Ok so you’re excited to be getting your first hoverboard. Or maybe you want to ride someone else’s hoverboard.
In any case you might have been searching for how to ride a hoverboard and somehow landed on this page. We have put together one of the most comprehensive and easy to understand hoverboard riding guides found anywhere.
This guide on how to ride a hoverboard is going to cover exactly:
- How you should safely prepare for your first ride
- How to properly mount and step off a hoverboard
- How to stand on a “standing scooter”
- How the hoverboard is controlled
- How to do basic maneuvers to get you moving and traveling on your electric scooter.
What you need to know before attempting to do anything
Before you try and hop on one for the first time you need to know is how to avoid slamming yourself hard into the ground.
The best way to do that is to have a basic idea of what you have to do BEFORE you try and do it.
Secondly you will need some simple planning and prep on where and how you will first mount your standing scooter. This will give you the best chance of NOT taking a trip to the hospital.
Just like when you learned to ride a bike you didn’t hop on it one day and automatically know how to ride it. So don’t expect that you will just step on a hoverboard and automatically start gliding easily down the road.
Ok so let’s get to it.
How to prepare for your first ride
First we need some simple preparation. Obviously you need to make sure it is charged and turned it on. The user manual that came with your hoverboard will tell you how to do that. Don’t over charge the unit.
If your hoverboard scooter has a “learning mode” we recommend that you use it. The learning mode basically keeps it from going fast so you don’t kill yourself before you learn how to maneuver it. Again your user manual will cover all of that.
Read the entire manual before trying to ride you unit.
Next you will want to know which way it should face when you place it on the ground. The easy answer is that you can face it either way you want. Both sides are the same. If yours has LED lights you can face them forward or backwards.
Before you proceed ask yourself an important question
Stop for a moment and ask yourself a serious question before you attempt to step onto it. And be honest with yourself.
The question is: How good is your balance?
If you have terrible balance then you will definitely want to take some extra precautions.
First wear some protective gear. A helmet at the very least and preferably some elbow and knee pads.
I know it looks stupid and a lot of people don’t want to wear them because of that. But at the very least wear the gear until you learn to stand on the hoverboard and do the basic maneuvers like moving forward, backwards, and turning without falling.
You probably don’t want to we barefoot or wearing flip flops when you first try to mount one of these things. If you fall hard you could mess up your feet pretty bad.
If you don’t believe how hard you can fall then watch this short video of Mike Tyson and what happened to him on his daughters hoverboard:
Hopefully you can understand now after watching that short hilarious video that you should take some safety precautions when learning to ride your hoverboard. Otherwise you could be on the ground in pain. It his case you most certainly don’t want to be like Mike!
Also consider that Mike Tyson apparently already knew how to ride it. You can see him doing turns. But the point is look at what a little piece of carpet did to him. You don’t want to have things in your way that will cause an accident.
Another tip we can give is to try to be smart about where you ride it the first time. If you have a firm rug indoors that might be the best place to start. The point is try and find ground that is more smooth or forgiving. Gravel and rough concrete can really do a number on your soft skin. And again watch out for things on the ground which could bring the board to a dead stop like it did for Mr. Mike.
Here is one more example to bring home the point:
A word of caution about riding it indoors
If you choose to ride it your first time indoors then we suggest that you prepare a place big enough so that if you fall you won’t destroy objects and furniture in your house, or injure yourself falling onto objects. Watch this short video to see what I mean:
So as you can see it could be easy to destroy your house if you fall the wrong way or if you are in the wrong spot. Not only that but you can be seriously injured from objects such as sharp corners from furniture or objects meeting your skull. Please use common sense in realizing how you can get hurt if you fall in the wrong place. As you can see from the videos above you can go down SUPER HARD and FAST.
Your kitchen is most likely not going to be a good place for your first ride. For instance it can have things like sharp pointed counter-top edges that you can fall into. Unless it is a big enough kitchen where you can stay far enough away from such objects the kitchen is probably not going to be a safe place for this.
If you have a narrow hallway with a smooth or soft floors that might be a good place. One where you can hold yourself up on the walls from both sides.
Or if you have the space somewhere else in your house it might be a good idea to move furniture and objects out of the way far enough so that you don’t hit them or crash into them.
If you can’t find a safe place inside try to locate somewhere outside that has the smoothest, softest, and flattest ground. If you are going do your test run outside be aware that you should not expose your hoverboard to rain or water. This can cause it to short out, catch fire, or get damaged.
After you secure a safe starting place the best practice is to find something to hold onto. Preferably something like a pole would be ideal. Something you can wrap your hands around. If you don’t have that you could have someone next to you holding you up (preferably 2 people with one on each side who are strong enough to hold you up should your legs slip out from underneath you).
Whatever you are holding onto make sure that there is nothing around you that you could fall onto and get hurt. Like things protruding out of the ground such as spikes or jagged rocks.
The idea is you don’t want to just step on the hoverboard with nothing to hold onto at first. Getting a feel for how you should balance the board flat and evenly before you start to move forward or backward is the best way to learn. This will teach you how to properly balance the scooter in a safer way to avoid falling.
How to Mount a hoverboard
Now that you have:
- Turned the board on.
- It is facing the way you want it to on the ground.
- You have chosen the place for your first ride
- You are holding onto something with the board in front of you
You are now ready to step onto the board.
The proper way to mount a hoverboard is ONE foot at a time.
To do this first figure out which foot you have better balance on. What I mean by that is try standing on one foot. Try both your left and right foot. Which one feels like it has better balance? The one with the better balance is the one you want to place on the scooter first.
If you can’t stand on one foot then you should NOT attempt to mount a hoverboard. This is required in order for you to safely mount the board. If you can’t stand on one foot then you will need to practice that first. Once you can do it then you can move onto the next step in this guide. The reason for this is because you will have to briefly stand on one foot for a split second while mounting the scooter. If you can’t balance on one foot while standing on solid ground you most certainly won’t be able to do it with moving wheels underneath you.
When you are ready take your dominant foot (the one that has the best balance) and place it on the hoverboard. Now move your ankle backwards and forward. As you do that you will see that the hoverboard is tilting backwards and forwards. You want to tilt it so that it is perfectly 90 ° parallel to the ground.
Before you place you other foot onto the board it should not be tilting either forward or backward. This is what I mean when I say that the board should be “balanced” before mounting it.
One you have it balanced so that it is not tipping or tilting then quickly take your other foot and step onto the board.
How to step off a hoverboard
Stepping off is the same as stepping on except you step off backwards with one foot off first and then the other. Make sure the board is not moving when you are stepping off. To do that make sure it is “balanced” and not tipping. The foot you step off with first is the foot you put on last when stepping on. The above image shows the same one foot that should be on the board alone with stepping on and off.
Once you are on the board with both feet you now have to figure out what your stance is going to be. In other words how your feet will be placed on the two top pads.
The wider your feet are – the more stable you will be. As a beginner it might be best to keep your feet as wide as the board allows. Most people put the outside of their feet firm against the left and right wheel wells.
There are 2 ways you can place your feet:
- With your feet at 90° angles to the wheels. Like this:
- The other is the recommended way. This is where you point your toes out at 45° angles to the wheels like this:
The reason we recommend this way is because it opens your hips and makes it a lot easier to turn. It will however ultimately be up to you which way you feel more comfortable. Try both ways to see how they feel.
Practice Balancing the Board
Now that you have both feet on the board practice tilting very slightly and slowly with your ankles forward and backward. You will see that the board moves in that direction as you tilt it. Just gently rock it back and forth. Once you get a feel for moving it backwards and forward (while you are still holding onto something) then balance the board evenly again to stop it from moving.
The main thing you need to understand about moving the board is that it is EXTREMELY sensitive to pressure and shifting or your weight. You don’t need to put a lot of pressure or lean hard. Less is more. Putting too much pressure, or leaning too hard, and too fast will make you fall off. Therefore the best thing you can do is to be totally relaxed and avoid jerky or exaggerated movements. Think slow and smooth as if you are gliding on the floor.
Next try to slowly take one hand off of the thing or person you are holding onto. Then slowly take your other hand off. You should now be evenly balancing the standing scooter without moving anywhere. If the board is trying to move either forward or backward that means you are not evenly balancing it. Your ankle should not be pointing or tilting either forward or backward. This will keep the hoverboard stationary.
How to Control a Hoverboard
After practicing staying in place for awhile keep doing it until you feel comfortable “BALANCING” the board BEFORE and rocking it back and forth slightly before you attempt to move in any direction.
The number #1 mistake we keep seeing people make is they think they can just step on the board and glide down the road without getting a feel for what it is like to balance it. It is like trying to ride a bike without knowing how to balance the bike. How well do you think that will go?
Some people have really good balance to begin with and might be able to do that. But you have no way of knowing if you will or not. Why risk serious injury by rushing into things? It is better to take your time and make sure you know how to balance the board.
So now that you are balancing the board well without holding onto anything you are now ready to move onto the next phase of the process.
To move forward all you have to do is simply tilt your ankles and toes downwards towards the floor. You can also slightly tilt your body weight forward to get the board to move. Some people do both and some only one. The thing to understand about shifting your body weight forward is that it will make the board tilt harder and thus speeding it up more. So it is easier to control the speed if you use mostly your ankles. The more downward you tilt the board the more speed it will gain. The gentle rocking back and forth you did at the beginning will help you with this phase.
Maneuvering the board backwards is done the same way as moving it forward except in reverse you tilt by pressing the heel of your foot downward toward the back of you. If you want you and can also lean your body weight slightly backwards at the same time.
Whenever you lean your body weight in any direction with a hoverboard you need to be careful not to lean too much. Your center of gravity should always remain mostly ON TOP of the board. Otherwise you feet will slip out from under you and you will say hello the the ground.
One common mistake people make when trying to lean their body weight is that they lean way too much. They overcompensate and you see them uncontrollably wobbling back and forth before they lose balance and slam into the ground.
You only need a very slight shift in body weight. Too much and you will find yourself on the ground. It is like riding a bike where you only need to lean a little to get it to turn. But with a hoverboard you lean much less then with a bike.
How to Break or Stop
Before you try to turn practice moving forwards and backwards in a swinging motion as mentioned.
This will help you to understand how to break the board. Basically to stop the board you lean in the opposite direction you are moving in. This quickly bringins the board back to a “level” position where it is not tilting in any one direction. This would be the “balancing” position we mentioned before. Making the board “LEVEL” is what stops it.
Be careful not to try and lean too hard and too fast from the opposite direction you are moving in. This may cause the board may break too hard, throwing you off the board. It should be a smooth motion where you do it quickly but in a controlled manner. The best way to learn how to do this is to consistently practice breaking when you are moving very slow. Don’t take off on the board at top speed and try to learn to break going at top speeds. First learn to break at the lowest possible speed.
Turning a Hoverboard Left and Right
Now that you know how to:
- Mount the board
- Balance the board
- Move forwards
- Move backwards
You are now ready to try and turn the board. The reason we left turning as the last step is because turning incorporates all of the above skills. It would not make much sense to try and do the hardest one first. If you learn in the right order it will be much easier and faster for you to learn. And it will be safer.
The simplest way to describe how to turn a hoverboard is that in order to change directions all you have to do is tilt one of your feet forwards, and the other one backwards. In essence half of the board will be tilting one way, and the other half will swivel the other way. If you take the scooter in your hands and twist each half in opposite directions you will see how this works even before you mount the board. The board effectively have a zero turn radius. Because of the way it is designed it can turn on a dime.
But this fast turning can also cause you to fall of if you don’t know how to balance it out. Again the best advice is to try to turn when you are going very slow at first. Then when you understand the movement gradually speed up your turns to the level you can handle.
How do you to get it to go in the direction you want it to go? Just remember one thing. Whichever way you want to turn tilt the opposite foot forward.
For example if you want to turn RIGHT tilt or press you LEFT foot and toes forward.
If you want to turn LEFT tilt your RIGHT foot forward. It really is as simple as that. This might seem confusing at first because many people have a natural tendency to do the opposite. But if you do it several dozen times it will then be programmed into your brain as muscle memory. It will become second nature as with any repetitive movement.
Mastering any bodily skill is all about:
- First understanding the technique
- Then repeating it over and over again.
- First start out doing the movement slow, and then you speed it up from there.
The fastest way to learn is to understand the exact movements and mechanics ahead of time. That is what we have done for you here in this article. We have given you the basic understanding of the techniques to help you to learn in the safest fastest way possible.
If you stick to the order in which it was laid out, don’t try to substitute or skip steps, and not ignore common sense safety precautions you should be able to stay injury free and having a blast on your new board.
And again rushing into it usually results in injuries. Instead of making you learn faster it will probably do the opposite and you may end up not being able to ride for a long time if you are injured.
Our motto is to play hard but play safe!
We hope you learn fast and have a blast.
Before you attempt to buy or ride any hoverboard we urge you to read our hoverboard fire safety and prevention review found here.