What Is A Onewheel Nosedive?

onewheel nosedive on sidewalk

Onewheel boards can be a ton of fun. With a bit of practice, you can easily zip around on them and do all sorts of awesome tricks. But, there’s one trick you definitely don’t want to do: the nosedive. Nosedives are serious business and can cause serious injury to you and your board.

If you aren’t familiar with the infamous Onewheel nosedive, a quick look on forums for Onewheel riders like the Onewheel subreddit will show you that it’s a pretty big deal. Riders, no matter their ability, can fall victim to the Onewheel nosedive accidents that comes with their beloved boards.

Some Onewheelers feel the risk isn’t worth the thrill of the ride, whereas other riders believe the nosedive is an unfortunate situation that can be managed. No matter your stance on nosedives, it’s important to be aware of the dangers of a nosedive and the steps you can take to help avoid becoming the latest Onewheel nosedive victim.

What Is A Onewheel Nosedive?

A nosedive on a Onewheel is an incident where the front of the board, ‘the nose’, makes contact with the floor while in motion, halting the board from moving forward. A Onewheel nosedive is a particularly big issue as they usually happen while you are riding your board. 

When the Onewheel comes to a complete stop mid-ride, you are thrown forward, commonly resulting in injury.

When a Onewheel stops movement and a nosedive occurs, it is usually due to the limitation of the motor power being limited for a certain reason. While some nosedives are unavoidable, knowing how you can best avoid user-generated accidents should be high on your priority list as a rider.

Why Does A Onewheel Nosedive Happen?

There are a number of reasons a Onewheel nosedive can occur while you are riding. Here we will look at the most common causes of a nosedive.

User Generated

There are a whole host of things that a rider can do to cause an accident on their Onewheel, including a nosedive. When you get on your Onewheel device, no matter how many times you have taken it for a ride, there are always things you should keep in mind to avoid potential Onewheel nosedives:

onewheel board by road
  • New riders not practicing enough before going out on your Onewheel.
  • Leaning too far forward instead of balancing in the middle of the board while trying to go faster can cause the nose of the Onewheel board to bite the ground, resulting in a Onewheel nosedive.
  • Trying to go uphill at high speeds can cause the front of your board to hit the ground.
  • Ensure you are complying with the rider weight allowances for your Onewheel. Too much weight can put pressure on the motor causing it to limit the power and result in a nosedive.
  • Hitting an object on the ground can cause your board to stop abruptly. Always be aware of your surroundings and be careful when riding off-road.
  • Leaning too far forward in general, whether you mean to or not, can cause a nosedive.

Battery Power

There are two circumstances regarding battery power that can result in a Onewheel nosedive. The first being probably the most obvious, riding with a low battery percentage. If you decide to go for a spin on your Onewheel without charging a suitable amount, you run the risk of the board powering down mid-ride when the battery level becomes too low.

On the flip side, charging your battery to more than 90% before riding can also be dangerous. Onewheel’s feature regenerative braking, where the battery recharges itself as it goes downhill. If you ride downhill on a full charge, then your board can shut off power to avoid overcharging the battery, which is good news for battery longevity but not so much for you as the rider.

You can easily check the battery level of your board before riding by either checking the Onewheel app or the light bar on the front foot pad, if your board has it, which indicates the battery power.

Ignoring Pushback

Onewheels have a safety feature named ‘pushback’ which warns the rider when they are reaching the limits of their board. Pushback can be activated by a number of things, such as low battery power and reaching the maximum speed limit while riding.

You know when pushback is occurring as the front of your Onewheel will rise slightly, notifying you to slow down and stop riding. Ignoring this safety function is one of the most common reasons for a Onewheel nosedive as if you push through the feeling of pushback, you run the risk of the board shutting down due to the stress it is under and having an almighty Onewheel nosedive.


onewheel board and helmet

So, we have looked at some reasons why a Onewheel nosedive can happen. For the most part, we can avoid these situations, but what about when a nosedive happens without clear reason? When this happens, it is more than likely a malfunction within the board, and yes, it can happen.

There have been a number of riders who claim their boards stopped without warning, causing a Onewheel nosedive. Nosedives are never fun, even when you have some sort of prior warning, but when they happen out of the blue, they can and have been fatal.

If you ever experience your Onewheel malfunctioning in any way, including the motor powering down while riding, you must contact the support team at Future Motion. Here they should ask you to send them a full diagnostic of your board, and you may need to send it in for repairs of potential defects.

How Can You Prevent A Onewheel Nosedive?

Riding any form of transportation device such as bikes, skateboards, and a Onewheel, can come with certain risks. There are times when these risks can be lessened or outright prevented, but then there are scenarios that are completely out of our hands.

For the times when you can prevent a Onewheel nosedive, there are certain things you can do.

Avoid Top Speed

The faster you go, the more chance you have of taking a spill on your Onewheel. It is important to be aware of your surroundings when riding and to not push your board to its highest speed limits, especially on rougher terrains. Avoiding riding too fast will also help prevent extra stress being put on the motor and will avoid pushback being activated.

Respect The Pushback Function

The pushback function is there for a reason. It is not there to annoy you or ruin your ride but instead to keep you safe. If you are riding and pushback is activated, it is important to listen to the warnings your board is giving you, slow down and stop riding if needed.

Practice, Then Practice Some More

If you are new to riding a Onewheel, it is important that you take the time to practice in a safe area, like a flat surface. Once you have the hang of the rider stance and understand how your board works and feels, then you can start to venture out into the world.

Don’t Mess With The App Settings

The Onewheel app gives you a lot of control over how your board rides. It is tempting to change the various degrees of settings to make your board go faster or to make the ride smoother, but it is important to remember that changing these settings without clear knowledge of how they will affect your Onewheel can be seriously dangerous and cause severe injuries.

Do Not Quickly Accelerate And Keep Your Weight Over The Wheel

To accelerate on a Onewheel, you must lean forward to engage the front sensor on the front pad. If you lean too far forward too quickly, your board can easily either overturn or have the nose of the board hit the ground, stopping movement. This is the easiest way to cause a Onewheel nosedive and can be easily avoided by centering your weight over the wheel instead. 

Check Battery Levels

As we mentioned earlier, both under and overcharging your battery can result in a Onewheel nosedive. Checking your battery levels before and during long rides is crucial to ensure a smooth ride, free from a nosedive.

riding a onewheel on sand

Be Wary Of Wet Surfaces

The internal workings of a Onewheel don’t like wet surfaces due to not being waterproof. It is best to avoid riding in the rain or on wet surfaces to avoid the risk of your board short-circuiting or sliding on the slick terrain, causing serious accidents.

Wear Safety Equipment

While this won’t prevent a Onewheel nosedive from happening, protective gear can help reduce the severity of injuries if you do take a spill. Wearing appropriate safety gear when riding your Onewheel should be standard procedure, and if you do happen to have an accident, it could be the difference between a few scrapes or life-threatening injuries.

So, Can You Avoid A Onewheel Nosedive?

As we have discussed, even with normal use, you can’t always completely avoid a Onewheel nosedive. But luckily, there are precautions you can take to lessen the chances. Following these tips will help you to avoid situations where a nosedive might occur and keep you safe on your Onewheel adventures.

Hopefully, the fear of a Onewheel nosedive doesn’t completely put you off riding one of these amazing boards. They are great fun, and with a little bit of practice, you’ll be riding around on your Onewheel in no time. So, have you ever had a Onewheel nosedive? Is there anything you do to prevent a possible accident? Let us know in the comments below!

Ride Hard, Ride Safe

Graham and The Board Sports Team

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