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Onewheel Review

The Onewheel.
Top Pick Award
Price:   $1,300 List
Pros:  Handles steep hills, drives over everything, fast charge time
Cons:  Heavy, reduced range
Bottom line:  The most fun board to ride around, once you get the hang of it
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Onewheel

Our Verdict

Our Verdict: An immediate standout when it came to appearance, the Onewheel took home our Top Pick for Most Fun award with its innovative riding style and its unsurpassed terrain handling ability. This board might not be the most practical as a daily commuter, but it can be the perfect addition to a day at the beach or playing around in a field. This model is plenty fast, has a decent range, and charges quickly, all combining to make this board an endless source of fun.

The soon to be released Onewheel+.
Looking to Up Your Onewheel Game?
The Onewheel+ is now available for preorder. This model has a claimed faster top speed and a shorter recharge time, as well as a few other upgrades. We look forward to seeing what this new board can do!


RELATED REVIEW: The 10 Best Electric Skateboards of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Friday
February 10, 2017

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Looking to make a statement by your choice of electric skateboard? Look no further than the Onewheel. This board powers up hills and over most terrain. It's comfortable to ride — once you get the hang of it — and has a sturdy build with solid brakes. It's got the fastest charge time of the bunch, and is a sure way to turn heads around town.

Performance Comparison


While not one of the overall top scorers, the Onewheel still did very well. You can see how it stacked up with the other products in the chart below, with scores from 0-100.


We put these products through an exhaustive battery of tests, spread across 6 weighted metrics. The details of the Onewheel's performance, as well as how it compared to the competition in each metric are in the sections below.

The Onewheel netted an award for being the most fun to ride.
The Onewheel netted an award for being the most fun to ride.

Speed


Speed was the most important metric that we looked at, contributing 25% to the overall score. The Onewheel wasn't the fastest board that we looked at, as you can see in the chart below.


This board did do well enough to merit a 5 out of 10 for this metric, boosted up by its snappy acceleration. It was the third fastest overall in our acceleration test, only being beaten out by the Evolve GT and Boosted Dual+. We tested both the top speed and acceleration of the board in similar ways, by timing the board on a test course. For the top speed test, we allowed plenty of runway for the board to hit its top speed before entering the course, and for the acceleration test, the board was started stationary. This model reliably hit about 13.5 mph in our top speed tests, and potentially exceeded this speed in small spurts, but it was almost impossible to maintain that increased speed consistently. While this model didn't quite go as fast as some of the other boards, but it actually felt almost as fast as some of the fastest boards, due to the unique nature of the Onewheel.

range


The Onewheel did about average when it came to range, earning a 5 out of 10. We evaluated how long it took to charge, as well as how far the board could go on a full charge on flat ground. You can see how far the Onewheel traveled, as well as how it compared to the other boards in the chart below.


This model averaged about 9.3 mph in our test, running for 50 minutes before it died. We did appreciated that this board kept its speed up until the very end of the test, rather than falling off. It was the charging test where the Onewheel truly shined, taking a meager 35 minutes to completely charge, the fastest of the group.

It felt like you were going much faster than you actually were on the Onewheel.
It felt like you were going much faster than you actually were on the Onewheel.

ride


Ride is a category where the Onewheel truly shines among the competition, as you can see in the chart below.


This model tied for the top position in this metric, with the Evolve GT and the Boosted Dual+, all earning a 7 out of 10. This board drives over most terrain without noticing, and is so much fun to ride that we were drawn to it over and over again. This board is about average in terms of comfort, as it's nice to ride, but your foot will get fatigued quickly. As this board can handle sand and snow, it was unsurprising that we barely noticed when we traveled over rough, bumpy sections of pavement or decently sized cracks in the road.

The video below gives an idea of the type of terrain the Onewheel can handle



Hills


The Onewheel did exceptionally well in our hill test, just narrowly getting edged out of the top spot by the Evolve GT. You can see how the rest of the boards stacked up against the Onewheel in the graphic below.


This board thoroughly deserved its 8 out of 10 in this metric, tying for the runner-up position with the Boosted Board Dual+. The Onewheel easily made it up a 15% grade, but did falter on our 23% test slope. This aligns well with the manufacturer's claim of a 20% hill grade being the maximum possible to climb. We did have to shift the board into "Elevated" mode for this test, as "Extreme" mode wasn't keeping the nose of the board high enough.

The awkwardness of carrying the Onewheel.
The awkwardness of carrying the Onewheel.

Build


For this metric, we checked how difficult it was to adjust settings on the board, how responsive it felt, whether or not regenerative braking was present, and how heavy the board was. We also included how helpful customer support was in answering our questions, and how quickly we received responses.

This board was still not terrible to carry  but definitely worse than the other boards.
This board was still not terrible to carry, but definitely worse than the other boards.

This board weighed in at 24.5 lbs, a little on the heavy side and awkward to carry when compared to the other boards, as you can see in the chart below.


This board lacks a remote, as it is controlled by your body leaning, but does have a mobile app that allows you to easily change between riding modes. The board is very responsive to your body's inputs, and does have regenerative braking. There is both an email and phone number to reach the manufacturer, and a warranty policy listed in the Owner's Manual. Unfortunately, there is no return policy. We did find the support to be very helpful, as we did have to send in a malfunctioning model to be replaced.

Braking


The final metric, though definitely not one to be overlooked is braking. We compared the performance of these products in two categories: controlled hill descent, and necessary stopping distance on flat ground. You can see how all the boards stacked up in the chart below.


This model did great at controlling our speed on all but the steepest descents, but we wouldn't really feel that comfortable taking on anything steeper than 20% grade, up or down. You simply lean back to slow the board down, though this is made a lot easier by the fact that the Onewheel doesn't really coast at all when compared to the standard skateboard style models. This means that this model also stops very quickly on flat ground, the shortest of the group as you can see in the graphic below.


This test was conducted with an average build, adult male stopping the board when it was going about 12 mph.

Value


How can you put a price on fun? While the Onewheel isn't a value option by any means, it can provide endless hours of amusement — provided you can foot the bill.

Conclusion


The Onewheel is a phantasmagorically fun board to ride around that is sure to draw a crowd, wherever you take it. This board is a great bet for those that don't necessarily want to commute on it everyday, but for those that want to play frequently, or for those that want to take an electric skateboard on the gnarliest terrain. Sand, snow, bad pavement, grass, and dirt proved to be no match for the Onewheel, though we would potentially recommend getting a fender for it if you like keeping your clothes clean. Though this board has one of the higher retail prices, it does provide endless entertainment.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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Unbiased.