New tech brings new toys. Nearly two decades after the self-balancing miracle ushered in by Dean Kamen of Segway in 2001, the promise of a future which includes personal people movers is now becoming available to the masses.
Though several form factors for the self-balancing wheel are popular, One Wheel rates the highest on ease to ride, fun, and range. Originally launched as a Kickstarter project from founder Kyle Doerksen of Santa Cruz, California, One Wheel beat their funding goal six times over and became a reality.
One Wheel’s closest analog equivalent is the skateboard – you ride both with the same stance and feet position. But rather than four independent wheels, One Wheel’s name describes itself: There’s just one 11-inch wide powered wheel in the center of the board. One Wheel’s deck contains a wheel with an internal motor, a brain, and batteries wrapped in an exterior steel frame.
Hands down the best thing about One Wheel is riding it. It’s charm is that it’s very easy to ride. Step on, lean forward to go ahead, and lean back to slow, brake, stop, or reverse direction. To turn, carve as you would a skateboard, surfboard, or snowboard. One Wheel offers a super smooth ride so carving turns on grass, pavement, or trails is the fun sensation so many have been hoping would come to dry land.
But be aware: Safety is still a huge deal with these electric wheels. Take your time learning to ride. Learn with full pads, helmet, and wrist guards. Practice on large open grassy areas until you are confident with control. Be safe and have fun rolling into new adventures this summer!
Rent the One Wheel:
One Wheel Hawai‘i
1794 S Kihei Rd.
Purchase the One Wheel:
Adventure Sports Maui
400 Hana Hwy, Kahului
The Man Cave
1933 S Kihei Rd. #18
Cover design by Darris Hurst
Photos by Sean M Hower