Whether you call it scootering or scooting, there’s no shortage of great reasons to take up this activity. Not only can riding a kick scooter get you briskly from A to B, but it can also be a very fun and effective form of exercise. Before you know it, you’ll be dropping pounds without even really feeling like you’re working out.
As enjoyable as scootering can be, though, it’s crucial to be well-equipped for your new pursuit. So, here’s our quick rundown of the essentials of scootering for beginners – including how to choose the right scooter in the first place, as well as the other extras that’ll keep you safe and make your life easier.
The Most Important Element of Scootering For Beginners: The Scooter Itself
First of all, if you’re interested in scootering, it’s important to first clarify what type of scootering you’re thinking about. This, in turn, will have big implications for the specific type and model of scooter that’ll best meet your needs.
Do you intend to ride your scooter on the work commute, or to and from the shops? In that case, it’s what’s known as a ‘kick’ or ‘push’ scooter that you’ll need to acquire.
Those who simply want a scooter to pootle along to the shops won’t have to worry about toughness and durability to the same extent as stunt scooter buyers, as we’ve covered in more detail below. Instead, convenience and comfort are likely to be the major watchwords.
If, for example, you intend to use your kick scooter for a short and sharp daily commute, something light, portable and well-made, with small wheels, is likely to be your best bet – especially if you’ll need to bring your scooter with you on a metro, train or bus.
Other prospective scooterers, though, might have longer commutes to go on, and may therefore worry more about ride comfort. To ensure the smoothest ride for those lengthy journeys, look for a scooter with a large and low deck and big wheels, possibly with suspension as well.
Larger-wheeled scooters are also a sound choice for those who desire especially quick travel, with a light overall weight and the absence of suspension other characteristics that will help to boost your scooter’s performance.
Alternatively, some people understand ‘scootering’ to mean pulling off tricks and stunts – and if this is the type you’re interested in, you’ll need a very different type of scooter. Stunt scooters are also frequently known as trick scooters. As you might guess, they’re specifically designed to take much more punishment than a standard push or kick scooter, given all of those bunny hops and 360s they’ll be doing.
Stunt scooters tend to incorporate various design features to ensure they’re robust enough for everything enthusiasts might throw at them. One such typical feature is a fixed deck, whereby the deck and head tube are welded together.
Aluminium or chromoly frames are also common features on stunt scooters, to make them strong, but also sufficiently light to hurl into the air. You’re likely to see thick foam or rubber handlebars and metal-core wheels on this type of scooter too.
Whether you buy a kick or stunt scooter, build quality should be one of your top priorities. Our advice is to go for the best-made scooter your budget will allow.
Bear in mind, though, that a more expensive scooter isn’t automatically a better-quality one. So it’s worth shopping around, as the right choice of retailer could save you money without compromising on the standard of the scooter you buy.
Don’t Forget Your Helmet And Pads
So, presuming the scooter itself has been ticked off, the next thing you’ll need to acquire is the safety gear that’ll help to protect you in the event of the unthinkable.
Scootering is very much like cycling in this regard – indeed, whether you’re taking your scooter to work or to the skate park, you’ll be covering much the same territory. So, make sure you always wear a helmet that combines a hardshell exterior with a springy inner to shield your head from injuries if you trip or fall.
With the other key safety essentials available for scooter riders – adults and kids alike – including wrist guards, knee pads, protective shorts and street skating protectors, there’s plenty of good protective equipment out there for every type of scooterer.
The Other Scooter Accessories You’ll Need
If you intend to go beyond scootering for beginners, with your scootering becoming a regular thing, it’s a really good idea to always have some spare wheels and backup brakes to hand. Quite frankly, you can never be sure when and wherever you might need them.
There are various scooter accessories that may be important to you, depending on how, when and where you intend to use your scooter. A child carrier, for example, would enable you to safely carry your child on your scooter. Dedicated scooter transportation bags are also available, and can be a godsend at those times when you need to fold up your scooter and carry it around – for example, when you’re on a bus or train.
But as a beginner, will you really need such things as stickers for personalising your scooter, or colourful inserts for altering the look of the wheels? We’d hazard a guess, no. Nonetheless, the more experienced you become as a scooterer, the more inclined you might be to explore all of these intriguing little extras.
Stunt Scooter Users Might Keep Some Parts on Them Too
To underline what we said above, there are quite a few scooter parts that you shouldn’t necessarily fret about always having on you when you’re just getting started. However, it can be quite a different situation if you own a stunt scooter, as you won’t want the tricks to stop the moment a single component breaks.
So, if you’re a novice stunt scooter rider, it’s well worth considering the parts like spare wheels and brakes that you’re likely to be thankful for having kept to one side. It’s inevitable that almost any enthusiastic stunt scooterer will need to turn to them eventually!
Naturally, as you become more accustomed to your scooter and your specific ways of using it, you’ll also get a better sense of what pieces of kit are, and aren’t, essential for you.
Keep your scooter well-maintained by routinely wiping it down with a cloth and spraying it with a light machine oil once every three months if it is a regular scooter, or slightly more often for a stunt scooter. This will help to prevent the parts from ceasing up. Be responsible, too, about where you take your scooter, to avoid perfectly avoidable damage.
Get these basics of scootering for beginners right, and you’ll be well on your way to a lifetime of safe and enjoyable scooter use!