How to Ride a Hoverboard: Riding and Safety Tips
Hoverboards are a growing trend, but learning the ropes can be a challenge. Before you hop aboard, read our guide on how to ride a hoverboard as well as our safety tips so you can cruise confidently.
Marty McFly made a lot of promises to use that he didn't keep, but hoverboards weren't one of them. Though they came a little later than promised, we're happy to cash in on these long-promised pieces of tech.
They're not just for kids. Plenty of adults are using hoverboards to get where they need to go. They're fun to use around the neighborhood or to explore rough turf with.
But, do you know how to ride a hoverboard? That's a pretty important aspect of owning one.
How to Ride a Hoverboard: Know Where to Ride
If you live in New York City, we have some bad news for you. The city banned them and threatened a $500 fine. You still see people hovering along, but they're not technically supposed to.
Some cities have banned them on sidewalks or roads. England banned them for 180 years - which seems like a random number.
College campuses are another place getting sticky with their regulations. You can't have any battery operated personal transportation devices on some campuses.
Want to know where you can ride? Well, you can always ride on private property, as long as the property is your own. If you're moving to a new city or just got a hoverboard, call your local police station's non-emergency line.
They'll have the information on where you can ride without repercussions. Campus police offices have their own numbers - so check that you're calling the right location.
Set Up Your Supplies
Once you know where you can ride your hoverboard, you need to start learning how. First - charge your board for a few hours. Do not exceed max charging time (more on that later).
Then, before you get on, find a helmet and safety pads. Yes, you will look like a geek, but you'll be in the comfort of your own home.
This includes knee pads, butt pads (a pillow works), elbow pads, and wrist guards. If you're clumsy and you know it - gear up.
The most falls on a hoverboard come from people falling forward, but you can never be too careful.
Once you look like you're ready to go play in a spur-of-the-moment tackle football game, it's time to calibrate.
Take your hoverboard and lift the wheel up. Hold it with your other hand and place your hand down on the foot pad.
You want to see the wheels turning and not shaking. There are self-calibrating features for once you step on - but it's good to double check.
ALWAYS WEAR A HELMET!
Find a Practice Spot
Is there a room in your house - maybe an empty garage - where you can practice? You want somewhere you won't be afraid to fall if you have to and you'll probably want to be alone.
The area should have an open space and be free from your grandma's best china or other assorted breakables.
Don't skip this step. It may sound silly, but it's a lot better than accidentally crashing into someone's mailbox and being on the hook for it.
Finally: Step On
Okay, you've covered your prep bases and you're ready to get on the dang thing already. Cool - it's time! Make sure your board is charged and ready to go, including switching it on.
Place one foot on the hoverboard and keep it level with foot one. When you have a flat platform, lift and place foot two. Don't obsess over it.
It's fine to hold on to something while you get the hang of it, but don't put your weight on what you're holding on to. You're holding on to it in case you fall - not like you're expecting to.
Put your feet about hip distance apart - close to the sides of the hoverboard. Keep your knees slightly bent and keep this semi-wide stance.
It'll help you stay stable.
Let it Self Correct
If you bought a quality hoverboard (which you should) it will self-correct for you - leveling out the board with your weight. It's normal to wobble a little bit, but don't overcorrect.
Keep your knees slightly bent and your core muscles tight. You can put your arms out straight to your sides, like when you were little in gymnastics.
Once you master getting on, work on getting off. It's your natural instinct to step forward off of the board, like you would an escalator or moving sidewalk. Don't do that!
You exit hoverboards by stepping backward. If you lean forward to step off, the board will think you want to go forward and you're leaning into a fall.
It takes some getting used to, stepping off backward. Hold on to something if you want, until you get the hang of it.
Once you've got the on and off thing figured out, time to move! If you can stand still on your hoverboard comfortably, you can move on to going forward.
Lean forward to move. When you start out, go very slow and be subtle with your weight distribution. The more forward you lean, the faster you'll go.
Start by leaning forward just enough that you move and then right yourself and your weight.
Lean back to brake and slow down. Remember, you want to use subtle movements. Leaning all the way back when you have some speed is like pulling a bike brake hard - you'll jolt in the other direction.
Bend your knees and shift your weight slowly. Hoverboards aren't the fastest breakers, so make sure you stop before you think you need to.
Now that you're going forward and stopping you can move on to the final aspect - turning.
It all comes down to pressure, weight shifting, and balance. Your hoverboard exists as two parts, so one side is independent of the other when you turn.
To turn to the left, push your RIGHT foot forward and keep your left foot level. To turn right, do the same thing with your left foot.
When you're done turning and you've gone as far as you want to go, level out your foot. There! You've turned!
When you're starting out, we recommend slowing down before you turn. You don't want to go into a turn at speed and have it whip you around.
When you get the hang of turning, getting on and off, and accelerating you can take your hoverboard in public.
Remember that you need to check the laws to make sure your joyride doesn't get you fined.
If you can ride in public spaces, you need to be visible. Don't assume that people will see you or the lights of your board. They're low to the ground and people aren't looking out for borders.
Wear some reflective piece of clothing, even if it's just a vest. If the sun is bright - avoid the color white. It blends into sun glare.
It's Not a Skateboard
Treating your hoverboard like a skateboard is a big mistake. It's not built to get air or do skate like tricks.
Yes, there are tricks you can do with your hoverboard that will impress friends but don't try an ollie or a kickflip. The board can break and you can get hurt.
Crashes can ruin the calibration feature of your hoverboard, making it harder to balance on. If you crash hard enough, your battery could explode or the board will get damaged beyond repair.
Keep both wheels on the ground at all times and don't do anything crazy. For your good and the boards!
A Word on Safety
Like anything with a moving component, there are risks to using a hoverboard. The risks don't outweigh the fun or usefulness of the board.
You should be okay as long as you're careful and learn how to ride before venturing out into the world.
As manufacturers, we've done everything we can to make our boards as safe as possible.
Our hoverboards are as safe and as high quality as pricier models. They have built-in gyroscopes, which makes them some of the best self-balancing models on the market.
We provide LED lights in the wheels as long as via headlights, so you'll be well seen when you're on your way.
We have electricians check over our boards and their designs. In fact, our hoverboards are UL 2772 Safety standard certified. We put time and effort into making sure you get a safe new toy!
Your Shopping Guide
Now that you've done your research on how to ride a hoverboard, it's time to decide what model you need. For Beginners we recommend the Hoverfly ION. It is truly a self balancing hoverboard, that uses it's inner gyroscope to keep the platform level make it our easiest hoverboard to ride.
Check out our GOTRAX BRAND HOVERBOARDS
Whichever of our hoverboards you choose, we're sure you'll be happy. If you ride them with the amount of care and work we put into them - you'll be rolling on up in life.