I was wondering, after watching the Harry Potter films several times earlier, the way the witches and wizards fly on brooms is quite impossible the way I see it.

  • Sitting on such a thin broom is awfully uncomfortable and difficult, there’s no way one can prevent spinning and sliding off. How do they hold on it and on to it?
  • The leg holders (or whatever they are called) are too far behind, and keeping your legs in such a position for too long will result in pain and more, at least the way shown in the films.
  • When upside down or in a vertical position, there is no way a person could hold on to the broom without severe force, and the grip should be extra strong. Does magic help stay on the broom?
  • 13
    Are you asking if a real magical broom can be flown like the ones you see in the film?
    – Valorum
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 15:58
  • 2
    @Valorum More of a "why don't they fall, does it hurt to sit on a broomstick, and what prevents them from being uncomfortable"? Commented May 22, 2018 at 16:00
  • 45
    Because of magic...
    – Valorum
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 16:02
  • 4
    Are you looking for a broom saddle or something? Your question title and the body don't seem to match. Commented May 22, 2018 at 16:04
  • 2
    W.r.t. point three - it has to do with, well, the buttocks - I'm not going to go into any details, don't worry - which is why Moody was so exercised about Harry keeping his wand in his pants pocket - he was worried Harry might not be able to fly brooms in the future and he knew how important that was to him ...
    – davidbak
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:32

2 Answers 2


The very short answer is that while older designs of broomstick were extremely uncomfortable, modern brooms are fitted with a "cushioning charm" intended to make the ride smoother and more pleasant. Pedal placement is therefore down to the individual's personal choice rather than the raw necessity of staying on the broomstick

enter image description here
image courtesy of 'Quidditch Through the Ages'

  • 57
    who knew this question had an answer? +1! Commented May 22, 2018 at 18:08
  • 4
    How come it didn't work when the twins got boils in places they weren't willing to discuss but which were apparently impacted by their broom? And they were so good at charms too ...
    – davidbak
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 20:30
  • 14
    I would assume that the cushioning charms make it as comfortable to sit on a broom as in a chair, or racing saddle. I think you’d find that sitting on those things would be rather uncomfortable with aforementioned boils.
    – Daniel B
    Commented May 22, 2018 at 22:41
  • 4
    @AaronGullison the wikia link mentions that the charm is part of the manufacturing process, so I doubt it'd need recasting.
    – JAD
    Commented May 23, 2018 at 8:53
  • 6
    @Quasi_Stomach, Valorum knew! As always! :) Commented May 23, 2018 at 13:09

I've been to the Harry Potter recording studios in London, where they had a couple of brooms that you could sit on and make a green screen recording.

The brooms have small seats, which you sit on, as described by @Valorum above.

Harry Potter Studios green screen broom

As you can see there is also an engine attached to the broom, which makes small movements to add effects.

So in this case a seat and some foot pedals give you enough stability.

I think that magic has some effect on the entirety of flying a broom. Especially the part about being upside down.

  • 2
    Welcome to SFF! This is an nice answer but to the wrong question. You seem to be answering how the actors would have used the brooms out of universe rather than how the characters use the brooms in universe.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 12:01
  • @TheLethalCarrot Thank you! I acknowledge my mistake. I now understand the entirety of the question.
    – FilipE92
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 12:04
  • 2
    Reading the title, I assumed this was the question being asked as well
    – Brian J
    Commented May 24, 2018 at 14:53

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