Segway Scooters

If you’re like most people, you’ve probably thought that an electric scooter would be fun to learn to ride. Each year, they gain in popularity because riding an electric scooter can be a great way to get fresh air once you become an experienced rider. 

Source: AxleAddict

But if you’ve never been on an electric scooter before, you might wonder, are electric scooters hard to ride?

Like most forms of transportation, no, it’s not hard to ride an e-scooter once you get used to it. Of course, just like almost everything, there’s a learning curve that comes with your electric scooter, and you won’t find it easy to ride at first. 

But practice makes perfect, and the more you familiarise yourself with your e-scooter, the more natural it will feel to ride your scooter safely and have a lot of fun.

Before you rush out to compare scooters or get a licence, this comprehensive guide to learning how to ride an electric scooter can help prepare you to ride. These tips can make your scooter respond to you so that you maintain balance and stay upright. 

Understanding the basic components

Learning the basics is always a good idea, no matter the subject. When it comes to electric scooters, that starts with knowing the parts and knowing how they operate. 

Before you start to learn how to ride your scooter anywhere, you should know where the brake levers are and how to brake properly. In most cases, you’ll have a rear brake in your wheels that can help you slow speed and come to a full stop should you feel things sliding out of control.

You’ll also want to know where the electric scooter battery and the controller are on your e-scooter so you can perform pre-ride checks on each. The battery pack helps power your scooter so you can reach top speeds, and the controller makes it possible for you to get there. 

All of these components work together, so it’s important to know how they work before you hit the road. The good news is that it’s fairly simple to learn how they work together, and you can practice on your home driveway to ensure you’re ready to go.

Having the right safety gear

This goes beyond the question of whether it is hard to ride an electric scooter. Whether you’re riding for the first time or the thousandth, you should never get on your e-scooter and certainly never get on the road without proper safety gear.

That means biking helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads are a must, and safety features such as phone holders are also helpful. Having gloves that allow you to grip the handlebars well can further protect your hands should riding mistakes happen, while pads can keep knees and elbows safe in the event of a crash. 

Experienced riders wear safety gear at all times because they know that it only takes one incident for serious injuries to occur. When it comes to your health and safety, you never want to leave anything to chance when you’re riding.

Are certain scooters better for beginners?

Having the right e-scooter can make it much easier for you to get used to riding. If you’re an adult learning to ride, you always want to make sure you purchase an adult electric scooter. Scooters for kids tend to be more for practice rather than safely navigating on trails or roads. They’re not made of the highest-quality materials, as the manufacturers expect they’ll be used only at home.

When are electric scooters hard to ride? Mostly, it’s when new riders either push into a scooter’s features too early or ask a scooter to go beyond what its capabilities allow. Opting for an adult scooter with dual motors allows you to start with one motor to get used to riding the scooter safely at lower speeds. 

Then, when you feel more confident, you can try a test ride with both motors and see how you handle top speeds. Getting an electric scooter for beginners that can expand allows you to grow into becoming a scooter rider because when the time comes on your scooter journey that you feel like an experienced rider, you’ll have a scooter ready for your new skills.

Mastering the art of scooter balance

Source: Stacks

When you’re on two wheels, balance is key to getting where you want to go without falling. Much like with riding a bike, your scooter’s controls depend on you keeping your balance. 

To do that, you need to practice your stance on your scooter and keep an eye out for any potential hazards. Here are a few top tips to help you stay in control during your scooter ride.

Mounting and dismounting safely

Having the right riding stance gets you off to a good start with your e-scooter. Most electronic scooters don’t have their motors kick in until they reach at least 3 miles per hour, so you’ll have to kick-start your scooter unless you have a zero-start scooter. Kick-starting starts with a good standing position favouring your less dominant foot in front of your strong leg. 

This is the conventional stance, and it’s the one that most new riders use as they get accustomed to their e-scooter. Putting your strong leg in front of your weak leg is known as goofy stance, and both are far more common than the side-by-side stance. 

That’s because both conventional and goofy stance allow riders to shift their weight appropriately when faced with a hazard that must be avoided. With a side-by-side riding technique, your ride is less stable, which makes it difficult to avoid obstacles. 

When dismounting, the idea of safety first is similar. You’ll always want to wait for the scooter to come to a full stop by pulling the brakes and letting them do their work. 

If you brake too hard, you can wear them out preemptively, so you’ll be much better off slowly decelerating once you’re at the end of your ride. Once your scooter has stopped, release the brake levers and step off slowly. 

Maintaining posture while riding

Keeping your posture is critical when riding your electric scooter. When you get on, you’ll want to keep your back straight, and shoulders relaxed with your feet on the foot deck at shoulder width. This can help you distribute your weight properly and limit the risk of losing control.

Gripping the handlebars with both hands and bending your knees also go a long way toward keeping you safe and in control. As one learns how to ride an e-scooter, they start to learn that they’ll need to react quickly to potential hazards. 

Always looking ahead and keeping hands and knees in the proper position gives you the control of the scooter that you need to cause the scooter to steer clear of hazards safely.

Navigating bumps, uneven surfaces, and terrain

Even small bumps can cause real problems for an e-scooter rider. Unfortunately, urban commuters will run into the occasional debris, rubbish and other bumps in the road. Your best course of action is to travel at a slow speed when traversing uneven surfaces. Sometimes, this will be done automatically, as some cities artificially lower rental scooter speeds in certain areas.

If you know you’ll be travelling rough terrain, don’t hit the throttle too hard. Take it slowly and make sure this is really a trip you need to make with your scooter instead of going on foot. 

One common mistake to avoid is riding a scooter on unsafe terrain and being unable to avoid these minor hazards. In such a situation, you’ll often be better off folding your scooter for the day and making the trip via another means of transportation. 

The same applies to riding your scooter in the rain; slick surfaces and water near the battery don’t mix.

Controlling your speed and direction

Once you get used to riding your electric scooter, you must know how to guide it properly. You don’t want to find yourself braking hard to stop safely, and you don’t want to be constantly pushing the throttle. These safety tips can help you stay in control in every direction.

Brake and throttle management

When you get into riding mode, it’s natural to want to hit the throttle and see what your scooter can do. However, you don’t want to be Tim Taylor and constantly give your e-scooter more power, especially at the beginning. 

Instead, accelerate slowly using only one motor until you get comfortable with the lower speeds. Once you can handle your scooter at low speeds, you can use dual motors to get the most out of your ride.

Braking safely is even more important to learn. To brake safely, you’ll need to learn the appropriate braking power and apply the rear brake first, so you don’t fly off the scooter during a stop. Braking with the rear wheel first, then using the front brake, ensures you’ll slow down properly and limit your risk of major riding mistakes.

Turning and steering safely

Whether you should turn or steer depends on how fast you’re riding when it’s time to turn. If you’re going under five miles per hour, you can steer the front wheel with the handlebars and guide your scooter into the turn. 

However, once you exceed those speeds, you’re better off leaning into your turns. When you lean into your turns, you shift your weight and can maintain control of the scooter while you complete the turn. If you try to turn the front wheel above the speed limit of five miles per hour, you risk losing control from a quick, abrupt turn.

Dealing with tight corners and narrow passageways

Are electric scooters hard to ride in tight spaces? Yes, which is why you shouldn’t try taking on these areas until you’re ready to handle them. 

When you do, keeping your balance is essential. When you go through narrow passageways and around tight corners, you don’t have as clear of vision available. That means you must take these turns slower, giving you more time to react.

Safety and etiquette in public spaces

Knowing how to ride safely is only part of the equation. To be a responsible scooter rider, you need to share the road properly and safely. 

Source: Bikebiz

These rules of the road can help you avoid a collision once you start riding for real.

Sharing the road with pedestrians and cyclists

When two riders come from opposite directions, which one has the right of way? Truthfully, it’s neither; both sides should lean right to give each other time and space to move safely. This is an accepted standard among e-scooter users, and it’s important to uphold this common practice.

You’ll also want to check electric scooter laws in your area. Some places, like New South Wales, don’t allow electric scooters in their city limits, while other jurisdictions trust riders to go slow and give cyclists and pedestrians proper space. 

If you must pass, give plenty of warning by calmly stating your presence to others so they can get out of your way.

Navigating traffic and intersections

Riding in pairs can be a lot of fun, but you should only do this in lightly trafficked areas. In heavy traffic, keep your speed reasonable and ride in single file so that you don’t cause issues for others. 

With intersections, you’ll want to treat them the same way as you would with a bike. Follow all traffic signals and laws, and take care to look multiple times before you cross.

Scooter parking and local regulations

When parking, always make sure to follow all local regulations. Park your electric scooter in a well-lit area designated for its usage, and always use multiple locks to help deter thieves. Just like with a car or bike, you don’t want to leave your scooter anywhere but in a designated parking area. If none is available, fold it up and bring it with you.

Summing up

Once you get the tricks of the trade down, you’ll discover that it’s not hard to ride an electric scooter safely and have a lot of fun doing it. Most people who ask, “Are electric scooters hard to ride?” do so because they’re used to learning to ride a bicycle or drive a car, both of which take lots of practice to do well. 

Riding an e-scooter does take some practice, but most people can figure out the basics with a few hours of practice before they’re ready for more advanced techniques.

As long as you stick to basic safety tips and don’t push your scooter before you’re ready to handle more challenging tasks, you’ll find that it’s easy to ride your scooter to where you want to be. It’s a great way to get out and enjoy getting from point A to point B.

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