Onewheel at Sugarloaf, An Exciting and Welcome Addition to the Summer Scene

By Gabrielle Martin

August 8, 2021

You might be asking yourself, “What’s a Onewheel?” The Onewheel is a self-balancing, self-propelled, single-wheeled motorized sport board that bridges the gap between recreation and transportation by blending the sensations of snowboarding and surfing into an action-packed, adrenaline-inducing experience.


Onewheels can reach speeds into the mid-teens; their chunky tire makes for a surprisingly nimble and maneuverable riding experience, giving riders the freedom to cover variable terrain—including brick, dirt, and gravel—and offering a unique way to explore your favorite mountain!

A Bit of Background: It took almost a decade to create the Onewheel; the final design from creator Kyle Doerksen was completed in late 2013 and the original Onewheel model was released in 2015, followed by the OneWheel+ in 2017, the Onewheel+ XR in 2018, and most recently, in 2019, the Onewheel Pint.

The Onewheel is a bit of a marvel in that it contains a brushless electric motor that moves both forwards and backwards, making thousands of micro-adjustments per second to keep riders balanced.

To use a Onewheel, riders position their feet on their side of the wheel with the front foot placed on top of two pressure-sensitive pads that detect when riders are on the board and what direction they want to go.  

  • To move the board, riders must lean slightly in the direction they want to travel.
  • To gain speed, riders must lean to engage the motor; the-self balancing mechanism cause the wheel to accelerate towards the direction of lean as a means of remaining level, increasing the Onewheel's speed. 
  • To shut the Onewheel off, riders lift their heel from the front footpad.

Onewheel at Sugarloaf: This is the first summer that Onewheel demos are available at Sugarloaf, operating out of the Outpost Adventure Center; Onewheel makes an exciting and welcome addition to the summer scene, providing a fast and fun way to maneuver around the mountain.

Onewheel at Sugarloaf

The Outpost asks that you arrive 15 minutes prior to your reservation to check-in and be fitted with safety equipment; helmets are mandatory while wrist-guards are optional but offered (I personally opted in). A 45-minute guided demo is $59, with no more than 4 participants per group.

  • Please be aware that the Outpost operates under a 24-hour cancellation policy, meaning that you are responsible for the full charge of your lesson should you fail to show up for your reservation or cancel within 24-hours of your reservation time. 

You must be 12 years of age or older to take part in a Onewheel demo at Sugarloaf. Lessons operate in most weather but could be cancelled but to high winds, lightning, rain, or other impending factors. Additionally, if you are pregnant or have any serious medical conditions (especially cardiac), please consult your practitioner before participating. 

Additionally, Onewheel models are available for purchase at Downhill Supply Company. Sugarloaf currently stocks two of the Onewheel’s latest models, the XR and Pints; XRs are recommended for beginner riders and most frequently used during the guided demo. 

Demo Day: Last Friday I moseyed on over to the Outpost to meet Kirby Kelly, lead lesson expert and Onewheel enthusiast; he arrived with two guests in tow, all three gliding through the Village on Onewheels. He hopped off and got me geared up with a helmet and wrist-guards, which I eagerly accepted, because what’s a photographer without working wrists?

We began the demo in the center of the Village. The Outpost has installed a thin, ballet-like barre to the exterior of one of the buildings; this is where the Onewheel guided demo begins. Kirby goes over stance and steering; we practice going to the left, then the right, starting and stopping.

Kirby Kelly demonstrates how to Onewheel

I soon graduated from the wall and moved to the Village driveway, holding onto Kirby’s shoulder for support. We practiced turns, figure eights, and getting over cracks—the trick, Kelly says, is to not slow down; rather, it’s best to continue forward, business as usual, and do so without locking your knees.

He also says you’ll be amazed at the learning curve; after five miles of action, you’ll soon start seeing improvement—heck, within 15 minutes I was starting to notice a difference from my wobbly-ankled start! And, of course, if you have any board sport experience, you’re at an advantage here.

Regardless of your skill level, a Onewheel demo is a one-of-a-kind way to send it around Sugarloaf this summer. Book your guided demo today at the Outpost Adventure Center!