OW Owners: Injury Survey

  • Onewheel +XR future owner here... April 5 & counting.

    As a quick note, these forums are amazing & have taught me a ton as far as what to expect. Taking it slow, knees bent, indo board, balancing over the wheel, etc... That being said...

    Planning on starting off slow & going full retard dork padding. 38, 6'2", 225, 2 kids... Snowboarder for 20 years...

    The one thing I keep coming back to: Injuries. I've seen video of some pretty horrific nosedives at speed, (like shatter your collarbone, tweak your shoulder, tweak your knee business) and that's something I know my body won't take or recover well from. In snowboarding, the nose of the board extends almost two feet in front of your lead foot a.k.a. no nosedive possibility unless you dig into deep powder and do a forward somersault in the fluff. But it's just that. Fluffy snow... I've seen the "fang" wheels that one user 3-d printed and is selling here, and that's reassuring, but still. It makes my butt pucker thinking about being fulcrum planted into the pavement, shoulder/head first at speed...

    I have no problem just cruising and slow carving @ 10-15 mph, or even slower, if my old man knees can't deal with high speed run-outs. I just want to make sure I don't regret getting into this, for my body or kids' sake.

    Just want to get a sense from all the users here, if this is something like a "when" and not "if" situation, and also, what's the average (or worst) injury people have gotten from their onewheels?

  • I’ve been to the orthopedic office once , and taken someone to the ER room once. Had some
    Decent road rash too. You will probably get hurt, I’m not gonna waste your precious time and BS you.

  • It depends how you ride. 2000+ miles on my boards with zero injuries. I still expect I will be injured at some point, even with full pads. I'm considering adding some padded shorts too, hips and tail are a concern. I almost always keep it under 15 mph to minimize the possibility of a serious bonk.

    I was having a mild nosedive about every 300 miles until I learned to ride better and more conservatively. I mostly only ride smooth pavement, which helps. If you're not on gravel or some other bumpy surface, the nose often skids when it dives...so if you're prepared and nimble you often get a chance to slow yourself before balance forces you to hop off.

  • If you're afraid, you'll probably be fine. Watch out for holes in the pavement, and keep your speed under 10-12mph. There is basically nothing that will get you other than a car.

    Put on fangs, and the situation improves a fair bit - at 10mph, fangs make it damn near impossible to nosedive, unless you're just leaning stupid far forward.

    You'll be fine. And if you decide to quit in like 3 miles, call me, I'll buy your board. :) LOL

  • Oh - but one small thing. IF you really are a 20+ year boarder, you're going to fuck yourself up. For sure. Probably just roadrash, because you know how to fall, but, yeah. It'll happen. Thing feels too good at speed, and you keep wanting more, or you'll forget about some small detail like accelerating too fast, or failing to decelerate a bit before hitting hills, or getting the overcharge nosedive.

    Lots of ways to screw up. But generally, if you ride with fear, you won't eat it. And if you do wear the gear, the likelihood of you suffering bad shit is low.

  • Guess my "old knees" are older than yours, I'll be 60 this year! I'm a 20+ year snowboarder as well and can confirm that you will likely fall as I've had 2 nosedives. One was near the beginning when I accelerated too quickly from an almost dead stop. Before I knew what happened, I was on the ground. After that one, I was much more careful about acceleration. Second one was around 600 miles on the board. Didn't notice I was topping 20 mph when my top speed alarm went off. Hit the ground at over 21 mph before I could slow down. Most of my injuries were road rash with some sore shoulder and hip pain.

    The problem is, it's way too fun and you think you can just push it a "little more". Since that last crash, I've kept my speed around 14 mph. Actually, it may be psychological, but I can't seem to get myself up over 15 mph, LOL. I've also always worn knee and elbow pads, wrist guards and gloves, and a helmet.

    Anyway, I still snowboard and still ride this board as both are just way too fun to stop. Be careful and enjoy!

  • @ow-miami Yup. Been riding (well) since I was 18... Started when I was 16 or so... Stopped the trick parks when I realized I wasn't invincible, (bad falls on park features), somewhere in my late 20s... Now it's mostly powder days, tree lines/backcountry and carving big lines on corduroy that I'm into... That's the main reason I liked the board (demo'd a + about a couple months ago and really liked it), since getting a good snow day has been few and far between lately (soCal), I can find a nice smooth paved lot near my house and scratch the itch when I can't get to the snow... get some good turns in...

    I totally appreciate the advice on just riding with a little fear... Especially getting started with this thing, I'm going to be fully padded up and taking it easy...

  • @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:


    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.

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