Want to know how to ride a hoverboard? You’ve come to the right place!
Watching someone on a self-balancing scooter is undeniably cool. These little things are fast, they’re manoeuvrable and they look like something out of the future. In fact, some people even refer to them as ‘hoverboards’. If that’s not cool, nothing is…
But while the celebs make it look easy, that doesn’t necessarily mean anyone can ride them. Looking at these scooters, it’s easy to imagine that they might be quite difficult to ride around on. Not only are they very small but they have nothing to hold on to and no obvious way to steer them.
So, the question is: just how hard to ride are they? And how do you ride them anyway?
How to Ride for Beginners
When you first get on a self-balancing scooter, there’s no denying that it feels odd and feels a little scary. In fact, even stepping onto it can be rather nerve wracking if you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like the thought of falling over.
The next bit is weirder still. All you have to do is lean forward and that’s a rather terrifying experience the first time. It’s a little bit like one of those trust exercises where you fall backward and get a friend to catch you. When you first let yourself topple, you’ll have to fight the thought that you’re going to land flat on your face hard.
Likewise, if you want to try and turn, you simply increase the weight on one foot. If this sounds confusing then think of it like this: you’re just leaning slightly to one side. That will naturally increase the weight on that foot!
The other difficult bit is standing still. Which is funny, because that’s about the easiest thing to do when you’re just walking…
Here though, even slight twitch and movement will be translated to movement on the board and you’ll start jerking it around until you can remain steady.
And if you start to fall backwards? The normal reaction is to lean back – though in this case that just once again causes the scooter to move. It’s all very strange and at first you’ll feel completely on edge!
Anyone Can Do It
But then something kicks in and suddenly it’s not hard anymore. As soon as you’ve been on a scooter like this for about 10 minutes, you’ll find that your brain rewires itself and it becomes second nature. From that point onward, you’ll never have any difficulty riding it and you’ll be able to nip around all over the place without even thinking about it.
Ever heard the saying ‘like riding a bike’? The same expression applies here but the initial learning curve is much easier.
All this really comes down to is getting your brain to trust in the device and to believe it’s not going to fall over. This takes a few minutes but once you’re over that, it’s really easy and you can even pull off some cool moves. It works as well as it does, simply because it is so second-nature. You just lean the way you want to go. And trust!
How to Learn to Ride a Hoverboard
To learn, it’s worth trying the scooter on your own property to begin with. Then just hold onto something while you stand still and allow your brain to calibrate. You can place one hand gently against a wall as well when you try moving for the first time and use it just for a little balance. You might for example choose to circle your car or just to follow a wall along your garden (on patio). You can also have someone walk with you and hold one hand. Likewise, they can spot you by standing ‘behind’ and
To turn, you just lean in the direction that you want to go and subtly alter the weight on you feet.
To get off, you simple transfer your weight onto one foot gradually while remaining still. Then step off onto the ground and gradually take your other foot off too – don’t jump off like a skateboard!
Still nervous? Here are some tips that can help anyone to get better at hoverboard riding…
- Stay Calm: Easier said than done perhaps, but the most important thing when riding a hoverboard is that you stay calm. That’s because jerky movements in any direction will be translated into bigger movements on the board. Our natural reaction is to try and ‘right ourselves’ when we fall. That means flailing our arms backward and leaning around – but this actually makes us far more likely to fall as it can cause the hoverboard to move backward!
- Keep an Eye on the Terrain: While the hoverboard itself is very safe, one way it can go wrong is if you hit a root sticking out of the ground, or go into a ditch. Keep an eye on where you’re going at all times.
- Keep Your Feet Closer to the Wheels: The closer you keep your feet to the wheels, the easier it will be for you to ride.
- Wear Safety Gear: Are hoverboards safe? Absolutely. But does that mean you should ride them without safety gear? Absolutely not! If you’re going to be riding on the sidewalk, then it’s particularly important that you protect yourself from a fall. You would do the exact same thing on a bike or a skateboard!
- Visibility: That also goes for lighting by the way. Increase your visibility with a high-vis jacket if your hoverboard doesn’t come with LEDs.
Be bold, be brave and you should find that once you know how to ride a hoverboard, it’s just like riding a bike!