“chatter is like snowboarding on a chunky patch of ice…” – Bently Anderson
You may have read an older post titled (after one of our favorite TV shows) “Different Strokes For Different Folks” – In the post we do mention one of the pros of Freebording is that you do not get any Hunting Oscillation. This also know as speed wobbles (see example below), a “speed wobble” is a quick 4–10 Hz oscillation of primarily just the steerable wheel(s) of a vehicle. Although there is no speed wobbles on a Freebord, there is a center-wheel based phenomenon called “Chatter”.
So what is chatter?
We caught up with Freebord veteran Mike Hoppe to hear what his definition of chatter is.
“There are three ingredients to getting chatter on a Freebord.
- Holding an edge too hard.
- Not distributing weight evenly (usually the back).
- A rough or bumpy surface to start hopping the caster wheel.
Any 2 of the 3 and you’re usually fine, but when they all come together, the center will come up, straighten itself with the spring bias and then come back down in the wrong orientation. This can wig out until you straighten your line, put sufficient weight on it, or get to a smoother patch of pavement”
Although chatter can seem like a scary thing to be happening under your feet, it is very easy to overcome. We put together some video examples of chatter effecting Freeborders and them correcting it only to safely snowboard another street.
So when it comes down to it, action sports are dangerous, we all know that. But when you are aware of what you are up against the battle for safety becomes much easier. Have fun out there and WEAR A HELMET.