How to Ride a Hoverboard – Beginner’s Guide
Hoverboards or self-balancing scooters are an excellent way to have a fun time. It is also becoming a personal commuting icon as they can help you zip through sidewalks much faster than walking.
Although hoverboards are stuffed with high tech components that help keep you upright, riding one is much trickier than stepping on it and saying go. For some, the entire experience is smooth, but others find it more like executing a couple of ballet moves to keep yourself perfectly balanced on the board.
The First Step
There is a short checklist that you need to do before you attempt that first step to ride on your hoverboard. First, make sure that your board is fully charged. Second, always check and make sure that it is powered on. Do not ever try to attempt to stand on your board when it’s turned off as you will almost instantly fall off. The reason for this is when the board is turned off, the self-balancing technology is not activated.
Now it’s time to power on the hoverboard and if your board has a beginner or starter mode and you are a total newbie, then make sure to activate it. As soon as you power up the board, you’ll notice that the platforms will straighten off and ready to take you on.
Place one foot on the hoverboard and use your foot to keep the platform level and upright. When you get your footing, and you’re comfortable with the balance it’s time to lift your other foot and step into the board. You might think that this is a little complicated but just think of it like you’re climbing up the stairs.
One essential advice if you’re starting out, try to place your feet as wide as possible while still being comfortable. Bent knees and a broad base considerably assist in stabilizing you particularly when you’re new to riding a hoverboard.
The excellent thing about these boards is they are smart, and with all their sensors and software, they are designed to balance after you have stepped on it. You may experience a little bit of wobbling, what happens when you and the board are looking for your center of gravity. When that happens, just remember that you and the board are aiming for the same thing – stability. So don’t panic. You can always try mounting on the hoverboard near a wall, a tall table, or something you can hold on to in case you’re nervous so you can easily find your balance.
Controlling the Board
After learning how to stand still on the hoverboard, now it’s time to start moving. If you think standing without wobbling is difficult, then moving forwards or back feels like learning how to walk with your hands. However, once you get the hang of it, it becomes second nature and moving becomes easy.
Similar to your first time on a bicycle or on a skateboard, your first time making the hoverboard move has a learning curve. The concept of controlling your board is simple. Lean forward and you start advancing, lean back and you slow down and eventually go the opposite direction.
The trick with controlling a device that requires some sort of balancing act is to make sure you bend your knees and keep your feet as far away as possible, so you’re always stable. Doing this, you will have better control of the speed and always remember to slow down early, so you decelerate smoothly. What you don’t want to do is to stop abruptly and go flying off.
Turning Your Hoverboard
Turning your board left and right is much more of the same with moving backward and forwards. Remember that each side of your board is more or less independent of each other. That means that the motors of each side can spin at different speeds and that’s the secret of turning on a hoverboard.
Take note that your board is outfitted with a lot of sensors. The more foot pressure you apply on a platform, your hoverboard will recognize it, and it will tell the motor on where you applied more pressure to spin faster than the other side.
So to turn left, all you need to do is push your right foot forward. To turn right, just press with your left foot more. Yes, you read that right, it is a little counterintuitive at first, but once you get accustomed you’ll have turning covered in no time.
The physics of executing a turn is easily explained with different wheel velocities. Imagine two wheels spinning at the same rate, now speed up one of them and imagine where it turns. If the right one is faster than the left, you can observe that because of the difference the whole board starts turning left. The same is true when you speed up the left wheel.
When you’re starting out, it’s important to begin slowly. Gentle movements are best so that you get used to it and don’t lose control while the entire board is rotating. It becomes more natural and definitely a lot of fun once you get used to turning your board.
Jumping Off Your Board
Similar to stepping on to the board, there is a proper way to get off without falling over. The rule here is clear – make sure to dismount backward instead of forwards. The reason for this is that when you dismount forwards, there is a tendency to apply pressure to the front, which could make the board move unexpectedly and causing you to fall off. You might say that the same is true when you step back, but it rarely happens.
One of the reasons for this is that the front may be set up differently and is more sensitive. Making the rear sensitive is a recipe for accidents as you don’t want to abruptly stop when you’re traveling at 8 to 10 miles per hour.
So, make sure that the board has come to a complete stop and then slowly step down backward. That’s it. You now know the basics of riding a hoverboard, and now you can start practicing and prepare to do some breathtaking tricks that will wow everyone.
First, it was the skateboard, and now it’s the hoverboards. When you have a machine such as this one, a platform, and two wheels, riders and daredevils will find a way to pull off advanced moves.
These tricks are, of course, amazing and require a bit of practice to perfect. But once you get it right and get the hang of it, then you’ll become the expert that everyone will envy. Here are some cool easy hoverboard tricks to get you started.
This is one of the most basic hoverboard tricks there is and one that you can master quickly. All you need is a good sense of balance and control of the board. To do ‘The Spin’ all you have to do is tilt your platforms in the opposite direction. So if you push forward with your left foot, you need to push your right foot backward. The wheels will spin in the opposite direction, and there you have it, ‘The Spin.’
This is possible because each wheel have their own motors and they run independently of each other. If they’re not, then there is no way to do this as you will only be limited to moving forward and backward. This is also possible because of the board’s center pivot that allows each side to be free of each other.
One Foot Circle
After learning ‘The Spin,’ let’s look at something that requires a little more courage. It is as easy as the previous trick, however, you’ll be entirely standing on one platform. To perform this trick, you need to tilt one foot in the direction you want to spin, and place the other foot on the wheel cover.
This will allow you to activate the motor on one side of the board and the other wheel stays in place acting as your pivot point. Basically, you’re moving around the section that’s not turning. It’s a simple one to pull off, and you really need a bit of courage to step off the other platform.
Now we get to the more advanced tricks. This is one of the coolest hoverboard tricks there is that will astound everyone who’s looking at you. What you need to attempt this is a healthy balance, swift reactions, and exceptional judgment.
To do this trick, you will perform ‘The Spin’ with a twist. As you spin the board, you will then need to jump and do a 180-degree turn and land on the backside. So if you started with the LED lights in front of you, after you have completed the move, they should be to your rear.
This is a little tricky and a more advanced one, but definitely, a fun move to pull off and master.
This hoverboard trick is a variation on ‘The Spin,’ only you’re sitting on the board. Initially, you will think that this easy, but it takes a bit of practice and getting used to controlling the board with body parts that are not your feet.
The first thing you need to do to perform this trick is to sit on the board the right way. You’re going to sit on it lengthwise, with your butt on one platform and your feet on the wheel well of the other. Now that you’re seated properly hold on to your knees and tilt sideways to start spinning.
This is pushing hoverboard tricks to the extreme. It’s fundamentally a handstand on a board. The first thing you need to know before attempting this one is doing a handstand. Then you will need a lot of balance and coordination to make sure you stay on the board and upright. There’s really nothing fancy with this trick, but it is remarkably difficult.
Step on to the board with your hands and balance to do a handstand. Start controlling the board using your hands instead of your feet. It’s the same thing only with your hands. The most challenging part of this trick is the time you place your hands on the platform sensors as you need to do this quickly and use your legs to balance.
Safety Tips When Riding
Now that you know how to ride your hoverboard, and a couple of jaw-dropping tricks, let’s look at how you can remain safe at all times. Hoverboards are fun and fashionable, but apart from that, they’re also useful when it comes to commuting especially in cities. They’re significantly faster compared to walking, and they’re small enough that they allow you to zip through other commuters.
As an emerging mode of transportation, it is critical to always be safe not just for yourself, but for those around you. Here are some valuable safety tips and reminders to keep you and others safe as you ride your board for fun or transport.
Note The Surface
Not all hoverboards are created equal. Some boards can handle multiple terrains, and some just can’t and run exclusively on paved surfaces. The first thing you want to do is to know what your board is capable of. Can it handle gravel, dirt, and grass or is it limited to sidewalks and pathways? Know this because riding a board that’s not built for grass and dirt on these surfaces can spell disaster.
Get to know your board and plan your route accordingly. This is particularly important when you’re using your board for your daily commute, and you have a lot of route options. There may be a faster route for you by passing through the dirt trail in the park, but if your board is not built for it, then better stick to paved roads around it even if it means sacrificing a few minutes just to get to your destination safely.
Maintaining Your Speed
Every hoverboard has a designed speed limit. Some can go as quick as 6 miles per hour, and some boards can reach speeds of up to 10 miles per hour. That doesn’t mean however that you’re going to travel at maximum speed at all times. This is especially true in urban environments where there is just a lot of factors to take into account. Sidewalks aren’t clear of foot traffic, and most of the time they’re packed with people.
It is essential to ride your hoverboard to a speed which you will still be able to control it. There is no exact number to this but when you notice that foot traffic is particularly heavy, then slow down a bit so you can stop when someone steps in front of you unexpectedly. There will always be a time where you can test the full potential of your board, unfortunately, during your daily commute isn’t one of them.
No Riding Indoors
Hoverboards are designed for outdoor use, so don’t ride on office hallways. There are some exceptions of course, like the airport or other transport terminals that are indoors but have wide open spaces. But riding inside your home or through crowded narrow hallways is an absolute no-no.
There is just a lot of risks when riding your board indoors, you can hurt people and break objects, might as well not do it.
Sidewalks are your Friend
When riding outdoors, always stick to the sidewalks. You don’t to ride on the road because remember, moving traffic is significantly faster than you. Sidewalks are one of the safest places for you to ride your hoverboard especially when you’re commuting to work. You can however jump on the road if you want to zip through gridlocked cars to get to your destination faster.
Use Protective Gear
This is the last on the list but definitely something that’s the first thing you need to do before riding any self-balancing boards. Never ride without a helmet and pads. This is to make sure that if ever you get into an accident, you are safe. Wearing these will save you from any injuries.
If you are riding at night make sure to have lights on you so that other motorists and pedestrians can spot you in the dark. Hoverboards are not accident-proof, so it’s imperative that you stay safe at all times to protect you from injuring yourself and those around you.
Now, that you have good knowledge on how to ride a hoverboard, do some amazing tricks, and keep safe at the same time. All you need is a good sense of balance and safety so you can fully enjoy using your board for fun or for your transportation needs.
They are fun and useful, and you can do a lot of things with these boards. It is essential that you use them properly to avoid any untoward incidents that have the potential to harm you and others around you.