You’re pondering sinking dollars into a sleek kick scooter for hauling that fun-loving body around. Or maybe your new shiny kick scooter has just arrived from Amazon or wherever else you shop. Now you want to learn how to ride a scooter. A post you may want to read: Best Toddler Scooter with a Seat.
You’re asking good beginner questions like is it easy to ride a kick scooter? Or, How do you ride a kick scooter for the first time? Or, How do you balance on a kick on a scooter?
Most importantly, you’re wondering whether riding a kick scooter is good exercise. In this post, I answer all these important questions and then some.
Let’s right away dive in and learn how to get on your brand-spanking new kick scooter and ride it. Below I give you clear steps to follow.
As long as you execute each step correctly, you’ll most certainly learn how to ride your sleek scooter in no time. And you’ll invent a new fun way of commuting. Or just an exciting way to while away the hours on those boring weekends.
5 Easy Steps for Learning to Kick-scooter
Now, riding a kick scooter isn’t hard at all. Even a kid can learn how to get around on a scooter in under an hour. Riding a scooter as a complete beginner features four parts. These three parts of the learning process include pushing off, gaining speed, switch kicking feet, turning, and braking. I’m going to cover each part and show you what to do and how to do it — correctly.
How to Scooter for Beginners Video
Step 1: Learn to Push Off
I assume you bought yourself a nice beginner kick scooter. Now, unfold your scooter and set it up properly. For a beginner, you don’t want the handlebars too high.
It’s usually a good idea to adjust the height of the handlebars so it’s around your waist height. Not all kick scooters offer handlebar height adjustability, though.
If you chose such a scooter, I hope it offers you a comfortable handlebar height, or you won’t enjoy scootering much.
You now have your kick scooter on its two large wheels. Then, put your hands on the handlebars. And as you hold the handlebars, keep your arms bent outward a little.
Next, put one of your feet on the platform. Put that foot at the front of the platform, keeping it pointing in your intended direction of motion. If your front foot is properly placed, you should see your toe when you look down.
As you hop on your scooter, your legs should be a little bent as well. Here’s one more thing. Make sure to find a nice paved road to learn to scooter. A surface full of cracks and potholes definitely wouldn’t be ideal.
A school parking lot would be a great place to ride your scooter as a beginner. But that means you’d have to teach yourself scootering on the weekends.
Then, start pushing off with the other foot. The other foot should remain planted on the ground until you’re ready to push.
Push Off the Ground with the Dominant Foot
So, which foot do you push a kick scooter with? For best performance, you should push off with your dominant or stronger foot. As you push, your weaker foot should remain on the platform, facing forward.
If you’re like most kick scooter riders, you’re right foot dominant. If that’s the case, you’re going to scooter in the regular stance.
Some people are left foot dominant, though. If you’re goofy footed (left foot dominant), you’re going to ride your scooter in the goofy stance.
Put the Pushing Foot on the Back of the Deck
Once you’re done pushing and want to enjoy that silky smooth roll, get your foot on the deck. Place the pushing foot at the back of the platform.
Keep the toe of your shoe on the deck and heel on the wheel brake or fender. You place your pushing foot on the brake so you can use it to stop any time you want to stop.
I assume your kick scooter has a fender-type brake. My assumption stems from the fact that most scooters have this type of braking system.
Other scooters may have a handbrake while others may not even have brakes. As a beginner, you should have ordered an option with a braking system.
Start with one Push and Feel the Ride
Since you’re a complete beginner, I suggest that you start slow and build everything up progressively. So, push off the ground once, get the pushing foot on the deck, and ride off. Feel how riding a scooter feels.
As your confidence grows, do a couple quick pushes and see what happens. The kick scooter rolls faster, and it feels like you need to have better control. And that’s the whole point — to help you learn how to maintain balance and control as you scooter around.
Step 2: Learn to Build Up Speed on a Kick Scooter
To scooter fast, bend your standing leg. Then, put the dominant foot down on the ground, slightly in front of the standing leg. Next, push. Push two to three times and mount the pushing foot back on the deck. It’s time to enjoy the fruit of your labor. So, let yourself cruise along, savoring every moment.
Another trick to increase your scootering speed as a beginner is to increase your push frequency. So, try doing several pushes in quick succession and see how fast you’ll roll. You also want to do more powerful foot strokes to scooter faster.
How to Scooter Uphill
Going uphill on a scooter can be quite challenging. But few things can help you build a better body than riding your scooter up hills.
The best way to ride a scooter uphill is to first lean forward and increase how fast you thrust. You want to do shorter, quicker pushes. The thrusting foot should set up each stroke near the toe of the supporting foot.
You also want to alternate your legs a bit more often when riding your scooter up some hill. I hop over from one leg to the other every 3 or so thrusts. And I don’t get too tired going uphill.
How to Ride a Scooter Downhill
When scootering downhill, lean backward slightly, and keep your arms bent outward as always. Your pushing foot should rest on the brake the entire time for when you want to brake suddenly or whatever.
If you’ll be riding your kick scooter downhill for quite some time, put your feet next to each other. Most adults have to place their feet diagonally to each other and almost parallel to the direction of motion. Standing as though you were riding a snowboard lets you enjoy a relaxed ride packed with fun.
Step 3: Learn Foot Switching
As a beginner scooter rider, there’s a tendency to want to have the same supporting foot on the deck.
While that could be OK, it’s a surefire path to exhaustion. Riding a scooter without switching your feet soon tires the whole body.
The foot you’ve planted at the deck’s front part soon starts to hurt. And when you get off your kick scooter, your standing foot feels like you’ve been abusing it throughout the scoot.
Switch Kicking Techniques
Luckily, there’s different kick switching techniques for riding a kick scooter. Some techniques may not be so easy for a new kick scooter rider, but no method is rocket science either.
Technique #1: The Heel Twist
The heel twist is the easiest way to switch your feet over as a beginner. At least this is what felt easiest for me as a beginner scooter rider.
So, you’re now riding your scooter. Your front foot and back foot are where they should be. You’ve done about 5 thrusts on one foot, and you’re now ready to alternate to the other foot.
Here’s how to do the heel twist to foot-switch when scootering around as a first-timer.
The heel twist is pretty easy. The technique is as easy as having your feet share the platform and then swapping your feet.
First, twist the heel of the standing foot to the side. Doing this creates room for the pushing foot so they can share the platform — momentarily.
As you twist the heel of the standing foot outward, lift the pushing foot off the ground, twisting its heel inward. The two feet will share the deck for an instant before the standing foot strikes the ground and starts pushing. You’ve done it! See, it’s easy.
Alternating your feet may not feel like the most natural thing in the world. Especially when you start pushing with your non-dominant foot for the first time. The good thing is that you’ll get used to alternating your feet very soon.
Technique #2: Hopping from Side to Side to Swap
This kick switching technique isn’t as easy as the heel twist technique I described above. And it’s not something a beginner scooter rider would learn quickly.
The method is pretty athletic to be honest; it took me quite a while to learn it. However, it’s possible you have a lot more kinesthetic intelligence than most scooter riders. Which means you won’t struggle that much learning this foot-swapping strategy.
To learn this technique, you need to have a really strong core, good balance, and great coordination. But while this approach is more demanding than the heel twist, there’s no better way to build strength.
In this method, you basically hop from one side of the scooter to the other. But while this sounds simple, it’s not easy for beginners.
Start Learning on a Stationary Scooter
To learn how to do the sideways jumps required for using this technique, use a block. Find a smooth block and place it underneath the platform to steady the scooter.
Now, with your knees slightly bent, lift the front foot (the standing foot) and step to the side. Meanwhile, your hands are holding the handlebars.
As your jumping foot leaves the platform, your other foot should start coming up to take its place. These two actions should happen at once. And that’s mainly what complicates this kick switching technique.
Practice this method until you can easily jump off the deck and get the other foot on the deck. Once you have your comfort at a nice place, remove the block and start practicing with the scooter in motion.
Step 4: How to Turn on a Kick Scooter
Steering a kick scooter is a lot like steering a bike. The trick is to steer your kick scooter slowly. So, start riding your scooter, slowly.
When you’re ready (or need to) turn, point the scooter’s front wheel to the desired direction but slightly turning the handlebars. You’ll struggle less if you know how to steer a bike.
Turning the handlebars slowly results in a wider turning circle. But that’s not a problem as long as the turn is smooth.
Turning the handlebars quickly especially when scootering fast will cause you to fly off over the handlebars. So, always put on a helmet, OK?
Steering a speeding scooter needs you to lean in rather than turning the handlebars. It’s like turning when biking fast.
Step 5:How to Stop on a Scooter
Some kick scooters have a handlebar brake while others have a rear fender brake. But the brake on your scooter is designed to slow you down rather than to stop you.
So, learning how to stop on a scooter is critical, especially when going downhill. Always start braking in advance, and avoid abrupt stops as they can cause you to fall.
If your scooter features both a handbrake and a fender type brake, that’s great. That’s the kind of scooter you want for going downhill.
Apply both brake types and see how effective they are. But if the hill is too steep, consider walking your scooter down the hill.
But if you have a fender type brake only, place your rear foot on the fender and push it down. Don’t do it too hard or you’ll fall. How hard you brake depends on how thick your scooter’s tires are. Generally, the thicker the tires, the less pressure you need to apply.
If your scooter is brakeless, put the pushing foot down and drag it. Don’t try to stop on a dime here, though. Instead, keep dragging the foot until you come to a stop. This stopping strategy works well, but the price is badly torn shoes. So, use proper sports shoes (durable ones) when scootering.
Sometimes the best decision is to jump off your speeding scooter. Simply hop off your scooter, and let your feet land astride the thing. Leave your scooter to pass between your legs and pray it doesn’t crash into someone!
How to Scooter for Beginners: Final Thoughts
As you’ve seen, even a complete beginner can learn to hop on their scooter and ride it in no time. You start with your dominant foot on the back of the deck and the weaker foot at the front. Start off with easy, smooth pushes and then increase your pace as your confidence increases.
Very important: learn how to kick switch as this one skill can help you avoid getting exhausted in a short time. Also, learn to turn as well as braking to a stable, smooth stop.
And people fall off kick scooters. Epecially when they’re learning to scooter for the first time ever. So, wear a decent scootering helmet as well as good protective knee pads, elbow pads, and wristguards.