People interested in kick scooters often ask if you have to push off with a specific foot, and will it matter if you are left or right-sided when pushing off? Basically, those who ride the kick scooter develop their own technique on how to kick off and push their scooters.
You will push off with the foot that provides the most comfort to you; using the right or left is all a personal preference. Most scooters who ride for a daily commute want to get the best use out of their machine. There are techniques you can use that will give you an optimal ride and save you energy.
So, deciding which foot to use when you push on your scooter will depend on your chosen riding technique.
The Basic Push on a Kick Scooter
Your ‘push-off foot’ is what will create your movement on the scooter. How much force you are able to use will control your speed.
Experts in kick scooter riding techniques say to stretch your leg out to about the middle of the front wheel, and using the front part of your foot, make the kick-off. Do not put your whole foot on the ground; use only the front part and keep your body flexible.
To remain flexible means, you shouldn’t grip the handlebars too tightly, or keep your elbows to tense.
Remaining comfortable on your scooter is an important piece to enjoyable scootering. You should always be in a position that is comfortable and feels natural to you. The foot you are not using to push should be on the whole surface of the deck.
By not gripping the handlebars too tightly or leaning your hands against them will keep them from tiring out unnecessarily.
The proper stance for riding a scooter is to place your weaker leg in the middle of the deck facing forward. Keep the knee on this leg slightly bent. Lean forward and grab hold of the handlebars with both hands, leaving the foot you will push with on the ground.
You will begin your pushing of the scooter with the foot and leg you consider your stronger of the two.
When you begin pushing with your stronger foot, your resting, or standing leg, should straighten to give your push momentum, then bend it back on your next push.
When you are moving on straight, smooth surfaces, you will want to use powerful, long strides as opposed to quick or small ones. When you push, use the ball of your foot and push backward, almost as if you were running.
While not pushing, or as you glide, keep your pushing foot up a few inches from the ground. You want this foot ready to stabilize yourself should you start to tip on the scooter.
Once you feel you are stable and are moving at a speed you are comfortable with, move your pushing foot onto the deck of the scooter. Your pushing foot will rest behind the standing or resting leg, and you will turn your feet to a ninety-degree angle somewhat like riding a skateboard.
With your feet in this position, you will gain a more aerodynamically ride and speed.
With your pushing foot placed in back, it also becomes your braking foot. Keep it securely on the brake when you are ready to stop for a few seconds to allow the scooter to come to a gradual stop. Do not press to quickly or firmly, or the scooter will come to an abrupt halt, which could cause an injury should you fall from the scooter.
Can You Alternate the Foot You Use to Push a Scooter?
You will begin your scooter ride with the foot you are most comfortable using, but this foot and leg are going to tire out or become sore if overused. You do not want to over-exhaust one side of your body, so it is important to switch legs while you are out scootering.
You can perform a switch in you leg use by either ‘twisting’ or ‘jumping over.’ The difference in the two moves is the contact your foot will have with the platform or deck of your scooter.
The ‘jumping over’ method is completed by switching the foot you are using during a jump. Athletes most often use the ‘jumping over’ technique as it is harder to learn, and it doesn’t disturb their push rhythm.
The ‘twisting’ method is much safer and preferred by those who are everyday users or commuters. To perform the ‘twist,’ you sink your weight into the heel of the foot you haven’t used (standing foot) and twist the top of this foot to the side.
When the standing foot has moved, you can then place the other foot in its place, and you transfer your weight to the new ‘standing foot.’ You can now continue to push with your rested foot.
How to Push on a Scooter If You Race
If you are going to be using your scooter for speed, you will start by stretching your leg out as far as possible. Lift your push-off foot as high as is comfortable and still keeps you in control of your balance, then swing as fast as you can and apply as much force as you have to push off.
Most racers prefer to keep their push-off leg and foot upfront and slightly bent. As you push off with your foot, you should lean your body forward to help with acceleration. When looking for speed on your push-off, your complete lower leg should be active during the push.
How to Push on a Scooter If You Go Uphill
Scooting uphill is much more difficult and demanding. When you push off with your foot on an uphill incline, you will want to use shorter and more frequent push-offs. Using shorter push-offs will keep your speed constant, and you will use less energy.
Place your push-off foot only a foot’s length in front of the resting leg on the deck, and complete your push about the same distance behind.
When you are going uphill, your primary focus will be on how often you push and not how much force you use.
By using rapid, short pushes, you will get a more effective climb.
Kick scooters are a fun and safe means of transportation when you follow the precautions created for proper handling and riding.
One important factor in using a kick scooter is to always remain in control of your speed, and in control of your scooter.