An adult kick scooter is a fantastic mode of transportation for daily commuting. A kick scooter can be brought anywhere due to it’s compact size when folded. You can bring it onto public transportation, tuck it under a desk at work, and store it easily in a small apartment. With so many advantages, why don’t more people ride kick scooters on a daily basis? The reason is that many people assume that you can’t ride a kick scooter without getting super tired.
After-all a bicycle has gears, pedals and a seat to rest on. This gives a bicycle a mechanical advantage while climbing hills, and more speed for covering distances, all while taking most of your weight off your legs.
But for those of us such as our buddy Jonathan Kelley and myself, we know that a kick scooter can be more fun and less tiresome with the proper posture and stance, and kicking techniques.
So how do you ride a kick scooter without getting tired?
Everything starts with the proper posture
Without the proper posture, riding a kick scooter can be agony on two wheels. Your legs, arms and back will tire very quickly, leaving you to wonder why you bought one in the first place.
With the proper posture this can be easily prevented. First make sure that your handlebars are adjusted at the proper height. If they’re too high you will lean too far backwards, making it impossible to kick properly.
If your handle bars are too low, you’ll lean too far forward, putting too much weight onto you hands, and not allowing you put enough power into your kicks.
Instead, you want the handlebars adjusted to where you have a slight lean forward with both feet on the deck if your kick scooter deck is wide enough. (We recommend the Xootr MG scooter that allows you to put two adult feet on the deck).
Otherwise you’ll have to put one foot on the deck at a time. In this case, the entire sole of your foot should be placed in a spot on the deck that feels comfortable to you, and allows you to easily reach the back brake with the other foot. (Again, we recommend the Xootr MG scooter because it has both a back and front brake).
Tip: We recommend first time kick scooter users to test ride your scooter in a parking lot the first time. A kick scooter, even though it’s easy to ride can feel a little twitchy at first. Get the hang of kicking, steering, and stopping in an area that is fairly level, free of debris, and no cars if possible. And always remember to stay relaxed.
Proper kicking technique is important for riding your kick scooter without getting tired
Depending upon how fast you want to go and how far, the length and frequency of your kicks are going to vary.
Your kicking technique will also change depending upon if you’re climbing, going straight, or going downhill.
When kicking, always remember that the harder you kick, the faster you will go. This will allow you to cover more distance quickly, but also tire you out faster.
A great technique that we use is to put both feet side by side on the deck (The Xootr scooter’s wide deck easily allows this).
With both legs firmly planted on the deck, swing the kicking leg towards the front wheel, with a slight bend in the supporting leg. Place your kicking leg on the ground with the sole of your foot and push the scooter while leaning slightly forward.
Make sure you have a medium grip on the handlebars, but not too forward to avoid tiring your hands and arms out.
Tip: After each kick, determine how fast your traveling, and place both feet on the deck until the scooter starts to slow down, in order to provide a rest. Also, take medium strides to ensure you don’t tire to fast, and count the kicks with the kicking leg (such as 3 kicks) then change legs and do the same. This way you can give both legs an equal amount of exercise.
If you do end up getting too tired to kick scoot back home, you can fold the kick scooter, swing it over your arm (if you have a carry strap, such as the one we use on our Xootr MG scooters), and hop on public transportation.
Learn how to alternate kicking legs
Many first time kick scooter commuters make the mistake of not switching kicking legs before they become too tired. Mostly, it’s because they haven’t spent enough time on the kick scooter, and switching legs can feel scary at first.
What happens is that this not only causes unilateral fatigue in your kicking leg, but also causes one leg to become stronger than the other.
Your supporting leg will either become too tired to continue your journey or will be extremely sore the next morning.
What we like to do is practice counting kicks with our dominant leg, then after a certain amount of kicks, we change legs and do the same.
Alternate legs by pointing your toes
A great way to change feet while riding a kick scooter with a small deck is to turn your toes of the supporting leg outwards.
This technique is very easy for beginners to learn without the risk of falling on their face.
Just remember to turn the toe of the supporting foot outward while changing legs. As you move the supporting leg from the deck, replace it with your kicking foot.
You can also do the same technique by simply turning the heel of your supporting leg outwards while replacing it with the other foot.
Alternate kicking legs by jumping off the deck
This is an advanced technique that we don’t recommend to beginners, seeing it’s more risky and involves more skill.
Fortunately, once you master this technique, it’s way more efficient because it doesn’t interrupt your cadence. All it involves is a sideways jump onto the deck while changing legs immediately after kicking, with the supporting leg jumping away from the deck.
Going fast on the kick scooter
Harder, longer kicks will allow you to go way faster on flat, long stretches of road. All you have to do is swing your kicking leg forward as high as possible, and while kicking, push as hard as you can.
The longer and harder the kick, the more speed you will produce. Fast and frequent kicks will allow you to go as fast as possible, but you won’t be able to maintain it for very long.
Going uphill with your kick scooter without getting tired
Going uphill on your kick scooter can be a real challenge. You’re going to get tired and sweat a bit. But there is a way to make it a lot easier.
It’s all in the technique! Instead of using long, hard kicks we recommend the complete opposite. Instead, use short, frequent kicks, and alternate your legs more often.
Straighten you’re kicking leg by putting it in front of the supporting leg on the deck (approximately a foot’s distance), and end the kick behind the supporting leg (about the same distance).
Tip: Don’t use too much energy on each kick or you’ll waste too much energy and end up having to walk up the hill.
Going downhill on your kick scooter
Going downhill with your kick scooter is the easiest. While going downhill, you can relax with both feet on the deck, with the breeze cooling you off.
While going downhill, we recommend you put both feet parallel to each other, just in case you need to push down on the back brake to slow down. While applying the brake be careful not to hold the brake too long, as that can cause it to overhear. We suggest short frequent braking to keep speed from picking up too fast, and to prevent brake failure.
If your kick scooter has a front brake similar to the one the Xootr MG scooters have, lean back slightly, push the back brake, then the front brake, to keep front falling forward.
Thank you for joining us!
Thank you for joining us and reading this handy guide on how to ride your kick scooter without getting tired.
Riding a kick scooter can be extremely fun, and at first it might seem a little intimidating, but we promise it’s a lot easier than you think.
Before long, you’ll not only become very confident riding your kick scooter, you’ll look forward to commuting on it. In fact you’ll find every excuse you can to ride it. We certainly have!
Let us know in the comments section below if you are planning to or currently ride a kick scooter. And we always love hearing about adventures!
Also, don’t forget to check out Xootr scooters at xootr.com. Every Xootr scooter is manufactured and assembled in Old Forge, PA.
We also welcome you to check out our kick-scooter guide for more helpful tips.