Segways are becoming an increasingly popular mode of transport. When they first came onto the scene, they were used exclusively in busy cities such as New York City, London, Paris, San Francisco, and Sydney.
However, they have now become a popular mode of transport for many people across the globe, regardless of whether they live in rural or urban areas.
Whilst you have likely seen people whizzing around on these machines, you may still wonder what a Segway actually is.
If that is the case, we are here to help. We’ve created a simple guide consisting of everything you need to know about Segways. We discuss what Segways are, how they work, and how they differ from other newly popular modes of transport.
Check it out!
Segway or Segue?
First of all, it is necessary to get some linguistics out of the way. People often get confused over the difference between a Segway and a segue. Whilst both of the words are pronounced the same, they have distinctly different meanings.
Segue is a verb. It means to move, without interruption, from one situation or topic into another. It is often used in film and music. In this situation, a segue is a smooth transition from one scene or piece of music to another.
You have also likely heard the term ‘segue’ to describe aspects of a conversation. If, whilst conversing, you smoothly transition from one topic to another, potentially without others realizing, this is often referred to as segueing.
On the other hand, a Segway is a motorized vehicle. It consists of two adjacent wheels with a platform mounted on top and a tall handlebar.
Riders stand on this mounted platform and hold onto the handlebar. They control the Segway through their weight distribution.
Was the Segway Named After Segue?
Yes! The Segway was named after the term ‘segue’. This is likely to be because Segway vehicles move around in a distinctly smooth way, eluding to the meaning of the verb segue.
It could also refer to the literal translation of the word segue, which is Italian for ‘it follows’.
How Does a Segway Work?
Now you know exactly what a Segway is, you’re likely wondering, how do they work?
Well, they are actually very smart pieces of electrical equipment. They are battery-powered vehicles with sensors and an electric motor embedded within them.
How Do You Ride a Segway for Beginners?
When you stand on the Segway and lean forward, the sensors activate the motor. Once the motor has started, the wheels will begin moving.
Not only will they begin moving forward, but they will also continually adjust themselves to ensure you remain as balanced as possible.
This self-balancing feature of the Segway will be of great relief to beginners! It means that the chances of you falling off or struggling to maintain your balance are far less likely.
However, if you’re still a little bit worried as a beginner, check out our tips and tricks.
- Practice with friends or family – Before you try whizzing off by yourself, it is important to first have someone to spot you as you learn and get used to the vehicle. That way, if you get into trouble, there is someone on hand to immediately help you.
- Wear protective clothing – To ensure that you don’t get any unnecessary injuries, wear knee and elbow pads. Wrist guards are also a good idea. If you plan to use your Segway in darker hours, it is integral that you wear a hi-vis piece of clothing and have lights fitted to the vehicle.
- Hold on – This sounds silly, but more often than not, when people start to feel confident on a Segway, they may get a little loose with their grip. It is very important that you hold onto the handlebars at all times and always have your feet firmly on the board.
- Keep things slow and steady – When you are using the Segway, it is important that you don’t try to manouvre it too quickly. Although the Segway will do its best to ensure that your balance remains intact, if you move too abruptly, it may become unable to do so.
- Keep to solid and smooth terrain – Segways generally aren’t designed for all-terrain travel. It is important that you only use the Segway on flat, paved surfaces. Any rough terrain could cause safety problems, so if you’re riding your Segway somewhere you never have been before, always proceed with caution.
- Avoid busy areas – This is especially important if you’re a beginner. We know that once you’ve purchased your Segway, you will want to go anywhere and everywhere on it. However, it is best to spend the first bit of time practicing away from groups of pedestrians.
- Stay vigilant – When you begin to feel confident on the Segway, it is likely that you will become less observant. However, we cannot stress how important it is to remain vigilant for obstacles and problems at all times. This is a vehicle that can move quite quickly.
What is a Segway Tour?
A Segway tour is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. It is very similar to a walking tour, but rather than walking, you use a Segway to get around. Segway tours can be a super fun and easy way of seeing a city.
With a Segway, you will cover more ground in less time. As such, you should completely avoid sore feet. Segway tours also tend to last longer (usually around 3 to 4 hours long), so you see far much more of the city you are visiting!
Participants are usually given a Segway, a helmet, and a set of headphones so that they can listen to the tour guide as they travel. The tour guide will also be on a Segway, and they will work to guide the tourists as they would during a walking tour.
Are Segway Tours Safe?
Generally speaking, yes! If you book with a trusted and reputable tour provider, you should receive all of the necessary training and information to ensure that you remain as safe as possible.
You should also be given appropriate safety clothing, such as a helmet.
It is likely that there are also some limits as to who is allowed to partake in a Segway tour. Generally, there is no minimum age, but there is usually a minimum height requirement of around 1.35 meters. Similarly, there will be a minimum and maximum weight requirement.
All pre-existing medical conditions must usually be disclosed before the tour.
As such, to ensure that you remain safe and protected at all times, it is important that you understand exactly what is required from you before you attend the tour.
Segways are an incredibly fun way of getting around. However, it is important to remember that they do travel fairly quickly, and thus, can be dangerous if not used correctly. Before you start a Segway tour, it is important that you feel confident and comfortable.
Segway vs Hoverboard
Segways and hoverboards work in similar ways, but they are distinctly different vehicles. The major difference between the two is their size. A Segway is a very large machine. They tend to have large wheels and weigh over 50kg.
Additionally, Segways have a more robust and sturdy overall structure and they feature a handlebar to aid with steering and balance. Hoverboards, on the other hand, simply have two wheels and a board that you stand on.
Which is Better: Segway or Hoverboard?
This depends on what you want to use the vehicle for. If you are looking for a fun but stable way of getting from point A to point B, a Segway is likely to be your best bet.
This is because they are far easier to use and balance on than hoverboards, thanks to the robust construction and the handlebar.
However, if you’re looking for a fun toy that you can use with your kids, a hoverboard is likely to be more appropriate. These tend to come with features such as LED lights and in-built Bluetooth speakers, making them super engaging.
Additionally, hoverboards are usually significantly cheaper than Segways.
Segways are a really great way of getting around, but it is always important to remember that they are fast-moving vehicles that need to be ridden with caution and vigilance.
We hope that after reading this article you feel more confident in your understanding of Segways.