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Kick Scooter Buying Guide

Who Is It For?

When buying a kick scooter, a primary consideration is who will be riding and for what purpose. Is it for kids who are riding around with friends for fun? Is it for adults who are counting on it to commute to work daily?

Kids

Graphic of child
  1. Built for small frames
  2. Cost likely more important than durability
  3. Weight: Plastic can be lighter than metal
  4. Fun colors may appeal more to children looking to play with friends
  5. Tricks: Kids may be more interested in scooters they can practice tricks on

Adults

Graphic of adult
  1. Durability and smooth roll likely more important
  2. Ability to handle heavier riders
  3. Speed for efficiency of commute, particularly if wearing business clothing
  4. Ability to easily fold and unfold for portability in public transport
  5. Comfort: can 2 adult feet ride side by side?

Deck Characteristics

Deck Width

Riding a kick scooter wide enough to allow both feet to stand side by side can be more comfortable for many people, particularly if riding for longer times and distances.

A wider deck also allows easier alternation of the kicking foot so that one gets an even workout.

Graphic of 4 & 5 inch wide deck
Image courtesy of letskickscoot.com

Deck Length

For ride comfort, you might also ensure that the deck is long enough for your shoe size. To ride on a short deck, you either execute a fancy foot exchange, or physically hop back and forth so that only one leg at a time rests on the deck.

Keep in mind that if you choose to hop, the force on the deck significantly increases so if your weight is close to the scooter’s maximum limit, you will quickly wear it out and have to buy a replacement.

Deck Weight

Durability and weight are important and relevant to how the scooter will be used. A sturdier deck is ideal for larger riders, those looking for a solid feel, and longer rides.

Conversely, a lighter deck will be easier to transport and carry around. Some people choose to have different kick scooters for different purposes, saving the light model for use cases like travel.

Smaller and lighter vs. Larger and sturdier?

Practice standing on 1 foot for a solid 10 minutes. Are your hips still comfortable? If so, perhaps a smaller/lighter scooter can meet your needs. If not, perhaps think about a sturdier model for optimum comfort.
Graphic of 7 inch wide deck
Image courtesy of letskickscoot.com

Frame Rigidity

The more rigid the kick scooter frame, the stronger the feel of the ride and the more stable the steering. More rigidity means less energy needed in order to power the scooter, resulting in more efficient kicks.

Additionally, the more rigid the setup, the less rattling will occur.

Looser setups will have more give, which may be useful for trick scootering.

Diagram of razor like scooter parts
Image courtesy of gryndoscooters.com

Wheel Roll Resistance

Wheel roll resistance is one of the largest factors in determining ride speed and quality. Of course, less wheel resistance means the kick scooter travels faster.

Nearly all energy from the kick goes to overcoming wheel resistance, which is why it is important to ensure high quality wheels for scooters that are being used for longer distances or times.

A factor to keep in mind along with wheel roll resistance is size of wheel. Larger wheels are less likely to get caught in sidewalk and road cracks, decreasing the chance of accidents and spills. Durability of wheels is also an important consideration as to avoid excessive maintenance costs and time.

Diagram of different types of wheels
Image courtesy of skatepro.net

Download the kick scooter buying guide as a PDF.