How To Ride An Electric Skateboard

Man Riding an Electric Skateboard

If you’re interested in learning how to ride an electric skateboard then we understand it might be a little intimidating at first. Which is why we’ve written this post to allay any fears and give you some practical advice on how to get started riding. Keep reading and we’ll cover all the basics to get started, as well as a few more advanced things, and some things to keep in mind whilst out on your electric skateboard.

How Hard Is It To Ride An Electric Skateboard?

How hard you find it to ride an electric skateboard will depend a great deal on your level of experience in the first place. For those among us who have plenty of board experience, you’re going to have a pretty big headstart. If you’re already a skateboarder then you’re very well set. For most beginners, a cheap electric longboard will be more than enough to get you started practicing.

If you surf or do any other board sports you’ll already know a lot about your stance and have worked on your balance. Your level of experience at all these other things will affect how easy you might find it too.
a man and a woman holding electric skateboards
If you’re not already proficient at another board sport and it’s your first time riding an electric skateboard, though you might be looking at it with some level of trepidation. Let’s face it: to many people, the unpowered version seems a little crazy. So are you sure you really want to put power through those wheels?
Actually, in some ways this makes electric skateboards safer. And, armed with the information below, you will find that actually, it’s not that hard to ride an electric skateboard. It might just need a little practice.

Are Electric Skateboards Good For Beginners?

As I said just now, if you’re already proficient at board sports then you will have a headstart. But what about those new not just to electric skateboarding, but to all board sports? First of all, you’ll need one of the top electric skateboards to get started learning. Getting started on a solid footing, in more ways than one, will mean that you’ll be up to speed in no time at all.

Find Your Stance

If you’re an established rider you’ll already know this, but for newbies the first thing you need to establish is your stance. You’ll either use a regular stance or a goofy stance. Regular stance means you lead with your left foot forward, and goofy means you lead with the right.
rider in a regular stance
One way to find out is simply to try it out. Find a space and ride around slowly on your board in each, and if one stands out as way more natural to you then there you are. That’s your stance.
If you’re impatient or that doesn’t work, there is a trick you can try. Have a friend push you gently from behind just hard enough so you begin to fall forwards. The leg you put out to catch yourself will be your dominant foot, which is the foot you want to lead with. The other will be your back foot.
Where you place your feet relative to the wheels will depend on the size of the board and what feels comfortable to you. Lastly, always ride with your knees slightly bent, for balance and to avoid jarring your joints.

Tighten The Trucks

Loose trucks can make balancing on an electric skateboard challenging, especially for beginners. For more advanced riders the greater flexibility can be a plus, but at first, it’s best to keep your trucks tight. Loose trucks can also cause speed wobbles.
Annoyingly, more often than not they will be loose when you take delivery of your board. Normally though you’ll also receive a T-tool which you can tighten the trucks up with easily.

Check The Remote

The remote control is your way of communicating with the board what you want it to do. So make sure you take the time to properly familiarise yourself with every part of it and learn what each switch, trigger and toggle does what before you climb on your electric skateboard.
electric skateboard remote control

Safety Gear

We can’t overstate the importance of wearing proper safety gear and knowing basic skateboard safety tips! And it’s not just to stop yourself getting hurt when you fall, it’s as much to stop you from falling in the first place. Helmets, knee pads, shoulder pads: they all have a dual purpose.

using helmet as protective gear
First though, if you’re considering going without, think about the forces at play when your body hits concrete at 20 + mph. Protecting your head and your joints from these forces can be the difference between serious and mild injury, and in some cases between life and death. Even if you don’t value your knees and elbows, wearing a helmet at the very least should be considered essential.
Also, the security of knowing you’re protected will boost your confidence, making you much less likely to fall off anyway. So wearing safety gear is 100% logical.

Check Your Settings

Most boards will have a variety of modes: forward and reverse, and speed setting such as slow, medium and fast, for example. Knowing which if these you are climbing on to is pretty important. So learn your boards setting and be sure to check before you start. Double-checking your remote control is connected is also an obvious but important step!

Practice

Before we get into some more specific techniques and things to know, we will just state here that you won’t master your electric skateboard overnight. Like with all board sports, learning to ride an electric skateboard is a complex mix of technique, muscle memory and confidence, and all of these things can only be developed one way: with practice.
ride an electric skateboard
But, if you put the practice in, you’ll be surprised at how quickly you can get to speed with the electric skateboard. At first, find a space with few obstacles and pedestrians like a parking lot and get used to the feel of the board, the different settings, and experiment with your stance and foot positioning.
Once you feel comfortable you have a foundation, you’re ready to try some slightly more advanced techniques.

How Do You Brake And Accelerate On An Electric Skateboard?

To ride effectively there are three things you need to know: how to accelerate, how to brake, and how to turn. We’ll get to number three shortly, first let’s concentrate on going and stopping.
The first thing to do is get the thing moving. In your chosen stance, stand with your back knee bent but rigid, and planted into the back of the deck. This leg will keep you stead when accelerating. Lean over your front leg slightly for balance with your knee bent also.

Apply the accelerator gently at first! Those riding an electric skateboard for the first time are often surprised by how fast an electric skateboard accelerates, so ease yourself in. And make sure you’re on the slowest setting on your board so you can handle the speed.

black electric skatebaords
For braking, you want to do the reverse, so have your front knee bent and rigid. Just before you apply the brakes, shift your weight onto your back leg. By crouching slightly when braking, you can reduce the force that is applied to your body making it easier to maintain your balance.

How Do You Turn On A Electric Skateboard?

Just like on a conventional skateboard, turning on electric skateboards is actioned by shifting the weight to either the heel or the toe, causing the board the pivot on the trucks and so turn. Heel turns are heelside, and toe turns toeside. Whether this translates to left or right depends on your stance. In regular stance, heelside means turning left, and toeside is right. In goofy stance, it is the opposite.

Either way, the technique for heelside and toeside turns is the same whichever your stance. To turn toeside, first bend your knees to lower your centre of gravity and then forwards slightly so it shifts over your toes. Do not lean backwards if you feel like you’re losing your balance, instead bend your knees further and lean into the turn slightly more. It feels counterintuitive but it will keep you on the board.
How To Ride An Electric Skateboard 1
Heelside is the same in principle but slightly different in effect. The easiest thing is to imagine you are sitting down. As you bend your knees push your backside out a little until you feel the turn. These are very simple descriptions as the best way to master this is get out there and do it. You will soon get a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
Start with small turns and build your confidence, trying larger and tighter turns as you grow. It’s also a good idea to learn foot braking if possible.

Even if you’re 100% new to electric skateboarding, by keeping all the above in mind, you can soon feel confident enough to take your board out on the roads. Just be sure to give yourself enough time to gain your confidence, and practice the simples: shifting weight between your front and back foot, accelerating, braking, and get a feel for turning. With a little practice you will soon feel at ease on the board and ready to go for some real speed.

Ready to go on an adventure? Now that you’re great with your electric skateboard, it’s time to take your electric skateboard on a plane and explore the world on your new set of wheels.

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