The hoverboard — also known as the self-balancing scooter — has become one of the most exciting ways to move around in this age.
As exciting and fun as it might be, riding a hoverboard requires quite a learning curve. In today’s article, we’re going to be taking you through how to ride a hoverboard.
Before you jump on a hoverboard (especially as a beginner), your safety is the first point of attention.
It is very important that you put on safety gear before you start riding a hoverboard, even more important if it is your first time. They protect you from suffering injury in case of a crash.
Safety gear you need to put on include:
- A helmet
- Wrist guards
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads
- Tailbone protector
Now that your safety box is checked, we can now move into learning how to ride a hoverboard.
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Tips For Riding A Hoverboard
1. Placing The Hoverboard
Some hoverboards are designed with a beginner mode. So, if your hoverboard is with you right now, check and adjust to the beginner mode first if present.
Now, since you are a beginner, it is important that you keep the hoverboard right in front of your toes. Also, we advise that you do not have your feet too far apart when they are still on the ground.
Finally, when it comes to placing the hoverboard, most aren’t usually sure whether the light should be in front or back. If there is a specification, you can follow that.
If it isn’t specified, then don’t bother, it doesn’t matter much if the light is behind or in front. Unless you are riding in the dark and need to be seen, then we recommend that you keep the light in front.
2. Getting On The Hoverboard
With your hoverboard properly placed in front of your toes, the next big step is getting on the hoverboard. Start by placing one foot first (your dominant foot), then followed by the other.
During this step, make sure that your feet are as close as possible to the wheels of the hoverboard. This makes controlling the hoverboard a lot easier.
When you get on the hoverboard for the first time, be warned that your body might wobble a little bit (sometimes a lot). In this situation, it is important that you don’t lose your cool, or you’ll most likely crash before you even start moving.
The best way to handle the wobble is to relax, don’t attempt moving until you are as relaxed as possible.
For some hoverboard brands, they alert you when it is safe to place your second foot on the hoverboard. This way, it’s easier to avoid losing balance and/or eventually falling.
In hoverboards that give this alert, a green flashing light indicates that you can place your second foot. If the hoverboard is displaying a red light, then you need to adjust your dominant foot until it turns green.
Once you have your two feet on the hoverboard, make sure to keep the hoverboard level.
3. Moving The Hoverboard
Once your nerves and muscles are relaxed, you are now ready to move. In order to move the hoverboard, you need to slightly lean your body weight slightly towards the direction you want to go.
The hoverboard detects where your body weight is leaning towards and moves in that direction. So, when you lean forward, the hoverboard begins to move forward.
Moving backwards also works the same way. Leaning slightly backwards will make the hoverboard automatically go into reverse mode.
When attempting to move the hoverboard forward, try not to lean too much to avoid falling off. Getting the hoverboard to move is not achieved by moving your whole body. The main motion is done at the ankles.
Finally, in order to slow down/bring the hoverboard to a stop, just return to your initial upright position.
4. Turning The Hoverboard
At this point, you can comfortably ride the hoverboard without falling. You now need to learn how to turn the hoverboard.
To turn the hoverboard in a particular direction, all you have to do is bend one foot.
How does that work?
Well, if you want to turn left, you are to bend the right foot in the left direction. And of course, to turn right, bend your left foot to the right.
Beware that getting this step might take more than one try, so, just keep trying.
5. Performing A Spin
We understand perfectly that at this stage you want to have at least one or two tricks to show off. Well, one very simple trick you can pull off at the beginner level is the spin.
However, this isn’t until you have properly mastered the basics of making turns. Do not attempt the spin until you can confidently perform every other movement.
To perform a spin, position your toes and your heel in the opposite direction, how? To make a left spin, you need to push your right toe and left heel.
Making a right spin is the exact opposite, just push your left toe and right heel.
6. Stepping Off The Hoverboard
As simple as stepping of the hoverboard might seem to be, it can go wrong in a lot of ways. Here are steps to safely get of the hoverboard without having an accident.
To get off the hoverboard, channel your weight to your dominant foot and take the other foot off the board. With one foot on the ground, you can now move the other off the board.
It is very unsafe to jump off the hoverboard. This could damage the hoverboard, and also cause you injury.
Experience has shown that the toughest part of riding a hoverboard is getting on and off the hoverboard. So, make sure you do not rush it. Take time to practice stepping on and off the hoverboard until you are completely used to it.
Effective Practice System
Although we have laid down all the steps here, you still need a practice system to get better at riding the hoverboard.
1. Start With Straight Journeys
It is best to restrict your practice to indoors and enclosed environments for your safety. However, if you really have to hit the road, be sure that they are straight road journeys.
Until you have completely mastered moving forward, slowing down, and moving backwards, leave the turns and maneuvers.
2. Move On To The Basic Turns
We have already explained how making turns with the hoverboard works. So, now that you can confidently move your hoverboard straight, the next thing will be to practice turns.
Start by practicing doing a basic left turn (or right, whichever pleases you). Continue practicing one side until you have mastered that, then you can move on to another.
3. Now The Sharp Turns
There are a lot of fun sharp turns that can be performed with the hoverboard. However, the little hurdle you have to scale is learning and mastering the basic turns.
If you have, you can now try making sharp cool looking turns. Practice this as long as you have to before trying to pull it off in a more serious environment.
4. You May Now Try Some Tricks
At this point, you should have completely mastered every basic movement there is to riding the hoverboard. You can now start going online to learn a few tricks and moves.
It is important however, that you ignore this step until every other one before it has been mastered.
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Just A Few Tips Before You Go
Now that we have highlighted all the steps to take when learning how to ride a hoverboard, there are a few tips that would come in very handy as you learn to ride the hoverboard.
1. Instruction Manual
Some hoverboards are packaged with instruction booklets. If the one you have gotten doe not have an instructional manual, that’s not a problem. By following the steps we have laid down in this article, you will be just fine.
Anyway, if yours is, the very first thing to do is read through it before you start riding. This way, you can already understand the specific functions and features of that particular hoverboard.
2. Use Anything Within Your Reach
This tip is basically for when you are trying to balance on the hoverboard. You can make use of a wall, furniture, or even a person around to get your balance right.
Basically, make use of whatever option you have to keep yourself from falling off the hoverboard.
3. Don’t Rush Yourself
Depending on how quick you pick up on things, the time frame for learning to ride a hoverboard varies a lot. For some, it could take thirty minutes to an hour, while for others, it may be longer.
The important thing is that you do not rush yourself into some higher levels of riding. You need to take it one step at a time until you have completely mastered each stage.
We also cannot leave out mentioning that you are most likely going to fall off the hoverboard a few times. What matters is that you don’t give up. You already started, so, the falls will all be worthless if you don’t finish.
4. Avoid Slopes, Bumps, And Curbs
Some hoverboards can take on about 15 degree slopes. However, we still strongly advise that you avoid slopes especially at your beginner stage.
As a result of balancing issues that come with the hoverboard, riding up or down slopes could cause accidents.
Until you have gained enough experience and proficiency with normal straight line motion, avoid slopes!
Being a beginner, we would also advise that you avoid intentionally hitting bumps and curbs.
Hitting bumps and curbs without crashing takes some level of experience and mastery. So, avoid those also until you have gained enough experience with riding the hoverboard.
5. Always Check The Battery
Just like any other battery-powered device, the hoverboard can get drained. So, always make sure that the battery is fully charged before heading out on long journeys (nobody likes getting stranded).
When charging the hoverboard, avoid overcharging or charging till dawn. Overcharging the hoverboard could damage the batteries or even cause them to explode, and you certainly don’t want that.
To ride the hoverboard all you need are a few guiding steps. However, the somewhat tricky thing about these steps is that they take some getting used to.
Taking time to practice all the steps and tips in this article is the key to getting it right.
Want to know how to ride a hoverboard? All you have to do is get a hang of everything written in this article, and you’ll be well on your way.