Onewheel beginner guide – the basics

New to Onewheel? Well here are the things you need to know to get going. I’ve enjoyed teaching over 150 people to ride since the Onewheel first came out. I’ve written the process out here. So whether you’re learning to ride, or want to teach others, here’s my process. Enjoy the basics.

It takes, on average, about two minutes to get balanced, about 2 hours to get comfortable and about two weeks before you start doing stupid shit. (NB if you’ve been riding all kinds of boards and doing extreme sports this may not apply to you fully, but you may still get something from it)

A piece of advice first: do read the manual that comes with the board, it really helps when starting out. When I got my first board the manual only had two pages and I did not even read that. I was out on the road speeding along day one and I flew off the board and rolled into traffic. I learned two things that day: 1) to respect the board and 2) how the bumper of a BMW smells. Don’t be me. Here’s what you need to know.

Three steps to floating

1 Onewheel: Standing up

Get some support from another person or a wall when first standing up.

Turn on the board, using the button on the left side.

Place your back foot on the Onewheel first. Then place your front foot making sure to cross the whole pad. The front pad has a sensor which lets the board know you‘re on it. The ball and heel of your foot need to be on either side of the dividing line (if you have a second-hand board it may have new griptape with no dividing line that would usually run down the centre from front to back).

Once placed, push down on your front foot until the board balances. If it does not, you may have turned the board on when it was not level. Turn it off and then back on. You can put your hand under the front of the board to see the lights on your hand to check it’s on.

Once you balance the board ought to feel like you’re floating. Stand there for a minute just to get used to it, holding on to your support.

2 Onewheel: First ride

Don’t lean forward. Don’t look at your feet. Look up at where you want to go. The Onewheel will gently move forward. To go faster gently push down on your front foot. To slow down take the weight off your front foot. Do  not lean. If you have someone with you, continue to hold on to their arm for support for the first few minutes.

To go the other way, look the other way and push down on your back foot.

Do this for at least a couple minutes, back and forth.

3 Onewheel: Turn, turn, turn

When you’re comfortable with the back and forth. Try a turn.

First, while stopped, push your toes down and watch the board lean to the side. Now tip your heels back and feel the board lean the other way. Do this a few times and get used to how this feels. Hold on to your support person if you need to.

Now start to move forward. Push your toes down GENTLY and feel the turn. Keep turning into a loop. Straighten up, go forward and then do another loop. Do this a few times. Now try the same with your heels leaning back. Do this a few times. It feels awkward at first but over time you will be able to turn on a 50cm (2 feet) circle.

Once comfortable, bring it all together and ride in a figure 8. This practices straights and both turns. Then go backwards and do the same thing.

Bonus – Onewheel: dismount

Three ways to dismount:

  1. raise your heel on your front foot off the sensor
  2. raise the ball of your foot off the front sensor
  3. jump and twist with one foot on either side of the Onewheel

That’s it. You have the basics!

Quick tips

  • Wear a helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards
  • Wear flat shoes
  • Keep your body centred over the wheel at all times
  • Practice falling and rolling on grass

Here’s a basics video from Future Motion

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