Riding the curbs

One of the things that I’ve realized this year is that I struggle determing when to use curbing vs when not to.

I was wondering if folks had good video that had some curb-riding, and maybe talk about the theory behind it.

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I don’t have video. But what’s your data telling you?

If you hit the curb, and you go slower, don’t hit the curb :slight_smile:

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what a great topic…ive wonder this myself as abruptly hitting the curb throws the chassis off and common sense tells us that hitting things slows you down.

I think however that they is a difference between “hitting the curb” and “riding the curb”
Theres one curb in particular at my local track that if I hit it just right and can ride up and over it nice and smooth. If your off by a little, it will throw you off a nice smooth line and hurts like hell

I was originally like, “well duh” and then I thought about it.

The vast majority of curb contact is a negative. It just has to be. Unless there’s some freaky line that relies on canting the kart just so using the kerb, it doesn’t seem to make sense.

When I rewatch my races it’s pretty clear that kerbs are either neutral because you nailed em just right or negative if you strike em wrong. So, avoid?

Going over a curb will be the shortest route through a corner. So if it’s smooth enough not to upset the kart too much, it’s the better choice to jump that sucker. Even if the curb is really rough, it can be advantageous to jump it, as it might set you up better for the next corner as well.

Look how much time Neri gains on everyone in this section at Colorado by launching every curb here:

Some curbs can really help the kart rotate better too.

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I use a couple curbs at our club track much to my advantage, and other ones I avoid like the plague… like someone above said, if it slows you down stay off it — :call_me_hand:t3:

2 statements I have heard that seem to ring true
1 - You have to commit to it
2 - If you hit the curb with only your rear wheel it will bounce you off of it.

Both depend on the individual curb, but good basic info to start with. Some are more roll over than others.

When following someone I look at what the guy in front is getting away with. Even if you don’t want to jump some curbs early on it is good to know what it does. If it is wearing on you physically you can keep in reserve. The best way to learn is by doing it.

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What about a track like New Castle? Even with the new curbing there I rarely see anyone using apex curbs.

I barely touch the curbs at New Castle. The ones I hit are:

  • Inside curb on the exit of the horseshoe
  • Just graze the one in the kink before the Green corner
  • Sometimes touch the inside one at Scoreboard if I feel the kart isn’t rotating enough and it needs some help

Otherwise I stay off them there. New Castle is so fast and flowing and the curbs are so high that you tend to upset the kart too much by using them.

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I don’t do it enough to have good data, but I can see that the fastest guys are doing it (on the right track. My local track has kurbs from the 60s, so you definately don’t want to hit those. They’ll **** you up. But then when I go to a more modern track that has better curbing, I don’t think to use the curbs, because of the habit I’ve picked up.

Maybe I just need to track walk eariler in the day, with a mind of just thinking about curbs and which ones I can go over and not upset the kart.)

I really need to get more comfortable rolling up on kerbs, without bouncing the kart, or hurting myself… :frowning:

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I feel like jumping curbs is a cheat to some degree.
I do think there is a difference in using a curb to straighten a line or to get it to rotate a kart.

This is one of those thread that brings up some other related topics.

One of the first questions I get from my drivers on the initial weekend track walk is usually “which curbs should I hit?” and besides the ones I know to use or not to use, my answer is almost always “try them all and find out”.

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Lets be honest, nailing a curb is just damn fun :joy:

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And that’s the most important thing!

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Some kerbs. The turtle kerbs at etown beg to differ, James.

This probably comes down to your own personal feel for whether something is faster or not. There are certainly kerbs which become usable at different points in the weekend depending on grip or weather.

Some are usable in the wet but not dry (or vice versa), some are usable on new tires (i.e. tonnes of grip) but not used.

Your kart setup, typically you can use more kerb if the kart is soft (absorbing the impact somewhat).

Trajectory, some kerbs work well if you roll up them, some you have hit at a certain angle, some you have to fully commit to.

Easiest thing I do is watch other classes and see how they handle it, I got the most kerb knowledge from watching Gill in Jnr Tag at the weekend for one session.

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I’ve seen a wheel bolt shear failure resulting in a wheel falling off & causing a pretty spectacular off track excursion, which I’m 99.99% sure was owed to persistent curb riding/clipping going through a particular turn.

Just something to consider.