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Tips and Tricks for E-Scooters Beginners


As urban commuting shifts towards micromobility, an increasing number of first-time riders are exploring e-scooters. If you've ever maneuvered a kick-scooter as a child, you'll find that riding an e-scooter is relatively straightforward, though there are notable differences—like the capability to accelerate up to 25 mph.


Riding an e-scooter is enjoyable but can be somewhat challenging for beginners. To help you start smoothly, we've created a detailed guide filled with essential tips for electric scooter riders. This guide covers everything from selecting the right safety gear to avoiding common riding errors, ensuring you and others on the road stay safe.


Here are some detailed tips and tricks for new electric scooter riders:


1. Safety First: Always prioritize safety by wearing a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads.

2. Get to Know Your E-Scooter: Familiarize yourself with the features and functions of your e-scooter before you start riding.

3. Pre-Ride Checks: Inspect your scooter to ensure everything is in working order—check the brakes, tires, and battery charge.

4. How to Stand on an Electric Scooter: Position yourself comfortably with one foot in front of the other for balance.

5. Accelerate Slowly: Gradually increase speed to maintain control, especially when you’re just learning.

6. How to Steer an E-Scooter: Use subtle body movements to steer. Lean slightly in the direction you want to go, rather than turning the handlebars sharply.

7. Learn How to Brake Safely: Practice braking in a safe area. Get a feel for your scooter’s response time and the pressure needed to stop smoothly.

8. Keep Your Eyes on the Road: Always be aware of your surroundings. Watch out for pedestrians, obstacles, and other vehicles.

9. Avoid These Common Mistakes: Don’t ignore traffic signals, and avoid riding on sidewalks unless local laws permit.

Let’s dive deeper into these points to ensure you’re fully prepared for a safe and enjoyable ride!


1. Safety First


Wearing protective gear is crucial when riding any motorized vehicle, including micromobility devices like e-scooters. Regardless of the terrain or weather conditions, the possibility of falling or colliding is always present. A helmet is essential—it's your primary defense against serious head injuries.


Additionally, unlike a car, an e-scooter doesn't provide a steel frame for protection, so you need to equip yourself with a personal layer of defense. Wear clothing that covers both arms and legs and consider adding elbow and knee pads for extra safety. Always wear sturdy, closed-toe shoes—no flip-flops allowed.


To protect your hands, invest in a good pair of gloves. Our instinct during a fall is to use our hands to break the fall, which can result in severe scrapes or even broken wrists. Riding gloves with palm sliders can prevent these injuries.


If your e-scooter is foldable, spend some time learning how to properly fold and unfold it. Ensure you know how to securely lock it in place before you start riding and how to fold it compactly for storage after your ride. This not only keeps your scooter safe but also makes it easier to manage.


2. Get to Know Your Scooter

Before venturing into areas with traffic, pedestrians, or other cyclists, it's crucial to become familiar with your electric scooter. Each model and brand differs significantly in aspects like weight and operation. Start by finding a spacious, flat area where you can safely practice without the risk of serious accidents.


First, acquaint yourself with the scooter's controls and dashboard. Since not all electric scooters are designed identically, it's important to understand the function of each button, as well as the location and operation of the throttle, lights, and brakes.


Learn about the scooter’s start modes. Some models require a kick-start, meaning you'll need to push off with one foot to engage the motor. Others offer a zero-start capability, allowing you to accelerate from a standstill without needing to push.


During your practice sessions, pay attention to how the scooter accelerates—whether it's a smooth increase in speed or if it jolts forward. Similarly, test the brakes to gauge their sensitivity. It’s critical to know how they respond to pressure to avoid abrupt stops that could cause accidents.


If your e-scooter is foldable, also practice folding and unfolding it. Ensure you're comfortable locking it into place for riding and folding it down for storage. Mastering these elements before hitting the road will make your rides safer and more enjoyable.


3. Pre-Ride Checks


Before setting off on your electric scooter, performing some essential "pre-flight" checks can ensure your ride is both safe and smooth. Here's a checklist to run through before every ride:


  • Tires in Good Condition: Inspect the tires for any signs of wear or damage.
  • Tyre Pressure: Check that your tires are properly inflated and not flat.
  • Battery Charge: Ensure the battery has sufficient charge for your intended journey.
  • Brakes: Test the brakes to make sure they are responsive and functioning well.
  • Lights: Verify that all lights are operational for visibility and safety.
  • Folding Mechanism: If your scooter folds, ensure the mechanism locks securely into place.
  • Throttle: Check that the throttle responds correctly when engaged.
  • Noises: Listen for any unusual sounds that might indicate a problem.
  • Loose Components: Make sure nothing is loose or wobbly.
  • Overall Condition: Look over the scooter for any obvious signs of damage.


If everything checks out, your scooter is ready for the road. Regularly performing these checks not only keeps you safe but also extends the life of your scooter.


4. How to Stand on an Electric Scooter


Riding an e-scooter becomes quite intuitive once you get accustomed to it. Here's how you can comfortably get started with the riding style. Begin by powering up your scooter and then lifting the kickstand using one foot, while keeping the other hand on the handlebars to stabilize the scooter.


If your e-scooter requires a kick to start, place your less dominant foot on the front of the deck and keep your dominant foot on the ground. Ready to move? Use your dominant leg to push off the ground to propel the scooter forward, or if it's a zero-start model, simply accelerate slowly using the throttle. Remember to always hold the handlebars with both hands and lean slightly forward.


As you gain some speed, shift your dominant leg to the back of the deck behind your less dominant leg, finding balance in a wide ‘L’ shape or an upside-down ‘T’. This is known as the conventional riding stance with your non-dominant foot in front. For those who prefer having their dominant foot in front, the goofy stance is an alternative. This stance allows you to easily shift your weight back and forth to control your speed and from side to side to steer.


While some may find riding with feet side by side more comfortable, it is not advisable as it complicates weight shifting, impacting your balance, stability, and control. Take your time to practice these basics in a safe space until you feel confident in your ability to maneuver and control the scooter effectively.


5. Accelerate slowly


Once you're comfortable with your riding stance on the electric scooter, the next step is to practice accelerating. Begin by gently pressing the throttle to gradually increase your speed. This will help you get a sense of how much power your scooter has and allow you to familiarize yourself with its different riding modes. Start with the slowest mode and gradually work your way up to the faster ones. Rushing into high speeds right away could lead to losing control and potentially flipping over the handlebars.


If your scooter is equipped with dual motors, be aware that it will accelerate more quickly than those with a single motor. Initially, use only one motor in the slowest mode to ease into learning how to handle the increased power. As your confidence builds, you can experiment with using both motors. However, it's important to slow down before switching from dual to single motor mode to avoid a sudden drop in power that could disrupt your balance.


When accelerating, lean slightly forward towards (but not on) the handlebars to aid the scooter in moving forward more smoothly. It's crucial not to pull on the handlebars. Instead, use your feet to shift some of your weight forward, which helps propel your center of gravity and maintain stability as you speed up.


6. How to steer an e-scooter


Once you're comfortably moving on your e-scooter, you'll want to learn how to steer properly. The key to steering changes based on your speed. For slower speeds, under 8 mph, steering involves gently rotating the handlebars in the direction you wish to go. Make sure your movements are smooth to avoid turning the handlebars too sharply, which could cause you to lose control and fall.


Start by practicing your turns at a low speed. As you gain confidence and your sense of balance improves, gradually increase your speed. At higher speeds, you'll need to depend less on turning the handlebars and more on leaning into the turn. This means you'll use your body weight to steer rather than relying solely on the handlebars. 


Engage your core to help maintain balance; you shouldn't need to pull on the handlebars. Instead, use your feet to subtly shift your weight in the direction of the turn. When you need to slow down or are traveling at a slower speed, you'll find it necessary to turn the handlebars more distinctly to achieve the same turning effect. By mastering these techniques, you'll be able to steer your e-scooter smoothly and safely at any speed.


7. Learn how to brake safely


Learning how to brake safely is crucial for any electric scooter rider. Since you lack the protective features of a car like airbags or seatbelts, knowing how to effectively use your brakes is essential for your safety.


Understand Your Brakes: Before hitting the road, familiarize yourself with your scooter's braking system. It’s important to practice braking techniques so you can react correctly in an emergency.


Braking Technique: To brake safely, start by applying the rear brake first. This is because using the front brake alone can cause the scooter to stop too abruptly, potentially sending you over the handlebars due to the front brake's higher power. After engaging the rear brake, follow up quickly with the front brake. 


Body Positioning: While braking, lean back and bend your knees, similar to sitting down. This helps manage your body's momentum that naturally moves forward when slowing down. Bending your knees not only lowers your center of gravity but also helps shift your weight backward, enhancing stability and deceleration.


Use Your Weight: By effectively using your body weight, you increase the downward force on the rear wheel, which improves traction, balance, and overall braking power.


Avoid Braking in Turns: Try not to brake sharply while turning. If you need to slow down or stop mid-turn, aim to straighten up first. Braking while turning can easily lead to loss of control and falls.


Adapt to Conditions: Always adjust your speed according to the conditions, especially in potentially hazardous situations like descending a hill. Staying within safe speed limits and anticipating the need to slow down can prevent accidents.


By mastering these braking techniques, you'll ensure a safer ride on your electric scooter, keeping both yourself and others around you safe.


8. Keep your eyes on the road


Keeping your eyes on the road is crucial when riding an electric scooter. The thrill of the ride and the sensation of the wind can easily distract you, and as a new rider, you might find yourself frequently looking down at the handlebars. However, focusing ahead and being aware of your surroundings is essential for safety.


Stay Alert: Always be vigilant about what's ahead. Distractions can lead to accidents quickly, especially in busy areas where you're sharing space with pedestrians, cyclists, and other vehicles. Unexpected obstacles like potholes can also pose sudden risks.


Monitor Surroundings: Keep an eye on traffic signs and the behavior of other road users. Drivers may not always notice a scooter, so it’s important to anticipate their actions and stay visible.


Follow Road Rules: Adhere to traffic laws and regulations to avoid conflicts and accidents. Yield to pedestrians as they have the right of way, and always signal your intentions to others.


Watch the Road Surface: Pay special attention to the road conditions. Wet, icy, or slippery surfaces require extra caution and slower speeds to maintain control.


By maintaining focus and being proactive about road safety, you can enjoy a safe ride and protect not only yourself but also those around you.


9. Avoid these common mistakes


When you start riding an electric scooter, it's common to make some mistakes. Being aware of these can help you avoid them and ensure a safer ride. Here are some typical errors made by first-time e-scooter riders and tips on how to steer clear of them:


Pushing the Throttle Too Hard: Electric scooters can pack a lot of power. Avoid the temptation to push the throttle too aggressively, which can cause the scooter to lurch forward unexpectedly, potentially causing you to lose balance or fall off. Instead, apply the throttle gently to maintain control and balance.


Braking Too Hard: Similarly, applying the brakes too suddenly can lead to accidents, such as flying over the handlebars. Always brake gradually, increasing pressure on the brakes smoothly while leaning back to distribute your weight properly.


Leaning Too Far on Turns: While you should lean into a turn like you would on a bicycle, over-leaning can throw off your balance. Keep your core engaged and maintain a moderate lean to ensure you don't tip over.


Over-Rotating the Handlebars: Turning the handlebars too sharply can cause the scooter to stop abruptly or jackknife, leading to a fall. Focus on subtle weight shifts to help steer, rather than relying solely on the handlebars.


Riding One-Handed: It might seem stylish, but riding with just one hand significantly reduces your control and stability. Always keep both hands on the handlebars to maintain better handling and safety.


Not Shifting Your Weight Properly: Effective control over an e-scooter depends largely on how you manage your weight distribution. When accelerating, lean slightly forward; when slowing down, shift your weight backward and downwards; and for turns, lean into the direction of the turn while shifting your weight appropriately.


Incorrect Posture: Riding with a poor posture can strain your back. Aim to ride with a straight back and relaxed shoulders. Keep your knees slightly bent to facilitate easier weight shifting and to move fluidly with the scooter.


By keeping these tips in mind and practicing regularly, you'll become more proficient and safe on your electric scooter.


How do you get confidence on a scooter?


Gaining confidence on an electric scooter primarily comes down to regular practice. Start by understanding your scooter's capabilities and gradually familiarize yourself with its functions. Begin at a slow pace and gradually increase your speed as you become more comfortable. This approach helps avoid any unexpected challenges, making your rides smoother and more enjoyable.


These tips should assist you in mastering e-scooter riding quickly. Not only is it a fun way to get around, but it's also environmentally friendly. Electric scooters produce no emissions, making them an excellent choice for eco-conscious commuters. With a bit of practice, you'll be zipping through your routes effortlessly in no time.


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