We recently had the chance to check out the revolutionary Onewheel, a self-balancing, one-wheeled, electric powered skateboard of sorts that uses an onboard gyroscope and advanced motion sensors to keep you right side up while you zip around the city, or wherever else your journey take you.
In a word.. AWESOME!
The first time I stepped onto the Onewheel and took off, I felt like Marty McFly in Back To The Future II when he jumped on that hoverboard. But the idea for Onewheel was born out of founder Kyle Doerksen’s love of snowboarding, and wanting to replicate that feeling any day, anywhere.
So how exactly does it work? Basically, the Onewheel uses gyro & accelerometer sensors and an algorithm that they’ve been perfecting for years to keep you balanced and control your ride based on how you lean your body. Simply lean forward to drive forward, lean back to stop, and press your heels or toes to turn – It’s that easy.
(Fair warning, it’s not all that easy at first, with me nearly busting my ass the first few times I attempted to ride it. But once you get the hang of it, it’s second nature)
The board has a top speed of 15 MPH, a range of 6-7 miles per charge (depending on the terrain), and the onboard lithium nano-phosphate battery charges up in just 20 minutes. And speaking of terrain, the board’s 11.5-inch go-kart racing slick allows you to explore a new world of rideable terrain like grass, sand, gravel and dirt. With the Onewheel, the world is your playground.
Another cool feature of the Onewheel is the fact that you can personalize your riding experience by using the Onewheel iPhone app, which uses Digital Shaping to create the perfect ride. Out of the box, the Onewheel defaults to Classic shaping, which brings tight responsive handling, good range and the added safety of ‘push back’ for speed regulation.
For more adventurous riders, Extreme shaping has a higher top speed and looser, more fluid feel that allows for deep carving. All this is accomplished by changing the tuning of the software that controls Onewheel.
At $1,499, the Onewheel is a hefty investment. But it’s an amazingly well thought out piece of technology that works seamlessly, and we think it’s worth every penny. And if you’re still on the fence about it, use the store locator to find a retailer near you that carries the Onewheel, and test it out for yourself!