So, you got yourself a hoverboard? Sweet. Let’s get you riding. Here are our top tips for successful gliding:
Before you attempt your first ride, pay mind to a few safety-related measures:
- Make sure you are wearing proper safety gear: a helmet, to start, but you might also want to don knee pads and/or elbow pads.
- Wear flat, closed-toe shoes when riding a hoverboard.
- Until you get the hang of hoverboard riding, stick to smooth, flat riding surfaces.
Pay mind to posture
Think about how to position your body before you step onto the board: The right posture will help you achieve a smoother and steadier ride. Here’s some guidance:
- The sensors under the hoverboard’s footpads detect subtle shifts of weight as instruction to move the wheels. As such, bending or leaning while riding may unintentionally cause the board to react—so always stand straight, with the center of your body over the center of the hoverboard.
- Keeping a slight bend in the knees helps with balance and the absorption of bumps in terrain.
- Each foot should be centered on the footpad underneath it—but you can widen your stance slightly to increase stability.
Make sure that your hoverboard is fully charged before starting to ride—and always turn on your board before attempting to mount it: The internal balance mechanisms in a hoverboard only activates when the board is powered on.
Mount the board following these steps:
- Position the board on the ground in front of you, with your body centered behind it. (Hoverboards do not have a “front” and a “back” that affect functionality—but if yours has a headlight or other design feature that should be facing forward, position the hoverboard accordingly.)
- Take note that your hoverboard has two separate footpads—one where you’ll place your right foot, and one where you’ll place your left. Adjust both footpads so that they are evenly aligned and parallel to the ground.
- Raise your dominant leg (the one you feel most comfortable balancing your weight on) and gently place that foot on the center of the foot pad in front of it. Do not shift your weight onto that leg just yet—or you’ll activate the sensor and that side of the board will start moving.
- When you’re ready, quickly lift your other foot up onto the other footpad and adjust your body weight to the center.
Moving the board
Because the sensors under those footpads respond to very slight changes in pressure, concentrate on making movements mostly with your feet—not by leaning with your torso.
Each wheel is controlled by the pressure you put on its corresponding footpad. The more pressure you apply, the faster that wheel will move. Here’s how to get the direction you want:
- To move forward: Apply equal pressure to the front of both foopads by pushing down equally with the balls of your feet. The sensation is similar to pointing your toes.
- To move backwards: Transfer the pressure to the back of your feet by lifting up your toes.
- To turn: Rotate your hips slightly towards the direction you want to turn; this slight rotation will change the amount of pressure being made by your feet to each footpad and, thus, one wheel will move faster than the other—and affecting a turn.
End your ride carefully
Before dismounting your hoverboard, slow it down by releasing the pressure at the front of the footpad (or the rear of it, if you’re traveling backwards). Once the board has come to a stop, dismount it by stepping off behind it one foot at a time.
Know your board
You’ll be able to maximize the riding experience if you’re familiar with your board’s features and functionality. Click through to learn more about these tidbits of hoverboard wisdom.
- Hoverboards use beeping sounds as a way to communicate certain things to you.
- It’s normal for a hoverboard’s internal balance mechanism to need resetting every now and then. The process, called recalibrating, is easy to do and takes less than a minute.
- You can keep an eye on battery charge levels and more by looking to your hoverboard’s indicator lights.
- Many Jetson hoverboards have built-in Bluetooth speakers and/or can be connected with the RideJetson app for customization and control through your smartphone.
Happy hoverboard riding!