Thinking about trying an adult scooter but just not sure? Perhaps you've wondered why kick-scooters for adults have been on an upward trend for the last few years, but just can't get your head around it. At Swifty HQ we get a lot of questions from prospective customers looking to either confirm or deny some of their initial beliefs. So, here’s a quick rundown of the top 5 most commonly queried scooter myths, busted!
Scooter Myth 1 - Scooting Will Give You One Big Leg!
We all have a dominant side when it comes to scooting, the first time you get on one you’ll naturally feel more comfortable on one leg or the other. Inevitably too, you’ll feel very wobbly and unstable when you first try it out leading with your other leg, almost like starting all over again. This can result in wanting to stick with your comfortable leg for as long as you can, hence the preconception that of one of your legs will get considerably bigger while the other does nothing.
However, once you’ve scooted for a bit of time you’ll see that no one will be able to last for very long just on one leg, switching is a necessity! Not only that, but switching legs opens you up to a whole new world of benefits. You’ll be able to utilise a much more even workout, equally stretching out key muscles in your quads, glutes and core on either side of your body.
Undoubtedly this can be a challenge at first, but the mental challenge and coordination required to switch legs is just as beneficial as the physical one. Training your brain is just as important as keeping your body in shape, and to combine the two is a great opportunity to test yourself. Hopping side to side from one leg to another means you’re making use of the frontal plane while moving and really unlocking the multi-planar benefits of kick scooting.
Moreover, once you’ve cracked the ‘switch kicking’ technique there’s nothing quite like the feeling of satisfaction you get from your newfound scooting confidence. Suddenly you can go further, hop onto paths either side and manoeuvre yourself around obstacles much more easily.
You’ll quickly find what’s comfortable for you, and how many pushes of either side is ideal to get the speed you want. Fortunately, with Swifty’s 16-inch pneumatic tyres once you’re up to speed it’s easier to hold that pace for a longer period, try 4-5 kicks per side to keep you at a sustained pace.
So, whilst your first few scoots might leave you feeling the burn in one leg more than the other, as you learn to switch evenly you won’t be left with just one strong leg after a few long-distance scoots, you’ll be left with two!
Scooter Myth 2 - You Can’t Scoot Uphill
Going uphill using human-powered transport is going to bring a new range of challenges no doubt, but to say you simply can’t scoot uphill? That’s nonsense! Just as walking, running and cycling, scooting uphill is not only achievable but with a bit of practice but the benefits it can offer you are plentiful.
Uphill scooting is, in fact, one of the best HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) activities you can do. HIIT workouts, as the name would suggest, are all about the intensity, short periods of pushing yourself to the absolute limit and then resting. The extra resistance of going uphill will give you something to work against to truly maximise your effort for the short periods of exercise.
Get to know more about the benefits of using an adult kick scooter for fitness HERE
However, not everyone is choosing to scoot for fitness purposes. For casual kick scooter riders, the sight of a big hill to climb is going to be daunting. If you’ve only recently got into scooting too, confidence may be an issue. Do not fear, however! One of the great benefits of a scooter is how easy it is to hop on and hop off it. If it’s too steep for you at any point, just step off and push for a few steps to get your breath back before jumping back on and tackling the next step.
Variable exercise is what scooting offers brilliantly, you can go at your own pace to suit your fitness level and what you feel comfortable doing. If you start with just a couple of kicks up the hill and walk the rest of the way, then you’re already feeling the benefits. You’ll be surprised how quickly you build strength and fitness to go faster and longer too once you tackle the same hill another day.
You will need to take into account our first myth when it comes to tackling hills too. Switching legs will be a necessity when faced with a considerable incline. In fact, you’ll find you need to utilise swapping legs much more frequently. Try 3-4 short and fast kicks on either leg for uphill straights.
We won’t lie to you, riding your scooter uphill is not going to be easy at first, but it’s far from impossible. After all, what goes up must come down and your efforts sure will all feel like it’s worth it as soon as you’re over that hill and have the wind in your hair cruising down the other side!
Scooter Myth 3 - I’ll look silly
First of all, do you really care what other random strangers think of you? If others think you look silly, then that’s their problem to deal with as you go flying past them!
Scooters are likely only seen by some as ‘silly’ because of the lack of representation at this point. Adult kick scooters are quite a new trend in terms of urban transport, and there’s always going to be some push back on anything new especially as they begin to grow in popularity. A lot of people are stuck in their ways and are not fond of change or progress.
Thinking adults on scooters as being silly is only going to be thought in certain locations too where scooters are not readily available to try out. Looking at the majority of European cities where E-scooters are as common as any other forms of transport. Lime scooters themselves are in 80 cities around the world while Bird scooters are available to be used in around 100! With so many people using these dockless sharing scooters it’s considered a complete normality and as common as seeing someone hopping on a sharing bike.
Viewing adult scooters as silly is also a very superficial view based on the viewers own preconceptions of what they think a scooter is. This is often the idea that adult kick scooters are all the same as ones you used to ride when you were a child. Granted, some ‘adult scooters’’ are low quality and with poorly designed to the point where frankly I wouldn’t go near one. However, some are awesome, look awesome and feel awesome!
What’s silly about getting out, active and fit? What’s silly about cutting your carbon footprint? What’s silly about getting from A-B faster? Just because adult scooters don’t fit into someone’s view of what is ‘cool’ it doesn’t make it so. Scooting makes you feel great.
Looking through some online forums about this subject everyone that holds this viewpoint also seems to concede that the practical benefits are undeniable, one of the best examples is user 'Bahnhof Strasse' when saying ‘Some dude in the sharpest suit possible scoots to my station in the morning. He does look a d*ck, but he's moving much faster than the walkers.’ If you let other people’s insecurities hold you back from saving time stuck sat in traffic or saving money bus or train tickets, then that’s what’s silly!
Not to mention the amount of famous faces we’ve had on Swifty's and that use scooters in general as a key mode of transport. If it’s good enough for Kate Hudson, its good enough for me.
Find out which other celebrities love Swifty from TV personalities to YouTube mega-stars HERE
Scooter Myth 4 – Scooters Can Only Go Short Distances
Scooting comes with its limits, that’s for sure, but you can travel a lot further on a scooter than you might expect. Much like running of cycling when you first start you’ll likely be quite limited to the routes and distances you can do, but with some practice and training your stamina will quickly grow to take you further and further.
The assumption that you can’t go very far on scooters could most likely stem from the fact that they’re just so practical for going short distances. Not many people actually get out and try to see how far they could go in a day.
When you do set a day aside to focus on scooting from one point to another you’d be surprised how much distance you can travel. A kick scooter goes on average around 7-10 mph which can take you a considerable distance if you keep it up for a just a small chunk of the day. In fact, through our own research, we can estimate that our customers collectively have accumulated a whopping 6,912,000 miles of scooting! Before you even realise it all your smaller journeys have built up to a considerable figure.
Saying this is all well and good but you don’t have to just take our word for it, we have the proof too! Swifty ambassador Dave Cornthwaite has travelled over 1000 miles on his specially made Swifty around Japan in just 33 days! On average that’s around 32 miles a day, which is no small distance by any means! To put this into perspective, see the below diagram. The radius of the circle is 32 miles, which helps you visualise the distance you can go from where we are based at Swifty HQ in Salford! Not to mention that Russell Smith has pushed this even further during his Scoot from Lands End to John O’Groats. He managed to travel a staggering 45 miles in just one day!
Dave and Russell’s adventures may be a rather extreme example of how far you can scoot when you set your heart on it. But a more palatable case of the distance you can comfortably travel can be seen with our Swifty Holiday. This is a holiday where your luggage gets moved around for you each day and you scoot between the different hotels around Lake Constance in Germany and Austria.
Since the majority of the route is via paved cycle paths it’s an ease to cover a long distance without any hassle. The final days of the holiday have you scooting 40km, but from the feedback, we’ve heard this is more than enough time to take in the views, stop off at some attractions and get to your hotel for the night without running out of puff! It just goes to show that distance isn’t an issue when it comes to scooting if you’ve found the right terrain.
The Swifty Holiday route
‘Super-Gran’ Dinah’s has also embarked on an epic 500-mile solo scoot around the north-west coast of Scotland. Read all about it HERE
Scooter Myth 5 – Scooters are Just a Passing Fad
Scooters have been around for decades. They’ve taken on all shapes and forms you could imagine whether its kick power, pedal power or motor powered and with 2, 3 or 4 wheels. Through the history of the scooter, plenty of brands and designs have appeared and disappeared in equal measure. But, in the last 10 years, adult scooters have had a boom in popularity and there’s been a consistent upward trend which begs the question, why now?
The answer is simple really. Firstly, people are actively looking for alternatives to cars for short-distance travel. Most town centres are congested at the best of times and that’s not even looking into cities where the problem is exponentially worse. All this excess time sat in traffic is contributing to a colossal amount of extra pollution being pumped into our atmosphere.
55% of the world’s population live in urban areas and this is expected to rise to 68% by 2050. The car simply isn’t a practical or efficient way to travel around the city anymore, and as a result, people need other options to get around to keep our cities developing, adult scooters fill this need perfectly.
What scooters offer you that few other forms of transport do is the option for multi-modal travel. If you need to drive a bit closer to your destination and scoot in, then you can fit it in your boot. If you need to hop on the bus or train for part of your journey you can fold up your SwiftyONE and do that. It can be utilised in basically any commute!
Ever-increasing road congestion ultimately means that modes of transport such as cycling are a lot more stressful and dangerous too. Opting for a kick scooter, on the other hand, allows people to explore new routes away from the roads and exhaust fumes that engulf most of the roads. Moreover, scooting offers a practical solution for people who do not have sufficient cycle paths on their route to or from work too, as you can use your kick scooter on the pavement.
As well as being around for a long time scooter design has evolved significantly to keep up with the times and remain relevant and useful to users. When Swifty launched our folding big wheel commuter scooter the SwiftyONE back in 2011 we not only made a vehicle that looked good and felt great to ride, we also offered a much more practical and versatile solution to city travel because of its easily foldable frame meaning you can take it on the tube, tram or bus with no hassle!
We don’t intend to stop innovating and coming up with new and more practical ways for scooters to fit into your day to day life either, so you can bet that Swifty will continue to evolve with the needs of our customers.
We hope this has cleared up a few of your initial pre-conceptions when it comes to scooters. If you have any other concerns or any thoughts let us know in the comments!
We often get the question ‘Is riding a kick-scooter on the pavement legal in the UK?’ at Swifty HQ. Click HERE to read all about it in a blog exploring the topic.