Company Reaffirms Onewheel Products Are Safe and that Inherent Risks Are Comparable to Other Board Sports and Recreational Products
SANTA CRUZ, Calif., Nov. 16, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Future Motion, the California based small business that proudly designs and assembles Onewheel electric skateboards in the USA, today issued the following statement in response to the unjustified and alarmist statements by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) regarding Onewheel products:
Onewheel electric skateboards are safe when operated following common-sense safe riding practices that are common to any board sport. We strongly disagree with the CPSC’s unjustified and alarmist claims, and we see no reason for riders to stop using their boards. We go to great lengths to encourage riders to educate themselves on safety and the overwhelming majority of riders use the board safely, ride within their abilities, respect the board’s safety systems, follow local laws, and wear a helmet and other safety gear. Onewheel riders are adults who know that there are inherent risks in riding an electric skateboard, just as there are in other board sports like snowboarding, or with riding an e-bike, electric scooter, ATV, or motorcycle.
Hundreds of thousands of Onewheel riders have safely ridden over 100 million miles on Onewheels worldwide since 2014. A large and growing community has emerged around Onewheels because of a rider’s ability to ride on and off-road while feeling like snowboarding on powder. Rather than collaborate on how to further improve safety, the CPSC has unfortunately issued a sensational message about a product that brings joy and exhilaration to hundreds of thousands of Americans.
Safety is at the core of Future Motion’s business. We built safety into our boards from our first model and have made continual improvements in product safety over the next five generations we have brought to the market. Every Onewheel is carefully assembled and individually tested in our California factory. In fact we are one of the only companies responsibly building our micromobility products in the USA.
Future Motion has evaluated a number of boards that the rider claims suddenly stopped, and in no case have we found any underlying technical issue with the board. All of these boards performed as designed and were test ridden for many miles without any performance issues.
All board and recrecational sports carry inherent risk of crashes and injury, such as “going over the bars” on a mountain bike or “catching an edge” on a snowboard. In addition to the safety protections built into the boards, we consistently communicate to riders the critical importance of wearing safety gear and riding within the abilities of the rider and the board. Safety equipment such as certified helmets and wrist-guards, rider education video content, and customer support are available at www.onewheel.com.
Onewheels are a safe low-speed activity, especially when measured against other common forms of recreational transportation. In 2020 bicycles were associated with more than 1,200 deaths, ATVs were associated with more than 650 deaths and motorcycles were associated with more than 5,500 deaths. On a per-mile and per-vehicle basis, Onewheels have lower rates of serious injury than these other popular motion products, all of which are also capable of much higher speeds.
The CPSC hasn’t always taken this approach with the board riding community. During the rapid rise in both the popularity of and injuries associated with snowboarding in the 1990s, the CPSC said: “We all know that falling or ‘wiping out’ is inevitable. Snowboarders should take lessons to help them enjoy the sport and reduce the risk of injury.” The CPSC attributed a massive spike in snowboarding injuries to the rising popularity of the sport and lack of instruction for novice snowboarders. Yet the CPSC is unjustifiably treating the Onewheel community very differently, and singling out the Onewheel because it is a new technology.
The rapid growth of micromobility, especially during the pandemic, caused more than 77,000 injuries and 48 deaths between 2017 and 2021 with e-scooters, e-bikes, and hoverboards, according to the CPSC. The agency has recognized the fall hazard inherent to hoverboards going back to 2015 and addressed it then by calling on riders to “always wear a proper helmet and padding.” The CPSC’s response to the recent increase in accidents within the growing micromobility products category has been to urge consumers to “use caution and safety” and provide basic safety information. Onewheel riders should be treated no differently.
When technical issues arise, Future Motion is more than willing to engage collaboratively with the CPSC, as we did earlier this year with a successful recall of the front footpad for the Onewheel GT. While the content of the agency’s recent press release is extraordinarily disappointing and misleading, Future Motion will continue to work to enhance the CPSC’s understanding of self-balancing vehicle technology and seek to collaborate with the agency to enhance rider safety.
The Onewheel community is a thriving and growing subculture, a source of positive mental health, an ideal “last mile” solution for commuters and students, and an environmentally beneficial electric vehicle that gets riders out in nature. We know our boards are safe and our dedicated customers operate Onewheels safely every day across the U.S. and worldwide.
Founded in 2013, Future Motion is committed to designing and developing inspiring vehicles that include both elegant form and unprecedented function. Future Motion’s products, Onewheel Pint, Pint X and Onewheel GT, exemplify its dedication to crafting products that bridge recreation and transportation. Future Motion designs not only the Onewheel product line but also all the subsystems that power it, including custom brushless motors, power electronics and battery modules. Onewheel, which provides a riding experience similar to surfing but on paved or unpaved trails, is perfectly situated in Santa Cruz where the mountains meet the sea. Its products are protected by over 70 issued patents in the U.S. and worldwide.
SOURCE Future Motion