Where it started. Everything before I road an eskate.
While working for bike magazine I was able to ride all sorts of demo bikes that came in. I road fixed gear bikes back then, charging through traffic and loved the intensity of it all. One day they got an electric bike. I had heard about them but never ridden one. I took it for a spin inside a big empty warehouse that was next to our office that had a super slick floor. Riding as fast as I could I was blown away with pedal assist… until I slid it out around a corner. This was my first time on any PEV.
I took a trip to Portland. While there I saw guys on these crazy things riding around that self balanced on onewheel. I snapped a photo from far away and then went and spoke with them. They were called “solo wheels” they said. I asked if I could try it and they declined since I was just some stranger asking to ride their stuff. I was again amazed at the thought of riding an electric device like this. I got home, started researching them and quickly realized I couldn’t afford the (I think) $800 price tag for one.
Time went by, I road regular skateboards and bikes like a caveman for years.
I saw a onewheel and was sold. THIS is incredible. I have to have one… $1500 ish? Guess Ill keep skating.
I began researching electric skateboards since they were cheaper than one wheels. I poured over the typical meepo, wowgo and other offerings and just ended up for one reason or another not jumping in. I debated the meepo 1.5 vs a wowgo 2. I learned about an esc and how different ones produced different riding characteristics. I had big plans with no money.
December 6th 2019
I FINALLY pulled the trigger on a used onewheel pint for $700. The guy wouldn’t even let me ride it to test it out until buying it. I said fine, I’ll take it. It was ugly with its brown fender and camouflage grip tape. But it was MINE. I owned a onewheel! The addiction took hold.
First day riding
I began riding this thing everywhere! I went on my first PEV group ride with it. I even started taking it with me on my long commute to Los Angeles everyday. Before this I would take a train to the Norwalk station, then jump on a bus to get me to the light rail station and then take the light rail to work. 3 hours to get to work a lot of times. Brutal. The pint let me skip the bus and do that 5 mile stretch on my own. It really helped break up the commute.
Here was my review on the onewheel pint.
Meanwhile during this time my wife Aimee and I had a YouTube channel we had stared all about travel. We loved to travel and on a whim I started filming one day on the beach in Laguna after getting a new iPhone. Ive always been one to document things, make videos and had a history of editing. So the channel, One Chance Travel was born.
We had a BIG trip planned. We were both going to quit our jobs, buy a mini van and travel the country for 6 months. Taking our two dogs with us along the way we would stay in airbnbs for a week or a month at a time. I was bringing the pint but wanted something for Aimee too. Space was limited and she’s not one to ride boards so we ended up picking up a used Jetson “bike”.
We quit our jobs in February of 2020 to travel, not knowing the world was going to grind to a halt so soon.
This thing was hilarious. We brought it on the trip and she road it all over. Including on one of the coolest places Ive ridden to date, COTA outside of Austin Texas.
I contacted the F1 track about their cycling day and asked if the local onewheel group would be allowed. They said sure and we ended up there, riding on the track for what ended up being the last time they’ll ever let one wheels on the track during the cycling event. Something about them not liking us carving in front of the cyclists lol.
Heres a couple shots from that ride.
While staying in the airbnb in Austin the world began to slow down, this was early march of 2020. So of course I decided why not range extend my onewheel pint. I had almost no tools to speak of so I did the best I could with what I had. Buying and returning things to Home Depot as needed. In the end I added a external pack to the pint and my range anxiety was over!
Here is how I range extended it.
And here is a range test I did with it. I road it all the way to 1% left… and slammed hard lol.
COVID HIT HARD while we were in New Orleans. We decided to stay a month in Florida and then headed back to San Clemente, California since pretty much everything was shut down. That drive home was amazing, no traffic, just zooming across the country in a few days.
I got home, kept riding the Pint and then knew it was time for an upgrade. I could hit 24mph on the pint but the pushback was killing me.I had done a 1000 miles on the pint. I knew I loved riding, it was time.
Time for an XR I thought. So I financed an XR and kept the pint for friends to ride.
Here was my XR. I added quite a bit to it right from the start and really felt like I splurged a bit to make it my own.
A couple months goes by and the upgrade itch starts again. The XR was so much better than a pint. About the same speed but better range without having to run an external battery, much better tire characteristics on the whisper and a lot more fun to ride… but I just wanted more!
I thought if a onewheel was fun maybe an EUC would be the ticket. So I snagged a 18XL from a friend I met in Austin while staying there. It was much faster, capable of hitting 31mph and had a ton more range. I quickly learned to ride it.
I kept it for a few months and just as quickly as I learned to ride I became kinda bored with it. Carving is a lot more like a bike than a board and I just didnt fall in love like I thought I would. So I sold it.
All of this leads me up to my first eskate.