Is It Hard To Ride An Electric Scooter? (You May Be Surprised)

I remember thinking that riding an electric scooter looks so hard the first time I saw one. It seemed almost weird that it didn’t tip over to the side.

Also, I had a somewhat outdated mentality and I wasn’t very up-to-date on emerging technology. So I also kind of wondered, how can they ride those things without kicking?

These may seem like silly questions, but it’s what passed through my mind at that time.

And from the many conversations I’ve had with other people, it seems that I’m not the only one. People that see electric scooters for the first time, and people that have never ridden one, often have these types of questions.

It only took me one ride to find out if riding it was hard.

person explaining how to ride an electric scooter to a friend

Why does riding an electric scooter look more difficult than it really is? How is it actually done, and what do you need to know before riding?

These are all common beginner questions. Let’s briefly address them all.

Why does riding an electric scooter look so hard?

To beginners, riding may seem hard because they are still thinking about old-school, classical kick-scooters.

Riding them was very different from riding an electric one. But they really do look alike a lot.

Many electric scooters actually do require a kick to start. They can accelerate without one, but they will be expending much more battery power that way.

What to know before riding an electric scooter?

boy riding a white Lime electric scooter on a wet street in a city

If you plan on riding in the streets of your city, you will need to make sure that:

  • electric scooters are allowed in your area (yes in the vast majority of places)
  • your electric scooter is road legal
  • you fulfill the age requirements for riding an electric scooter in your area (often none, sometimes 16+)
  • you have all the proper documentation required to riding it (could be none, but could also be license, registration, or insurance)
  • you are familiar with the local laws that apply for riding a scooter, like areas where you should ride and speed limits

Every time before you ride, go through the following checklist to ensure your comfort and safety:

  • respect your local traffic laws
  • wear a proper helmet for your electric scooter
  • put on all the safety gear you have
  • don’t ride under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • never ride with great speeds, especially if you are a beginner
  • check your tires, make sure they are inflated
  • check your battery, make sure it has enough power left in it to get you where you’re going
  • check your brakes and make sure that all mechanisms work
  • avoid riding in the rain, snow, wet weather, or on slippery surfaces
  • turn on your lights at night

These are the essential safety tips you must always follow. For a more in-depth look, check out my electric scooter safety guide, and the guide on how electric scooters can affect your health.

Finally, if you want to become a more proficient user, you will have to get familiar with your scooter.

Make sure to go through our detailed guide about how electric scooters work.

Then, if you wish to further deepen your knowledge, go through our guide for all the most important performance aspects of your electric scooter. Among other things, these include concepts like:

  • motor power, real vs peak power
  • wattage
  • energy storage capacity
  • voltage and current
  • top speed
  • range
  • load capacity
  • climbing angle
  • IP rating

How to ride an electric scooter for beginners

Even though it’s easy itself, riding an electric scooter is not that easy to explain in words.

You will probably get a hang of it in less than a minute.

In simple terms, all you need to do is:

  • make sure the scooter is turned on and it has battery power
  • preferably, have it in its slowest mode
  • if you need to practice, find a flat, clear patch of empty space
  • your scooter may require a kick to start, if yes, use a kick-start, as you would with a regular scooter
  • hit and hold the acceleration button
  • place both feet on the deck
  • maintain balance

Congratulations, you’re on your first electric scooter ride!

Riding is simple and easy, but you shouldn’t get too comfortable at the beginning.

Gather some experience under your belt first. Ride with full alertness for some time. Riding an electric scooter really puts you in the zone, and for beginners that can still be somewhat tricky, since you’re not accustomed to minding the road and your surroundings.

So just spend some time riding slowly and carefully before you dare for the long drives through the more busy parts of the city.

Any time you wish to stop, release the acceleration, and activate one of the braking mechanisms. Slightly lean over to one side and bring your foot from that side on the ground.

When to get an electric scooter?

There are people in certain contexts and scenarios that would have huge benefits from getting an electric scooter.

The most important groups of people that should really consider getting an electric scooter would be:

  • people that want to save on transport costs
  • people that want to reduce time in traffic
  • people that need a convenient, efficient way to cover medium to almost-long distances
  • people that want a cleaner, safer environment

Naturally, scooters have both pros and cons. Some of the downsides include:

  • electric scooters are still an immature technology
  • finding a repair shop can be difficult
  • some places restrict scooter speed, and some places restrict scooters on the roads
  • there are many low-power scooters with low speeds and range
  • some scooters are not good for climbing hills
  • many scooters are not waterproof

It’s always a great idea to try out a rental electric scooter a few times if you’re thinking of buying one. You will quickly get familiar with the basics and you will soon know whether buying an electric scooter makes sense for you.

Is an electric scooter worth it?

pile of saved coins

Naturally, this will depend on your own needs, priorities, and budget.

However, if you’re already considering getting one, chances are, it’s probably worth it for you.

Compared to pretty much every other means of transport, electric scooters save you money in the long run.

These days, there are many good scooters that don’t cost much. So, if you plan to use it for your daily commute, or at least as a reliable means of transport, it will truly be a worthwhile investment.

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Matt standing next to his Xiaomi M365 Pro electric scooter and holding an electric scooter helmet
I love electric scooters, so I decided to make a blog about them. I like doing a lot of research on various models and brands, looking for great value and performance, both through data and experience.