So unless you have been living under a social media rock…a rock with no WiFi…you have seen that one of the hot new tickets this fall is motorized skateboards. Several companies are selling the two side-wheeled “Hoverboards”, although I read today that Amazon yanked a bunch of vendors because they were catching on fire.
A brand that is much more surf-like that isn’t as mainstream (yet) is the OneWheel. Imagine a Segway Scooter and a skateboard had a lovechild…THAT is a OneWheel.
Here in Virginia Beach, one of our SUP regulars and recent Chattajack finisher, Steve Eudy, is a regional rep for OneWheel. He came back from one of the national expos with a OneWheel last summer and I couldn’t wait to get one for myself! Last week Mikey Tevares and Guillermo Loria (both part of TEAM OneWheel) came in for a session here in Virginia Beach with myself, Steve Eudy, and Doug Ellis. Much fun was had by all as seen in the video above.
So here is a quick review of the OneWheel in case you are thinking about one of these epic toys:
First, the good…and there is A LOT good about this new toy.
It is Self-Balancing: Solid-state inertial sensors and algorithms balance the board around the wheel. In surfer speak, that means once it gets going, it stabilizes itself and makes it easy to ride from the start. The control is very intuitive, just lean forward to drive forward, back to stop and press your heels or toes to turn. It has a hub motor with only one moving part-the big wheel between your feet. It has a state-of-the-art lithium iron phosphate battery providing extended ride time- one full charge last about 1.5-2 hours. The ultra charger takes it back to a full charge in about 20 minutes. There is an app for your cell phone that shows you how much battery is left plus whole bunch of other cool info.
This thing is built to last. There are no cheap plastic parts, the frame is metal, the tire is high grade rubber, everything is riveted together, it can go in saltwater, dirt, sand, rain, etc. We rode five OneWheels on the street, in grass, on asphalt, on trails, on dirt, in sand, and in saltwater for about 6 hours. NOT ONCE was there a mechanical issue with any of them. A light spray from the garden hose, brush the sand off, plug in the charger and it is ready to go again in 20 minutes.
Now to be fair, there are some slight drawbacks.
First is the price. These bad boys are not cheap and retail at around $1,500…BUT…I definitely think you are getting what you pay for and this is one of those items that I don’t regret spending the money on. It is built like a tank…aaaaand weighs close to one too at around 30lbs, but a sturdy metal frame isn’t always light. Just get the phone app and watch your battery power because you don’t what to lug this for a mile when the battery drains. The only other drawback is that if you want one, you may be waiting. The team that invented the OneWheel are victims of their own success. Demand is so high for these that they can’t crank them out fast enough.
If you are lucky enough to score one, go out and get a full set of skateboarding pads for your knees, elbows, and wrist to go along with your helmet BEFORE you start riding. Everyone I know who rides thinks they “got this” until the first hard spill (myself included) and then they go buy pads.
I am truly stoked to have one of these new toys, and I look forward to riding as much as I can…once my kids let me use it.
For more information on OneWheel, go to: www.rideonewheel.com
For more information on Virginia Beach Paddleboard Company, go to: www.vbSUPco.com