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Thoughts on the Onewheel by Future Motion - We have known of, or seen around town, Onewheels for a while now. But is the system really that great? To what extent is the price vs reward the correct balance? Read on and find out.
As if we needed another addiction to a boardsport, in comes Onewheel to steal us away from our day-to-day obligations.
As a new rider, I had shared similar reservations towards the board that most of my friends or peers had expressed. My first issue was the price point to get into the craft, for this amount of money I could buy so many things - or pay so many bills - like the responsible adult I am supposed to be. The second was the legitimacy of the board, will this new fad disappear in a year, will it become more than just a toy in the closet after a few rides?
We skate, we surf, we snowboard when we can find the time to get to the mountains (we live in sunny Cocoa Beach, Florida, where the lifestyle is slow paced, ocean oriented and not quite enough consistency in surf to keep us fully satisfied) - How could a Onewheel board possibly bring me the same joy I find in these other passions? It has a home-made look to it, could it really be as great as people say it is? Is the build quality ACTUALLY there?
- The answer is a resounding -
Hells to the yes. In spades, actually.
There’s a learning curve, of course. Anything good in life has a learning curve, I have come to realize. Whether it’s a sport, learning to play music, or navigating a relationship - it will require some trial and error, refinement, and understanding. Except this little gal will try and send you flying off into the bushes if you disrespect her.
Once you learn to respect the board, figure out how it operates under different circumstances, and start finding your own settings and groove, is when the fun begins. You just have to get some time on it, learn how it will react in different scenarios, then start to push the limits. Find those limits, you are going to fall (a lot) and then know those limits, and you’re in.
The Onewheel board comes in two variants currently, the newest of them being the price-conscious model ‘Pint’ - geared towards entry level riders and advanced riders alike, this board setup feels much smaller underfoot 27” overall length) and a bit ‘loose’ compared to it’s bigger brother, the XR (30” overall length). To combat the higher price of the XR, the Pint comes with some trade offs. Size is a factor here obviously, so with the smaller size comes a lower top speed of 16mph and a shorter range of 6-8 Miles on one charge. The Pint does come standard with a Mag Handle to make carrying a breeze, and the lightweight design and size has it sitting at just 23 pounds. The Pint, in our opinion, is ideal for smaller riders, or riders who are extremely focused around shorter commutes, stow-ability, and price. A wicked-fun package, no doubt, and a pricepoint that makes this board extremely enticing.
If you want to go full send, longer distance and get there faster, the obvious choice between the two boards is the XR (XR stands for Extended Range, but in one interview we heard from the founder of the brand it really means Extra Radical, which I prefer). Currently our staff pick over the Pint (5-0), the XR has a much more stable wheel base feel, a higher top speed of 19mph and double the range of the Pint at 12-18 miles. Though we haven’t gotten to max out the Pint completely, one of our crew has clocked 24 mph on the Onewheel XR app. Glitch? Accurate? Who knows, but it’s documented and we are rolling with it.
Both boards are fully customizable through the Onewheel app, which documents rider info, settings on the boards, including ride positioning, speed, miles clocked, rider routes, and a social feature that notifies you of other riders and their ride-routes. With so many ways to customize the ride features, these boards can be setup to suit any style and riding goal.
Here’s where the value comes in to play for me, personally.
Have you ever gone through a dry spell? I mean a few weeks of not getting anything, just having to patiently wait your turn and hope that God sends you some playtime? I’m talking about surfing here. The ultimate gift from nature. But waves are on nature’s time, all in God’s plan, and sometimes the universe just makes us wait. Bastards.
*Highlight Onewheel ascending from the heavens whilst trumpets play and angels breakdance in the background*
Once you get the hang of it, the Onewheel board literally gives you the same stoke level as riding a punchy little wave, or carving down a powdery mountain side, digging in toe / heel / toe / heel - burying yourself into a nice deep carve just to power out and hit the next turn. Anytime. Anywhere. As fast as you can handle.
Carrying me through a dry spell, in turn, makes my social relationships just that much better. I am a better human for getting to spend time in the ocean, enjoying waves just 30 minutes a day can change your attitude tremendously - that same freedom and stoke smears your face with smiles when we float around on the Onewheel. I personally can’t put a price on that. Mental health alone makes it worth the price. But pushing the limits, growing your abilities, and finally going full-send with the amazing community of riders really drove it home for me.
Like a super rad little cult, the following of the Onewheel community is amazing. Organizing ride nights, getting all the riders together to float on strike missions to that new spot we just found, racing around and encouraging each other to push their limits just a little but more. Watching the squad just laugh together, trying new obstacles, and sharing a fist bump in recognition. That is what sets the brand apart.
Yes there are more reasons to own one than just a fun little addition to board sport obsessions, our shop manager rides his every day to and from work which is roughly an 8 mile trek. The dude very rarely drives his car anymore, actually. These things are ideal for a quick wave check, running up to the gas station for a 6 pack, or getting you from point A to point B in the most fun way possible.
Join us here at Drift House in Cocoa Beach as we dial in the Onewheel community! We organize Float nights and would love to have you join us, from obstacle course training sessions, to extended rides through town, you can get your new setup here and ride with the squad anytime. Follow along with us on instagram @Drifthousesurfshop for updates and info, give us a Like on facebook.com/drifthousesurfshop and stay up to date with events and rides.
We’ll see you out there,