OneWheel Off Road Electric Skateboard Review: Is It Worth The Hefty Pricetag?

Remember the movie 'Back to the Future' and how it promised us that we would have hoverboards by now? Well, that didn’t quite come true.

However, with the OneWheel off road electric skateboard, we have managed to come quite close. Imagine zipping through a city on this device and you will quickly draw lots of attention.

Basically, the OneWheel is an electric skateboard on which you balance on a single rubber wheel.

Overall Rating: 4.5 out of 5


Pros

  • Can offer lots of fun
  • Comes with a self-balancing sensor

Cons

  • Hard to get used to
  • Exspensive

Specifications and Features

A man riding the OneWheel electric skateboard away from the camera

Specification

Details

Top Speed

15 mph

Distance

6-7 miles

Charging Time

20 minutes

Weight

25 lbs.

Motor

500w transverse flux hub

Battery

48 Volt LifePo4

Sensors

Solid state MEM 6-DOF

OneWheel was a little side project started by Kyle Doerksen. He took his prototype to Kickstarter, and launched a massive campaign. Aiming to raise $100,000, he managed to get more than $630,000 in the end. Since then, it has managed to fill all its preorders and customers can now get new orders in record time as well.

What makes the OneWheel so magical is the self-balancing sensor. However, finding out just how this balancing works can be a little bit tricky. To use it, you have to place your non-dominant foot at the back of the board, after which you put your dominant foot on the front of the board, on the pressure-sensing pads. This engages the motor. Lean forward, and you will be off. At that point, the motor’s torque kicks in, and you should be balanced.

To go faster, you lean forward and to slow down, you lean backwards. However, take note that if you lean backwards when standing still, you will start to reverse. That is something you need to avoid doing yet until you are really experienced!

Turning is also something you have to learn. The most important thing to remember is to keep leaning forward, even while you are turning. Once you have figured this out, it is pretty easy to make it second nature.

A man riding the OneWheel electric skateboard away from the camera

One of the really cool things about the OneWheel is the app. This allows you to fine tune your ride so that it matches your comfort level, and you can check the battery life. The customization settings are known as “digital shaping” and they include extra tweaks like “Extreme” and “Classic”, which alter the feel of the ride and the speed settings.

If you are a beginner, opt for Classic. This slightly tips the board backwards and slows you down if you manage to hit eight miles an hour. Extreme is definitely for the more advanced riders, which doesn’t restrict your speed. You can even hit 14 miles per hour with it.

The app also allows you to use Bluetooth to wirelessly update its firmware. This means that, if and when OneWheel updates customizations or adds new settings, you will be able to get all of those updates by simply having your phone in your hand near your board. The first update has already been released, enabling people to go from 12 miles per hour to 14 miles per hour.

The battery will last for between four and six hours but you only need to charge it for 20 minutes. This means you could bring the cable with you so that you can plug the board in when you take a rest stop.

The OneWheel is a fantastic board for having a bit of fun or even for commuting. You won’t be disappointed with it, particularly if you have skated before. Suddenly, going to work or college every morning will be something to look forward to!

Average Rating On Amazon:
4.5 out of 5 stars


The Good

  • Maneuverable - Once you get the hang of it, you will wonder why nobody came up with a one wheeled design before. If you have used a skateboard before, you will know that turning a corner can be quite hard and that you have to lean significantly in order to make the turn. The four wheels make the turns broad and sweeping. With the OneWheel, by contrast, you can literally zip and zoom around people. You can even rotate by leaning quite heavily and, so long as you continue to balance forward, you will turn around and keep going.
  • Fast - It is a surprisingly fast device, particularly if you have it set to Extreme. Fourteen miles per hour is quite some speed to achieve on a single wheel!
  • Fun - It really is a ton of fun and you will feel as if you have finally gone “back to the future”.

The Bad

  • Cost - Unfortunately, the OneWheel costs over $1,400, which is a hefty price tag. This can discourage many people from buying one in the first place. For that same amount, you could buy a snowboard and ski lift tickets, or a nice bike. At present, the price is simply too high for most people.
  • Learning Curve - It really does take some getting used to because you will feel as if you are defying the laws of physics, so that you would be forgiven for giving up. However, considering the price tag, it is likely that you will simply continue to try and try again, and eventually get the hang of it.
  • New Technology - Because it is a new device, it isn’t known whether there are any dangers associated with it. Remember the exploding batteries on the Segway, for instance? That said, it is equally likely that there are simply no problems with the device at all.

Is The OneWheel Right For Me?

Best Suited for…

Commuters who don’t want to drive or bike, but want to board it all the way to work; those who have some distance between bus stops and final destination.

Not So Great for…

Those who have never skated before; those with balancing problems.


The Final Verdict

Overall, the OneWheel is a fantastic device and it is clear to see why it is gaining in popularity. The price is a major stumbling block, but sometimes money has to roll. After all, how many people do you know are able to ride a one-wheeled skateboard at 14 miles per hour? If you have the kind of money needed to buy this, you should go for it.

Check Out The OneWheel
On Amazon.com

  • Editor Rating
  • Rated 4.5 stars
  • 80%

  • OneWheel
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  • Last modified: May 16, 2017