How would you react if someone told you they had found a way to make a self-balancing scooter that was capable of moving at speeds up to 30 miles per hour?
Well, that’s exactly what happened back in 2013 when inventor Dean Kamen unveiled his latest invention – the Segway Hoverboard.
Over the years, the Segway has evolved into a range of personal mobility devices designed to make life easier for those who suffer from disabilities or injuries and has even made an appearance on the sports market, with more and more young people buying up the vehicles in order to have a fun way to ride about town.
Although many people would like to buy or ride these vehicles, there is something that is holding them back. The hoverboard does not have any handlebars and is entirely controlled through weight distribution and balance.
This puts a lot of people off, but it shouldn’t, and we are going to detail how exactly you can ride a hoverboard easily and effectively in this article.
How to Get on a Hoverboard
Getting on a hoverboard is not as difficult as it seems. When you think about it in your mind, you are probably thinking of trying to get on a skateboard when you were younger and the painful lesson you learned from that experience.
It will not be the case with a hoverboard, as in this instance technology is here to help you.
What is the Best Way to Get on a Hoverboard?
First place, your hoverboard on a flat and even surface. You do not want it rolling or suddenly moving, which won’t be the case on an even surface. Then, turn on your hoverboard.
When turned on, your hoverboard will have a self-balancing function that stabilizes it for you, although you can still fall off, so be careful.
Place one foot on the hoverboard. It can be either foot, just make sure that whichever it is, it is as close to the wheel as it will go on the foot pad.
Carefully, place your other foot on as close to the other wheel as possible on the other foot pad. Placing your feet in this position will help stabilize you and make you less likely to fall.
The self-balancing function should make the process of getting on easier, and when you have managed this, stand up straight and stay still.
The hoverboard works by using your balance to propel it, so feel out how the balance works and get a sense of what you should and shouldn’t be doing.
How Do You Ride a Hoverboard?
Okay, so you have managed to get on a hoverboard comfortably. However, the next part is the tricky bit, now you have to ride the hoverboard.
Considering this is all about balance pushing us in a direction, when normally our vehicles rely on a generation of force to move, this may seem alien and scary. But don’t worry, for it is a lot easier than it sounds.
If you are still nervous or new to this, most hoverboards have learning modes that you put the hoverboard into. These are designed for beginners and are perfect for helping you learn.
How Do You Move Forwards and Backwards on a Hoverboard?
When you want to go forwards or backwards, you need to lean slightly in the direction that you want to go.
We don’t mean bending or motioning with your body. The direction is dictated from the footpad and the pressure that your foot is putting on it. So, you need to move your ankles with your body following suit.
To go forward, keep your whole body straight without turning or twisting any parts, except your toes (or ankle).
Push down with your toes, so you are leaning forward, and off you go. To go backwards, you do the same, except you lean backwards and push down on your heel.
How Do You Turn Left and Right on a Hoverboard?
When you want to turn left, you push your right foot’s toes or ankle down while maintaining the left foot in the same position. When you want to turn right, you push the left foot’s toes down while maintaining the right foot in the same position.
The reason is that the entire vehicle is powered by weight and balancing is the control mechanism. Therefore, pushing your left foot’s toes down generates more force on the left wheel, which causes it to move forward faster than the right wheel.
Since it is still attached, it will move in a circle to the right-hand side, thus turning you right. Doing this with your right foot will have the opposite effect and turn you left.
How Do You Spin Around on Your Hoverboard?
Once you have turning down, it is very easy to spin in a circle. Say you wanted to spin, leading with your left foot.
You would push your left foot’s toes down, while pushing down on your right foot’s heel. To spin leading with your right foot, push your right foot’s toes down, while pushing down with your left foot’s heel.
Be aware, the harder you push down, the faster you will spin. It will take very little to knock you off the board, so be gentle and careful.
How Do You Get Off Your Hoverboard?
Surprisingly, this might be the most difficult part of riding a hoverboard. This is because people shift their weight dramatically when they are taking their feet off of this device, and it can lead to people falling over and, in some cases, nasty injuries.
There is a correct way to do it though that leaves you with a lower chance of injury compared with any other way.
What is the Best Way to Get Off a Hoverboard?
While still on the hoverboard, place most of your weight on your dominant foot.
Once you are stable on that front, it is safe to take off your other foot. Since the vehicle relies on weight distribution to move, taking as much weight as possible off the foot coming off will stop the board from flying out from under you.
With your non-dominant foot, step backwards off the board.
Always step backwards off of it, as the board will shoot forward otherwise and take you out completely. Now that one foot is on the ground, and you are stabilized on solid earth, it is safe to take your dominant foot off the board.
What Shouldn’t You Do on a Hoverboard?
Riding a hoverboard can cause injury and some regrets in people, and the most common cause is that they were either riding it wrong or doing something stupid on it. As such, here are a few things you should never do on a hoverboard.
Why is Bending Your Body on a Hoverboard Wrong?
The only part of your body that should be moving or bent in any way when riding a hoverboard is your foot.
Anything else that moves has the potential to change your weight distribution, which your board uses to move. Arms are normally not so bad, as their weight is focused on the shoulder, but the big offender here is knees.
Do not bend your knees. Naturally, we bend our knees because it normally makes us more stable, but not on hoverboards. It makes your weight uneven and causes most people to move forward at terrifying speeds before crashing.
Why Can’t I Look Down on a Hoverboard?
Don’t look at your feet when on a hoverboard. For starters, no matter who you are, your head is a heavy part of your body, and it will affect the weight distribution you established on the board.
The other reason not to look down is that it will confuse your brain, as it will look like you are moving much faster than you are. Confusion may lead you to losing balance and crashing.
Why Can’t I Just Go Anywhere on a Hoverboard?
Most people want to use their hoverboard anywhere, but if you haven’t mastered the vehicle, then you can’t. If you try going up a steep hill after practicing for only an hour, you will fall off and potentially roll down that hill. Practice on smoother and flatter surfaces first before taking on the big challenges.
Riding a hoverboard shouldn’t be scary or intimidating. It should be a fun little activity that you can enjoy with your friends or a nice new way in which you can ride around town.
If you practice using the guide in this article, you should be a master in no time at all.