How Does A Onewheel Board Work?

How Does A OneWheel Board Work? OneWheel boards are a type of electric skateboard that has become increasingly popular in recent years. They are unique in that they have only one wheel in the center of the board, as opposed to the two wheels found on traditional skateboards.

Despite their unconventional design, OneWheel boards offer a fun and fast experience. But, how does a OneWheel board work? The key to riding one of these boards safely is to understand how they operate.

Each part of a OneWheel board is thoughtfully assembled by hand and is just as important as the next; working together to create the distinctive experience that is riding a OneWheel. Every mechanical part is critical to how the board rides and performs.

What Makes A Onewheel Board?

There are a few different types of Future Motion’s OneWheel boards on the market; the OneWheel+ XR, OneWheel Pint, OneWheel Pint X, and OneWheel GT. While the various models have some slight differences, the basic operating principles are the same.

So, how does a OneWheel board work? On the surface, a OneWheel board is controlled when the rider shifts their weight, but each internal component of the OneWheel board has its very own job to do. Without carefully made internal workings, the board would not function as it does.

Wheel- Air-filled and large, measuring 11.5 inches tall on the XR+ model, this wheel allows for riding on a variety of terrain without the rider feeling much impact.

The wheel is where the OneWheel’s hub is housed. This makes it more than the means to move, but an important part of how the OneWheel works. On the newer GT model the tire has a tread, providing more grip for those who ride off road. 

Motor- The heart of the OneWheel board, the brushless hypercore hub motor. A hub motor differs from normal motors as the outside part of the motor rotates; this is what propels the OneWheel forward or backward.

This motor aims to create the smoothest, quietest ride possible, on a variety of terrain; this is possible due to the patented hypercore technology, which sets it apart from standard motors.

Control board- If the motor is the heart of a onewheel, the control board is the brain. This links all the various parts of the board together to work as one. This alone could be the answer to ‘how does a OneWheel board work?’

Board- Where the rider places their feet might not look like much, but it is a very important component. Composed of maple wood and billet 6061 aluminum, the board has a generous rider weight allowance of up to 275lb.

The board is also where the footpad sensors are, and without these, the board would not be able to move. Some OneWheel boards also feature strip LED lights, which not only look great but are also an important safety feature if riding at night.

Charging port- Where the supplied charger is plugged in to recharge the battery.

Power button- One single button which is used to power the board on and off.

Battery- The lithium phosphate battery is what powers the entire board. The voltage of the battery and recharge time is dependent on the model of the board.

The battery determines how far the OneWheel can go before needing to be recharged. OneWheel boards also have a very clever function where the battery recharges itself as you go downhill; handy if you find your battery levels running low.

Gyroscope- The rate gyroscope measures the changing angles of the board as you ride. The gyroscope is what controls the self-balancing element and also works with the motor to change directions.

Sensors- There are several sensors in a OneWheel board. The Accelerometer measures how fast you are going and the Hall Effect Sensor is used for a variety of things, such as working with the gyroscope to measure the angle of the board.

Footpads- Positioned where your feet go, they are split into two and send signals to the motor when someone is on the OneWheel. They also sense when the rider wants to change direction.

How Do You Ride A Onewheel Board?

We now know what parts form together to create this interesting board, but how does a OneWheel board work, and how do you ride it?

Practice is key when it comes to riding a OneWheel. Once you understand the basic principles, as outlined below, be sure to practice to ensure a safer riding experience.

  1. Position the board in the ‘ready to ride position’, with one end touching the floor and the other pointing up.
  2. Ensure you are wearing the correct safety gear.
  3. Press the power button to turn on the OneWheel board.
  4. Place one foot firmly on the end of the board touching the floor, then put your other foot on the higher end. Make sure your feet are flat with toes and heels touching the board.
  5. The lightbar on the board will turn blue showing the footpads are engaged.
  6. Focus your weight over the wheel and level the board so it is parallel with the floor. The self-balancing function should now start.

Your board is now ready to ride, and you no longer wonder ‘how does a OneWheel board work?’ But, how do you make it move?

Moving Forwards and Backwards

You move the board by shifting your weight in the direction you wish to go. To move your OneWheel board forwards, lean forwards towards the front of the board. To move backwards, lean backwards towards the back of the board.

To go faster, you lean even further forward or back. A OneWheel board can be very sensitive to movement, so be sure not to lean too deeply in any direction to prevent the board from going too fast or upturning.

To slow the board, slowly release the pressure from whichever foot is controlling the direction you are riding.

Turning Left and Right

Depending on which direction you want to go, you will move your weight into either your toes or heels. As you are standing facing sideways, rather than forward facing, you use your toes or heels to turn left and right.

Stopping and Dismounting

To stop you need to slow your OneWheel by reducing the pressure on either the front or back of the board, depending on if you are going forwards or backwards, until the board stops.

If your board has the Simplestop function enabled, you can slow your board and lean back. This will engage the Simplestop function and allow you to step off the board.

If your board does not have Simplestop or it is switched off, stop your board and lift your heel off the footpad at the front of the board; the foot that was controlling the forward motion while riding. Once you have stopped and have lifted your heel from the board, you can step off.

Never remove one foot from your OneWheel board if you have not stopped and disengaged the front footpad, or engaged Simplestop.

Taking one foot off the board without doing the above can cause a serious incident. If you ever find yourself needing to dismount quickly, jump off, ensuring both feet are removed at the same time.

How Does A OneWheel Board Work?

So there we have it, no longer just a fun-looking transportation device, but a very well thought-out, and intricately designed piece of tech. The next time you step onto your OneWheel board, you will be able to truly appreciate all the parts that power your riding experience.

Not only do you now know the workings of a OneWheel board, but also how you control it to move. Controlled by you, the rider, this board provides an exhilarating experience for anyone willing to try it.

Surely after reading this article, you no longer need to ask ‘how does a OneWheel board work?’ Have you ever tried riding a OneWheel board? How did your first experience go? Do you have any tips for riding your OneWheel? Please let us know in the comments below!

Ride Hard, Ride Safe

Graham and The Board Sports Team

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