Riding a hoverboard can be a great way of getting from place to place. It’s also a fantastic way to kill time, flying around the neighborhood with no specific destination in mind.
Best of all, riding a hoverboard – AKA, a self balancing scooter – isn’t nearly as difficult as most newcomers expect. A little practice goes a long way, but actually making sense of how to ride a hoverboard can be surprisingly simple.
Of course, nothing matters more than staying safe when out and about. Irrespective of whether the rider is 6 years old or 60, the importance of prioritizing safety cannot be overstated. Particularly when getting started, you could save yourself all manner of injuries by wearing the right protective gear.
Examples of which include elbow pads, knee pads, and most importantly of all a good helmet. Even after you’ve learned how to ride a hoverboard without falling, wearing a helmet at least should be considered mandatory. After all, the occasional slipup here and there is all part and parcel of the experience.
How to Ride a Hoverboard – The Basics
With the health and safety side of things covered, we’ll now be taking a look at the basics of getting started in the first place. Learning how to ride a hoverboard is within the capabilities of just about anyone, but practice makes perfect.
In addition, you’ll find the following guidelines useful in getting yourself and your new board off to the best possible start:
Placing a Hoverboard
Hoverboards are pretty durable, but it’s still advisable to place them carefully on a suitable surface. Some manufacturers recommend that their boards be switched on only after being placed on the ground, while others are perfectly fine to power up beforehand. Check the manufacturer’s instructions, which will also indicate which surfaces are suitable (or otherwise) for initially placing a hoverboard.
In all instances, however, you’ll want to ensure that there are no specific hazards or obstacles in the immediate area. Always ensure you have plenty of room for maneuver, as you’ll need it while learning the basics of hoverboard riding.
How to Mount a Hoverboard
Learning how to stand on a hoverboard safely isn’t nearly as difficult as you might think. Though before you even attempt to mount your board, you’ll want to ensure that it is both fully charged and switched on. If you try to stand on a hoverboard that’s turned off, you’re pretty much guaranteed to fall off it.
After selecting the appropriate riding mode (if applicable), you’ll want to start out by putting one foot on the board to one side, holding the board in a level riding position. Lift your other foot onto the board, ensuring your feet are positioned as wide apart as possible, close to the wheels at either side.
It’s important not to overthink this initial mounting process, as it’s actually quite easy. Simply step on the board with the same confidence with which you’d step up a curb or any other raised surface. Don’t panic if things feel a little weird and wobbly at first – you’ll need some time to find your center of gravity. However, you could always hold onto a nearby wall, fence, or rail to help you get balanced in the first place, if necessary.
How to Step Off a Hoverboard
Stepping off a hoverboard is even easier than the mounting board in the first place. There’s one important thing you’ll need to know to get it right:
Always step backward off a self-balancing scooter, rather than forwards.
This is because attempting to step off a hoverboard forwards will result in pressure being exerted on the front of the board, which will cause the board to accelerate. When you step off a board backward, the board remains stationary and safe to dismount.
How to Control a Hoverboard
Once you’ve found your center of gravity, learning how to control a hoverboard is something that comes naturally. Again, there will always be a learning curve to negotiate, and you may find things a bit wobbly at first. Nevertheless, controlling a hoverboard is as simple as gently leaning forwards or backward to make the board move.
Another important rule to be aware of – always ensure that your knees are slightly bent. This will give you much greater control over the speed and general performance of your board, making it easy to accelerate, brake and come to a stop safely. Lean forward to accelerate or lean backward to brake and/or engage the reverse gear – it really is as simple as that.
As for turning left and right, it’s a case of combining the same forwards or backward pressure with careful balance. Each of the two sides of the hoverboard is independent, with its own dedicated motor controlling the speed of the wheel.
If you push your right foot forward, the board will turn to the left. If you push your left foot forward, the board will turn to the right. The quicker you turn, the more challenging it becomes to maintain your balance. Hence, it’s a good idea to start off slowly and carefully – always in an area with as few obstacles and hazards as possible.
How to Stop or Brake a Hoverboard
As touched upon previously, slowing down and stopping a hoverboard is as simple as leaning backward in a controlled manner. Doing so will exert equal pressure on both of the control pads, causing the board to slow down and eventually stop. After this, the board will begin to travel backward if you continue to lean in the same direction.
Hoverboard Riding Safety Tips
For the most part, hoverboard health and safety is all about simple common sense. However, it’s natural to have various questions and concerns as a newcomer to self balancing scooters. Detailed below, you’ll find the answers to six of the most common questions on the subject of everyday hoverboard health and safety:
1) When Should I Ride a Hoverboard?
There’s no specific time of day considered better or worse to ride a hoverboard, just as long as visibility is good. That said, you may want to focus on times when the roads, sidewalks, parks, and paths in your area are as quiet as possible.
2) Can You Ride a Hoverboard On Grass?
You’ll find that most good hoverboards are capable of dealing with a variety of everyday surfaces, including short grass. However, longer grass (and uneven grassed surfaces) can be difficult for some boards to negotiate. Always check the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you use your board on appropriate surfaces.
3) Can You Ride a Hoverboard On Dirt?
Again, it depends on both the nature/condition of the dirt and the type of board you buy. Hard, compacted dirt isno problem for most good hoverboards, but loose dirt, wet dirt, and rough surfaces, in general, can be more challenging. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
4) How Do I Pick the Right Hoverboard?
There are several factors you’ll need to take into account when choosing a hoverboard. The most important of which is the age of the rider, the maximum weight capacity of the board, the types of terrain you intend to ride it on, the maximum speed of the board, its battery life and range, how long it takes to charge, whether it’s waterproof and so on. In addition, never buy a board without first consulting real customer reviews and recommendations.
5) How Can I Pick a Safe Place to Ride?
The safest places to ride hoverboards are those that are free of obstacles and hazards. Particularly when getting started, you’ll want to ensure you have as much space as possible, while at the same time ensuring the ground is smooth and even. By contrast, crowded areas and busy roads are among the least safe places to learn how to ride a hoverboard.
6) Do I Need to Check the Weather?
Some self-balancing scooters are waterproof and are therefore suitable for wet weather use. However, riding a scooter in wet weather conditions brings additional challenges into the mix. Therefore, it’s definitely worth checking the weather before heading out. Of course, if your self balancing scooter is not waterproof, it shouldn’t be used in wet weather conditions under any circumstances.
Practice Makes Perfect
Some people take to hoverboard riding much quicker and easier than others. Nevertheless, there’s no specific ‘secret’ to mastering the art of hoverboard riding as a newcomer.
As with most things, practice makes perfect.
The first few times, the whole thing can feel disconcertingly weird and wobbly. In addition, it’s not uncommon to slip, stumble and fall at least a couple of times along the way. Hence, the importance of quality safety gear.
Nevertheless, persevere for just a short time, and you’ll soon gain the confidence you need to start riding like a pro. After this, you’ll find yourself throwing all manner of cool tricks into your everyday rides, just for the sake of it!