A kick scooter is a small and portable means of transportation that can give miles of adventure and enjoyment. Learning how to ride one is the first step to your fun. This is how to ride a kick scooter simplified.
Start with properly adjusted scooter handlebars, for your height. Have both hands holding onto the handlebars, and either your right or left foot firmly on the scooter deck. Use the other foot to push off on the ground to propel you forward into a glide. Keeping both hands on the handlebars at all times.
That is the basics of how to ride a kick scooter. There are other things to take into consideration when riding a scooter that can improve your scooting techniques and make it more enjoyable. Now let’s get into some more detailed procedures for riding a kick scooter.
If you are new and looking for a starter scooter, check out my page on What Is The Best Kick Scooter For Adults Just Starting Out?
Scooter Safety First
Always wear protective gear, especially if you are just starting out and new to scooting. There is no better way to ruin a fun time than to hurt yourself because you were not properly prepared.
If you only choose one safety item make sure it is a helmet. A head injury can happen so quickly and it is just not worth it to be without a properly fitted helmet! The best helmet is one that fits properly and is properly secured with a chin strap.
Helmet Safety Guidelines
Other Protective Scooter Safety Gear
You might not think too much about this, but shoes should be worn when you are riding a scooter. Pushing off with your feet can cause your feet to feel uncomfortable if you were to hit gravel or hot pavement. Also if you were to fall your feet could become scraped up. You should always wear shoes. Children should always wear shoes also when riding a scooter.
It is not a bad idea to also wear other protective scooter safety gear such as elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads. These are especially important if you are just starting out as you are more likely to have spills as a beginner.
Besides a helmet, limb guard sets are a good idea when you are a beginner or a stunt scooter rider.
Where To Practice Riding A Kick Scooter?
A smooth paved surface other than a street where cars will be traveling is a good place to start. A bike path in a park would be ideal if it is in good shape, and a parking lot that is not busy. An indoor space like a gym or a large room in your house. Don’t try and ride a scooter on the street where vehicles travel when you are just beginning to learn how to ride. It could be very dangerous.
How To Properly Ride A Kick Scooter?
When riding a kick scooter it is important to have proper form so as to not fatigue yourself too quickly and or injure yourself. Beginning the right way will save you time by not having to correct bad habits later. Here are some tips for riding a kick scooter that will make your learning curve shorter.
Proper Posture When Riding A Kick Scooter
Proper posture when riding a kick scooter is most important to prevent unwanted injuries or discomfort from riding your scooter. A proper alignment of the hips when kicking off is most important.
You always want your hips to always stay parallel to the ground and never let them go at an angle when you step on the ground to kick off. This will add too much strain on the opposite side of the leg and hip that is standing on the deck.
In order to keep your hips parallel to the ground, you need to bend your deck leg enough so that when your kicking foot hits the ground your hips are still parallel to the ground. As you push yourself with your kick foot, there will then be a slight angle in the hips, but in the initial step down you really want to try and keep your hips parallel to the ground.
Try practicing this move in the mirror on a platform of wood, or a brick. This way you can see your form and correct it if it needs correcting.
Saving Your Achilles Tendon From Hyper Extending
One way to prevent your Achilles tendon from hyperextending behind the ankle on the foot that is positioned on the deck when scooting is to always make sure you can see your toe of the foot that is on the scooter deck.
Before starting have a look down and check the positioning of your foot on the scooter deck. Don’t bend your knee too far forward to where your toe goes out of sight underneath your knee. This will keep the tendon on the back of your ankle from being pulled on too much and prevent a possible injury.
What Is Switch Kicking?
Switch kicking is a technique that enables you to switch your deck foot for the other foot, so you’re not just using the same foot to always kick off with and or always standing on the same foot. It helps with fatigue and gives each leg a more balanced workout.
This move can be a bit of an athletic kind of move because you will need to hop over from one foot to the other. But, there is an easier, safer way to do the switch with your feet where they do not lose contact with the deck.
The foot that is on the deck pivots until the heel clears the deck. This frees up space on the deck for your other foot to step on. Once your other foot is secure on the deck step off with the original foot and kick as normal.
Strength Exercise For The Hop Version Of Switch Kicking
To do the hop version of switch kicking you will need to have good balance along with a strong core. If you are new to scooter riding and not in top athletic shape, there is an exercise that you can do to help build your balance along with your core in order to perform the hop version of switch kicking.
You start by doing a bit of warming up, running in place would suffice. You will start by bending one leg and putting the other leg out to the side. Then you are going to spring up on the bent knee leg and switch your feet position. Now the other leg is now underneath you with a bended knee.
Repeat this process for a couple of counts of eight or more and you can improve your balance by strengthening your core muscles. Once you have mastered this technique on the floor and you feel comfortable, you can begin to try it out on the scooter as the hop version of switch kicking.
What To Do With Your Kick Foot When Gliding?
If your scooter deck is wide enough you can rest your kick foot on the deck next to your other foot. If you have a longer deck you can place your feet at an angle across the board and place both feet at an angle on the deck that way.
But if the deck is not large enough, you can then rest your kick foot on top of the brake or rest it on the tip of your toe on the deck.
Your Speed When Kick Scooting
So now you have got the gist of how this process works and you are ready to take that first adventure. How fast do you want to go and how do you get to the speeds you want or maintain the speed when you get there?
If you are wanting to just glide in a nice leisurely way and not go too fast, especially for your first adventure until you get the hang of things, you can kick off a few times to get to the speed you desire and then maintain the speed, you can do a hip swing with your leg, just by dropping down slightly and allowing your kicking leg to swing at the hip and push off the ground slightly just to keep your momentum.
If you are feeling confident now and really want to get some top speeds on your kick scooter, you can do a more physical kick method that uses all your body to really get up some speed.
As you kick-off, and then when your leg swings forward, you’re going to bring your knee way up with a bend in it and then really push-off at the same time bending your elbows while your hands are secure on the handlebars. You will push with the weight of your body on your legs as you push back past the rear wheel and then repeat this form. As you come up, you will come up as tall as you can get and then dip down and strike all the way through as quickly as possible, remembering to bend the elbows into the strick kick. This will get you to top speeds on your kick scooter.
How Fast Does A Kick Scooter Go?
If you are wondering, just how fast does a kick scooter go? The average leisure speed one can go is up to 10 mph under normal conditions, such as flat smooth surfaces on a good weather day.
You can go much faster depending on the scooter and how much energy you put into your kicking. Below is a video showing some speeds of some stunt kick scooters with smaller tires.
Larger tires on a kick scooter can propel the scooter faster than smaller tires. So a kick scooter with larger tires can generally go faster than a scooter with smaller tires.
The larger the wheels the faster a scooter will go. This is because the larger the wheels the less friction on the ground compared to the size of the bearings. Larger wheels will turn slower but move the scooter faster. The initial start speed will be slower with bigger wheels, but the overall speed will be faster.
So if you want a bit more speed on your scooter commute a scooter with larger wheels will be a better choice. Also, larger pneumatic or air-filled tires are more efficient and provide better cushioning and traction, but they do require maintenance. And having a tire repair kit with you would be a good idea.
How To Stop A Scooter
There are several ways to stop a scooter. If you are on a small scooter and not going too fast you can put your foot down and drag it against the ground. This will have a tendency to wear your shoes out, so have a good thick sole shoe on if you plan on practicing this technique often.
Most kick scooters have some form of a brake, whether it be a rear brake that you step on or a hand brake that you squeeze with your hands on the handlebar.
The video below has a good demonstration of how to use a rear tire brake.
Small recreational scooters have rear brakes you step on and it presses against the back tire and causes friction which slows the scooter to a stop. Some scooters that have bigger pneumatic tires generally come with hand brakes.
Bigger scooters usually come with a hand brake system. They tend to be faster scooters so having better braking capability is crucial.
A hand brake works by squeezing the brake handle while your hand is on the handlebars. They work the same as bicycles with handbrakes.
Kick Scooter Commuting
If you are looking to get a kick scooter for commuting, it can be a very enjoyable form of transportation. If you are looking to do city commuting, you can easily glide past traffic and probably make it to your destination a lot quicker than in a car.
Another plus about commuting on a scooter is not only saving you time when city commuting but also fuel savings, by not having to drive your car to the office. Most kick scooters are light in weight and can easily fold up to take on public transportation if need be. This can add to the overall advantage that a scooter can bring when using it for commuting.
Positives about using a kick scooter to commute.
- Easy to carry
- Quicker in traffic
- Quicker than walking
- Good form of exercise
- Easily stores in small spaces
Benefits Of Riding A Kick Scooter
You might ask, is riding a kick scooter good exercise? The answer would be yes. Riding a kick scooter helps with coordination along with core and leg strengthening. It is also a good cardio workout, and just the overall benefit of being active and enjoying the outdoors is a plus.