How to Ride a Hoverboard for Beginners

You ordered a UL2272-certified beginner hoverboard such as the Swagtron T6 powered by a certified and safe battery a couple of days ago. The self-balancing scooter you bought boasts a ton of rave reviews, and it’s just arrived looking all new and nice and futuristic. Now, you’re here. And all you want to do is learn how to ride a hoverboard for beginners.

But before I show you how to ride your little cute device that really doesn’t hover even though every manufacturer says it does, I need to tell you that….

Falls off Hoverboards Aren’t Rare

Truth be told: riders fall off of hoverboards all the time. Well, people do get thrown off at least some of the time. Sometimes, people fall because they haven’t learned how to ride a hoverboard properly. Usually, the unlucky hoverboard owner falls because they have trouble figuring out how to mount and dismount right.

Other times people fall off a hoverboard because they didn’t adopt the right stance upon getting on their board. Another reason falls off self-balancing scooters happen is that the rider leaned too far forward.

Or, the rider pushed their toes too hard on the board’s pressure sensor. And that caused the device to suddenly turn sharply throwing the rider off…into a bad crash, one that ended up severely damaging the brain, or even killing the rider. Well, deaths don’t happen like every day, but they do, you know.

But I digress. You most likely have been digging around the web, and nothing I’ve said is really news to you. That’s why at this point, I won’t talk about hoverboards catching fire during a ride. Or hoverboards combusting and destroying property and lives, something that happens even though infrequently.

At this juncture, I want us to dive right in and learn how you can ride that nice-looking modern personal transportation e-vehicle. But…

Is it Easy to Ride a Hoverboard?

Did you watch the how to hoverboard for beginners video above? I think that’s the thing you should do before you read any further. 

Yes, it’s pretty easy to ride a hoverboard. As long as you can mount, stand in the right stance, don’t ride your device too fast, and dismount right, moving from point A to point B should be pretty manageable. At least, when riding a hoverboard for the first time ever, it’s unwise to fly around insanely fast no matter how great your balancing skills might be.

You don’t need to have had any experience riding a skateboard or whatever. Still, I’d say being able to balance properly on a board does help a bit. That said, pretty much anyone can hop on a self-balancing scooter and master taking off and stopping in a couple of hours or even minutes for some learners.

Now, let’s learn how to mount that board, accelerate, turn, slow down, and finally come to a safe stop. In the next few sections, I lay out what I hope will be a super clear and helpful step-by-step guide to riding a hoverboard.

But before we get to that, you really should…

Gear Up Properly Before Hopping on that Self-balancing Scooter 

Let’s start at the beginning. It’s super important to gear up adequately before you ever mount that self-leveling electric scooter.

So, be sure to wear a certified helmet. And if you’re not sure which helmet brand to use, these Triple Eight Helmet Reviews should point you down the right road. A full-face helmet would be a great choice since hoverboard riders tend to fall forward, face-first. Oh, and it needs to be a helmet whose visor isn’t known to shatter during falls, lacerating the unfortunate rider’s face.

You also want to protect your elbows, and this best protective gear for rollerskating should be sufficient protection for you when you’re riding that self-balancing scooter. So, put on your full safety gear: a helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist guards.

Make sure the wristguards are designed ergonomically so that you can handle the remote and operate it without difficulty. And of course, you need to be wearing a proper pair of kicks. I recommend any shoe that grips surfaces well, shoes that won’t rip in a month or two.

Lots of people (and it’s almost always a kid) ride their hoverboard in skateboarding shoes. And here are a few skate shoes that last ages. You sure can use any of those recommendations to keep your feet planted in the same place on your hoverboard’s platform..because each option offers a good amount of grip. Putting on a good tail protector is also a great idea.

Remember that hoverboards travel at speeds hovering between 6 mph and 12 mph. Well, that’s not like blazing-fast, but when you’re standing on some two-wheeled contraption propelled by a motor that packs tons of torque, it’s easy to fall backward or forward.

That means you could end up with a broken tailbone or jaw bone, a really nasty experience. That’s why it makes sense to have a tailbone protector covering your irreplaceable tailbone, and a decent helmet covering your chin adequately.

A Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Hoverboard Safely 

It’s now time to dive in and do what you’re here for: learn how you can enjoy your self-balancing scooter safely, regardless of whether you’re riding the device indoors or outdoors. So let’s go!

Step 1: Get Used to Your Hoverboard When Turned Off

Listen, the first thing to do isn’t to turn your hoverboard on. Instead, place it on a level surface and try to step on it to feel how different actions affect the board. Start with your more dominant foot, and then get the other foot on the board.

Next, step on the board with both feet and try to find your balance standing straight up. At this point, having someone to hold onto is a good idea. The wall in your garage could also serve the same purpose.

The idea here is to get used to how your board feels, to learn to balance on your board. But the most important thing is to believe you can mount and dismount your hoverboard without falling off. Perform this step on the grass. Why? Because falling on grass hurts less than falling on hard pavement or on your garage floor.

Step 2: Turn on the Beginner Mode (You Didn’t Know this Trick!)

It’s strange how hoverboard makers set their devices to the advanced riding mode as the default mode. That’s probably why lots of beginner hoverboard riders fall in their first attempt to ride their new glittering toy.

If you’re like most people, you rarely read the user manual. That’s why you’re unlikely to learn the little beginner hoverboard riding trick I’m about to share with you.

So, place your beginner hoverboard on a flat, smooth surface. How about putting the board on the floor in your garage? At this point, you’ve learned how to balance properly. Besides, you have enough protection.

The reason for placing the board somewhere level is that your hoverboard could treat any kind of unevenness on the surface as though it were pressure.  And that means your hoverboard could start moving around uncontrollably even before you mount it.

Now, turn your hoverboard by pressing the power button. But instead of pressing the button once, press it twice. That’s simple trick can save your bum one nasty fall or two in your hard-floored garage.

When you press the power button twice, you should hear a sound like a long beep. When you hear that, just know you have the safe beginner hoverboard mode turned on. And you can now learn to control that self-balanced scooter with confidence.

Step 3: Step on Your Hoverboard and Balance

Don’t jump onto your board. Rather, step on it, one foot at a time. To complete this step correctly, be sure to start with your dominant foot. The foot you use to kick the ball with when playing soccer. For me, that’s my left foot.

So, lift your dominant foot and place it gently on the board. Pretend you’re about to start climbing a flight of stairs and get your stronger foot on the first step. Then, quickly lift the weaker foot and softly land it on the other side of your self-balancing scooter.

Be sure to position your feet right. The best standing position is where you plant each foot into the farthest place on the platform from the other foot. I learned that keeping your feet as far away from each other as possible gives you tons of stability while helping you balance better.

Step 4: Lean Forward to Move Your Hoverboard Forward

Now, it’s time to start rolling forward. To move forward, simply lean a little forward and that’s it.

The easiest way to lean forward is to tilt your foot down a little rather than attempting to do that by bending at the waist. Let your ankle rather than waist help with the forward-leaning here.

I found leaning forward to be the trickiest part. But after practicing for about an hour or so, I could do it right without trying too hard.

In your learning journey, it’s best to practice on a smooth flat surface. You don’t want to get caught on some crack and fall….hard. You didn’t sink dollars into that hoverboard only to end up tossing it somewhere it’ll gather dust forever.

Step 5: Lean Backward to Roll Backwards

To go backwards, just lean backward a little. Again, let your ankle serve as the pivot here rather than the waist. Avoid leaning too far back unless you want to hit the floor with the rear of your noggin.

Step 6: Push Your Left Toes Forward (and Down) to Turn Right

To turn right, push the toes of your left foot forward and a little down simultaneously, and that’s all. Remember the turning-on-the-beginner-mode trick I taught you above?

You never want to learn how to turn your hoverboard on the advanced mode. Because turning too fast can easily throw you off the board to some calamity waiting on the floor!

Another way to turn right is to lean a little in that direction. Some people find the whole tilt-your-foot-to-turn confusing.

Step 7: Push Your Right Toes Forward (and Down) to Turn Left

To turn your hoverboard left, repeat step 5, but execute it in reverse. That is, push the toes on your right foot outward and down at once. Yes, it’s pretty easy. You can also easily turn left by leaning a little left.

Step 8: Step off the Hoverboard Backward not Forward

After you’ve been practicing for some time and can easily move forward and backward on your hoverboard, you want to alight, right. So, Step off the board using your dominant foot first.

You want to step backward and not forward, by the way. If you step off in the direction your board was rolling in, I found it’s easy to trip on it and fall. Be careful.

How to Navigate Narrow Spaces on Your Hoverboard

But how do you ride a hoverboard through narrow spaces? It’s doable, but you can’t manage this feat until you’ve learned going forward, hoverboarding backward, dismounting, and turning.

To navigate a narrow space and get to the other side, first get your device parallel to the passage instead of the usual perpendicular-to-the-path position. In that position, step on your hoverboard and move back and forth until you get to the other end. It’s not nearly as hard as it sounds.

Final Thoughts on How to Ride a Hoverboard

Riding a hoverboard can be a little daunting if you don’t know what you’re doing. But you’re here, and you’ve learned everything you needed to know about riding your self-balancing scooter without falling off and breaking something.

Make sure to use the trick I gave you to turn your hoverboard to the beginner mode first. On the beginner mode, your board rolls around slowly, and that places lots of control in your hands.

But there’s no guarantee you won’t freak out and fall. That’s why you need to gear up right before stepping on your hoverboard. Stop worrying about what others might say. Remember, it’s your head, wrists, elbows, and tailbone at risk here.