It might seem like an oxymoron, a one wheeled Skateboard, but you’d be sorely mistaken if you wrote off this invention as a passing fad. There’s every chance the skateboard might just be the future of personal transportation and electric skateboards!
The Onewheel was invented by Future Motion Inc. founder and CEO Kyle Dorksen, after he left his job at IDEO in 2013 to start developing his passion project, the one wheel skateboard.
A revolutionary idea at the time, the one wheel was unlike anything the market had seen before. A self-balancing, single wheel electric board which, unlike the electric unicycle, had the rider’s feet and body at a perpendicular angle to the wheel and direction of travel. This made the board less of an oddity, and more akin to a traditional skateboard or surfboard.
Dorksen launched the Onewheel on Kickstarter on January 6, 2014 with the initial campaign goal of $100,000 to fund the start-up. To his delight, the idea was so well received that it managed to reach over $630,000 by January 27, 2014. The original Onewheel was released in 2015, followed by the Onewheel+ in 2017, the Onewheel+ XR in 2018 and the Onewheel Pint in 2019.
The Models of Onewheel
Specs: TOP SPEED: 20 mph, RANGE: 20-32 mi, COST: $2,200
The OneWheel GT is the most powerful among the company’s selection of electric boards. While most Onewheel riders will say it’s about the journey and that the Onewheel’s attraction is not about speed, the new Onewheel GT takes its max speed to the maximum level allowable by law. However, it’s the increased power that makes the GT stand apart from other Onewheel models. Future Motion has tuned 3hp out of their 750 Watt Hypercore hub motor to make the Onewheel GT the fastest and most powerful Onewheel ever.
Specs: TOP SPEED: 16 mph, RANGE: 6-8 mi, COST: $1,050
Perfect for the more casual rider, the OneWheel Pint is the company’s recreational-focused model. The main thing that sets the new Onewheel Pint apart from its siblings is the size. Measuring just 27”, the Pint will make the perfect companion for the commuter or student looking to ride between classes or run quick errands at lunchtime. This new size form makes it easy to stash under a desk or rail seat.
Onewheel Pint X
Specs: TOP SPEED: 18 mph, RANGE: 12-18 mi, COST: $1,400
The OneWheel Pint X is the big brother of the regular pint, boasting more power and more range for only a fraction more of the purchase price. The Pint X zooms ahead of the Pint when it comes to distance riding with its maximum range, and is capable of reaching higher speeds all on a single charge!
One Wheel Skateboard FAQs
Are Onewheels tough to ride?
Not at all. Anyone can ride the Onewheel, it just takes a little instruction, practice and patience. The key to riding the Onewheel is balance and it comes packed with technology that actively helps to keep you upright.
You don’t have to be a pro surfer or circus performer to figure it out but, like any boardsport, it takes some time and practice to reach a solid standard. Most people though will pick up the basics within the first 15 minutes.
What is the difference between Onewheel GT and Onewheel Pint?
Onewheel GT and Onewheel Pint are both incredible in their own ways, but have some key differences that suit different riders. Pint is pure fun, smaller and lighter, and a bit easier to take with you. Perfect for those who need portability! It gives a zippy, playful and responsive feel which pairs well with coffee runs, driveway shenanigans and pure escapism.
The Onewheel GT on the other hand is the new board of the bunch, and acts as a flagship product for electric vehicles. Did we also mention it’s the world’s ultimate shredding machine? Built for big adventures and long commutes, the GT comes with a slightly bigger tire, offering a more plush riding experience and a little more power which makes it the clear choice for off-road riding.
What footwear is best for riding Onewheels?
It is best to wear skate shoes with flat bottoms and good protection when riding a onewheel. Most importantly though, avoid sandals and shoes with very soft foam soles, such as cushioned athletic shoes or shoes designed with memory foam soles.
How old should I be to ride a Onewheel?
Onewheels are recommended for riders 14 years of age and older as lighter riders may struggle to engage the board. As such, it is recommended to try a board to make sure your child can ride safely. At the other end of the spectrum through, the age limit for riding a Onewheel is… well there is none! It’s never too late to start riding a Onewheel.
How should I clean my Onewheel?
It’s as easy as doing your washing to keep your onewheel clean. Simply use a damp cloth to wipe down your rails and tire, then, if you want to polish up the footpads, simply use a Grip Tape Eraser. You’d also be amazed at what a fresh set of footpads will do to freshen up your board.
Can Onewheels go Uphill?
Yes they can! All models of the Onewheel have no problems climbing hills up to a 15% grade, which is incredible for an electric board. Plus, all Onewheels are outfitted with regenerative braking so you can recharge on the way down.
What is Regenerative Braking?
Oh sorry, maybe we should have explained that first! Our bad. Onewheels have Regenerative Braking which gives your board’s battery extra juice while you brake/slow down, especially going down hill.
It is recommended for riders that live on top of hills to toggle on the Charging State Warning to notify them when their board gets to a 90% charge. This can prevent the board from overcharging, which occurs when a board charges past 100% when travelling downhill on a full charge.
Are Onewheels safe?
Like any boardsport, there are inherent risks to riding. But if you learn the basics, stay within your limits and take time to practice, you can enjoy Onewheel’s amazing riding experience with confidence every time you step on your board.
One you have mastered the basics it will become clear that the Onewheel is safe because it’s probably the easiest boardsport in the world. With a large air filled tire, a Onewheel handles bumps and cracks in pavement with ease. It’s important for riders to always wear a helmet while riding and respect the board’s limits and pushback safety feature.
How do I get off my Onewheel?
If you need to dismount from your OneWheel the process is simple. All Onewheels are able to be dismounted by slowing to a stop and removing your foot from one side of the front footpad. The Onewheel Pint also comes equipped with Simplestop, which allows riders to stop by simply leaning backward slowly and allowing the tail to gradually drop. Both of these dismount methods allow you to jump off a Onewheel safely.
What is Pushback?
The key to riding a OneWheel is mastering this mechanic. Pushback is a safety feature that lets the rider know they have reached the limits of the board and that they need to lean back and slow down. Not inherently intuitive, once you have an understanding of this signal, riding will quickly become easier.
During Pushback, the nose of the board will lift gradually, signalling the rider to shift their weight back to slow down. It is absolutely critical to rider safety that Pushback is always respected. Pushback defines the actual limit that the board can safely go based on a number of parameters including tire pressure, rider weight, terrain, speed, charge levels, etc. If riders choose to ignore the Pushback warning and continue to lean forward, they can be seriously injured. For your own well-being, it’s critical that you respect this signal.
A rider will also experience a Pushback warning when their Onewheel is running out of battery or is in an overcharge situation. In these instances, it’s important to lean back to slow down to a stop and dismount the board.
Can Onewheels go off-road?
You bet they can. Despite only having a single wheel, Onewheels have multiple options when it comes to terrain. The electric board can go off-road and can tackle almost any terrain. Dirt, sand, grass, gravel, you name it. If you’re serious about riding off-road, Onewheel GT is the king of shredding trails, but Pint isn’t afraid of the challenge either.
Can I ride a Onewheel on the beach?
Onewheel’s engineers worked incredibly hard to prepare the Onewheel to tackle all-terrain, but it’s important to keep in mind that the board is ultimately still an electronic device and water-resistant, not waterproof. So, yes, it can be ridden on the beach but do be cautious to avoid water.
Can I ride a Onewheel in the cold?
The one caveat with Onewheels is that riding in colder temperatures can affect the performance of the board. Keeping the board in the cold can cause damage to its tire, motor and battery. A rider may even receive an error message if your battery level is too cold or runs out of power prematurely. This can be rectified by simply bringing the board inside and giving it time to regulate back to a warmer temperature.
Can I ride my Onewheel in the snow?
It is recommended to be cautious when riding on ice or snow as it can be slippery. It’s also important to be aware that riding in colder temperatures can affect the performance of the board. As mentioned, keeping your board in the cold can cause damage to your tire, motor and battery.
So it can be ridden on any terrain but water?
That’s right! With a direct-drive hub motor that has no moving parts, Onewheels are built like tanks, and can tackle any terrain without much fear of damaging the board. While all Onewheels are water resistant and can withstand some moisture, it is recommended that riders take extra caution when riding in or near water. If it does come in contact with water, ensure you dry off your Onewheel completely before charging to avoid damage.
Can I modify my Onewheel?
The official stance of Onewheel is that they do not recommend altering the Onewheel’s internal components or structure. Ultimately though, it’s up to you how you’d like to use the board. So if you wish to tinker with its internals feel free. But keep in mind that modifications can result in damage to the board, and will undoubtedly void the board’s warranty policy and could lead to the board being ineligible for any form of service or repair. Any rider who wishes to personalize and customize their ride needs to be aware of the possible consequences of modifying the board.
Can I fly with my Onewheel?
Currently, airlines are extremely cautious when it comes to battery-powered devices for both carry-on or checked baggage and the answer varies based on your board model. It’s best to contact your airline and airport directly before traveling with a Onewheel. It is also important to remember that due to the battery size of the Onewheel GT, you would not be able to fly with it on commercial airlines as it would simply not fit size constraints.
Where can I get myself one of these!?
OneWheels are available directly from the OneWheel website, along with countless online resellers, all who offer a variety of shipping options for your OneWheel board. There’s other options as well, with numerous hobby stores and skate stores stocking OneWheels. You’ll be able to pick one up in person, or even arrange a demo so you can try before you buy! No matter where you purchase your OneWheel from, ensure that it is through a reputable provider.
With a more thorough understanding of the device, it becomes clear that a OneWheel is a great alternative transport option, and an absolute load of fun. If you’re still deciding whether a OneWheel is right for you, consider browsing the rest of our website to gain a better picture of all personal electric vehicle options, we know that you’ll find the perfect electric skateboard or scooter that will be right for you!