OW Owners: Injury Survey



  • @onedan Thanks for the great input! Yeah, I've been plagued by crappy knees ever since high school, even though I'm "38 years young"... mostly tendon/joint pain, and pretty easy to tweak... Avid cyclist too, which helps with the knee strength, but not much mountain biking these days, primarily road biking... I actually think riding the OW will help keep my butt/quads/calves in shape when I'm not snowboarding, so that's a potential plus...

    DEFINITELY going to stick to the safety gear... elbow/knee/wrist/gloves/helmet. I give 0 shits about how I look as long as I'm having fun... and this looks FUN.

    I know this is slightly OT, but when you guys pad up, do you go with elbow/knee pads that have hard slidey shells, or wear the softer fabric-y ones? I have a set of the fabric type, but leaning towards purchasing the hard shell ones once the OW arrives...



  • You've maybe seen my sad story, but I had 256 largely-uneventful miles (well - uneventful in terms of "pain"; very eventful in terms of "a total blast"), before I nosedived due to (I think) overacceleration from dead stop. Straight down to pavement before I knew what hit me. I fractured the ball at the top of my left humerus where it goes into the shoulder socket; the bone healed nicely, but the shoulder remains frozen and I am told it will be at least 3 more months, if not more, until I regain full motion. Very expensive, very time-consuming, very frustrating (I haven't ridden since beginning of December).

    Get a pair of the Fangs. I truly think they would have helped me minimize or avoid my injury altogether, by giving me just that little tiny additional bit of time to react.

    In addition to the helmet, wristguards, elbow pads, knee pads, and padded undershorts I already wore, I will be adding the shoulder armor pictured at the bottom of this thread to my left shoulder:

    http://community.onewheel.com/topic/7613/new-guy-questions-about-safety-equipment/30

    You might want to consider doing the same. You can put together that piece for around $50 - a little less, if you can find a friend to share/split the D30 shoulder armor (you each likely only need one piece, for your leading shoulder, but the armor sells in pairs). You can likely also find cheaper shoulder braces; I bought the $20 one because it had solid reviews and it worked, but I've seen some for < $10 and for all I know they are the exact same thing.



  • @znzn to the orthopedic office for a broken bone? What happened to you & your friend? The more information, the better... trying to weigh everything out...



  • @glyph I did actually see your post about the shoulder armor, and I’m sure it would have helped blunt the impact. Fractured ball joints are no bueno... Overaccelerating from a dead stop sounds like a fluke accident to fracture your shoulder... so unfortunate... I don’t know... breaking anything sounds pretty horrible, and I feel like I would be gearing up for post-apocalyptic roller derby every time, but safety first... I can’t afford breaking any bones for sake of working & taking care of my family... Would you consider your experience to be out of the ordinary? I would hate to have in the back of my head: “Hey, try this awesome piece of cutting edge tech, it’s super fun to ride, but you WILL break something in the process eventually!”



  • Just keep it under 15mph and stay afraid of it. Full regalia padding for the win.



  • @mason I was hoping over an obstacle, fell off, but the board didn’t stop, and the front off the board hit me really good right above the interior of my left ankle. My toes were numb for like 2 days and I decided to get some X-rays for peace of mind. Nothing was broken, but I bruised the nerve really good.

    ER trip was a new rider who fell on pavement going 1 mph and broke her wrist pretty bad. She did not “break” her fall very smooth! Lol, I made a bad pun. No, seriously, her wrist was crooked AF and hard to look at, I felt super bad.



  • I nosedived while attempting a hard acceleration from about 10mph. Fortunately, I ran it out, and stayed upright. Ever since, I put my front ankle right on the fender, and my back foot as far back as possible. This rearward distribution makes it impossible for me to get past Delirium's initial pushback at 15 mph. Now, I can't shift enough weight forward to get to 20mph even if I tried, which is like a built-in safety feature.



  • @mason I don't do Facebook so I miss out on many of the stories, but from my reading through the forums here, my injury definitely seems on the worse end of typical (though I've seen some videos of collarbone breaks). My only other serious wipeout was totally, completely and obviously my fault/preventable (don't speed down a dark unfamiliar road kids, a truck could have spilled concrete that forms an impromptu unexpected speed bump!), and that time my protective gear meant I walked away with just a road-rash thumb and a bruised hip.

    A lot of factors. If you ride more on grass than pavement, your safety odds are probably better. I ride more on pavement.

    I'm honestly surprised there aren't MORE shoulder injuries: the design of the OneWheel means the nosedive is a unique-to-this-board failure mode - a four-wheeled skateboard that suddenly stops, generally throws you more "forward", than "down" (and, you hopefully usually have some warning that it's GOING to stop: you should see whatever obstacle the board is about to strike, giving you milliseconds to try to run out or fall "correctly"; but a OW nosedive can occur with no visible "obstacle").

    And since you ride side-stance, that leading shoulder is a likely contact point (in my case, it took basically my whole 180# weight). In retrospect, safety equipment to protect the leading shoulder seems obvious, but there's nothing readymade on the market for just one shoulder - you're left looking at ridiculous football gear, or motorcycle jackets (which would be a good option if I lived somewhere where it was cold.)

    Because this failure mode is unique to the board's design, FM is never going to want to talk about it much, because it starts to make their product sound unsafe compared to other competing ones. That means it's been left on the community to educate each other (and in the case of multiple people like Hoovdini and Sonny and a few others before them, try to design safety gear to help mitigate the risk).

    I guess what I'm saying is: don't skimp on safety gear. Pay very close attention at all times to your stance (front foot right next to the wheel, back foot way back) and your speed (it's very easy to get carried away, and I may download the app that another poster in this forum has been working on that can give verbal speed notifications).

    I always rode Mission on pavement, but after reading a lot in these forums I'm going to switch to Delerium, which has smaller tolerances before it angle-corrects, possibly making a nosedive slightly less likely.

    All this said? I can't wait to get back on. It's so much fun, and I miss it immensely.



  • @mason said in OW Owners: Injury Survey:

    I know this is slightly OT, but when you guys pad up, do you go with elbow/knee pads that have hard slidey shells, or wear the softer fabric-y ones? I have a set of the fabric type, but leaning towards purchasing the hard shell ones once the OW arrives...

    Hey Mason, I had on hard shells in both the knees and elbows when I crashed at almost 22 mph. Both of them slid up and I got road rash on my left knee and left elbow (worse on my elbow), though I'm sure they helped on the impact. I replaced my cheap elbow pads with these super nice 187 Killer pads . . . they are nice and tight and have the hard shells. I also broke my cheap wrist guard, but it did it's job. Got a matching pair of 187 Killer wrist guards and they are awesome as well. I did not yet replace my knee pads, but I do put them on very tight. I also wear a pair of my older motorcycle gloves with the knuckle protection, as my left hand had every knuckle scraped with my old gloves that didn't have the knuckle protection.

    Gonna be a nice day today, will be out on the OneWheel! Tomorrow, boarding in the fresh powder in the Sierras that fell over the weekend!



  • So far I've only dived once, totally my fault since I ran the battery out, I was flying tthrough a grass field trying to get to my car before it died. I launched a good 10-15 feet, landed on my side. Aside from bruises and a little elbow rash nothing serious happened, more than me learning a lesson. I just wear a helmet and wrist guards.



  • @onedan Thanks again for the great info! Let me know how the snow is!



  • One more small thing - you asked how likely injuries are.

    To be honest, it's hard for anyone to answer that in full, but I should share my personal stats on the more serious wipeouts:

    1st day - lost it going over a speed bump in full gear at about 8-9mph, just the first few minutes of riding, and getting my feel for the thing.
    Result: No Injury

    1st day - 18-19 MPH nosedive wipeout, full gear, on pavement road surface. Fairly smooth pavement. Was leaning too far forward, and off balance, motor failed to keep up with me, and I was stupid enough to not consider the implications of a top speed run.
    Result: Left knee very sore for months, no permanent damage, never required Dr. visit.

    1st week: Park wipeout going over a root - 2nd or 3rd day - 8-10 mph, hard highside (backside) onto grass/root.
    Result: Broken ribs, bruising. Healed just fine.

    2nd week: Arguing with GF while riding on sidewalk along roadway. Was several blocks from home and decided to just end the argument and head home to let her chill. Overaccelerated at ~14mph. nosedive
    Result: Serious reaggravation of previously injured left knee. Some roadrash (Had reduced to helmet and "wrist protectors", which I refer to as 'grinders' because the only bit of good they do IMO is to keep the road from grinding the flesh off of your palms...)..

    2nd week: Nosedive wipeout doing hard slalom on wide sidewalk, around trees. Cause was overacceleration in a turn, where the power available is lower. Gear was limited to helmet and grinders.
    Result: Literally no damage - very minor knee scrape, but was the best wipeout luck so far, was likely doing ~13/14mph.

    3rd week: Nosedive wipeout on pavement on highspeed (topspeed?) run - residential/park road - fairly rough pavement. Cause: duh. Fat boys should not do over 20mph. Ever. --
    Result: Re-Reaggravation of left knee injury, good bit of roadrash. Gear was limited to helmet and grinders.

    5th? week: Flying slide on grass - hit a hidden hole at about 14mph - went full superman. Helmet/Grinders.
    Result: Damn, that was fun, let's do it again!

    --

    I've also been hit by a car, but I rolled over the hood, and landed very well. No injuries.



  • If you haven't already, you should check out the Onewheel Wiki: Riding Technique. The speed and acceleration nosedive sections are good to read and understand. Also, check out the Exercise 1 (Good Riding Technique) video. I had an acceleration nosedive (going between 10 and 12 mph) at about 40 miles and haven't had one since (I now have 1193 miles on my onewheel); I am riding very similar to what the wiki describes and wish I knew about it before my nosedive. The riding technique (which some have also mentioned), where you are more pushing and not doing a full body lean is a good thing to understand. Your snowboarding will help a lot but remember this is a different board sport!

    Also, don't ignore the pushback. I feel pushback in delerium and mission at about 15 mph (some feel pushback only at higher speeds in delerium), that is pretty much where I cruise at. I sometimes go at higher speeds but not often.



  • @ow-miami Thanks for all that great info! That detailed information is HUGE. Especially where you think things went wrong... I'll definitely keep all that in mind. So, basically no more falls since week 5? :) Ever wear those hard skate kneepads during any of your falls? I feel like most peoples injuries have been to their forward knees, elbows, and shoulders / collarbones, likely due to the riding stance... I'll probably wear full gear on both sides but I'll bet you're likely to contact the pavement with your leading side first. Maybe after I get more seasoned, I'll leave the right elbow and knee pads at home, ha... Maybe not...

    Also, I've seen 187 "Derby" wristguards that are more than a bent piece of strip plastic for a splint... Looks like they may cover more palm surface area & be more comfy... Have any experience with this brand, or model?

    https://www.amazon.com/187-Killer-Pads-Derby-Guards/dp/B014172MH6/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1520368104&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=187+derby+wrist+guards&psc=1&smid=A371G8H8A5MY53



  • @steveb Thank you! I actually have seen that wiki, and it's great. A buddy of mine has an indo board, and staying centered and alternating "pumping" feet up and down on either side of the fulcrum is a good balance exercise for the OW I think... It looks exactly like what that guy was doing in his "Good Riding Technique" video... Keeping your center of balance, knees bent, and pushing/lifting with your legs/feet as opposed to a full body lean...

    Yeah, I totally agree with you about this being a different board sport... Although I'm great on a snowboard, I'm going to treat this as something completely different. It's not nearly as inherently stable as a snowboard, since you have a single wheel as a pivot point, as opposed to 4 different edges you can utilize on a snowboard i.e.: front heel/toe, back heel/toe, or flat bottoming... Different physics and mechanics alltogether... I have a feeling that good balance technique should translate pretty well, though...

    Keep the good tips coming!



  • @mason I agree that your snowboarding will help as my snowboarding is a major reason I was able to recover from a number of almost falls; these were do to things such as not easy to see uneven pavement until it was too late. I just don't want to give the false sense of it being too much like snowboarding. My one fall (the nosedive) would have been worse if I didn't land on my backpack stuffed with a few layers of clothing, so your plan to wear padding is a great idea. I had a helmet on and that was the difference between riding / walking away and an ambulance ride (I banged my head); so the helmet made it mostly a non-issue for the head. To be clear I walked away without a head injury.

    I am using skateboarding padding that has a plastic shell so it will slide on the pavement in hopes of doing less tumbling however it is no guarantee. The one things I am not protecting at the moment is the shoulders. I would like to find a solution for that.

    I ride goofy foot (which is great for riding in the bike lanes as I am facing traffic), but I also like to switch and I am would like to be comfortable with both directions. This means I will be wearing pads on both sides.



  • @steveb Totally agree with all that is being stated here. Another mental image I give myself is not so much body lean or even weight transfer because when you think about the weight of the human body, that is a lot of potential force that you lever on that poor hub motor. I am shocked at how effective it is to counter-torque the rider. However, the motor does not have infinite power and at some point something has to give. In fact, the faster the motor is going, the less torque reserves are available making nose-dives even more susceptible. The motor acceleration behavior is a function of the inclinometer readings of the board (not directly the pressure the weight/feet the rider puts on the board). Thus knowing this, if you can keep the center of gravity over the wheel - and think of tilting the board with your feet, you will get much better results IMHO. You can sense the pushback much easier and the motor will be able to communicate it's top end situation better. Also, the board tilt method means you will have to have your knees bent - also a good posture as it facilitates emergency run-outs a lot better. Try it and see if it works for you. Your core muscles will also be more engaged and your feet and ankles will be less strained as a result.



  • @gadgetrider I totally agree, you won't get pushback from me (I am not sure if the pun was intended :-). I commute to work on my board as well as go on small (what fits in my backpack) shopping trips. Riding with knees bent is essential as I often hit some really bad road conditions (uneven pavement, pinecones, rocks, holes), most of which I steer around but not always; the board handles it much better than I expect. I thought pine cones would feel worse than they do.

    In addition to your motor torque comments, the acceleration of the board is not fast and that is where I think many people go wrong. If your stance is not "correct" then you may not realize how much torque you are asking of the motor. My nosedive happened because of this, as I had more than 50% battery (with balanced cells), smooth rode, not moving very fast, and no obstacles. Since I changed my stance (as described by both of us and the wiki), I have scraped the nose (my fault) without any incident. It would have been a nosedive had I did the "full body lean" even at less the 10 mph. Again, I completely agree with your comments.



  • Our crew has racked up a dislocated shoulder, a broken collar bone, and a blown up knee. That's 50-60k worth of surgeries. They will bite! I've toned my riding way down. Just cruise and carve and ride in my backyard. (And have my insurance paid up!) 42 big dude, 20+ yr snowboarder. I've hit the ground a few times pushing too hard... I don't like crashing anymore.



  • I forgot to mention, I have nose dived my board about a 1/2 dozen times going straight because I accelerated too hard, didn't understand what overcharge pushback was or the tire slipped and lost grip on the grassy surface. Most of the time I was able to run it out so no big deal.

    A nosedive when making a turn while accelerating was the one that caused a noteworthy injury - basically I fell on my back on asphalt and my leading elbow took the brunt of the hit. I thought I chipped the bone - it hurt for weeks and even months. I can say today after 6 months, it is finally 100%. I always ride with an elbow pad on the leading elbow and I am very careful when I turn and accelerate. The Vegas tire (being so square) makes tight turns difficult and if the board decides to stop, I am already off-balance due to the turn, making recovery difficult. Another learning experience.


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