Extreme(balance challenged) Newbie impressions

  • Training Day 4-6 - Rich's Onewheel School

    Route: 4+1 outdoor basketball courts at Cal State
    Board: XR in Mission
    Distance: 6.1 miles of loops, figure 8s, and s-curves, sidewalks/parking lot
    Duration: approx 1 hour 30 minutes
    Temp: low to mid 80's/light breeze

    Comments: More good practice, and back to my newest board w/stock rear pad. When I got home my new Cobra Pad had arrived! So gotta get back out soon and try it out. Looks very well made. Look forward to getting it dirty.

    In addition to my own routines, and adding another mile to the workout (puts me at 50 miles total), I had 2 buddies learning on my original XR, with the Onetail+. Sam and Cliff have both tried the OW with me individually, but now with the extra board I just showed them some basics and let them take turns riding and spotting each other. Meanwhile I continued working on turns, light carving from a straight line, mount and dismounts, and extending my endurance to 6 miles+. From what I saw, they both did very well. Eventually each one rode completely across a basketball court without direct assistance. Only 1 fall between them, and no serious injuries. All in all a good day for all of us. BTW they are younger than me, both still in their 60's. One has surfing experience and one has skateboard background.

    Hey, I just realized...I am holding OW classes at a state university. What should I charge for tuition?


  • Short evening carport warmup with the Cobra pad

    Had to try my new cobra pad. It will be a few days before I have time to get out on another training day type ride, so I went back to the old carport and did a mile with the new pad. Fun fact: it takes about 150 back and forths along the side of my carport to make a single mile! Wow, I have so outgrown the carport days. I did work on my switch riding skills while I was out back, and they are starting to return to me. But no way I can do 6 miles there.

    Re the cobra pad: At first it felt almost wobbly, but I quickly realized that I did not have to move my back foot very much to get a turn or balance correction. Once I got used to the new sensitivity I enjoyed it very much. As they say, you feel very locked in. Tried my usual stance, then a couple of adjustments. But I think I will quickly adjust to using it, and hopefully my back foot won't go to sleep after 5 miles, any more. Glad I bought it!

  • Training Day 4-7 - The Snake! (cobra, sidewinder, and fangs)

    Route: 4+1 outdoor basketball courts at Cal State
    Board: XR in Mission
    Distance: 5.1 miles of loops, figure 8s, and s-curves, sidewalks/parking lot
    Duration: approx 1 hour 5 minutes
    Temp: low to mid 70's

    Comments: I was away for the weekend doing my 5th annual Bike the Bay event in San Diego, where 3K of us rode across the Coronado bridge and did a 25 miles loop out and back to the Embarcadero Park in SD. So last week was all about getting reading to cycle, and I did no OWheeling.

    Today it was great to get back to my OW training. Almost 2 weeks without riding and I was a bit apprehensive, but it all came back to me, and my feet/ankles were still strong enough for a decent ride.

    NEW EQUIPMENT: I got to try out my new Cobra pad, and my new Sidewinder split fender. My sidewinder review can be found here:

    The cobra pad is everything they say it is. There is a little relearn involved, but it is a good thing. As I noted above, when I did a brief test on it at home, it seemed a bit wobbly because now my rear foot movements control the board more than before, even tho I had been using the Onetail+. I quickly adapted to the Cobra pad. I am still trying different stances, but mainly because now I can. With the OT+, and even with the stock pad, it seemed like there was a perfect stance I had to use to feel connected to the board, while riding. With the Cobra I feel like I have more choices, and they all feel pretty secure. I found myself carving more, after I warmed up, without hardly trying. Oh yes...and my rear foot was not as numb as before. Just a little stiff.

    New technique: for the last couple miles today, I experimented with a lower, more crouched stance. Wow....what a difference! By lowering my center of gravity by a couple inches, I immediately felt more in control of the board. I do bend my knees already, for all riding, but this was even lower than usual. Since I wan't used to riding this low, I could feel the strain after just a couple miles. But I plan to keep practicing and make a effort to further build the muscles to do this routinely.

    WELL... this takes me to the end of my fourth full week of training (spread out over a couple of months). Between my 2 boards I have over 56 miles. With every ride I get more "board feel" and less apprehension. I still have a lot to learn, but now I have a sense that even an old dude like me can do this, and enjoy it (that second part is important). My short term goal is to ride my onewheel on the beach, on my birthday next month. I also want to start learning to ride on grass, and to ride switch. It has been decades since I broke any bones, but I hear that old bones don't heal as fast. Maybe, maybe not, but I am taking care to avoid testing that theory anytime soon. I have fallen once on my rear, with no injury, and I have taken a couple dives cycling in the last few years...with minimal cuts and scrapes. Also, I stay in pretty good condition, so I am not paranoid about it...just reasonably cautious.

    If you are new to this, and find it is much harder to start doing than most of the postings, here and on facebook, would lead you to believe, I hope my experience will encourage you to keep trying. I don't know you, but I bet you can do this, if you don't give up, and give yourself time to get used to it.

    WHAT NOW? Well from here on out, I will stop by this thread just to share significant progress, new equipment I have tried, new places I have ridden, and things like that. Otherwise, you may assume I am still out there learning and growing and enjoying the float!

    float on!

  • Hi Rich, cool thread. I have been riding switch recently. My method has been to practice switch for a short while at the beginning of each ride, then enjoy a regular session. It seems to give the brain a way to improve automatically without too much stress. Riding in the grass, where there are no holes to stop you, will also improve your regular riding. It is best to start these new ways of riding now so that you get full advantage while you are training and somewhat new and learning to develop your habits.
    Best of luck to you, float on!

  • @Mmhmmm Thanks. Good advice. When I first started, I was learning the board back and forth at home, which meant switch at the same time. Then I finally got out in the open and focused only forward, finding I lost what little switch skill I had. I think you are right about getting back to it early and forming good habits.

  • Morning dirt ride

    Got in a 2.1 mile ride on dirt in near 100 degree sunshine. Rode around a baseball park on the dirt just off the grass. It was relatively smooth, but did have a lot of uneven surfaces, without any abrupt changes, like ruts, rocks, etc. So it was the perfect place for me to start getting a feel of surfaces other than pavement and cement. My balance was great, absorbing the changes in surface easily with my ankles. My legs did tire quickly. Probably because I just haven't been able to OW as frequently as when I first began. But it was mainly the heat that made the ride shorter than I had hoped. But, all in all, a great start to a new level of riding for me. I hope to do it a few more times, then eventually tackle riding over grass.

    I did get a video, but it needs editing. The sun was so bright that much of it was inadvertently shot with a thumb partially over the lens. But I think I can salvage some of it.

  • Hey there, I've been debating for a year or so to get this (because of people falling off) but I finally ordered it and can't wait. I am a female - 5'3", 105lbs - I do have exp with snowboarding so that is what got me very interested in this because i miss snowboarding out west , so this thread helps guys! can't wait to ride soon.

    I am hoping with my snowboarding exp will help me with ease on learning this baby.

    Ride on

  • @tm1nor said in Extreme(balance challenged) Newbie impressions:

    Hey there, I've been debating for a year or so to get this (because of people falling off) but I finally ordered it and can't wait. I am a female - 5'3", 105lbs - I do have exp with snowboarding so that is what got me very interested in this because i miss snowboarding out west , so this thread helps guys! can't wait to ride soon.

    I am hoping with my snowboarding exp will help me with ease on learning this baby.

    Ride on

    Welcome! You are going to enjoy it. And although I was a skier, not a snowboarder, I do think your snowboarding experience will help a lot. There are lots of videos on YouTube that can help, as well. Enjoy the float!

  • @ooww said in Extreme(balance challenged) Newbie impressions:

    @wheelrich can you upload a movie of where you´re at progression wise ? There is another 72-year old on the FB groups

    Happy Birthday to me

    OK, so Saturday I turned 73. I spent some of it Onewheeling while my daughter and grandson watched. Here is one of the videos she took. I was a bit rusty, but by the end of the session I was loosening up and riding more freely. This is at a park somewhere between Crestline and Lake Arrowhead. After this we ate at a mex food place in Lake Arrowhead. Best birthday!


    Currently I am working on some very light off road riding.

  • @wheelrich Way to go @ 73. Happy birthday !

  • @ooww Thanks. I finally posted that video you asked for. Old man on a wheel. lol

  • @wheelrich

    Strong work, brother.

  • @AceCannon Thanks. I have noticed several people buy these, try them a bit, then give up. I am glad I hung in there, proving almost anyone can do it, if they stick to it. There is a whole range of riding styles and abilities. Something for everyone. I intend to keep improving.

  • Nice 5 mile ride with my nephew around University of Redlands campus. Mostly sidewalks. He is a natural. First ride and he is already ahead of me. Youth and skateboard experience paid off! It was a beautiful day. It challenged my turning abilities. My control continues to improve. So I have a current total of 70 miles on the board. I also rode a bit in a rough dirt parking lot there. That is still a challenge for me, but getting better.



  • New Personal Best-

    Did my basketball court practice at Cal State again today. Did just over 5 miles with a friend. Beautiful day, 70's, light breeze. Just did figure 8's, ovals, etc. Getting more and more feel for the board until it is beginning to seem natural and intuitive. Although speed is unimportant to me (I am more concerned with control), I checked my app and found that I had improved my heretofore top speed of 9.9 mph, and replaced it with 11.8 mph. I did notice that my floats were getting smoother and more effortless. I guess the increase in speed was just a natural product of better technique. I have always felt that I would be fine topping out at around 12 mph. Just about there now.

    I still have to practice switch riding and more dirt, then grass riding. But I am feeling good about the amount of control I have. I can pass pedestrians on the campus sidewalks with little effort to avoid hitting them. I can come to almost a standstill, while staying on the board, as needed. And although my feet still get a bit sleepy after a few miles. overall I am enjoying the float immensely now. Total mileage:78

    Float on friends!

  • New Cross Campus ride

    Did about 6 miles today on the outdoor bball courts at Cal State S.Bernardino with my friend Sam. Then close to noon we decided to venture out and ride across the campus, one end to the other, on sidewalks and access roads. We successfully dodged students and faculty and actually rode outside the campus for a bit, before turning around and going back a different campus route. We got a few stares, and a couple "cool, what's that's?", but most students just walked with their faces buried in their phones, so we had to pick our way carefully thru some of the small pedestrian crowds. And in some of the parking lots we could hear engines running in parked cars, so we had to watch out for them as well.

    All in all a perfect day for riding, and a great training event to perfect board control skills.
    My current total mileage is 84 miles. Top speed today was 10.2 mph. Again, I am not riding for speed, just control and float enjoyment.

  • More personal records. More campus fun:

    Spent most of the afternoon cruising around the campus at Cal State with my nephew Blake (his second time onewheeling). Campus was mostly abandoned so we had wide open walkways and parking lots to play in. Rode across the street for a lunch stop, came back and rode even more.
    I hit a new total for the day of 12 miles. New high speed of 12.1 mph. And new total length of riding (with lots of rest stops) of approximately 3 1/2 to 4 hours. In fact, we only left when we did because Blake had run his board down to 22 % and had a nose dive (which he successfully ran out)!

    Blake's new records included 14 miles of travel, and a top speed of 22.3 mph! Plus, the successful nose dive.

    We were still discovering new places on campus to explore, but finally left before he had another nose dive. Best day yet!

    0_1540174989519_IMG_5853 2.jpg

  • Phase 2 - DIRT - plus 100 miles!

    Went back yesterday afternoon, to the baseball field and rode 4 miles around on dirt surrounding the grass. This surface was not perfectly smooth, but was firm in most places. However, I did go down on my butt in some loose dirt, when the board slid out from under me once. Got up to about 7 mph. I was surprised how tired my feet got for such a short run. I guess it was because I was constantly readjusting to the changing angles of the surface. Even tho I tried to just let it happen naturally, it was more tiring than riding cement/pavement for 12 miles, like I did last week.

    I was encouraged by how much easier I did the run, however, than before. Anyone viewing my first effort in the video above, will see how cautiously I took it the first time I did it. And that was on an almost perfectly smooth path, unlike the condition of the one I did yesterday.

    AND...4 miles was just what I needed to put my total board travel at 100 MILES!

    UPDATE: Just ordered the new Burris 11X6 treaded tire made specifically for Onewheels. It is backordered 2 or 3 weeks, but when it comes I hope to have a bit more grip riding on dirt, and later when I try to learn to ride trails.

  • New top speed, more college learning, and a little dirt

    Did 10.2 miles at a Cal State campus, and achieved a new top speed of a whopping 13 miles per hour. Now, at 73, I don't know if that is any kind of record (and don't care really), but I doubt many 73 year olds have even ridden a OW. Although there is no reason a lot of them couldn't, if they wanted to.

    Besides warming up on the basketball courts, and cruising all over the campus via sidewalk and pavement, I did 2 laps on a hard packed dirt track, also.

    One observation: for me at least, is that after I have done about 8 miles, my legs, knees, and feet feel really warmed up and loose, to the point of having very good control. When I start out, I can ride ok, but turning and handling feels a bit awkward at times. After 8 miles I don't even have to think about it. Considering that, it's a good thing I can tolerate the longer rides...10, 12 miles, so I can make more progress and enjoy it more. I do stop and flex my numb feet even now and then, which helps a lot. Wasn't that long ago when doing 5 miles was a major accomplishment for me.

  • @wheelrich Don't go too crazy now! A 10 mile ride and 13 mph speed is a lot for many people.

    Congrats on keeping at it and making it to this point.

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