Despite the Onewheel being popular with people who have skated, snowboarded or surfed, they are easy to learn to ride with a fast learning curve, making them popular with everyone, regardless of your previous riding experience. In this guide we cover some of the basic tips to make riding your Onewheel as fun as it should be.
Which foot goes where?
The first thing to work out when you start to ride the Onewheel is which foot do you want to have at the front and at the back. If you have tried any of the board sports mentioned above before then you will probably already know which one is your preferred, but if not 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 out your right foot forward first then you’re ‘goofy’ and will ride with your right foot at the front.
You can sense check this when you first get onto the Onewheel and start to ride it – you will soon feel that it doesn’t quite feel right and you can try it the other way round to confirm.
Getting onto the Onewheel
For the first couple of times you try the Onewheel you might prefer to have a friend to hold your hands to steady you or alternatively find a wall or similar that you can hold.
- Place the Onewheel on the ground with the back deck pad touching the ground
- 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
- Slightly shift your weight onto the front foot by applying some pressure and use the momentum of your body to make the board balance
- Keep your weight centered over the wheel and you will feel the board respond when you either put more weight gently on the front or back pad
Starting off and braking
Once you are up and level on the board, then turn your head to look in the direction you want to travel and lean forward to accelerate. Remember not to lean too far forward at first, otherwise you will accelerate away quickly and might find it harder to gain control.
To slow down and brake, you simply lean back on the rear pad and the board will slow and stop. Shifting your weight centrally over the board again will keep it balanced.
Turning the board
Like other boardsports, turning the Onewheel works by using the toes and heels of your feet.
If you’re a regular foot rider (with your left foot at the front) 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’ (right foot at the front).
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.
Remember to keep your weight on your front foot too in order to keep you driving forwards.
To dismount from the board:
- Put more weight on the back pad until the board touches the ground
- Lift the heel of your front foot away from the board and then step off the board with your front foot first
- Follow this with your back foot and place this on the ground
Watch this video from Onewheel which gives you some great advice in just 60 seconds!
In a future guide we will cover some more advanced Onewheel tricks and riding tips.