Onewheel: A Revolution in Board Sports



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Love snowboarding but can’t wait till winter? Or, perhaps you just don’t enjoy freezing your butt off while zipping around outdoors. Hey, even weatherproof sports gear doesn’t help much in some temperatures. Well, we may have found a fun solution for you. (You’re welcome.)

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The Onewheel is a 2-horsepower wheeled board that, according to its designers, “turns pavement into your playground.” They add that “Onewheel’s dynamic stabilization creates lean-to-go control and allows you to carve silky-smooth heel and toe turns on and off road.” Sounds good so far, right?

With a top speed of 15 miles an hour, you’ll be flying before you know it. And don’t worry because the control system makes it easy. Want to get going? Just lean forward and you’ll take off. Time to stop or slow down, perhaps to avoid hitting a flock of wild geese or a pothole? Lean back. Yes, that’s it.

Balancing on the board is made straightforward, too: “Solid-state inertial sensors and algorithms balance the board around the wheel,” explain the designers.

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People (but perhaps not geese) will know to leap out of your way when they see the Onewheel’s bright LED headlights heading in their direction, and the headlights and taillights automatically reverse when you switch direction, to keep everyone safe. Clever.

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Getting down to the all-important nitty-gritty, the Onewheel has a transverse flux motor (full disclosure: we’re not really sure what that means, but the engineers say it gives enough torque to climb over anything in your path) and LiFePo4 lithium batteries that are long-lasting and don’t reduce your range over the long haul.

In fact, you can glide along for six to seven miles on one charge, and it only takes the charger about 20 minutes to boost the batteries up to full and get you back on the road, or trail, or wherever. “Wherever” can even be the beach, and we have to admit that videos of Onewheels zooming along on the wet sand as waves rolled in looked really cool.

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Future Motion Inc. is the Santa Cruz, California-based company that launched the Onewheel, its first boards-sports venture but we suspect not its last. The designers and tech team say they are hoping to “bridge recreation and transportation” by designing devices with “elegant form and unprecedented function” and bringing them to market. Looks like they are off to a good start.

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Want to get the feel for a Onewheel before plonking down cash? (The Onewheel starts at $1,499, so it’s serious cash.) We suggest checking out the official videos showing the board in action, but also perusing the Onewheel user forums, where people can post videos of their boarding adventures

Dogs, too, enjoy the Onewheel. One owner posted video of taking his beagles for a run next to the Onewheel and then showing that one of the pups is secretly a stunt-dog and loves to ride on the board with him.

Hours of entertainment, no matter how many legs you have.

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