Kick scooters are one of the cheapest vehicles around on the market. They are easy to transport and can be used for running errands, traveling around a city, and short-distance commuting. Plus, they help you stay in shape.
But how to ride a kick scooter? If you are looking for the answer, we are here to help you.
This article will teach you the basics of riding a kick scooter so that it’s second nature when you get your own. So if you are a beginner to kick scooters, make sure to go through our guidelines till the end.
- What is a kick scooter?
- How to Ride a Kick Scooter? A Comprehensive Guide
- How to Ride a Kick Scooter – Final Thoughts
What is a kick scooter?
A kick scooter is typically called by either its proper name or by “feet bike,” “push bike,” “kick bicycle,” etc.
It is a two or three-wheel vehicle that needs one of your feet to push the ground behind to move forward. You need to repeat this process whenever you need to accelerate.
So such devices are not only useful for short commutations but also provide a handy exercise.
Parts of a Kick Scooter
Before we talk about how to ride a kick scooter, it is important to understand its various components. A typical kick scooter comprises the following major parts:
- Wheels: As we said earlier, there could be two or three wheels with a kick scooter sizing from 3 to 8 inches. They are either made of steel or hard plastic. Scooters with two wheels are suitable for grown-ups, while three-wheelers are best for young kids.
- Deck: It is a platform where you rest your feet while traveling. This part of the frame is a single long metallic plate in most cases. However, there can also be two such platforms, one for each foot, diverging from the stem. AODI foldable scooter is an example of a dual-deck scooter.
- Stem: This element is a long bar, mostly with several adjustable heights, attached to the front side of the deck. It carries a handle on its top. Therefore, it is also known as the handlebar.
- Handle: It is a horizontal bar on top of the stem. You hold it from both ends while commuting and rotate it to take a turn.
- Brakes: On most kick scooters, you will find a footbrake on the rear wheel. A few models, however, include a handbrake which is much convenient to apply.
- Seat: This one is generally an optional feature, and many brands offer their buyers a choice to include the seat or not. This accessory is desirable only for toddlers and very young children.
How to Ride a Kick Scooter? A Comprehensive Guide
Now let us come to our main point. To learn to ride a kick scooter, you need to follow a few simple steps. We will talk about them one by one.
1. Choosing a Perfect Kick Scooter
This one is the first and most important step by several means. If you pick a suitable kick scooter, keeping in mind your physique and requirement, riding it will be much easy. From the riding perspective, the following factors are worth considering.
Make sure that your scooter sizes according to your height. The handlebar plays a vital role here. It has an adjustable height in most such commuters.
But make sure that at least one of its height adjustments lies within your comfort zone. In other words, you shouldn’t need to bend too much to grip the handle. Neither the handlebar should be too high to control.
To avoid any untoward situation and assure a smooth ride, the load capacity must be more than the weight of the rider.
Many manufacturers overstate this parameter for their products. So based on our experience, we recommend taking the weight capacity 15 to 20 percent less than what is stated by the company.
If you intend to ride on rough or sloped tracks, try to buy a scooter with as large wheels as possible. But in the case of flat surfaces, smaller wheels can serve your purpose.
2. Assembling your Scooter
Most of the brands deliver pre-assembled scooters. But in a few cases, you may need to assemble a few parts like handlebar, handle and handle grips, yourself.
So just follow the instructions given in the product manual and make your scooter ready to ride.
3. Choosing a Track
The selection of an appropriate path is very crucial for beginners. A learner must use the flattest and smoothest possible track with minimum traffic.
Commuting on busy and uneven surfaces without adequate riding skills may cause safety threats.
4. Putting on Safety Gear
Before telling you how to ride a kick scooter, we will briefly talk about the safety measures.
Although non-motorized kick scooters do not run very fast, it is still desirable to equip yourself with safety gear. In the case of children and novices, it is even more crucial.
Following gadgets are considered to be necessary when taking a ride.
The most important part of this gear is a helmet that protects safeguards you against any head injury. It should be of superior quality and should have undergone safety tests.
Gloves are another accessory for safety purposes. They can help you prevent hand injuries if you fall accidentally.
You should also wear a good pair of shoes that do not get removed when you push back the ground using your foot. They should also be non-slippery.
Knee and elbow pads should also be used to protect you in the case of any mishap.
5. Setting up your Position
Once you are all set to commute, unfold your scooter and place it on the track you want to travel on.
Set the handlebar to a feasible height and bow down to hold the handle firmly from either side with both hands. Your arms should be adequately bent so that you are comfortable and can take turns easily.
Now keep one of your feet, whichever comfortable, on the deck just ahead of its rear edge. Keep your knee with the foot on the scooter bent to an appropriate extent.
6. Starting to Move
Now it’s time to start your trip. As you already have one foot on the frame, use the other to push the ground back to move forward. Repeat the process again and again until you achieve the desired speed.
Apply less force initially and increase it gradually to accelerate. Once you are running at maximum speed, keep your pushing foot on the deck. Try to place it right in front of the already landed foot.
Like professional cyclists, you can also get aero to reduce the air resistance and resultantly achieve better speed using less power.
Be sure that you are holding the handle firmly with both hands throughout the ride.
7. Taking Turns
In the process of learning how to ride a kick scooter, understanding turning mechanisms is very crucial.
Kick scooters come with two types of steering mechanics which include lean-to steer and bicycle type.
Mostly, the 3-wheeled scooters come with a lean-to-steer mechanism.
This style may be somewhat challenging for untrained riders, especially kids. But it is helpful for them to learn how to balance.
In this method, the rider needs to shift the bodyweight in the direction where he intends to take the turn. Doing this guides the vehicle to the requisite path.
This kind of steering is more convenient but doesn’t serve much in learning balancing skills.
It involves simple rotation of the handle that you do in conventional bicycles to take turns.
8. Switching Feet
We suggest using your stronger foot to begin the ride. But when you are tired of it, you can change your operating foot.
To do that, you can either stop your commuter or not. For the latter option, place your foot in operation in front of the other on the deck while moving. Now lift the previously at rest foot and use it to push back the ground. Now slowly adjust the position of the landed foot while placing some part of the in-operation foot on the deck.
You need to be very careful switching between your feet when moving as your scooter can get unbalanced. So we recommend stopping the machine for changing the foot.
9. Applying Brakes
As we said earlier, brakes with a kick scooter may be hand or foot operated.
When you stop pushing back the ground, kick scooters automatically slow down and finally stop after covering some distance.
But to stop them quickly, you need to use brakes. If your scooter features a footbrake, apply it with the same foot you are using to accelerate.
Remember that either type of brake must be applied gradually. Otherwise, you may be prone to accidents.
10. Going Uphills
You should avoid traveling on inclined tracks if you are a complete beginner. But once you have learned the basics of riding, you might be ready to scoot uphills.
Your foot would need to apply significantly higher force while climbing the slopes. So we recommend using your more powerful foot to push the ground.
As soon as you run out of stamina, stop using your foot. When your scooter is about to halt, land this foot on the ground so that the vehicle doesn’t start moving backward.
If the inclination of the track is significant, you wouldn’t need to apply brakes. The scooter will slow down and ultimately stop after you suspend using the push force.
When you are relaxed enough, you can resume your journey again.
11. Going Downhills
We also consider this factor very important to teach you how to ride a kick scooter.
When you are going down on a steeper slope, you might not need to use your foot. The force of gravity will spontaneously move your scooter.
If the inclination is not very high, you may use your foot in a controlled way.
But make sure that your commuter does not speed up too much and is always under your control. You can use the brakes from time to time to keep the speed within a safe limit.
12. Riding in Wet Conditions
If You are a complete beginner, avoid commuting when it’s raining; or the track is wet and slushy.
But if you must ride in such conditions, make sure to keep the speed as slow as possible to eliminate the chances of any slippage.
Also, use a raincoat and a fully watertight pair of shoes to be comfortable during the ride.
13. Tips to Train Kids
Riding a kick scooter is an awesome outdoor activity for children. If you buy them this toy, teaching them to ride it is crucial to assure their safety.
So here are some essential tips.
- First of all, choose a flat and traffic-free track to avoid any inconvenience.
- Ride the scooter yourself first in front of your kids and tell them to follow you.
- Next, adjust the handlebar length that suits the little one.
- Now position your kid properly on the deck with a firm grip on the handle. Also, hold the handle yourself as he might not be able to control the vehicle fully yet.
- Ask your toddler to push the ground backward gently. Run yourself with the scooter while holding the handle.
- Before teaching to take a turn, make sure that the kid can run the scooter independently in the straight direction.
- If the scooter is with a lean-to-steer mechanism, tell the kid to transfer his weight in a direction he wants to take a turn. Hold the handle firmly yourself during this whole process.
How to Ride a Kick Scooter – Final Thoughts
Riding a kick scooter is nothing difficult. However, it may take some time for newbies to get full command, depending upon the age and effort.
Once you have developed the skills on kick scooting, it will be great fun as well as a healthy exercise.
Just follow our above tips and you can gain a mastery of riding kick scooters.
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Salman Ali is basically an engineer. He got a keen interest in outdoor recreation vehicles during his professional life, which led him to be a passionate writer on this subject. He has been in this field for around three years and founded his website Outdoor Champs in 2020. More about Salman