impacts turning. Smaller wheels (50-54mm) provide quicker and sharper turns, while larger wheels (54mm and up) offer stability but require more effort to turn. Choose wheel size based on your riding style—street, park, or cruising—to optimize turning.
How does my stance affect skateboard turning?
Your stance plays a crucial role in turning. If you’re regular-footed, your left foot should be forward for sharper turns, while goofy-footed riders should place their right foot forward.
Experiment with your stance and foot positioning to find the most comfortable and responsive turning setup for you.
In the world of skateboarding, mastering the art of turning is like unlocking a door to endless possibilities on your board. By understanding the common issues that can hinder your skateboard’s turning capabilities.
Also, by implementing the solutions we’ve discussed, you’ll be well on your way to smoother, more enjoyable rides. So, gear up, hop on your skateboard, and let’s roll with newfound confidence and control!
Hopefully, you have got my point properly. Thank you for staying with us.