New rider? Here’s how I learned to ride OneWheel XR, 400 miles and no significant injuries.

  • Don’t buy a OneWheel if your primary motivation is speed thrills. The pleasure of the OneWheel ride comes from carving asphalt and riding relatively smooth trails.

    I’m Fifty eight years old and I’m having a blast. Here how I’ve avoided any visits to the Emergency Room

    Don’t get on your OneWheel without first reading the Users Manual, paying special attention to the subject of Push back.
    Then watch a couple of YouTube videos to thoroughly understand PushBack and the limitations of a one wheeled semi-stabilized vehicle.
    Chris Richardson’s OneWheel 101 Vol 2:
    OneWheel’s What is Push Back?
    Explore the fine YouTube videos by some of the best riders in the world like Slydog Stroh, The Float Life and many more. I think watching them shred helps program my mind for a ride the next day.

    Wear a helmet and wrist guards at all times. I do wear knee and elbow pads on unfamiliar trails or when I’m trying to learn a difficult maneuver.

    I recommend spending at least half of you riding time for the first 100 miles practicing low speed maneuvers. Proper dismounts, balancing while stopped, increasing tight figure eights and forward and reverse 90 degree turns. I’m coming up on 500 miles and I still try to do this once a day. Mastery of these low speed maneuvers is essential for riding around other people and traffic.

    Don’t be that guy on a OneWheel that scares pedestrians and is a traffic hazard. OBEY crosswalk signals, make eye contact with drivers before entering a crosswalk, don’t trust that they see you. At night wearing a light or brightly colored top helps and it’s a good idea to use a headlamp on your helmet and a red flasher on your backpack.
    Speaking of pedestrians and sidewalks, if you must pass, slow to almost their speed and politely alert them to you presence when approaching from behind, BEFORE you’re on their ass.
    It’s worth mentioning here that you should try to be a good ambassador for OneWheel. You’ll be asked many questions about your board, be patient. Spread the good vibe your ride provides. Remember, The Dude Abides.

    I began riding the OneWheel in Cruz mode. Others may recommend starting in Mission (and Mission is sweet) but I’m glad I started in Cruz because Push Back in Cruz happens at a lower speed and is very pronounced. You don’t want to experience push back for the first time at speed. It’s scary and you may not recognize it and slow down in time if your first taste of push back happens in Mission or Delerium where it is more subtle.
    I recommend staying in Cruz mode until you find yourself bumping into speed limiting push back several times on each ride. This means you are comfortable enough for your terrain to move up to Mission.

    The Gemini firmware makes the OneWheel a very stable and predictable ride but there a a few hazards you should look out for.
    Parallel cracks, bevels & uneven asphalt levels. On trails, roots, rocks or sticks aligned in the same direction as your travel. The OneWheel can handle perpendicular inconsistency just fine, even coming off a curb is easy. Running over sticks across your path, no problem. But a crack or uneven surface that is is the same direction as your travel is very tricky. You will quickly be pitched to either toe or heel side. Getting caught by something like this by surprise can be painful. Watch for these hazards. Another good reason to use a headlamp at night.

    That’s about it. If you can think of any more good advice for new riders please contribute below.

  • @lmuraro nice post. I’m doing alright on my journey too. One fall from getting too cocky too soon (beer was involved).

    Let me add to the list of dangers. Here in the UK it’s cold and dark now. Lots of slippery, wet fallen leaves on the pavement which makes control difficult but the real killer is uneven pavement where the tree roots have ruptured the asphalt. Those combined with slippery leaves in the dark are no fun at all!

  • @lmuraro

    Great post and pointers. I think everyone should and can enjoy a OW in a way that works for them. For some more risk = more fun; others not so much.

    I might as well triple post this today... but this is also a great site to read the 5 Golden Rules from the @jeffmccosker who was the race and overall winner at Float Life Fest 2; which just means he's a good guy to listen to when it comes to riding advice. 5 Rules

  • i don't like the way it describes responding to pushback, nor the cartoon picture used at all. its a good way to think you're on a runaway board. if you look at the pic the rider has their front leg straight and back leg bent to respond to the pushback. this does not work for me. could be my height, 6'2" or weight, 180# i don't know. but if i'm going really fast and need to slow down, i have to bend my back leg without straightening my front leg. i have to collapse my back knee in towards my front leg. attempting to straighten my front leg and leaning back ends up putting more pressure on the front end and the board gets a runaway feel. this is just when i'm about to get dumped kind of fast.