How to Ride an Electric Scooter? Step-by-Step Guide + Common Mistakes

man riding with electric scooter

Before riding your e-scooter, it’s essential to be extra cautious. It doesn’t matter whether it’s your first time or you’re used to it.

How to ride an electric scooter – some of us don’t even ask it, they do it naturally. While others are more cautious and would like to read about the basics.

This write-up includes the rudiments to guide you through your ride with your new travel buddy. 

Table of Contents

How Hard is to Ride an Electric Scooter?

two women with helmets and knee pads riding with electric scooters

Riding an electric scooter is easy. 

If you’ve used a manual scooter before, you’re already acquainted with the basics of riding an e-scooter. The instructions and experience are essentially the same. However, if you’re new to this, learning may be somewhat difficult. 

An e-scooter is a completely new gadget with different controls for navigating and gripping than what a manual scooter may offer. Similarly, it takes a bit of practice and patience, after which you’re good to go!

How to Ride an E-Scooter for the First Time?

As e-scooters become more popular, more people want to learn how to ride. Even though it’s similar to riding a manual scooter, there are a few differences. Here’s how to go about it!

Wear a Protective Gear

kids wearing helmets, knee pads and elbow pads while riding with electric scooter

E-scooters are just as risky as bikes, posing the same hazards. With the most advanced e-scooter, you will get a wide speed range, and it would help if you had the right protective gear in case of an accident.

The gear you require for an e-scooter is similar to what bikers need:

  • A high-quality helmet
  • Elbow pads
  • Knee pads
  • Gloves

The gloves, knee, and elbow pads are unnecessary once you know how to ride your scooter. Nevertheless, a helmet is always necessary. It will shield your head in case of an accident.

What is the Best Surface for eScooter?

red colored bicycle lane

Most e-scooters with sturdy tires are engineered to be used on different surfaces, including rocky and bumpy ones. But overall, the best surfaces for an e-scooter are:

  • Smooth concrete
  • Asphalt 
  • Pavement & tarmac
  • Flat, man-made surfaces like carpets and tiles 

This doesn’t necessarily mean that e-scooters cannot be used on other surfaces, though the ride will be rougher, perhaps less pleasant. 

You can ride a scooter on grass, though it depends on the type of grass. For instance, smother and manicured grass are usually more stable and comfortable to ride on.

On the other hand, if you want to ride on a rough route, you should consider large air-filled tires, mostly used on bigger scooters.

Related: Best Off-Road Electric Scooters and Best Dual Motor Electric Scooters

Know Your Scooter and its Controls

the handlebar of electric scooter

Before you start riding, it would be best if you get acquainted with the scooter controls. Know where the brakes, lights, throttle, horn, and lights are.

If it’s your first time riding, take it to a safe area with an even surface and try out the brakes and throttle. 

Again, if you’re being extra careful, you can test it without powering it and ride like a basic kick scooter. This way, you’ll get a proper feel of the brakes, steering, and balance. Lastly, ensure you know how to fold and unfold it.

Unfolding an Apollo City electric scooter
Unfolding an Apollo City electric scooter.

The folding system varies depending on the brand and model. All the same, the most common mechanisms are the foldable handlebars and folding stem. Learn how to lock them into place. 

Meanwhile, some e-scooters have additional safety features for hindering them from folding when riding.

Some systems are easier to use as they feature an audible click while riding. For this reason, you should read the instruction manual. 

Raise the Kickstand

The kickstand is the lever found above or beneath the foot-peg. To start your e-Scooter, you have to push it down.

Some kickstands have to be raised using the foot, while others when pushing the scooter. 

Push the Momentum with Your Foot

Girl pushing electric scooter with one leg

Once you have sufficient momentum, place both legs on the scooter.

When you accelerate and reach the desired speed, place the kicking leg on the e-scooter, behind the other leg.

Position your feet the same way you would on a skateboard. This way, you will move more slickly under high speed. 

Take in the Correct Riding Position

Riding an electric scooter is as easy as riding a bike, though there are a few things to master before riding.

The first thing is your stance. Stand on the deck with your legs apart, with the dominant foot in front of the other. 

Also, make sure you leave enough space between you and the handlebar. Slightly bend your knees and firmly grip the handlebar with your hands. 

The goal is to have a relaxed posture and remain balanced, regardless of the route you’re riding. That said if you’re in a bad situation and think you’ll fall off the scooter, jump off. 

Press the Throttle

Place one leg on the deck and kick-off using the other leg when grasping the handlebars. Once your scooter begins moving, push the throttle and place both legs on the deck.

You might require making a few kicks first, though this depends on your scooter. Most of the time, two or three are sufficient. 

Test the Braking Sensitivity

Some riders have a mild nature, while others have an aggressive one. Either way, in terms of braking, you have to be gentle.

Don’t just aggressively hit the brakes and expect to halt instantly. This might result in injury or a crash. You need to lightly squeeze the front and rear brakes and lean back. 

Common Mistakes to Avoid While Riding an E-Scooter

Riding Without Safety Gear

man with mobile phone riding electric scooter without any safety gear

According to CDC, over 40 % of all e-Scooter accidents entail head injuries. You can prevent these injuries by wearing a helmet.

Besides, 29% of e-scooter accidents are caused by inexperienced riders. 

With this data, it’s prevalent that most injuries are preventable if riders wear the right safety gear and are cautious

Leaning the Scooter

It is quite common that beginner riders tend to lean the scooter.

It happens often when trying to take a corner at a higher speed. The scooter has worse maneuverability when the speed is high and beginner riders try to compensate it by leaning the scooter. It’s not a good idea.

It would be best not to lean on the scooter when riding, as this will shift the center of balance and make you fall over.

Instead of leaning the scooter, you should slow down before the corner.

Turning the Handlebars Too Far

When on a scooter, the best way to ride safely is to go slow and steady.

While riding at high speeds, a gentle brake or throttle movement will prevent a fall.

Again, when you turn the handlebars too far, you can fall off. 

Pushing the Throttle or Brake Lever Too Hard

Pressing the throttle too aggressively makes the scooter move forward rapidly. Thus, you’ll lose control or fall off.

On the other hand, pushing the brakes too hard causes a sudden halt, which can throw you off the scooter. 

Two People Riding on One Scooter

father with daughter riding on one electric scooter

Everything in the picture above is wrong.

It is something we see too often.

Riding with a passenger on your scooter poses a high risk for an accident. Additionally, the e-scooter could malfunction if you exceed its weight capacity.

Can You Get Hurt Riding an Electric Scooter?

mom, dad, and two kids riding with one electric scooter

Yes. 

With the statistics above, it’s prevalent that most e-scooter injuries can be prevented by wearing a helmet. So, don’t forget your helmet!

Again, lacerations and concussions are common among e-scooter riders. And while you can prevent most of these injuries by wearing protective gear, most people don’t wear it. 

Here are some other situations that could result in an accident:

  • Falling off the deck when making a turn, especially if you turn fast on a sharp corner
  • Getting hit by a vehicle 
  • Jumping off your e-scooter after losing control
  • Unexpectedly hitting a bump or pothole on the sidewalk or street

So, have your helmet on, start slowly and be careful even in low-traffic streets. If you’re not cautious, you can have an accident and get injured or even injure pedestrians. 

How to Ride an Electric Scooter Legally?

policeman talks with e-scooter rider

“Is your electric scooter street legal?” – It’s a common question people ask from Google.

However, it is difficult to give a single answer.

Different countries have different rules for electric scooters. Even different cities within the same country can have different laws regulating e-scooters.

For example, electric scooters are allowed in New York City if you don’t ride faster than 15 mph. Also, riders aged below 18 must wear helmets.

On the other hand, in London e-scooters are only legal when they are part of a rental scheme.

Private e-scooters are allowed only on private land.

So everyone should find out the local rules that regulate electric scooters.

Final Words

At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself what type of rider you are and assess yourself.

Plus, you should always wear your helmet, no matter the terrain. While it’s impossible to be perfect, you can always be a safe rider. 

Various accessories for safe riding will come in handy on the road. Nonetheless, the way you ride is essential, and you should always strive to polish your skills.

When learning how to ride an e-scooter safely, working hard towards self-improvement is the best decision you’ll make. 

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