Is an electric skateboard hard to ride? You’re looking to learn how to ride an electric skateboard, but you want to be sure it’s doable. Yes, riding an e-skateboard isn’t as hard as you imagine, but everyone needs a little guidance when new to something.
If you’ve never owned an electric skateboard and have been planning on getting one, consider choosing a beginner-friendly choice.
Here’s a post I wrote to help you pick up a good affordable electric skateboard: Best Electric Skateboard Under $500. Also read: Skatebolt Electric Skateboard Reviews and Fastest Electric Skateboards.
Without any further ado, here is…
How to E-Skateboard as a Complete Beginner
You’ve bought a good Boosted e-skateboard or whatever it is, and you love it. Now, it’s time to step on it and learn how it works.
Think Safety First
The first thing to think about is your safety. Make sure to wear protective electric skateboarding gear before you do anything else. Helmet up your dome, and wear knee pads and wristguards as well. As a beginner e-skater, you also need to protect your elbows, so put on good elbow pads.
You may also wear an armored jacket with shoulder pads, elbow pads, and back pads built into the protective equipment. But in that case, you’ll still need to wear knee pads and wristguards separately. The best wrist pads for electric skateboarding have an ergonomic design that lets you hold and operate your board’s remote control.
Super important: find a safe place to learn riding your e-board. You never want to use a road with traffic as an absolute beginner.
Avoid Places with Snow, Ice, and Puddles
Also, avoid snowy places and ice-covered surfaces. And don’t ride that board in the rain. Electric systems hate water, and the motor and batteries are electric systems. So, find a dry paved road or sidewalk, preferably one with few cracks and potholes.
Here’s how to step on your e-skateboard and ride it as a beginner.
Step 1:Stand in the Right Stance
The right stance for you depends on whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. If you’re right-handed, the most comfortable stance is almost always the regular stance. And if you’re left-handed, you want to ride in the goofy stance.
In the regular stance, your face points in the direction you want to travel in. Your right foot steps on the back of the board while the left foot is on the front of the e-board. The rest of your body faces to the side of the road.
The Goofy Stance
The goofy stance is the exact opposite of the regular stance. In the goofy stance, you step on your esk8 with your face pointing forward. Meanwhile, your right foot stays at the front of the board while your left foot plants on the back. As for the rest of your body, it faces outward, pointing to the side of the road.
Step 2: Learn How to Kick and Push Your E-skateboard
Whether riding a regular skateboard or a motor powered skateboard, you must learn how to kick and push your board first.
Now, learning to kick-push your e-board is particularly critical for beginners, especially beginners with zero skateboarding skills. You want to master this step before you start using your device’s controller.
Start with Small, Comfortable Pushes
So, step on your board in the stance you’re most comfortable on. The idea at this point is to feel your board and build up comfort on it.
Once you can balance without a problem (this is easy), put one foot down and push off the ground. Start with a small push and then put the pushing foot right back on the board, letting yourself glide.
Practice this step until you’re comfortable enough doing it. Then, start making a series of pushes to build some momentum. Once you build enough comfort doing this, you’re ready for the controller.
Step 3: Turn Your E-Skateboard on
Now that you’re comfortable pushing on your board without power, it’s time to crank it up and ride it. But before stepping on your board, get a few for its acceleration and how it brakes. And that’s where the remote comes in.
So, set the board on the ground and grab its controller. You’re not stepping on your board at this point. Controllers aren’t built exactly the same. However, every kind of controller should let you start the board, accelerate it, and slow down.
Understand Your Device’s Speed Modes
If your remote is like most others, it’s got three different speed modes. Usually there’s a beginner mode (low speed mode), medium speed mode, and high speed/top speed mode. So, make sure to select the low speed mode first.
Choose the Lowest Brake Mode First
Some remotes may also offer several brake modes. So, stand off the board and get a feel for each brake mode. It’s best to start your board in the lowest brake mode if your device provides braking options.
Setting an electric skateboard on the highest brake mode isn’t a good idea. That’s because the highest braking mode can suddenly throw you off the board. And at very high speeds (20 mph), anything can happen even when you have the best protective gear on.
Now, turn the board on and watch how fast it rolls as well as how quick it’s going to slow down and stop.
Start Riding Your E-Board
You now have a clear idea of how your e-skateboard starts, builds up speed, and decelerates. At this point, step on your board and power it on.
Your front foot needs to stay bent a bit, and you also should shift some of your weight over that foot. You do this to avoid leaning too far forward or too far back.
Learning too far is the surest path to a broken nose or even worse! As for the back foot, it needs to stay straight and firmly planted on the deck.
Remember to start with the lowest speed mode. With that mode, you’ll have a nice smooth ride. And if you suddenly encounter a pothole or some crack you can bail safely. You can just jump off the board and run it out to safety.
If you start off too fast and suddenly need to jump off the board that can be a problem. Beginners often realize — when it’s too late — that they can’t keep up with the running, and they fall over. Even though falling is a fact of life in skateboarding, you shouldn’t go looking for trouble, huh?
Learn How to Foot-brake
Even the best e-skateboard braking systems can fail anytime for whatever reason. That’s why you should learn how to brake using your foot.
To foot-brake, put your front foot slightly forward and keep it bent a little. Next, put your back foot down on the ground slowly and drag it on the surface. You don’t want to try to stop abruptly, that’ll likely cause you to lose board control.
Instead, put the foot down and start dragging. You’re relying on friction between your skate shoes and the road here. That’s why you need to be wearing a pair of durable skate shoes. You need kicks that won’t rip the very first time you try to brake in them.
Once you’re comfortable riding and stopping on the beginner mode, you can switch to a faster mode. Repeat the step above until you can comfortably ride on that mode before moving higher up speed-wise.
Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Always stay awake on your board. Keep an eye on your surroundings. You never know when a car might appear from nowhere and a collision happens.
When braking using the remote controller, make sure to start slowing down long enough before you need to.
You never want to have to stop abruptly when cruising down at breakneck speed. That’d be too risky. You could fall badly or injure pedestrians or other road users.
Going Uphill on Your Esk8
As a beginner, any board from a reputable company that offers 500 watts of power should be OK. When going up hills, you’ll likely notice you’re not getting as much torque as you had on flatland.
And your board may slow down considerably. If the board gets too slow for you, switch to a higher speed. Don’t worry, it’s safe to crank up the speed riding uphill.
You could even choose the highest speed if the heel is too steep, like 30-degree steep. By the way, most e-skateboards are built for 15-30 degree gradients, but 20-degree slopes is more like it.
How Riding an Electric Skateboard Feels
How does riding an e-board feel versus riding a regular/traditional skateboard? I’ve ridden both, and I’ll tell you what I think about the two experiences.
When I ride my regular skateboard, I’m mostly on flat ground. And I have to keep pushing to maintain motion.
I’m always working hard to reach a certain speed, but there’s one little problem. Speed on a regular skateboard is never consistent, no matter how hard I push. Every time I hit that speed peak, I enjoy the moment, but only momentarily.
It’s barely 2 seconds before the speed goes back down, as does the really nice feeling. So, I have to keep pushing. But during the peak speed period, I get to really focus on my sense. Ask any skateboarder, and they’ll say that’s best part of riding a regular skateboard. That short moment of peak speed.
Not complaining at all, though. Quite the contrary, I enjoy every single moment I’m on my little four-wheeled contraption.
With an E-Skateboard, the Peak Speed Feeling Lasts Forever
The one part I like about riding an e-board vs. a traditional push skateboard is that the peak speed feeling lasts. The entire ride feels like the short moment I described above.
With a motorized skateboard, I decide the maximum speed I want. And I ride at that max speed for as long as the battery lasts.
The beauty of e-skating is that the full ride time becomes time you can spend focusing on the experience itself. You get to absorb the stunning scenery as you skateboard fast. You notice the folks gawking at how fast you’re riding.
And you also enjoy the feeling of the wind as it breezes by your face. Especially on a hot sunny day outdoors. Riding an e-board isn’t more pleasurable than a regular skateboard because you don’t need to use your muscles pushing. The pleasure comes from being able to focus on the most important part of the ride — your senses.
But there’s even more when it comes to riding a motor-powered skateboard — the downhill experience.
The Going-downhill Experience on an E-board
Riding a skateboard downhill is a great feeling. It’s an exhilarating experience, one that not everyone can have. I mean, not everyone has the guts to shuttle downhill at the speed of light on some board.
Also, when riding fast downhill, there’s huge risks involved. There’s always the risk you may suddenly fall and break something. Or a speeding car may materialize out of nowhere and you lose control of your board, and….
But, it’s not like you’re too much afraid of what might happen, are you? Every skateboarder embraces falling and knows they’ll eat crap sooner than later. That’s why you must wear a good full-face skateboarding helmet when descending hills.
Going downhill on a manual skateboard feels like floating or flying down the damned hill. It’s pure bliss. And that’s the exact same feeling you get when riding an electric skateboard — only better. Better because you experience that blissful feeling every minute of your board time.
With e-skating, it’s like you’re rolling downhill all the time regardless of whether you’re skating on flatland, descending, or ascending.
You get that floating/flying feeling all the time, and it never wanes. There’s never a boring moment. So, stop sitting on the fence as to whether ponying up for an electric skateboard makes sense or not…because it does.
Is E-Skating Easier than Regular Skateboarding?
Yes, it is. I know a few people who learned to ride their new e-board after a couple tries. And these are folks who’d never skateboard before.
Learning to ride an e-skateboard is pretty much like learning to ride a motorcycle. You don’t need to have learned how to ride a bike first to learn how to ride a motorcycle.
It’s just that parents tend to buy their kids a bike first rather than a motorcycle. In the end, it looks like everyone bikes first and then learns to motorcycle. It appears to be a progression of sorts, but you can sure learn to ride a motorcycle before learning to bike.
Well, having ridden a regular skateboard may help with building your balance and comfort on an e-board. However, having prior skateboarding experience isn’t absolutely necessary when it comes to learning e-skating.
Is Electric Skateboarding Dangerous?
Yes, it can be dangerous. Always stay within your riding limits. Going too fast when you’re not an accomplished skateboarder isn’t wise. Wear good e-boarding gear, and make sure you can control your board without problems.
How to E-Skate: Final Thought
Riding an electric skateboard may seem extremely challenging to a complete beginner. However, e-skating isn’t as hard as some would have you believe. With a little practice, you’ll master your e-board and even start using it for your daily work commute.
Always remember to wear good e-skateboarding protective gear before cranking up your e-board. Wear good knee pads, elbow pads, and wristguards. Happy e-skating!