See Jan 2021 update below
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.
UPDATE January 5, 2021
Well float brothers and sisters it’s now been over 4000 miles since I first gingerly stepped onto a Onewheel. Believe it or not I’m still basically injury free. I’ve taken a few falls at slow speeds on slippery surfaces. Bruises and minor scratches. Every fall has been my fault. I still wear a helmet, elbow and wrist guards.
My Onewheel has performed flawlessly. I replaced my XR tire with a Burris 11x6.0-6 slick in SS-33 compound. It really improved the handling of the XR. The harder compound makes a bit more noise but it picks up a LOT LESS glass, wears better and turns easier.
I really don’t have much new safety advice, this thread covers just about everything a new rider should know.
I’ve come to the point where being on the OW feels intuitive. My only two real concerns when riding is not to space out, ignoring the riding surface and watching out for traffic of all kinds.
My Onewheel had made a terrible 2020 bearable. I don’t know what I’d do without it.