Not the first time to hold the title

88yr old Gerald Smith becomes our oldest customer, again! Gerald and wife Ruth Smith joined me this week for their 3rd Segway trip in Queenstown with Segway on Q. On their second visit 3yrs ago, Gerald became our oldest known customer at 85yrs old. They left that day saying “See you again in another 5 years”.

Segway on Q's oldest customer and wife

Previous title holder

In January 2022, Segway on Q had a visit from 87yr old Heather McFadgen and family, stripping Gerald of his title. That was Heather’s first experience on a Segway. You can read all about how that went in our blog, here. Not to be deterred, Gerald and Ruth returned this week to challenge Heather’s title. The couple successfully completed a 1hr trip.

87 Year Old Heather Getting the Hang of Riding her Segway

Setting great example of keeping active

Gerald and his younger bride Ruth have been married for 66 years. They’re setting a great example of how to stay active to their 4 daughters, 14 grand-kids and 31 great grandchildren. They’ve done a tour with Segway on Q when Gerald was 82, 85 and now 88. Does that mean I can expect to see them back again when Gerald’s 91? They weren’t ruling out another visit as the left.

Gerald Smith, Segway on Q's oldest customer and wife Ruth.

So are Segways suitable for anyone?

I don’t necessarily recommend Segways for every 88yr old. It really depends on the individual. I took my mother on a tour when she was 75 (see pic here) and she was perfectly fine. At 91 now, her Segway riding days are behind her. While we only let kids of around 10yrs and older on the trips, my kids have been riding Segways (in a controlled environment) since they were 4yrs old (see pics here). First rides were actually in a front pouch at 6 months old. On a couple of occasions I even had one kid in the front pouch while another in a backpack. I guess sharing Segways with all ages is something I’ve always liked to do.

Any 4 generation families up for a Segway trip?

We get lots of family groups including 3 generations but I don’t believe we’ve ever had 4 generations on the 1 trip. I hope to see that happen one day and would certainly give it a good write up. Well done to all our octogenarian customers!  Will Heather or anyone else be coming along to challenge Gerald’s title?

Family activity fun Queenstown
Categories: Trip Stories


Kevin, a Kiwi, started Segway on Q in 2006. He's from Mt Maunganui in the North Island and after studying tourism has spent most of his adult life down in Queenstown.

1 Comment

Kevin · 28 September 2023 at 4:16 pm

Email from Gerald a couple of weeks later;

Thanks to you from Ruth and myself for the excellent service and tuition you provide when using your Segway machines We have been on them three times now and we have a lot of family connections in the South Island so every time we travel from our home town Whakatane we make it one of our top choices to visit Queenstown to have another go at riding them. I’m 88 and my wife is 85 so still have no problems Hope to get South again next year so will give it another go. Thanks again for your wonderful experience and shows that age is no problem. Kind regards Gerald and Ruth 👍

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