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5 Onewheel Safety Tips to Prevent Injury and Save Lives

by freshlycharged

The dreaded nosedive is the most feared and dangerous aspect of riding a Onewheel, yet it is easily prevented if these 5 simple rules are followed:

  1. Set your Digital Shaping to Mission or Delirium.

  2. Don’t exceed 15 mph.

  3. Stay centered over the wheel.

  4. Don’t lean forward to accelerate, but rather push your front foot down while staying centered over the wheel.

  5. Don’t accelerate super hard going uphill or into a strong wind.

If you have ever seen or experienced a nosedive, you will agree that it is nasty. It’s one of those experiences that sticks with you and just seeing a bad nosedive is enough to scare new and riders from ever going back to their board.

I researched Onewheel nosedives extensively because I wanted to make sure that I was not endangering myself or my family with our Onewheels. I came across an obscure comment to a post buried in a closed Facebook Group that was so amazing I had to make the information more accessible. I truly believe that the 5 rules in this post will save someone from very serious accident and even death.

Here is the comment from the Facebook Group:

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If you are not familiar with the Onewheel Owners Group on Facebook, it is an amazing community of Onewheel enthusiasts who help to support and encourage each other. It is a great group with a ton of valuable information and a lot of daily activity. Join the group. You will thank me later.

So when I found the 5 rules posted by Jeff Mccosker, one of the moderators of the Facebook group, I instantly knew that before my kids were going to go off on their own with a Onewheel, they were going to be able to recite all 5 rules back to me from memory and promise that they will obey.

What is Pushback and Nosediving

When you step on to a board and level it out you can feel a motor click on and the sensation of the board self balancing. That self balancing and leveling is from a gyroscope inside the wheel. “Pushback” is when your board’s nose lifts up to warn you that the board is nearing its limits and that if the board is pushed any further beyond its limits the internal gyroscope will fail and the board will not be able to keep itself level.

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When the board exceeds its limitations and there is not enough power to keep the board level the board will tip in the direction you are leaning. Because this most commonly happens at high speeds, when the board tips the nose will dive and the rider will fly. The results are often serious bodily damage and a wounded ego.

There is also full battery pushback when riding with a fully charged battery downhill and low battery pushback when riding with an extremely low battery. Don’t ignore the pushback!

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How to Prevent Nosedives

It is vital that you respond to your board when there is pushback. Don’t fight it. Instead, lean back and slow down. NEVER fight pushback by leaning forward to go faster. You will nosedive!

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Here is my breakdown of the 5 rules of riding the Onewheel by Jeff Mccosker of the Onewheel Owners Facebook Group:

  1. Set your Digital Shaping to Mission or Delirium:

Most people recommend to start with these two modes. When I tried to start my kids easy on Sequoia mode they had a hard time turning. When I forgot to change to board from Delirium and my kids took the board for a spin they instantly recognized a difference. They felt the board was less stiff and more responsive. Because they could turn better, they had better control and felt more confident on the board.

  1. Don’t exceed 15 mph:

The amazing technology that keeps you upright on the Onewheel is the same technology that can give new riders a false sense of security. Overconfidence will lead to new riders trying to go fast which will lead to accidents and falls. Do not got over 15 miles per hour! The Onewheel is built for cruising, carving, tight nimble turns, and going off the beaten path onto grass and trails. It is NOT BUILT FOR SPEED! If you want to go fast get an electric skateboard like a Boosted Board or an electric bicycle or even an electric car like a Tesla.

  1. Stay centered over the wheel:

Find your balance and try to stay centered. Try to keep your head over the wheel and avoid the urge to lead with your head.

  1. Don’t lean forward to accelerate, but rather push your front foot down while staying centered over the wheel:

While it seems natural to lean forward to accelerate, this makes it harder for the rider to recognize pushback. In addition, in the event of a nosedive, if leaning forward it makes it really hard to run out the crash and you are more likely to face plant into the asphalt. By thrusting your hips forward to push down on the front foot you can accelerate while keeping your head centered over the wheel. By doing this you will be able to more easily recognize pushback when it happens and you will also give yourself the best chance to stay upright and run out a crash when it happens.

  1. Don’t accelerate super hard going uphill or into a strong wind:

While some may think that staying under 15 mph will protect them from nosedives, there are other factors that can overload the motor and cause nosedives. These factors include rider weight (which is not easily changed), going up inclines, and going into a strong wind. All of these factors can cause push the motor beyond its limits resulting in nosedives at speeds that are lower than expected. Be aware!

My Rad Thoughts

Some people think safety and fun do not go together. I disagree. If you keep yourself safe, then you keep yourself from injuries so you can keep on riding. Injuries are no fun.

Screen Shot 2018 08 08 at 9.08.06 AMWhen I was in 6th grade my mother’s company was having a safety awareness campaign. Part of that campaign was an art contest. I entered an art contest with a picture I drew of a man who looked like Homer Simpson (I was a huge Simpson’s fan at that time) who had slipped on a skateboard and was falling down some stairs. I wish I still had the picture.

I still remember the catchy phrase I came up with for the picture: “Don’t be Hasty, Practice Safety.” We can all remember that phrase when we mount our Onewheels. Oh, and I did win that art contest and was awarded two mountain bikes which I used through college. Why they needed to give me two, I don’t know. Maybe no one else entered the contest so they had no second place to give the prize to.

So to all you Onewheel fans, be safe and keep on cruising. Just make sure to follow the 5 rules and “Don’t be Hasty, Practice Safety!”

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