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In order to fully enjoy your Boosted experience, you need to prepare yourself before going out for a ride. Here are some quick tips and tricks to keep you safe while riding.
1) Always wear a helmet
Never ride your board without a helmet! Here at Boosted, safety is our top priority, so this is more of a rule than a tip. Even a low-speed fall can severely damage that fragile noggin. We recommend the following helmet companies: Triple 8, Bell, Pro-Tec, or Bern. And if you are just beginning it never hurts to slap on some other protective gear like elbow pads, knee pads, wrist guards, and gloves.
2) Don’t ride above your ability
Our boards come with several different operating modes depending on what model you buy: Beginner, Eco, Expert, and Pro. Before you set it to the advanced modes, take the time to go out to an empty parking lot and learn the basics of how the board handles—this includes carving, turning, and braking at speed. It’s best to learn these fundamentals in a safe area and at a manageable speed.
Here are a few riding tips for when you first start out:
- Start by moving forward as slowly as possible.
- Move the Throttle Wheel in small increments.
- Keep a wide stance on the board.
- Keep a low center of gravity.
- Lean forward when accelerating.
- Lean backward when braking.
3) Learn how to anticipate obstacles in the road
Learning how to identify problematic obstacles is a crucial part of skateboarding safely. While zipping along on your board you’ll likely encounter a laundry list of obstacles that include:
- rocks and loose gravel
- oil slicks
- water hoses
- manhole covers
- rough pavement
- grass clippings
- loose debris
- damp pavement
- and much more!
Some of these obstacles can be navigated safely with little or no effort while others require immediate and swift action to avoid a crash. We’ve put together a few examples with pictures to give you an idea of what to avoid. If it seems overwhelming at first, don’t worry, with a little practice you’ll be zipping by them with ease.
4) Always stay alert: spatial awareness is key when riding in traffic
People driving cars often do not see things that aren’t cars—like pedestrians, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and, of course, skateboarders. There are many theories on why this happens, but the fact of the matter is that you need to ride defensively. If you want to ride on the road you should practice a few key tactics to help anticipate other cars and help them anticipate you.
Always avoid a vehicle’s blind spots.
You’re much smaller than other cars and you easily fit into their blind spots. When riding near a vehicle(s), try to make eye contact with the driver(s). If they can see you, and you see them seeing you, they will know you are there.
Use Hand Signals When Appropriate
Turn signals on a skateboard might seem weird, but if you want to ride in traffic you need to follow the rules of the road. By signaling, you are doing several important things: increasing the chances that cars will be able to see you, indicating your intentions, and obeying traffic laws.
Watch for people getting out of cars and cars pulling into traffic
A common accident for bicyclists is getting “doored”: when vehicle occupants open their door and the bicyclist collides with the door. Another common hazard is when a vehicle pulls out and cuts the bicyclist off. These accidents are usually due to the inattention of the driver, but it is possible to avoid this situation by staying aware. For example, when riding by a row of parked cars try to distance yourself from the immediate “door zone” and scan the side view mirrors keeping an eye out for driver’s faces.
As the electric transportation industry grows, it’s extremely important that as a community we set a good example by demonstrating proper traffic etiquette. Understand that many municipalities do not allow skateboarding on roadways, but as electric vehicles become more common and convenient, many cities will begin to consider the pros and cons of allowing electric vehicles on their streets. That’s why it’s crucial that you act as a safe and responsible ambassador for Boosted riders everywhere and help us spread the Boosted experience.