Standing on the fence and aren’t quite sure which between a hoverboard and a Onewheel to buy for personal enjoyment? This resource discusses all kinds of things you need to know about each of these electric personal transporters so that you can make an enlightened choice.
Hoverboard vs Electric Skateboard
Difference Between a Hoverboard And Onewheel
First off, both are weird boards that don’t hover at all. But there’s one key difference between a hoverboard and a Onewheel. A Hoverboard has two wheels and the rider stands between them while a Onewheel is just a board floating on one wheel that the user straddles while riding. Both devices rely on a self-balancing technology to stay balanced.
Even though many describe the Onewheel as a motorized skateboard on one wheel, it’s more like a hoverboard. In fact, a Onewheel is pretty much a hoverboard with one wheel rather than two. Another difference is that the Onewheel is way more expensive than a hoverboard, but the cost difference is worth it once you get the hang of it (riding a Onewheel).
Did You Say Onewheel? What’s a Onewheel?
A Onewheel is essentially a one-wheeled, motorized self-balancing skateboard. Think of it as a one wheeled-board that is a little harder to ride than a hoverboard but way more fun once you get the hang of it.
When on a Onewheel, every cyclist looks at you in a strange way and thinks you take illegal herbs for breakfast. Even though a Onewheel features only one wheel, it’s not too hard to master.
The best thing about owning a Onewheel is that you can ride this cool device on all kinds of terrain. You can have all kinds of onewheely fun in your backyard.
And if it begins getting boring (believe it won’t), take to the sidewalks, pavement, gravel, concrete, or grass and ride like the wind.
Or if you’re feeling a little adventurous, why not head out to the forest trails and show those sweaty-for-nothing trail mountain bikers what being a serious rider looks like.
And after you’ve explored every nook and cranny of your neighborhood on a Onewheel, pretend you’re a snowboarder and float down to some sandy beach for even more fun.
What’s a Hoverboard?
All of us watched Back to the Future movies, and we saw Marty McFly riding that floating board. About the only thing it didn’t do was work on water, right? That was a real hoverboard, expect that futuristic personal transporter exists only on TV and movies.
When they failed to make a real board that could float on air, they created a self-balancing scooter. But for some reason, they insist it’s still a hoverboard. We’re settling this debate once and for all: hoverboards don’t exist. It’s retarded to called these electric scooters balance boards.
But since everyone calls them hoverboards, that’s what I’ll call them here so everyone’s on the same page. Like a Onewheel, a hoverboard counts on a self-balancing technology to keep the rider standing up and safe. It uses gyroscopes on either side and a motherboard to communicate and process every instruction the rider gives it.
Riding a Onewheel Vs Riding a Hoverboard
To ride either of these devices, all you need to do is shift your weight around and use your toes and heels. When you forward, both boards move forward. And when you lean backward a little, the boards start rolling backward. Also, turning works the same way in both boards.
To turn on a Onewheel, simply lean into the turn with your entire body from the head to the toe. Once you start engaging with the turn, apply a little pressure on the board using either the toes or heels. As for turning on a hoverboard, lean into the turn with y0ur body and then push down the board using the toes.
Riding either board is relatively easy, and you should be pretty good at it in 3-4 weeks. But I did find getting used to a Onewheel a little more challenging compared to riding a hoverboard. But since the board balances itself, you soon learn that it’s not too hard.
Stand on your Onewheel or hoverboard on doorways for a couple of days. Get used to the feeling of standing on it. Learn being comfortable on each board while holding onto walls or posts or whatever. With time, you’ll develop the mental and body smarts needed to keep you on the board and not down on the pavement. It’s pretty much like learning to walk. Or to ride a bike.
Hoverboard vs Onewheel: Pay Attention to the Tires
The most important difference between a hoverboard and a Onewheel is that a Onewheel is a one-wheel contraption while a hoverboard is a two-wheel self-balancing board. The wheel on a Onewheel is similar to Go-Kart wheels, and this is why this board simply smiles when you ask it to transport to a destination. No matter how smooth, uneven, or bumpy the surface, a good Onewheel finds a way to overcome the difficulties the terrain in question represents.
All hoverboards come with two wheels, and to ride this board type, you have to stand on the wide foot platform that sits between the fenders. But this isn’t the way it is with a Onewheel.
With this unique personal fun device, you need to position your agile feet (yes you need to be nimble or…) on either side of the wheel. Either side of a Onewheel features a foot pad to step on, and that’s where they remain the entire duration of the ride.
Kids’ and teens’ hoverboards typically have 6.5″ wheels. These are the most common/popular hoverboards. And the wheels on these devices aren’t for riding outdoors. They’re for indoor rides on ride on smooth pavement. If you want to ride a hoverboard on rough or bumpy surfaces, then you need a special kind of board known as an off-road hoverboard. off-road hoverboards are for adults, and they come with 8.5″-10″ wheels.
How You Stand On a Onewheel vs the Stance on a Hoverboard
Another difference between a hoverboard and a Onewheel is how you stand on each device. One a regular hoverboard, you can drop a perpendicular line between your shoulders and feet. In other words, the width between your feet is the same as the distance as the distance across your shoulders.
On a Onewheel, the stance is somewhat different. Your feet are on either sides of the wheel, and each foot is planted perpendicularly to the wheel. You’re standing kind of like how Tony Hawk has always done on his skateboards. After all, the Onewheel is a kind of self-balancing skateboard.
Models and Options
Another difference between these two devices is the options available for sale. There’s tons of hoverboard manufacturers these days, and even though they make generic hoverboards that aren’t one iota different than all the others, there’s a semblance of variety.
There’s 6.5″ models, 8.0″ hoverboards, 8.5″ hoverboards, and 10″ hoverboards. Combine these versions with that you can get a custom skin for your hoverboard, and there’s endless opportunities to personalize your board and make it stand out from the rest.
Only 2 Onewheel Models Available
With Onewheels, you’re looking at only 2 models. You’re looking at the Onewheel XR and the Onewheel Pint. Onewheel used to make other two models, but the manufacturer has since discontinued these two. These earlier Onewheel models include the original Onewheel (V1 Onewheel) and the Onewheel Plus. While it seems like everyone’s Onewheel looks like everyone else’s, that’s not the case.
How so? Because there’s tons of companies today that are selling all kinds of parts and components in different colors and shapes to help customize your Onewheel. You can buy fenders, foot pads, bumpers, rail guards, float guards, and more in different colors and shapes to make your Onewheel different than others. With all the available hoverboard and Onewheel customization opportunities, you’ll always float around in style.
History of Hoverboards vs Onewheel
In 2015 when everyone and their granny talked about this new device that could revolutionize personal transportation (Segway), the hoverboard showed up. An innovative dude named Shane Chen registered a patent for the first-ever hoverboard in 2013.
Chen’s kickstarter campaign and multiple athlete and influencer endorsements shot the hoverboard to the early popularity it enjoyed. But this popularity soon started waning after a few nasty hoverboard explosions and millions of hoverboard recalls.
Amazon and many other places stopped selling hoverboards, but in 2022 it looks like everyone’s started promoting these cool devices again. I guess this hoverboard revival has something to do with the modern versions being UL2272-certified and therefore safer than their older counterparts.
One year after (2014) Chen gave us the hoverboard as we know it, another guy named Kyle Doerksen invented a whole new device that was even more fascinating than the hoverboard: the Onewheel. Doerksen had been working on this weird invention for the past 8 years. Like his contemporary, Chen, Doerksen launched a campaign that raised almost $700, 000 in a really short time to produce the first-ever Onewheel (V1).
From there, it seems more and more people are getting one of these devices for personal use or as a gift. And all restrictive hoverboard and Segway laws that prevent limit riding these devices on private property don’t seem to be slowing down this growing trend.
Cost: The Onewheel is a Hefty Investment Compared to a Hoverboard
Good hoverboards for adults cost anywhere between $200-$300 versus between $900-$1800. That’s a huge price difference between a hoverboard and a Onewheel. But is this massive cost difference justifiable? Look, it’s not always about the price.
Sometimes, it’s all about having a different kind of fun, the sort of fun you can only get from a unique product such as Onewheel. Many people are hesitant around forking out for an expensive Onewheel, but after they’ve ridden their board for sometime, they never ever want to give up the new addiction!
Final Thoughts on Hoverboard vs Onewheel
These two devices are basically gyroscope-dependent self-balancing scooters with the main difference being that a Onewheel has one wheel while a hoverboard has two. There’s a small difference in stance, too, and the way one rides and turns on each device is more or less the same.
In terms of cost, the Onewheel needs you to invest way more than you would purchasing a good hoverboard. But all the fun you get out of this weirdness on a wheel is worth every dollar you pay.
Make sure to wear protection when riding either of these personal electric transporters.