Onewheel riding tips (Beginners Guide)

If you have the possibility to test the board out before buying the person in the shop will most likely give you some good starter advice and initial training. It’s not uncommon to think “what have I done” after the first 30 minutes of trying to ride the board on your own.

”I spent $2000 on something I don’t know how to ride and may never do.”

If you are feeling like the statement above or just want some beginner advice, here are some tips for how to learn to control the board. You will get there!

The main advice anyone will give you is, Just keep riding. Take it easy, you will get a feel for the board. Make sure to wear safety gear just in case, here is my list and what I use on a daily basis. Especially if you’re going to be trying something new, it can be riding a switch, doing curb drops/jumps or just stepping on your board. The more you ride, the better you’ll get.

Are you riding as a Regular or Goofy (Which foot goes where?)

The first thing before stepping onto a Onewheel, or any board, is to work out which foot do you want to have at the front, leading foot. If you have tried any of the board sports before then you will probably already know which one is your preferred.

If you don’t the then the simplest way to do this is to stand facing forwards with both your feet slightly apart and ask a friend to gently push you from behind. If you naturally put your left foot forward first then you are a “regular foot” and will ride with your left foot at the front of the Onewheel. And if you naturally put your right foot forward first then you’re “goofy” and will ride with your right foot at the front.

Regular or Goofy
Riding Regular or Goofy

If you feel that it doesn’t quite feel right and you can try it the other way round. It’s not uncommon to ride the Onewheel switched comapred to your snowboard. There is plenty of people riding either regular/goofy on other boards but switching when riding the Onewheel.

Mounting the Onewheel (Getting onto the board)

It’s recommended to have a friend with you the first couple of times you try to step onto your Onewheel. Your friend can hold your hands to help you with the balance, alternatively, find a light post or similar that you can hold to gain stability.

DONT do this inside or at a parking lot with cars around, it’s not uncommon when learning that the board can be launched away, damaging your furniture, wall or cars nearby.

  1. Place the Onewheel on the ground with the back pad touching the ground
  2. Put your back foot firmly onto the back pad and put your front foot onto the front pad, keeping more weight on the back foot to keep the board on the ground
  3. Slightly shift your weight onto the front foot by applying some pressure and use the momentum of your body to make the board balance.
  4. Your weight and centre of gravity should always stay centred over the wheel.

Bailout from the board (Jump)

The first thing to learn after mounting the board is how to bail out with a jump. Yes, the board will get scratched, and that’s why you should already have protective accessories on it. I recommend floatplates and sidekicks/protective film for the rails. Here is my list of third-party companies having accessories and shops in both in USA and Europe.

  1. Be mounted on the board with your weight centred above the wheel
  2. Jump up and land with your foots, one on each side of the board. (don’t jump forward or backwards, doing this will risk you hitting the board on your way down and trip)
onehweel-jump-off

Practise bailout jump at least 10 times or until you fell confitable in doing this. Any time you will unsertant if you will be able to handle your board, its starting to wobble or something else happend, JUMP off. You will be jumping of your board muliplie times duing the learning process.

Starting off and braking with a Onewheel

Once you can mount and balance on the board it’s time for the next step. Turn your head to look in the direction you want to travel. Don’t lean forward to accelerate, just push down your leading foot and you will feel the board respond forward.

If you lean forward you will shift your weight away from the center of the motor, the effect will be that the board will accelerate quickly but also increase the strain on the motor. Not only will it be harder to gain control, you are risking to overpower the motor and nosedive.

The idea is to shift minimal weight forward and press down, this can be done with rotating your hips fowards the driection you are going. The main part of you body shall still be over the wheel.

To slow down and brake, you simply do the reverse and push the board back on the rear pad. The board will respond and slow down and stop. Shifting your weight centrally over the board again will keep it balanced else you will start moving in the other direction (for Pint owners, if a simple stop is not activated).

Don’t lock your knees as this will make it harder to absorb bumps and keep your balance, the knees are the shock absorber. We are not talking about doing squats, but keep them bent and fluid.

Turning the Onewheel

The Onewheel works by using your toes and heels to control the direction of the board. It’s just like turning in other boardsports.

If you’re a “regular” foot rider then putting more weight on your toes will make the board turn right and subsequently putting more weight on your heels will turn the board to the left. This is going to be the reverse if you are a “goofy” foot.

Practice turning by applying more or less weight and seeing what happens with the board. And the more you practice, the more you will be able to start to carve the board.

Dismounting a Onewheel

To dismount from the board without simple-stop

  1. Come to a standstill with your weight above the wheel or slightly on your back foot.
  2. Lift the heel of your front foot up from the sensor, the board will turn off and fall down on the back
  3. Step off the board.

To dismount from the board simple-stop enabled (Onewheel Pint)

  1. Come to a standstill with your weight above the wheel or slightly on your back foot.
  2. Slowly go backwards, the board will turn off and fall down on your backfoot.
  3. Step off the board.

Gain stability by lowering the pressure in the tire.

As a beginner to gain more stability it’s recommended to lower the pressure inside the tire a bit below the normally recommended value. The pressure coming from the manufacturer is varying so it’s important to check it. If you are uncertain about the optimal tire pressure depending on your weight check out my Onewheel tire pressure Calculator. You can get the result in both nonmetric and metric units.

Onewheel tire pressure

Dont ride at low battery

The Onehweel will like any motor lose power, the power that can keep you balanced when the battery is running low. It’s therefore recommended to not stress the motor and run at a low battery percentage before you are having the correct posture.

The community and expert riders are recommending not running below 20%, there have been many instances where new riders have nosedived at low battery levels. It could have been a bump, weight shift or something else putting the board over the line.

Onewheel training and practice

Bailout practise:

Learn to bail by jumping off with two feet as described above. It will make you much more comfortable knowing that you can easily jump off. Practise this during the first minutes every time you head out for a ride during your first couple of times or until you are comfortable with your board.

Dismount practice:

Stand on the ground with your feet riding-width apart. Now put most of your weight on what would be your board-front foot. Now lift that heel without shifting your weight. It’s harder than it sounds, and that’s why dismounting via heel lift can be difficult. Gotta keep your weight balanced or the board will roll away. I’d suggest ending every early ride with 5 proper dismounts in a row so you really get the hang of it.

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