Long-Term Riding and Health

  • I'm curious what the long-term impact of the OneWheel is on the knees and the back.

    I've had the OW+ for ten days, and it seems low-impact, which is good. However, it creates instability for my knees, which may or may not be bad. I read that instability training on Bosu balls actually aggravates knee injuries. I noticed when I ride switch, it lightly activates my old knee injury on my weaker knee, but I also wonder if my knee is just getting used to the OW.

    Other than that, is there any risk to your back muscles from staying in a twisted position for extended periods of time? I've made a conscious effort to balance riding normal and switch, so I don't mess up my back's alignment. But I wonder if riding bumps while twisted can aggravate or cause back injuries.

    I'm asking because I see myself riding my OW+ multiple times daily, and don't want to accumulate any stubborn injuries. Obviously, any stories from older riders who've ridden the OW for six or more months are encouraging!

  • I'm 47 and I've had issues with my leading knee from riding all the time. Right now I'm wearing a knee brace. I think it's due to the twisted stance of having my knee bent one way and my body turned the other for long periods of time.

  • @philipkd I have been riding for a couple years and have pondered these same questions quite a bit. I have spondylolisthesis which is a fracture and slippage in my lumbar spine and have been told I need a fusion. I can notice some days if I ride really bumpy and rough terrain with a backpack and charger that my back will definitely talk back to me. As far as accumulating some kind of pelvic twist or other alignment issues I'm suspicious that if nothing else is done to balance out the contortion of posture needed while riding, that one may over time develop problems. On the other hand my back problems seem to worsen with stress and in contrast I've noticed that OWing seems to leave me in such a rad mood that my hip flexors are relaxed and Im just blissed out. I have another friend with a lumbar spinal fusion and a spinal stimulator and she rides the OW and is just grinning ear to ear. I think the short story is our bodies are definitely fighting entropy for the duration and the more mobility you lose the more you will do to regain even the memory of that mobility. In that way I kinda credit OW for rescuing me from a depressing diagnoses and a narrow treatment path giving me back my childhood dreams of hovering right when I really needed a lift in spirit and reality. I think it's important to ask these questions and allways balance health with pleasure even with something as mesmerizing as the OW. But still in my case I imagine I will be OWing long after the doctor tells me to stop! βž–β˜―οΈβž–

  • @thegreck so glad you are here brother! Hope you are healing up fast and can get back on the πŸ‡ asap!

  • Also with anyone having knee problems, especially in their leading knee, I would suggest opening up your stance to take twist off the knee. I realize OG riders are limited by the sensor but having some variation of duck stance really helps my knees feel naturally aligned and helps with switch riding, reverts, and carving confidence. With the OG all of that has to be balanced with sensor confidence so I realize there are limits. Anyways if you are uncomfortable on the board something is wrong with the ergonomics. Listen to your body it's telling you how it wants to be dialed. I think the physical shaping of the Onewheel inevitably will evolve to reflect our needs. The deck project I've been working on for years is really aimed at creating a better interface between board and rider and I'm working really hard to make those options public as soon as possible. The nuances involving the sensors have really been the most limiting factor or otherwise these decks would be available now. I'm having to develop my own sensor and am just not comfortable yet releasing due to the liabilities. Anyways going to test out on a bunch of great riders at the https://floatlifefest.com coming up here the beginning of October. Should be a wheel party!

  • So, I absolutely JACKED my leading knee in the first week of owning a OW by doing a few 20mph nosedives into pavement.

    I tried something like $600 worth of different knee brace solutions - finally landed on Reparel leg sleeves. They have memory wire in them and are just stiff enough to add very real support, but flexy and light and dynamic enough for OW riding.

    Love them. Rarely do anything more than a short 1 mile or so ride without them.

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  • @ashewheeler Thanks man! With a brand-new daughter, I sure am glad to still be among the living!

  • @ow-miami Are those your legs?

  • @thegreck Nope. I'm shitloads better than the manufacturer at photoshop. Plus I have man legs.

  • @philipkd
    I have low and mid back issues. On a bad day, I can't ride. On a good day, the OW is my PT. It's a great core exerciser, as long as you keep carving. Switchfooting should balance out your leg/knee/ankle, neck, and back/side fatigue along with short breaks here and there. Locking you legs will mess up your knees. Keep the knees bent. The broader and more open your stance, the greater range of motion your body has. Riding with your front foot at 45 degrees with your toes and knee out has this effect and may keep your knee from buckling when the nose goes down. It also helps you keep your balance and run it out on nose dives. If your lead ankle is out and you're not light on your feet, you are going to be eating pavement on nosedives. Just be sure to keep your toes out with your front knee pointed at your toes. Since I switched to this stance I haven't had a bad fall in over a year...and I've had a few nosedives in that time.

  • Not related post but I'm so glad seeing the forum is still alive with good post to read plus new people !
    Cheers OW Fam. !!!

  • @fabuz I have definitely been slacking and aim to be more present. So glad to have this community of friends. So unlikely for any of us to come together but the OW brings us from all corners of the world to share in the joy of creation so vivid and palpable from atop the wheelβž–πŸŒβž–

  • @ashewheeler I think at a certain point, us OG riders have pretty much seen every question hundreds of times and it starts to seem like it's time to move on. But then you check back every now and then and see that some people are starting to really push the limits of what we thought was even possible, which is amazing.

  • @thegreck totally! I'm wanting to beat back the tendency for wheel issues to seem super mundane at this critical mass moment. The wheel and all of it's inhabitants and feelings and realities are real! If this community can give us validation and commonality especially right now...I'll take every last drop I can get.

  • Thanks for all the feedback. I'm currently doing research on long-term effects of snowboarding as a way to maybe guess at the long-term effects of riding the OneWheel. As for knee and back injuries, there isn't much on Google, which is good. Most injuries are related to falls or bad jumps. I didn't see many mentions about long-term back injuries. For knee issues, I also didn't see too much, except for the suggestion that your knees and feet should be pointing in the same direction so as to be in alignment, and therefore not causing inflammation or strain on your quads. Will report as I discover more.
    EDIT: corrected to say feet and knees should point in same direction

  • @ashewheeler I have spondylolisthesis as well on top of currently having a herniated disc and a hernia haha. I can def feel pain in my lower back from the awkward twisted position the onewheel forces you to be in.

  • I found that after 120 miles, I've lost 2 inches off my waste and you could bounce a quarter off my ass. Seriously. I am getting a great lower body and core workout every day on my OW+.

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