The US government Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued a safety warning and advises to stop riding Onewheel electric skateboards.
On November 16, 2022, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued a warning regarding Onewheel safety. This warning urges riders to stop riding all versions of the Onewheel.
Why Now is a Safety Advisory Being Issued?
According to the article, “There have been at least four reported deaths between 2019 and 2021 and multiple reports of serious injuries after the product failed to balance the rider or suddenly stopped while in motion. The reported deaths resulted from head trauma. Reported injuries include traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, upper-body fractures, lower-body fractures, and ligament damage.”
Riders within the community are largely aware that there is an inherent risk riding Onewheels. Death and injury does remain lower than traditional skateboarding. According to Science Direct, at least 147 skateboarders have been killed in the United States from 2011-2015. This about 37 deaths per year.
An interesting read is also how the CPSC Denies Request to Ban Skateboards back in 1979 in the early stages of skateboarding. Within this article they cite 140,000 injuries occurred from skateboarding in 1977 and had dropped to 87,000 injuries. These are staggering numbers yet skateboards were never banned. Is Future Motion on the government’s bad side? Perhaps!
Future Motion Onewheel GT Recall
Footpads are a critical feature to the Onewheel. As riders, we can all relate to the frustration of hopping on a Onewheel and the motor not engaging. Sensitivity to the sensor is huge. Future Motion apparently revised the footpad on the GT to be too sensitive and it initially has caused ghosting problems.
Early in the GT release, several riders were experiencing ghosting. No recall was made initially likely due to Future Motion wanting to gather more data before acting on the safety concern. Since then, Future Motion has issued a footpad recall on the Onewheel GT. In the CPSC article however, they state “Future Motion has refused to agree to an acceptable recall of the product. CPSC intends to continue pursuing a recall for consumers.”
Does this mean that the government is attempting to recall all boards as they do not specify models? Why does the article state that Future Motion has refused to agree to an acceptable recall? Does the CPSC consider the footpad recall insufficient and has since decided to issue this warning? It certainly could be the case.
Why Is This Terrible News For The Onewheel Community
The CPSC has wrapped all models into this safety advisory. This could likely be used as a reference for many municipalities to start to ban public use of Onewheels. As shown above, more injury occurs from skateboarding than riding Onewheels. The Onewheel growth may honestly decline with a government advisory.
It is entirely feasible if not likely that any sort of banning (city or state) will reference the safety concern from the CPSC. The general public who are not astute to Onewheel operation will likely echo the concerns overblowing the concern. It is in my opinion overblown as it is an issue specific to a GT.
This means VESC riders or non-GT riders will be lumped into any banning from public use. Perhaps Future Motion can do an adequate recall. Perhaps its too late. In the end, whether you ride VESC or Onewheel, our community will feel the impact on this safety advisory. Hopefully, we can see the CPSC deny any banning as they did with skateboards. Look at the skateboard community today.
Check out our post for what to look for in off-road skateboards. There are other options out there but none can cover the terrain a onewheel can.
I have ridden both and I would say that the Onewheel is actually more riskier due to the smaller wheel. If you Obey the limitations of the board or the EUC, both are relatively low risk. The danger is dramatically increased when limits are exceeded. EUC’s have high speed dangers however with the larger wheel they are not considered as dangerous.
It remains to be unknown at this time. The best we all can do is be good Onewheel brand ambassadors so that the sport can live long throughout all communities.