Well, guys, I broke my ankle, and not while scooting — it happened while playing pickleball.
How An E-Scooter Helped Me Get Around
And like the 615k people each year in the US that have an ankle fracture- I’m stuck in a boot that immobilizes my ankle and makes it really hard to walk.
Some of us think of electric scooters as a toy, a commuting device, or even a nuisance littering the sidewalks — but escooters can also be a bonafide mobility device for people with disabilities. People like Andres Burgos, a veteran and above-the-knee amputee, discovered that electric scooters were preferable over a wheelchair.
My biggest concern with my broken ankle was putting too much pressure on it while riding.
We usually ride with 80-90% of our weight on the rear foot. So I simply switched my stance and put my worst foot forward on the scooter. That relieved the pressure on the injured ankle and allowed me to start riding everywhere.
And unlike driving a car, I didn’t have to park and walk to my destination.
I could just ride all the way to the front door and either lock the scooter — or, after showing the clerks in the store my ankle boot, they just let me walk in with it.
I felt like a VIP!
If I did need to leave the scooter locked, I simply turned on the movement alarm. If anyone touched my scooter, an alarm would sound.
With my newfound sense of freedom, I found myself going out just as much as before my injury.
I could cruise to lunch with Richy and Ramier, pick up groceries for my wife, and meet up with friends in the neighborhood for an impromptu poker game. Much better than wasting away on the couch watching Netflix.
But I wouldn’t have been able to do all this on just any scooter.
Portability Is Paramount
Read our in-depth review of the E-TWOW / UScooters Booster GT SE.
I need the scooter to go with me everywhere. That can sometimes include popping it into a trunk, the bottom of a shopping cart, or hoisting it upstairs.
For this reason, portability is paramount.
If the scooter is over 30 lbs, it would be too heavy for me to lift (especially with my boot). Also, the scooter needs to fold small to easily fit into any trunk or on public transport. Luckily the Uscooters GT has folding handlebars and weighs 30 lbs. It folds small and is easily carried.
Need Enough Deck Space For Comfort
Normally, portable scooters don’t give you much room for your feet on the deck. But deck space is important because you’ll want to be able to plant your bad foot fully on the deck facing forward and still have room for your rear foot to stabilize. I’d recommend at least 20 inches of usable space from front to back. The GT gives 20.2 inches. This is long for a portable scooter — and actually long for any scooter. Even standout scooters (weighing 2x as much) like the VSETT 10+ and Inokim Quick 4 only give you 18.0 inches and 15.5 inches, respectively.
Zero Start Helps Get You Going
Finally, the last feature you won’t realize you need until it is too late is zero-start.
This is where the scooter starts under its own power and doesn’t require you to push off to get the scooter going. Kicking off with a broken ankle is tough and not advised — so having a scooter with this zero-start feature is clutch!
I took the liberty of comparing these necessary accessibility features on a bunch of small popular scooters.
|Unagi Model One (E500)||20.0 mph||8.5 mi||29 lb||$990|
|Inokim Light 2||20.7 mph||16.0 mi||30 lb||$999|
|UScooters Booster GT SE||23.4 mph||15.2 mi||30 lb||$1,049|
As you can see the Uscooters Booster GT has the perfect feature-set to be my daily rider while in this boot!
And while I can’t play pickleball on a scooter – I can do just about everything else.