So you've got a new electric kick scooter, or maybe you've seen them around your city and you're interested in one, but you don't have any experience with riding? We know the question "Is it easy to ride a kick scooter?" may be at the front of your mind. Don't worry; soon enough you'll be an expert at cruising the streets!
Starting to ride an electric kick scooter is not difficult -- all you need is the right guidance. While it may seem daunting at first, riding a kick scooter is a skill that requires practice so you can build your confidence and comfort -- just like riding a bike, swimming, and so many other activities!
For those with experience riding a non-motorized kick scooter as a kid, you're already half way there! If not, then we will start from the beginning anyway so you don't feel left behind.
1. Perform a safety check
Before you ever set off on your kick scooter, make sure the vehicle is in good working order. If it's a new electric kick scooter that you ordered online, it was likely delivered unassembled. Make sure you follow all the assembly instructions in your user manual.
Whether riding a brand new or previously assembled kick scooter, we recommend that you do a quick safety check.
- Ensure there are no damaged or loose parts on the vehicle
- Check that the scooter powers on with no error messages
- Confirm that there are no loose screws and the folding latch is secure
- Verify that all the safety features work properly, including lights, brakes, and bell
- Ride a damaged or malfunctioning kick scooter
2. Wear proper riding gear
Secondly, you want to ensure you have proper riding gear. Though riding gear should be worn at all times on a kick scooter, it's especially crucial when you first start riding, as it helps you build confidence and security in the vehicle.
While many high quality kick scooters, such as the NIU KQi series, feature premium safety features, you also need to do your part to minimize risk of injury.
- Wear a helmet, preferably one with a bright LED light for increased visiblity
- Use elbow and knee pads, as needed
- Wear riding gloves, especially in cold or windy conditions
- Check that your gear is functional and does not interfere with operating the vehicle
- Ride without a helmet, even if it's legal in your area
3. Choose an open, safe environment to start
When you first start riding on an electric kick scooter, it's important that you remove any variables from your environment that might cause unnecessary pressure or safety concerns.
You should start riding in an open, stress-free environment to ensure safe rides while you build up your comfort and confidence.
- Pick an open area with minimal vehicle and pedestrian traffic
- Ride on a relatively flat surface with no large bumps, potholes, or other obstacles in your path
- Choose a place where you can make wide and slow turns
- Practice riding during the daytime, for maximum visibility of your surroundings
- Begin riding on straight, flat paths then work your way up to hills
- Ride near busy intersections or heavily trafficked streets
4. Kick off properly
Before you set off, you'll want to choose which leg is most comfortable balancing on the deck of the kick scooter. For some, their stronger leg may be best for balancing, and others may prefer to use that leg to kick off.
Either way, you should choose what feels most natural to you. You can even try to balance for a few seconds on the scooter (with the power off) using either foot, to see which seems best.
If you have previous experience riding a non-motorized kick scooter or a skateboard, you likely want to use the same foot combination for balancing and pushing off. It may be similar to the feet you prefer on the pedal and on the ground when standing idle on a bicycle, as well.
Most electric kick scooters need to reach a certain speed before the motor will engage and can accelerate (usually around 2.5mph or 4km/h), so you may need to push once or twice before using the throttle.
- Make sure the kick stand is folded up before you start
- Pick the most natural and comfortable foot arrangement (for balancing and kicking off)
- Kick off once or twice so the kick scooter reaches a walking pace to begin accelerating
- Position both feet facing forward on the deck
- Bring your kicking leg back onto the deck in a comfortable position
- Try kicking off without accelerating or with the kick scooter's power off to build confidence
- Ride with one leg hanging off the scooter
- Run with both feet and jump onto the kick scooter
5. Ride slowly and warily
While a new rider may want to focus on the kick scooter or the ground right in front of them, it is always best to keep your eyes ahead and focused on the direction you want to go. You should also relax as much as possible when setting off. Staying tense will only cause you to become fatigued more easily over time.
Many kick scooters, like the KQi series, feature a thumb accelerator that you press down to speed up. Be sure to slowly press the throttle when kicking off, and don't press all the way down, or the scooter may take off faster than you're expecting.
- Start the scooter in a lower speed riding mode, like E-Save on the KQi3
- Press the accelerator very slowly after kicking off, to avoid a sudden increase in speed
- Be aware that some electric kick scooters feature regenerative braking, which may automatically slow down the scooter as you release the throttle
- Keep your eyes ahead and focused on where you want to go, not right in front of you
- Ride in a tense or uncomfortable position and cause extra fatigue
Following these tips for beginner riders will lead to a smooth and safe ride. In some regions, it may be necessary to register your electric kick scooter with a local transportation authority or insurance company. Make sure to follow all local regulations and check out our safety tips for more information.
Also, keep in mind -- riding a kick scooter should be fun! For many riders, the very first ride on a kick scooter may even be easier than your first time on a bike or motorcycle. You don't need to worry or be afraid of your first time. These tips should give you a great foundation to start with, and the rest is simply practice!
If you're looking for a safe and easy-to-use kick scooter to start your journey, then look no further than the NIU KQi2 and KQi3! Both provide a great riding experience for beginners, and you can quickly compare the main differences in our related article.
We hope your first electric kick scooter ride leads to a life-long journey!
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