June 23, 2017

Onewheel Skateboard Replaces Hoverboard in Weird Toy Category


There are some really weird products out there. But if you think that toys like the trendy “hoverboard” are as weird as it gets — you’re wrong. A new toy item that has recently hit the shelves is adding a whole new level of weird to the boardsport category.

Onewheel Skateboard, Weird Or Trendy?

Onewheel is a skateboard-type item. But as the name suggests –- there’s only one wheel. It’s a rather large wheel that sits at the very center of the board and even comes up above the board itself in the middle. It uses inertial sensors and a hub motor to balance the board around the one wheel in the center. And like hoverboards, it’s completely handsfree.

However, unlike hoverboards, you ride it facing sideways the way you would a skateboard. So, you just lean forward if you want the board to move forward. You move back if you want the board to stop. And you press with your heels or toes if you want the board to turn.



There’s also a mobile app, available for both Android and iPhone, which you can use to monitor your Onewheel and even customize parts of the handling experience to really fit with your particular riding style. For example, you can set your Onewheel to Extreme mode if you want to go a little faster. It also has LED lighting controls and battery status updates.

The Onewheel skateboard certainly seems to fit into the growing category of weird products. And while being weird can definitely help a business grab a customer’s attention, it’s not necessarily a recipe for success on its own. There have been plenty of weird products that have succeeded, and even more that have failed.

In recent years, these weird products and services have included everything from potato greeting cards to eye massages. But one of the major factors that can separate the weird successes from the rest is whether these weird products also provide something that people can actually use. For example, the idea of an eye massage sounds strange, but it’s a thing that some people actually find to be useful or even necessary.

On the other hand, you have weird products that provide value simply in the form of novelty, like potato greeting cards. Sure, you can send regular old paper greeting cards. But where’s the fun in that? However, there’s a limit to how much people will pay just for that novelty.

And since Onewheel retails for $1,499, it’s likely that this product will need some broader appeal in order to succeed. In addition, the product has to compete with the growing popularity of hoverboards, as well as competing with cheaper products that do essentially the same things, like the regular old skateboard.

It’s still too early to say whether the Onewheel skateboard will be a big hit. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if it was, given the growing popularity of weird products and high-tech versions of classic items. But it has plenty of competition and other obstacles to overcome.

So what do you think? Is Onewheel here to stay or just a passing fad?

Image: Onewheel

6 Comments ▼
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Annie Pilon - Staff Writer


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found on her personal blog Wattlebird, and exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

6 Reactions

  1. Aira Bongco

    Is that even stable or does that require a bit of balance. It definitely fits the category.

  2. OneWheel is awesome. I commute to work on it 2 days a week now. It’s basically snowboarding or surfing but on asphalt, and it doesn’t care if you are going uphill or downhill.

  3. You do need balance to ride these. It is not just a free ride, you actually need to be somewhat athletic to ride a OneWheel. Once you get the hang of it, they are really fun and sporty. As you can see in the videos, you can get pretty ‘extreme’ if you want. Switch back and forth and turn with little effort. When I tried one, it almost felt like my mind was controlling the direction. The big tire helps you go a lot more places than a traditional ‘hoverboard’ or skateboard will ever take you. I cannot wait to get mine!

  4. The Onewheel is not for everyone. It is very much a board sport that requires balance, skill and a love of adrenaline. That being said, I have one and I absolutely love it. It is worth every penny because it gives me with the feel of snowboarding on land and, unlike most hoverboards, it goes off-road. It’s also a fun and ‘green’ way of commuting to work

  5. I certainly don’t know if the one wheel skateboard will ever fully replace the hoverboard because remember they are in wildly different price ranges. You can’t compare a 300 dollar electronics board to a 1,000 dollar off road skateboard. They’re basically different items in a similar industry. It’s pretty awesome to see so many new boards come out though in the last two years. It seems like the for last 15 years it just Segways which are whatever and none of my friends have them. Now hoverboards came out and I personally own a Glidecraft hoverboard and a Swagway and they’re cool. I ride them in the house or outside but the one wheel skateboard here written in this article is too expensive. Over a thousand dollars is pretty crazy to spend on a board…

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