How To Ride An Electric Scooter (Tips For Beginners)

Are you just learning how to ride an electric scooter?

Whether you’re a novice or aiming to become an expert rider, this article covers all the essential tips and techniques for mastering the art of electric scooter riding. I discovered these after years of experience, and now you can learn all of this in just a few minutes.

Check your scooter before riding

Before riding, make sure the critical mechanisms of your scooter function properly. Meaning, double check that the scooter can:

  1. Power up: Your scooter should turn on without any issues. You want to be sure it’s ready to roll.
  2. Battery check: Check if your scooter’s battery has enough power for your ride. You don’t want to get stranded halfway.
  3. Electronics test: Quickly check the scooter’s electronics. Ensure all the buttons, lights, and features are working as they should.
  4. Inflate the tires: Take a look at your scooter’s tires. They should be nice and firm, not too soft. Properly inflated tires make for a smoother and safer ride.
  5. No loose bits: Shake your scooter gently and check for any loose parts – they can be a safety hazard.
  6. Test the acceleration: While you’re in a safe spot, give the accelerator a little test to make sure it responds smoothly.
  7. Brake check: Equally important, check the brakes. Make sure they’re in good working condition.
  8. Listen up: As you take a quick spin, listen for any strange sounds. Unusual noises can be a sign of potential problems.

It might seem like a handful, but these habits will become automatic in no time. Establish them early, and you’ll ride worry-free.

screenshot from an amazon manual of an electric scooter components.

Always wear the appropriate protective gear

electric scooter protective gear

Always wear a helmet when riding your electric scooter. If you only remember one thing from this entire article, it should be this: wear a helmet! It can literally prevent serious injury, or worse!

If possible, wear knee and elbow pads. This is especially true if you’re not yet accustomed to the scooter.

It’s also smart to wear clothing that makes your ride comfortable and safe. That means long sleeve shirts and long pants, sneakers, or boots. If there’s a lot of wind or dust in your area, you should consider using goggles or riding glasses as well, they will make vision much easier.

Take a look at the guides on best scooter helmets, and best scooter accessories, if you’re missing some of these items.

How do you ride an electric scooter for the first time?

A short video by Boosted Rev on the basics of riding an electric scooter

Learning how to ride an electric scooter might seem a bit intimidating at first, but don’t worry; it’s easier than you think.

Find a wide, empty, flat, and safe area for practice, such as a quiet street or an empty parking lot.

Start the scooter in the slowest mode, often labeled as Eco or power-saving mode.

Hold the handlebars, place one foot on the deck, and use the other foot to push off the ground.

As the scooter begins to move, apply the throttle and put both feet on the deck. You might need a few kicks to start; this varies by scooter, but generally, one or two kicks suffice.

Balancing may be challenging to explain in text, but it becomes easy with practice. Don’t overthink it.

When it comes to turning, you should remember one thing – lean in the direction you want to go instead of turning the handlebars. Whether you’re going forward or backward, it’s all about balancing your weight. As you speed up and your weight is centered, a little leaning and slight handlebar adjustments help you steer smoothly.

Use the throttle to increase speed and the brakes to slow down or stop:

  • when you’re accelerating, lean forward
  • when you’re braking, lean backward

Congratulations, you’re now riding your electric scooter!

Beginner tips for riding an electric scooter

Here are a few extra basic tips I would recommend for a safe and smooth ride:

  • Ride with both feet on the deck. Scooters are meant for one rider.
  • Avoid wet or rough terrain; stick to smooth roads.
  • Slow down for speed bumps and uneven surfaces.
  • Follow speed limits and avoid excessive downhill speed.
  • Keep a safe distance, avoid sudden brakes, and be cautious around pedestrians.
  • Balance your load and don’t overload the front.
  • Ensure your scooter’s vital functions work well. With practice, these become second nature for a worry-free ride.

5 mistakes to avoid when riding an electric scooter

Riding an electric scooter is a fantastic way to get around town, but there are a few important mistakes you should avoid to make sure you have a safe and enjoyable experience.

  • Don’t press the throttle too abruptly, this is the most common slip-up beginners make. Ease into the throttle, getting a feel for how it accelerates and slows down.
  • Practice smooth braking techniques, uneven use of the front and rear brakes can cause a loss of control and lead to an accident.
  • Avoid excessive leaning during turns since it can toss you off the scooter. Maintain your balance by refraining from leaning too far forward or backward.
  • Another big “don’t” is riding on sidewalks in many places; it’s usually not allowed and can be dangerous for pedestrians.
  • Respect traffic laws and rules, including stop signs and red lights, and don’t weave in and out of traffic recklessly.

How old do you have to be for riding a scooter?

The minimum age for riding an electric scooter can differ depending on your location.

In many places, you’ll need to be at least 18 years old to hop on an e-scooter, ensuring that riders have the maturity and responsibility to safely navigate urban environments.

However, it’s worth noting that in certain areas, the minimum age may be as low as 16.

To find out the exact age you need to be in your area, it’s a great idea to get in touch with your local authorities or the scooter rental service. When considering renting a scooter, keep in mind that many of the popular scooter-sharing companies like Lime or Bird often ask for ID, meaning you’ll generally need to be at least 18 years old.

Are electric scooters difficult to ride?

No, riding an electric scooter isn’t hard at all! Electric scooters are designed to be user-friendly and straightforward. With a little practice, you can become a confident electric scooter rider in no time.

Although it might seem a bit intimidating when you see them zipping through traffic, they’re much easier to ride than they appear to beginners.

How long does it take to learn how to ride an electric scooter?

pages from a manual showing how to use an electric scooter

Learning to ride an electric scooter is a breeze! Most people can get the hang of basic scooter operation in just a few minutes to an hour of practice.

It’s like learning to ride a bike, but even easier. However, becoming a pro rider and feeling completely comfortable may take a few days or weeks, depending on how often you ride.

The more you practice, the more confident you’ll become.

Can you use an electric scooter as a normal scooter?

The short answer is: not really.

While technically there’s nothing stopping you from riding your electric scooter by kicking, it’s not built for it. The biggest issue is that either the deck is too high, or it’s too heavy, or both.

Check out the detailed explanation in my guide on riding an electric scooter manually.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
I am Matt Trajkovski, the owner and main editor of EScooterNerds. I love electric scooters, and electric vehicles in general, and I’ve been involved in the industry for more than 10 years. I enjoy testing, reviewing, and research on various electric scooter models and brands, following our proprietary rigorous editorial and testing process developed here at EScooterNerds, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience. All of the content published on this blog goes through a rigorous review and editorial process, and our product reviews not only include the hands-on experience of our own team members, but the experience of our audience members as well. My goal is to provide you with the best information about electric scooters possible. You can see all of my posts in my articles archive.
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