Can someone explain curbs?

Is it a setup issue or is it my newbness? I go over a curb and I feel like it’s a violent ordeal that pushes my kart out a lane or more. When I watch videos of other karts it’s like they just absorb it and keep going almost showing more compliance via flex what have you.

Is this something that video just does a poor job of showing? This past weekend I used more curb than I ever have. And I found speed. But I feel that it’s beating the crap out of me.

I’m now a whopping 7 times in a kart. And my one and only dry day it was below freezing air temp. Water+curb hasn’t worked in my favor so I tried to make myself use them on Sunday. It worked to an extent for sure. But I just felt that it unsettled the kart a lot. Is this me being new and not knowing what to expect? Or is this a root setup issue that I need to try and get more compliance to the chassis.

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I think it depends on the kerbing. Some just hurt. Some feel great if you clip it just right. Kerbs can be pretty violent (bent axle, hurt ribs, etc). How fast and deep into the slope of the kerb you can take it really varies.

If you are getting knocked offline by a kart width, that’s unusual. Take less kerb. Run over less of it.

Also, if you are putting wheels off as you take the kerb, there’s a chance you are putting dirt/grass on the track and making it harder for next time around. Not usually a thing but can be.

Yeah not going wheels off at all. And I will watch more video back tomorrow. But just watching the karts in front of me look crazy compliant.

I follow their tracks and I feel like it gives me a much harder time. With what will be a month or more till my next race I’m probably being over analytical of video. But unfortunately I have nothing else to do. Lol.

Usually if you are hitting a curb that you need to hit to be fast, it’s either going to suck or it’s going to feel like nothing. You have to try and find the right angle, right amount of kart to place over the curb, and right speed to hit it at. Sometimes rotating sooner before you make contact with the curb will help smooth it out, as the kart isn’t as loaded up and trying to rotating when it gets unsettled on the curb.

But the reality is, some are just going to be a pain.

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This past weekend at NOLA for Pro Tour (RIP) and the Texas Sprint Racing Series we gained almost half a second just by tweaking my lines to set up for the curbs more. Some of the curbs at NOLA in the infield are very tall and knock the kart around while others are more shallow and really help get the kart rotated but I found that even the tall painful ones can help lap time a lot.

@tjkoyen @Gage_Hembree Thanks guys. Yeah i am new enough that i just wanted to make sure that what i was experiencing was normal. On video it looks super smooth. But i got my ass kicked. haha.

I’ve posted this video a bunch, but here’s a good example of some heavy curb usage. You can see how rough it was for me going through Tic-Tac-Toe and how slow I was there. Neri in the FA Kart found the sweet spot and gains like .3 through that section.

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This is my fast lap on the day. A little curb being used. I’ll have to go through the video and find where it was really unsettling the kart.

PGP is a hard track to really use the curbs properly too.

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Looks like a fun track. The main place where smashing curbs will be to your benefit is during a sequence of direction changes, making the run as straight as possible. I really only see one spot in that video where you could chow down on some curb, that being here:

Curbing in a “standard corner” may or may not be good to hit, depending on the nature of the curb, and/or the handling of your kart.


Agree with Evan here. If you straight-line this curb, you’ll have a better angle into the next corner and you’ll straighten the whole section out. Plus it looks like someone has been mowing the lawn heavily there already anyway.

For most single-speed classes, the curbs you’ll be looking for are ones like above. Like Evan said, on slower corners, It’s less common that a curb actually helps you, unless it’s pretty flat or shallow so that it doesn’t upset the kart. High-speed curb strikes are less disruptive to actual kart balance because the kart isn’t all loaded up when you hit the curb, so it doesn’t unsettle the lift action of the inside rear as much. In a slow corner, it’s easy to tap a curb and have the whole kart get wonky from all the mechanical jacking you’re putting through the frame.


Much appreciated guys. I’ll definitely add that to my something to look for when I’m reviewing footage.

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Nieri? murders kerbs here and passes 2 for the lead?

Also, your driving looks very much like sim feels. Very hooked up and such nice footwork. Am jelly. The gold shoes help. You look “connected”. The race action is intense. Such a fun race to watch with all the position changes. Was the Alonso fella you were pushing geared wrong or was all that fiddling him losing power? Sometimes he was OK on that stretch, sometimes not. Really nice race.

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Neri in the FA Kart was overheating and couldn’t get the tape pulled off his radiator, hence his terrible top-end speed. Him straight-lining those curbs was the only thing keeping him in the fight, otherwise we would’ve just gapped him on all the straights. His 2-for-1 after the curbs is pretty awesome.

Was a fun weekend for sure. Racing was very good. I finished 2nd in the final to Nicastro who had DNF’d in qualifying and started like 40th in the first heat.

Kerbs are things that local track knowledge really helps. Mostly a track has certain kerbs that you either have to hit or avoid.
Take Dubai for example, last weekend’s race I still struggled with the last corners, until I had a discussion about them with one of my fellow masters drivers who’s home track it is. The penultimate kerb he told me aim to hit the tyres, and you gotta be on the gas. you won’t be able to hit the tyres, soon as you hit the kerb it jinks you off just enough that you’ll miss it and line you up nicely for the final corner onto the straight. 6” to the right, hurts like hell. That chat saved me a second!

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This one - that was from practice. Next day (race day) I was missing the tyres by an inch :grin:

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This reminds me of a discussion we once had. In this, Lee speaks of a very similar experience.

This looks like the ‘steering with your shoulders’ technique you talk about. It looks as if you drive with your elbow locked out. Am I reading that right?

If so, what’s good about it?

I don’t actually lock my elbow, but my arm ends up fairly straight.

Driving with your shoulders allows you to make much more subtle wheel movements than if you’re driving with your forearms and biceps. Your shoulder doesn’t have the same range of motion as your forearms, so you naturally can’t overdrive the kart as easily. Plus, if you’ve got your arm straight and strong like that, it is less affected by bumps or curbs so you don’t get thrown around on the wheel as much. And finally as a side benefit, it stiffens up your upper body so you’re making a more direct connection with the seat and improving your weight transfer through the seat.