Electric skateboards are a cool, convenient, and effortless way to travel. They can reach surprisingly high speeds and are more mobile than bicycles.
But if you have never ridden a skateboard before, you might be a little intimidated by these electric alternatives.
So, how do you ride an electric skateboard?
How to Ride An Electric Skateboard
Riding an electric skateboard requires a few simple steps:
- Find your back foot and front foot
- Maintain your balance
- Accelerate and control your speed
- Make turns
- Slow, brake, and stop
To learn more about each of these steps, and everything else that you need to know about riding an electric skateboard, keep reading:
Understanding Foot Positioning
Do you need a regular stance or a goofy stance?
If you have skated before, you’ll know which stance to adopt. The same is true for snowboarders, as your skateboard stance is the same as your snowboard stance.
If not, it all comes down to your dominant foot, which should be at the back of the electric skateboard:
- Regular Stance: Right foot dominant (right foot back; left foot forward)
- Goofy Stance: Left foot dominant (left foot back; right foot forward)
There are a few different ways you can test which foot is dominant, some more effective than others.
We find that the best method is to simply kick a soccer ball or football. The foot that you kick with is your dominant foot. It’s the one that you have the most control over and can deliver the most power.
The foot you use to kick the ball becomes your back foot while your standing leg should be your front foot.
You can also try running along a slippery surface and sliding à la Risky Business. The position you adopt during the slide essentially becomes the opposite position you adopt on an electric skateboard.
If you are right foot dominant, you’ll typically start a slide with your right foot and that should then be your back foot on an electric skateboard.
Keeping Your Balance
Stand on the electric skateboard with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart and your knees bent slightly.
Maintain a straight position and don’t lean forward or back too much. You should also refrain from moving your head and shoulders, as it may throw you off balance.
As soon as you lose balance on an electric skateboard, it’s hard to regain it.
To practice maintaining balance, get on and off your electric skateboard a few times and when you eventually start moving, take it easy.
Accelerating and Controlling Speed
Most electric skateboards have a remote control that you hold in your hands and use to accelerate. The remote control may feature a number of buttons, so make sure you know what these do before going any further.
Once you have figured things out, it’s time to open the throttle.
As noted above, this should be done carefully and steadily. Electric skateboards can move very quickly and if you’re not ready, it’ll throw you off.
Squat down a little, brace yourself for the initial acceleration, and shift your front foot forward slightly.
Once the skateboard is in full flow, it should be a little easier to manage. If you’re struggling with this movement, just keep trying, make sure you don’t fall, and move slowly. You’ll get there eventually.
Electric skateboarding isn’t just about racing in straight lines and trying to go as fast as you can. You also need to know how to turn while ensuring those turns are fluid and controlled enough not to send you off balance.
Turning is quite simple and entails leaning to one side or the other to perform either a heel side turn or a frontside turn.
If you have a regular stance (right foot back), turn right by leaning into your toes. If you have a goofy stance (left foot back), lean onto your heels.
Keep your head up and look toward where you want to go. As with acceleration, it’s best to start slowly and practice at comfortable speeds and in a safe location.
Mastering the Braking System
While braking, shift your weight to your back foot and lean back slightly. Keep your front foot stable and remember that these movements are slight. As soon as you start throwing your weight around, you’ll be thrown from the skateboard.
Electric skateboards use the remote control to brake. Depending on the model, you’ll either need to let go of the acceleration trigger or push down a button.
Practice and Protection
Just because you’re not performing tricks doesn’t mean you can’t fall and hurt yourself. Wear safety gear (including a helmet) to protect yourself on your electric skateboard.
If you’re a beginner getting used to the basics, you should also think about elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards. You’re going to be stumbling and falling a lot if you’re not used to board sports, so it’s best to be prepared.
When you have all of these basics down, the only thing left to do is to get out there and start practicing!
Find somewhere safe that you can ride and start testing your electric skateboard’s acceleration, speed, turning, and braking system.
FAQs: How to Ride an Electric Skateboard
Still got a few questions about riding electric skateboards? Check out the following FAQs.
Are Electric Skateboards Good for Beginners?
Electric skateboards can be great for beginners. They do all of the work and can be controlled by a remote, as opposed to pushing. They’re not easy to ride, though, and you’ll still need to learn the basics, including foot positioning, braking, and turning, as discussed above.
Can You Ride an Electric Skateboard Normally?
In most cases, yes, you can ride an electric skateboard just like a normal skateboard. The drive system may determine how effective and easy this is, but it’s usually not a problem.
Can You Ride an Electric Skateboard When It’s Raining?
You should refrain from riding your electric skateboard in the rain or just after it has rained. It can stress the motors and wheel bearings and may reduce the lifespan of the skateboard.
Even normal skateboards shouldn’t be ridden in the rain, as the water can warp the wood, dissolve the glue in the skateboard deck, and rust the bearings.
How Do You Stand on an Electric Skateboard?
Place your feet shoulder-width apart with your dominant foot behind you and your lead foot in front. Keep your knees bent slightly.
Do I Need Proper Safety Gear for an Electric Skateboard?
Yes, you should wear safety gear when riding an electric skateboard. It might not look cool, but it will protect you when you fall.
Electric skateboards are not made for making big jumps, kick flipping, and grinding rails, but they still move very quickly and falls are common. You could lose your balance, hit a slippery patch on the road, or ride straight into an obstacle.
In such cases, a little safety gear could prevent painful and even serious injuries.