Float plates (A.K.A. Onewheel skid plates) are typically plastic plates (approximately 5mm in width intended to protect the underside of the Onewheel. These can range anywhere from $30 to $80 depending on model and material.
Float plates are not necessary for the Onewheel. While they add weight to the board and reduce clearance, they will protect the bumper from being worn through. If the Onewheel’s bumper wear’s through, the battery box is more prone to damage.
Bumpers are Intended to Be Wearable
The whole intent of the Onewheel bumpers is to provide an added layer of protection between the battery and controller boxes so they are not exposed to the elements. Bumpers however are designed to wear down.
Stock bumpers are not incredibly thick however they are considerate of the weight of your Onewheel. Even if you wear through a bumper, the battery or controller box (usually the battery side) is still covering the electrical components of the board. Now it is very dangerous to ride with an exposed battery or controller box as wearing through this can permanently damage the board.
There are aftermarket bumpers that are thick enough to add protection without having to place a float plate on your board. These are thicker bumpers that will do a better job of protecting your components as well as provide for a slippery surface to use for rail slides or curb grinds.
BANG and Bash bumpers (made by Land Surf and The Float Life respectively) are the most popular aftermarket bumpers for either the Onewheel XR or GT.
Pint and Pint X really only have Fangs as an option for bumper replacements so a Float Plate could be warranted for a Pint.
BANGS are probably the most popular after market bumper set (for VESC and XR builds anyway). They are really thick and slippery. No float plate needed when you use them. They are intended to have wear.
Keeping a Onewheel in Pristine with Float Plates
I’ve changed my mind on Float Plates. I had used them on all my boards up to the GT. I wanted to keep my battery box well protected however I realized something. After every ride, I would brush off my board and do a cursory inspection of the Onewheel. Every rider should inspect their board after a ride. I realized that I would notice a wearing bumper before it would cause any damage.
Since then I opted to try aftermarket bumpers instead. Float plates however are still an excellent option for the Pint and Pint X as there are no aftermarket bumpers currently. Remember however that Floatplates are still not really needed. You will lose a slight clearance however they will add protection to your board.
Pictured here are the stock bumpers. The hardware on the bumpers are set in about 3mm deep. You should really only be concerned with any holes or this – hardware exposure. If you scrape down to the hardware (beyond 3mm), removing the hardware can be difficult as the hardware can become stripped or grinded away.
Float Plates Slip and Slide
Float Plates are very slippery and will help with rail slides or grinding. This is a perk for anyone wanting to try grinding curbs with their board. The plastic on Float Plates is ridiculously slippery and will help on even a rougher curb.
This may only be the only reason I would personally consider Float Plates again. If I had a Pint, and I wanted to try grinds and slides, I would get Float Plates, otherwise I would pass. Float plates on Pints use 3M tape and can sag. Mine often sagged below the hub area, so this is just another thing to consider.
Metal and Even Thicker Float Plates
You can search the web and you will come across steel Float Plates and even thicker plastic plates. These undoubtedly will last a very long time (likely the lifetime of the board) however they are heavier and that is something to consider.
With the Float Plates you lose some clearance and the rounded front spot on the bumper. This is true with only some Float Plates. Some do better contouring around the stock bumpers than others. These thicker plates will make tricks like curb nudges just a little more challenging.
Conclusion – To Buy or Not to Buy Float Plates
Keeping your Onewheel Pristine is always something nice to achieve if its a show board however, our boards tell a story. I recommend putting some serious wear into those bumpers. Shred like there’s no tomorrow. Your board, speaks for you.
Again, I used to use Floatplates all the time, but I now see them as kind of redundant.
If however you are however an individual looking to protect a Pint or Pint X from grinding objects, then definitely get some Float Plates as currently the aftermarket bumper options are currently nonexistant. Onewheel GT and XR riders, go with a set of B.A.N.G. or Bash Bumpers instead. Just remember, you can always replace your stock bumpers by placing an order on Onewheel.com. So don’t worry. Just always do a quick inspection of your board after every ride. Put some scars in that bad larry and float!