The one wheel, or one wheel electric skateboard, is a self-balancing electric skateboard, often described as an electric skateboard, one wheel hoverboard, one wheel skateboard, and one wheel board.
The one wheel electric skateboard was invented by Kyle Doerksen, the founder of Future Motion Inc. It is said that the man had spent eight years creating a one wheel prototype before establishing Future Motion Inc. in 2013, and now Future Motion does become a leader in the one wheel field.
The one wheel board is similar to the regular electric skateboard, except the wheels’ number is different. A one wheel board is also like the hoverboard since the basic operating principles are the same, both adapting the use of a gyroscope.
How Does it Work?
If you haven’t even seen a one wheel electric skateboard before, it looks like a regular skateboard, except equipped with a very fat, wide tire in the middle of the skateboard. You then place your feet on either side of the board and control the direction of movement by tilting your body’s center.
Sensors inside the panel will give the board different speeds depending on how far degree you lean your body forward or backward. You can imagine the scenarios by comparing riding hoverboard and regular electric skateboard.
The difference is that when you ride a hoverboard, your body stands in a direction parallel to the direction of movement of the board. In contrast, when you ride a one wheel, your body stands in a direction perpendicular to the direction of the board’s action, just like riding a regular skateboard.
Are One Wheel Electric Skateboard Easy to Ride?
First, make sure you equip proper helmets and footwear considering you might be a novice and encounter unexpected dangers.
Second, place the board on the ground and push the button on it. Then put your back foot on the tail side and then your front foot on the head. Please make sure your feet are flat on the board to maximize the control of the board. And make sure you keep your body weight centered over the tie.
When standing on the board, please stay relaxed for better body control. If you find that you cannot stand steadily for the first few times, you can try to hold on to something. This will help you gain confidence in maintaining a sense of balance.
During the moving process, lean your body where you want to go. The sensor will give the board different speeds depending on how far degree you tilt your body forward or backward. When you get off, make sure the board has come to a complete stop. Or, once you’ve become a veteran, you can jump off the skateboard entirely and quickly. Imagine the scene in the movie where the main character jumps out of the car. However, you are strongly discouraged from doing so.
Why Choose a One Wheel Skateboard?
As a short-distance commuting means of transportation, the one wheel skateboard is ecofriendly, as popular as regular electric skateboards. Tradition fuel vehicles consume the most fuel when driving around the town because they frequently ignite and flame out. In other words, when commuting in a short commute, if you use traditional commuting methods, the exhaust emission is much higher than adopting an electric device.
What regular electric skateboards cannot give you is self-controlled speed. Generally, electric skateboards can reach 18-28 mph, and some off-road electric longboards can even exceed 40 mph.
But the shortcoming of electric skateboards is obvious: you must have a remote control to adjust the speed. Though a normal one wheel board has a top speed of about 20 mph, you can freely control the speed of movement simply by swinging and balancing your body with your hand free. And this is what you are going to enjoy in one wheel.
What are the Differences Between a Regular Electric Skateboard and a One Wheel Skateboard?
Generally, there is no upper limit on electric skateboards. Skateboarders manage to find a new solution to reach a higher speed.
For now, in 2021, probably the fastest e skateboard is the Bioboards Plutonium model, with its top speed up to 50mph or 80km/h (under optimal circumstances). While the fasted one wheel in 2021 is a one wheel XR model, with its top speed up to 19 mph.
On the one hand, electric skateboards can be more customizable for their relatively extensive space, which means you can fill more accessories on them; on the other hand, four wheels’ stability must be better than one wheel’s stability. Hence, it is safer to enhance the speed of electric skateboards.
Electric skateboards weigh differently from 15 to 28 pounds since they require less technology. But you never know what indeed an e skateboard weighs since you can put many accessories on it. Even so, one wheel is the heavier one, one wheel XR model weights 27lb (12.5kg).
Even if one wheel’s weight is slightly lighter, we are visually more inclined to think it is heavier because of its shape like a tank. We are discussing the weight because it is related to portability. For an electric skateboard, you can hold on to it around your arm. Or you can use some tools to save your energy.
First, you can use a cable zip tie to strap them around your trucks and connect them; then, you can pull the skateboard to walk. Second, you can buy a backpack attachment carrier to carry a mini-cruiser and skateboard.
By attaching this tool to your backpack, you can easily have a board on your bag. For one wheel skateboard, the device itself has a handle for lifting. However, carrying a small tank walking, the giant wheel mat touches your legs. We searched on the internet and found some players use a handle attached to the device’s side. I’d say this is a much more efficient way to solve the problem.
One wheel XR claims its range is 12-18miles with a once full charge. An electric skateboard for the same price can achieve more mileage. But we are not convinced with this comparison.
For one thing, we don’t usually challenge a given mileage because no one wants to get into trouble deliberately. We need to consider what we do if we do run into a situation where the electric skateboard runs out of power. If it’s an electric skateboard, we can still ride like a regular skateboard, but doing so seems unlikely if it is one wheel.
Riding an electric skateboard requires you to hold a remote control while riding a one wheel skateboard enables your hands-free. You probably need to worry about some faulty problems on remote Control, but you can even do some delivery when you ride on a one wheel board.
Imagine you ride these commuting devices and buy some fast food along the street. By riding an electric skateboard, you only get one hand free. Sound terrible.
Adaptation to the road surface
Electric skateboards have a separate category for off-road scenarios. But one wheel does not seem to distinguish particularly clearly as to different commuting conditions.
We should make clear that the tools that can be applied off-road shall also pass in the flat road. But The opposite is probably not true. From the promotional video placed on Future Motion’s website, one wheel can travel in the countryside and even in the jungle. This is not surprising; after all, the adaptability of wide and thick wheels is wider than the small wheels. This principle applies to off-road vehicles and regular vehicles.
Difficulty degree of leaning
If we use other sports as an analogy to riding an electric skateboard, surfing is probably suitable as a reference. Both of these two sports require you to balance your body, like confronting external forces. You may quickly master riding a one wheel board in just a few minutes if you have surfing experience.
Suppose you haven’t, then no worry. Learning to surf seems to be a complicated thing. I come up with a great way to help you learn to ride a one wheel faster. Do you know the balance ball? This is used for gym training.
From my personal experience, standing on the balance ball and standing on one wheel are almost the same. So, you can start by learning to stand on the balance ball to maintain balance. Once you have mastered this skill, all you need is to tilt your body to gain acceleration when you stand on the board.
Always wear a helmet and foot or leg pads! No need to wound or get injured every time you ride on the device.
Excluding the speed factor, the most relevant safety issue is the braking ability, and this aspect is reflected in the link between the remote control and the ESC.
For most electric skateboards, the brake is responsive as long as you press the button. But for one wheel, it allows no remote control. Braking on a one wheel board requires players to adjust body posture. The above is the normal situation.
Let’s consider the extreme situation. When you suddenly leave the board, a one wheel skateboard can quickly stop. This is because the one wheel lacks stability without external force. However, suppose you suddenly get off from the electric skateboard with your remote Control out of running due to inertia and the strength of the four-wheel structure. In that case, the electric skateboard still skates for a considerable distance, which is dangerous for others, such as pedestrians.
If we search “DIY+ electric skateboard,” we can get hundreds and thousands of search results. These pages all tell how you can customize your board with various kits; for example, you can choose different deck materials, change your wheels according to terrain, etc. This is because skateboards have been over many decades, and there is no essential difference between a regular one and an electric one.
And, of course, DIY is always not cheap. However, if we search DIY one wheel, we get few results. Most one wheel electric skateboards are finished products, unlike regular skateboards having so many types and brands.
Why One Wheel Electric Skateboard is So Expensive?
One wheel is not a cost-effective product. You can find an electric skateboard with a price of around $300, but you rarely see a one wheel with a price under $300. Come on, why so serious? Price may be one of the considerations when you select and compare products, but I bet price is not the incentive or the trigger as you buy it.
Besides, compared to traditional commuting methods, like fuel vehicles. The expense you spend on gasoline, and the time you spend on commuting time due to congestion, are far much ineffective than buying and maintaining a one wheel electric skateboard.
So, why so expensive?
From an economic view, production costs will decrease as the production scale increases. Dating back to the past few decades, although the currency is constantly depreciating, it seems that vehicles’ price has not increased too much. And even the same style of cars remains the same price or even lower.
Therefore, the enormous expense of a one wheel electric skateboard is simply the production scale is not large enough. According to our survey, the electric skateboard brand on the market now reaches more than 30, but the number of one wheel skateboard brands is only about one-third of the former.
Besides, considering that the one wheel electric skateboard is a new thing, it requires a lot of resources for the company. And patent application and protection are also hefty expenses. We found 117 results on google patents, and these are all owned by Future Motion, Inc. Of course, we can’t deny that the brand brings a premium price.
Is it Legal to Ride a One Wheel Electric Skateboard?
When I searched the legal issues regarding one wheel skateboards online, I first make them equivalent to electric skateboards. Here’s an article I wrote about electric skateboards’ legal issues in the US states; you can read it by clicking here.
But then I found one wheel skateboard legal issues are unlike electric skateboard legal questions. First, from the legal department’s definition, one wheel is not likely in the EPAMD category.
Electric skateboard belongs to Electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD), meaning a self-balancing device with two wheels, not in tandem… And the funniest thing is that OW is not self-balancing and not “in tandem.” Still, sorry that I cannot give a clear definition as to the one wheel legal problem.
Best One Wheel Electric Skateboards
Since there are not many one wheel brands, here we get several top-rated types for you: Onewheel, Surfwheel, The Trotter, Unicool D2, SkootRider One Wheel Hoverboard, Hover Skateboard Onewheel longboard, and LTXTREME Freestyle Hoverboard.
Although the public has accepted electric commuting tools for a short period, their development is still rising. A new product like an electric skateboard still has a broad market prospect and needs to be developed.
The product sales of one wheel skateboards may not be comparable to electric skateboards right now. But I think one wheel skateboards will become more and more popular since the experience of using gyroscopes and body balance to achieve balance during riding is more personalized.
And nowadays, many office buildings, as well as large offices, prepare one wheel skateboards for employees to commute. If you now have a one wheel skateboard, I believe you have fallen in love with this product. If you are still hesitating whether to buy it, it is worth trying.