I’ve been getting a lot of comments and emails from people who have found my YouTube channel and blog helpful as they decide whether or not to buy a Onewheel. Some of these are “older folks” thanking me for my videos.
I’ll have another birthday this month in January. As a 40+ year old man riding around on what many perceive to be a kid’s toy akin to a “hoverboard” or an “electric skateboard” I ask and answer the question, am I too old for this?
I’d like to share an experience from basketball. I’ve been playing basketball since I was in elementary school and I can remember watching basketball as a young child, sitting with my dad cheering on the Lakers. No, not LeBron and Lonzo’s Lakers… not even Shaq and Kobe’s Lakers… my dad and I were cheering on Kareem and Magic’s Lakers.
It was the showtime era and I had a dream that I would one day play in the NBA just like the players I admired on an amazing Lakers team with players such as: Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Magic Johnson, AC Green, Byron Scott and James Worthy.
While my favorite player on that Showtime team was Byron Scott because he was a smaller guy from Southern California and was living the dream playing for the Lakers,I want to focus on the guy that just threw that pass to Byron Scott for the dunk, the legend Kareem Abdul Jabbar.
Kareem was well known for his trademark shot the Skyhook. He retired from basketball at the age of 42. By professional basketball standards he was ancient when he retired but even late in his career he was very productive.
When Kareem retired from basketball no NBA player had ever scored more points, blocked more shots, won more Most Valuable Player Awards, played in more All-Star Games or logged more seasons.
I try to play basketball once a week. I remember always looking up to the older guys that would come and play with us.
One week at basketball before a pick up game, someone decided to line everyone up by age to shoot free throws and pick teams. I figured I’d be somewhere in the middle, but as I tried to find my place in line according to age, I eventually found myself in the very back of the line. I finally realized that I was one of the old guys now.
Being one of the old guys doesn’t stop me. My game has changed. I partially tore my calf just over a year ago and thought that my basketball career was over. People told me I was getting too old for basketball. But I recovered and returned. If Kareem could be so productive at such a high level into his 40’s, I could at least run up and down a court playing some pick up games.
While my quickness is gone, I still love the game and enjoy running around and occasionally making some plays. I’d like to relate this parable of the old basketball player to the Onewheel.
Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.
A year ago after I got injured, I was told I was too old for basketball. But I came back and now each week I look forward to playing basketball with the guys.
If you are wondering if you are too old for the Onewheel, the answer is an emphatic NO! While the Onewheel may not be for everyone, age should not be the main reason why you decide not to try a Onewheel.
Some have called the Onewheel a midlife crisis toy. There is probably a lot of truth in that. Because of the cost, the Onewheel is out of reach for most young people. I know I definitely couldn’t afford a Onewheel in my twenties and early thirties, let alone when I was a kid. Even if the Onewheel is a toy for men going through a midlife crisis, I know of many much worse or expensive ways to cope with a midlife crisis.
If anything, feeling like you are getting old should be a big reason why you should be riding a Onewheel. Seriously, riding the Onewheel makes me feel young again and I often find myself with a big grin on my face as I ride because I’m having so much fun.
“Today is the oldest you’ve ever been, and the youngest you’ll ever be again.”
― Eleanor Roosevelt
As long as you respect and understand your skills and the board, you should have a long Onewheel career, no matter what age you start. I know and see many Onewheel riders that are in their 40’s, 50’s, and even in their 60’s. It’s a great way to go out and explore.
Just like many others who find themselves on the golf course in their later years, if you find me on the golf course, I’ll probably be on my Onewheel.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”
— Abraham Lincoln?
Age should not be a barrier. As I grow balder and fatter I plan on riding my Onewheel for a long long time, even if I need to gear up with helmet, wrist guards, and some Depends adult diapers.
What do you think about growing old? I’d love to see your thoughts in the comments. If you are a younger Onewheeler, what do you think about us old guys crashing the Onewheel scene? If you are an older Onewheeler, how has the Onewheel changed your life?
For a list of my favorite safety gear minus the Depends adult diapers, check out this safety gear article I wrote.