If you have never ridden a Segway personal transporter and would like to have a go, there's an opportunity on Handley St Reserve.

Whanganui man Gary McKinnon has imported a number of the ride-on devices and set up Zway Rentals with the tagline: "Being Stood Up Never Felt So Good."

Mr McKinnon is encouraging people to come to the reserve on Carlton Ave and have a go over the next few days. He says they are a great mode of transport and economical to run.

"They are driven by a 72-volt lithium battery and the charge lasts for 30-35 kilometres."


The Segway is activated when a person stands on it and is then propelled by leaning forward to reach a maximum speed of 15 km/h.

"It is important for a person to be relaxed when standing on it, and when you want to stop you lean back and you can make it reverse by leaning back further," said Mr McKinnon.

The Segway can be turned by leaning the handle from side to side and can turn in a circle that equals the width of the wheels.

A five-minute ride costs $5 and Mr McKinnon said the time can be extended slightly for people who have not quite got the hang of it.

"Five minutes is enough for most people, but some take a bit longer to get comfortable on it and need a bit longer.

"I had a couple of children and their grandparents here yesterday, and the kids got the hang of it very quickly but the adults took a bit longer.

"They all loved it once they got going."

Mr McKinnon says he would like to offer rides along the riverside walkway if he can get approval from Whanganui District Council.

In New Zealand the Segway is classed as a mobility device, in the same category as a mobility Segway scooter or electric wheelchair.