Essential Braking Tips to Improve Your Go-Kart Skills

Essential Braking Tips to Improve Your Go-Kart Skills

Nothing brings Canadians together like go-karting. The largest go-karting competition in Calgary courted 113 competitors, including dozens of children. Competitions give away trophies and cash prizes to the racers who can get the fastest around the tracks. 


If you're looking for a rewarding and fun activity, try go-kart racing! But you can't just hop into a go-kart and expect to win. There are a few essential skills, one of them is learning proper braking techniques.


When should you brake on the go-kart tracks? What mistakes should you avoid? What are some advanced techniques, and when should you practice them? 


Answer these questions, and you'll be racing around the track like a pro in no time. Read on to learn more!


Slow In, Fast Out


Many professionals in go-karting follow a common rule: "slow in, fast out." While taking a turn, you should slow down by applying a little pressure with your brake. Then, as you are leaving the turn, speed up while holding the wheel straight.


You need to apply the brakes gently and ease yourself into your brake. If you step on the pedal too fast, it will lock the wheels, and you can lose control of the kart. Winning races is all about keeping control of the go-kart and maximizing the time you have to gain speed.


Avoid Common Braking Mistakes


There are some basic go-kart braking mistakes to avoid if you want to compete to win. However, keep in mind that it will take some practice to avoid making mistakes. So be patient and focus on improving. You'll get there with practice!


Slamming the Brakes


If you slam the brakes, you will lose control of the vehicle and time on the course.


It's best to stay calm. Many people slam their brakes because they feel nervous or lack confidence. Smooth and fluid movements are essential to driving well. Try to relax as much as possible and focus on how fun it is to race!


Keeping Your Foot on the Throttle


Good driving means knowing when to brake and knowing when to speed up. Some people press the brake and throttle pedals simultaneously; it's never a good idea to do both at once, only push one or the other.


Once you decide to brake, pull your foot off the throttle. Apply your brake pedal until you reach the speed you want, then return your foot to your throttle so you can accelerate. 


Many people use their left foot to brake because the brake pedal is on their left. This is the wrong way to drive, just like driving a car, only use one foot for both pedals.


Skidding or Drifting Your Go-Kart


Skidding or drifting will make you lose traction and control and only slow you down. Your speed and steering will determine how much you skid. 


The best turns are done smoothly. A driver will have problems making time turning too much while going too fast into a corner. The go-kart wants to go straight, so if you turn the wheels at the wrong speed, these opposite forces can lead to a spin-out.


You should brake before turning the wheel as you approach a corner. But once you're halfway through the turn, you should straighten the wheel out and hit the gas!


Improve Your Go-Kart Braking Technique


As you gain experience with go-karting, you can start to try out different techniques.


One example is trail braking, which involves releasing your brakes slowly. This keeps your kart tires from sliding on the track, increasing maneuverability. You can try trail braking when you are going through a wide turn.


Learn and Practice on the Track


The best way to learn go-kart racing is to just start racing. Find an indoor go-kart track instead of an outdoor one, so you don't have to worry about the weather. Review the track design to get familiar with the course and prepare.


Do a leisurely lap around the course and get used to everything. Then, once you're warmed up, go all out and try beating your previous laps and then other drivers!


Ride a Go-Kart the Right Way


You can't brake in a go-kart the same way you brake a car. A go-kart is much lighter, so there's less weight to stop. The brakes will be much more sensitive, so any sudden movements will happen faster. The best way to improve your driving is to do everything possible to maintain wheel grip and control. 


Never slam the brakes or steer your wheel too hard to one side. Smooth motions are all you need to navigate corners and avoid accidents. 


You don't have to go far for great go-karting. K1 Speed provides the best track in Toronto. Book your time today.