My Epic Onewheel Review: The Good, Bad and Ugliness

Hey friends! I finally bit the bullet this summer and bought myself a Onewheel. And let me tell ya after testing this thing for over 6 months and 500+ miles – it has been an epic ride! I‘ve tasted plenty of thrills and spills mastering this unique electric skateboard.

There‘s nothing quite like carving down trails or cruising along the beach balanced on one wheel. While Onewheels have some downsides, these ingeniously-designed devices create an incredibly fun riding experience. Let‘s dive into the nitty gritty in my tell-all review!

High-Level Overview

Before analyzing specifics, here‘s a quick primer on Onewheel boards:

  • Self-balancing electric skateboards with single central wheel
  • Range between 5-32 miles depending on model
  • Top speeds of 16-20 mph (30+ mph unlocked custom)
  • Prices from $1,050 to $2,200
  • All-terrain capabilities unmatched by e-skates
  • Steep learning curve with safety risks
  • Designed primarily for recreation rather than transportation

I tested the mid-range Pint X model over varied terrain in my area. Keep reading for the juicy details!

Key Specs and Metrics

Let‘s compare technical capabilities across the main consumer models:

Model Weight Range Top Speed Motor Price
Pint 23lbs 6-8mi 16mph 750W $1,049
Pint X 27lbs 10-18mi 20mph 1,100W $1,399
GT 32lbs 15-32mi 20mph+ 3,500W $2,199

While performance and range improve in higher models, so does weight. The portability advantage decreases on heavier boards.

My Onewheel Riding Experience

I‘ll be 100% transparent about my journey learning to ride: it was humbling.

Eating pavement repeatedly while acquainting yourself with a new balancing board proves inevitable. Don‘t let overconfidence get the best of you. Respect the learning curve!

After a few dozen falls finding my Onewheel sea legs, things clicked. The intuitiveness of carving and floating down hills delivered endless stoke. Hitting new trails brought consistent challenges to progress skills.

I relished rides along the river at golden hour as much as bombing down forest hills. This board made familiar routes exhilarating again. The interactive riding dynamics prove incredibly fulfilling once harnessed.

The Good: Why Onewheels Rule

Alright, gushing aside – what objective qualities make Onewheels awesome?

All-Terrain Dominance

No other electric board handles off-roading with such prowess. Loose dirt, gravel and grass get eaten up thanks to that meaty central tire. I delighted seeking out rougher paths rather than avoiding them!

Carving Bliss

Carving satisfaction surpasses any snowboard or longboard. The torquey motor and lateral maneuverability enables deeply arcing turns barreling down slopes. Linking ultra tight carves together feels almost like surfing on land.

Portability Perks

Weighing under 30 pounds means I can toss my Onewheel in the backseat for spontaneous adventures anywhere. Or pack it easily when traveling or commuting via public transit. The grab handle makes carrying a cinch too.

Sturdy Durability

After hundreds of miles through rain, mud and spills – my Onewheel keeps ticking thanks to its hardy construction. These tanks withstand plenty of abuse from newbies and extreme riders alike. Their craftsmanship shines through.

The Bad: Shortcomings to Consider

Alas, Onewheels aren‘t without downsides. Let‘s outline key weaknesses uncovered through my testing.

Safety Struggles

Catastrophic nosedives resulting in smashed chins or broken wrists constitute a notorious Onewheel danger. Sudden power loss launches you headfirst without warning. While rare alone,GROUP riding increases risks exponentially. Respect pushback signals!

Range Limitations

Expect just 5-10 miles of practical range from base models. Upgrading to the $2,200 GT gets you 30 miles, but proves quite heavy. Charging logistics require planning for longer trips. Boosted Rev e-scooters provide better battery range at lower costs.

Steep Learning Curve

Simply balancing on a Onewheel proves tricky, much less controlling it. Expect many falls while acquiring essential techniques. Mastering off-road carving could take months with persistent practice. Patience pays off.

Expensive Investment

With no budget models, Onewheels demand big upfront investment. The Pint starts at $1,050. After essential safety gear and accessories, expect to spend $1,500+ all-in. Premium models approach $3k fully equipped.

As highlighted above, Onewheels clearly optimize purely for enjoyment rather than pragmatic transportation utility. But that priority also incubates limitations.

Ideal Use Cases

Given trade-offs uncovered, what activities best suit Onewheels?

Local Recreation

For adventuring around town or nearby nature areas, Onewheels can‘t be beat! Their maneuverability and compact size support spontaneous fun.

Group Rides

Onewheel meetup groups thrive in many major cities. What a blast shredding trails and carving hills together! Our local community continues growing rapidly.

Beach Cruising

Cruising along the ocean or lakefront proves wonderfully relaxing and scenic. The smooth surface suits Onewheels perfectly while taking in gorgeous views.

I cannot overstate how substantially Onewheels improved my physical and mental health through motivating outdoor activity. The sheer childlike joy of mastering this passion project awoke dormant inspiration. Gearing up to ride floods me with giddy excitement every time.

If exploring nature, exercising or connecting with local riders appeals to you, Onewheels turbocharge fulfilling those goals.

Key Accessories

To maximize safety and fun, I recommend these accessories:

  • Helmet – Protect your dome! Helmets mitigate concussions when falling.
  • Fender – Fenders shield from debris, water and mud flung off the tire.
  • Rail Guards – Guards shield the sides from curb scratches when slipping.
  • Charger – Bring a Hypercharger for quick battery rejuicing on longer journeys.
  • Stand – Display your board proudly + keep the wheel shape intact.

I break down my top gear picks [in this post.](https://my onewheel accessories)

Customization & Modifications

While Onewheels work amazingly out of the box, aftermarket modifications can enhance performance and aesthetics.

Range Extenders

Upgraded batteries from companies like Chi and JW Battery substantially boost range – often doubling it! But this voids the Onewheel warranty.

Tire Changes

More aggressive treaded tires like the Enduro or Hoosier improve traction off-road and in the wet. Easier to swap than you‘d expect.

Personal Style

Stickers, rail guards and handle plugins offer affordable ways to customize looks. Or go pro with hydrodips and metal bumpers for flashy style points.

Speed Unlocking

Free apps unlock the top speed governor for maximum velocity on safe trails. Use judiciously only in controlled settings. No personal liability is assumed here!

I‘ve compiled my favorite mods [in this roundup.](https://my mods) But carefully weigh warranty risks before diving in too aggressively.

Maintenance, Repairs & Ownership

Like any vehicle, Onewheels need some TLC. Here‘s what I‘ve learned:

  • Hardware checks – Inspect screws, connectors + handles every couple weeks for any loosening. Easy preventative care.
  • Tire pressure – Maintain tire PSI between 20-25 for ideal stability and range.
  • Battery cycles – Charge fully then drain completely each ride to maximize battery longevity.
  • Firmware updates – Download resets improves stability and unlock features. But some mods block this.
  • Resale value – Used Onewheels retain value very well. I could resell my year old Pint X for 80% of original price! Supply shortages coupled with increasing demand among enthusiasts drives this market dynamic.

Regarding repairs, the tendency to fall as a new rider means accidents happen. While Onewheels prove quite durable, replacing scratched parts adds up. Common fixes include:

  • Busted rails – $100
  • Cracked plastic fenders – $50
  • Torn grip tape – $30
  • Fried control boards – $250

So protection accessories prove well worth it. Prevention over cure!

Final Verdict

Let‘s circle back – are Onewheels worth buying?

If enjoying outdoor adventures, connecting with nature and mastering an engaging riding skill suits you – absolutely.

For those seeking convenient transportation, cheaper alternatives like e-scooters just make more sense.

But no board matches the Onewheel‘s capabilities providing such a uniquely interactive, dynamic riding rush. Experiencing this phenomenon firsthand forever changed my perspective on personal mobility.

Sure Onewheels have limitations – but breakthrough innovations often bring compromises. What they unlock in grins-per-mile makes up for any shortcomings.

Hopefully this transparent review helps set expectations deciding if taking the Onewheel plunge suits your lifestyle. Feel free to ping me with any other questions! Float on, friends 🙂

About the Author

I‘m Miles – founder of Float Culture and self-proclaimed Onewheel obsessive. I live to carve, love to float and always stomp epic trails! Catch me ripping around Denver or connect online @floatculture.

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