7 Tips to Keep the Onewheel From Getting Banned
Ever wonder why Future Motion always includes so many business cards with every Onewheel purchase? It’s because as soon as you mount your Onewheel, you are now an unofficial spokesperson and representative for Onewheel nation.
Like it or not, as an unofficial Onewheel representative, all your actions, words, and deeds both positive and negative, will reflect on the Onewheel community and will eventually determine how the Onewheel is accepted or rejected by our local communities.
“When snowboarding and skateboarding first hit the scene, those activities were disapproved of by the establishment"
IS THE ONEWHEEL EVEN LEGAL?
In most places, the answer is yes and in a few places the answer is no. In this article I’m going to share seven ways we can help to keep the Onewheel legal.
When snowboarding and skateboarding first hit the scene, those activities were disapproved of by the establishment and snowboarders and skateboarders were considered a menace.
Over time and with a lot of hard work, eventually snowboarding and skateboarding worked their way into the fabric of mainstream society.
While many Onewheel enthusiasts may feel that as the popularity of Onewheel grows, through sheer numbers and high stoke levels our governments and communities will have no option but to accept the Onewheel no matter our actions.
However, one of the biggest differences between skateboarding and the Onewheel is the battery and motor used to power a Onewheel which oftentimes lumps Onewheels with electric scooters and electric bicycles, two other forms of micromobility that lawmakers are struggling to deal with.
As the popularity of micromobility grows, communities are having to decide how to regulate electric scooters and electric bicycles along with all other forms of personal electric mobility. Some countries have even decided to just ban them outright.
HOW CAN WE KEEP THE ONEWHEEL IN THE GOOD GRACES OF OUR LOCAL AND REGIONAL COMMUNITIES? HERE ARE SEVEN WAYS:
What is that?
It’s a Onewheel. It’s a self balancing single wheeled electric board.
Did you make it?
How much is it?
$1,050 for the entry level model or $2,200 for the high end model.
Can I try it?
Answers here vary depending on the situation but usually the answer is no because of time and lack of safety gear. If I had more time to share the magic of the Onewheel, this is what I would tell people:
At the core, the Onewheel is an electric board with a motor and fat tire that self balances. The beauty of the Onewheel is how it feels like so many different things to so many different people. Its appeal crosses boundaries.
To the skateboarder, it reminds you of the freedom you had when you were a kid and the excitement you got when you landed tricks with friends.
To the snowboarder it’s like shredding fresh powder.
To the surfer it’s like catching the perfect wave.
To the wakeboarder it’s like glassy smooth water first thing in the morning.
To the wakesurfer it’s like the perfect wake every time.
And to someone who’s never done a board sport, the Onewheel is just pure fun!
That’s why people fall in love with the Onewheel. It feels like their favorite board sport but with the convenience of being able to ride right outside your doorstep, avoiding the trouble and expense of having to go up into the mountains, to the beach, or to a lake. When you get on a Onewheel, the ride experience is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. It feels like you are floating or gliding as the big tire soaks up bumps and cracks in the pavement that would have otherwise rattled your bones on a skateboard. Once you really learn how to ride, the hands free control becomes instinct... intuitive. At this point the Onewheel becomes a magical mind reading device that just goes where you want it to go. All you have to do is to think about it and it goes.The ride is super nimble. Carving, maneuvering, turning, idling in place, there’s nothing like the Onewheel’s ride. That’s what I like to tell people about the Onewheel if I have the time.
3. DON'T DESTROY OR VANDALIZE PROPERTY
The Onewheel is built like a tank and in the hands of some riders, it can also destroy property like a tank. Control your Onewheel and don’t let it get away from you. A Onewheel going out of control into a building, parked car, or other object can cause a lot of damage.
Even if no one is watching, there are cameras everywhere. The mere act of riding a Onewheel can cause damage to trails and other private and public property. Riding over garden beds and plants can be destructive. Grinding and nudging curbs will wear off paint and over time.
I’m not telling you to stop grinding and nudging curbs. I’m just saying to use your good judgement when doing so. While you may not intentionally damage property, others may see it differently so be aware of how your actions are affecting your surroundings.
4. FOLLOW THE LAW
This one seems obvious but it’s tough because the Onewheel is so new there aren’t many laws that specifically apply to the Onewheel. What do you do when you see signs that say “no skateboarding” or “no motorized vehicles?” Do you obey or do you ignore? Is the Onewheel considered a skateboard? Is it a motorized vehicle? I can only speak for myself, but when I see a no skateboarding sign I assume the same applies to the Onewheel. However, when I see a “no motorized vehicles” sign, that requires the use of some common sense and judgement. While I personally believe that “no motorized vehicles” often refers to things like mopeds, motorcycles, and ATVs, technically the Onewheel does have a motor and if anyone wanted to argue, they would certainly have a valid point. If I feel a trail designated as “no motorized vehicles” is okay for me to take my Onewheel, I usually will go for it but I will tread lightly so as to not draw too much attention and to not upset the locals. If I get kicked off, I’m always polite and respectful. When it comes to riding your Onewheel in bike lanes, on sidewalks, and in city streets, a lot of that is up to your local laws and local police. Some areas allow it. Other areas do not. Whatever your local laws say, try to follow. Also remember to follow traffic rules. Do not become a menace to traffic. Remember to use hand signals and to wear proper safety gear. Be a good Onewheel citizen.
“Beware that walkers, joggers, bicyclists, mountain bikers, and skateboarders have been around a lot longer than Onewheelers."
Because Onewheels are so versatile, you can take them from the streets in your neighborhood to the skatepark, on to walking or bike paths, zipping down bike lanes, and even on to mountain bike courses and trails. Beware that walkers, joggers, bicyclists, mountain bikers, and skateboarders have been around a lot longer than Onewheelers. While many will be in awe of the abilities of the Onewheel, there will also be many that will feel like you are invading their territory. Be courteous when riding somewhere that is traditionally reserved for others. For example, when riding at the skatepark, go when it’s less busy, wait your turn on different features, and be friendly with the natives. Whenever I see someone walking a dog or riding a horse, I make sure to either go around to avoid startling their animals or I stop and wait for them to pass. If we can show that we can coexist with those that were there long before us, local city governments would be more willing to allow us to continue to ride.
4. BE ACTIVE
Be active in your community and raise positive Onewheel awareness. Find out how you can be a part of any local city meetings regarding micromobility and personal electric vehicles. Be a part of the discussion and show that you care. Participate in service projects or organize your own service project. I’ve been to several community service projects where the Onewheel was an amazing way to help clean up a park or local trail.
If you ride a lot of mountain bike trails, consider joining the local mountain bike group and find out what you and other Onewheel riders can do to help maintain the trails for Onewheel and mountain bike riders alike.
4. BE RESPECTFUL
Just about all the tips listed require an element of respect. Respect your Onewheel and respect your riding skills so that you don’t end up in the ICU. A few high profile accidents, injuries, and deaths will be the quickest way to get the Onewheel banned.
Respect those around you and don’t ride recklessly.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I’m Jimmy Chang and my love for micromobility and personal electric vehicles started with the Onewheel. The love has grown to all sorts of fun electric devices like the electric unicycle and electric scooters.
Check out my reviews and adventures on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/@freshlycharged