Whether you refer to PEVs as ‘plug-in electric vehicles’ or ‘personal electric vehicles’, ‘electric’ is the distinguishing word that sets these devices into a category of their own. How do PEV’s handle in the rain? Can you ride a One wheel in the rain?
Onewheel Pint, Pint X and GT boards have been engineered to a tolerate a higher water resistance however they do not have an IP rating. A Onewheel can tolerate riding in light rain, beach coastline and snow. Riding through large puddles or water immersion will likely damage the board.
Onewheel Riding in Heavy Rain
The Pint X and GT have a higher degree of water resistance compared to the XR models. Both the Pint and GT line have gaskets encasing the battery and controller components.
With some XR’s, a touch of water will cause it to malfunction whereas some can withstand almost as much water as the newer Pint and GT Models. The newer models have been engineered by Future Motion to tolerate some water riding. That being said, generally the water can damage the board over time. I always attempt to avoid the rain however there have been a handful of times where rain has caught me on my Pint X and it still operates fine.
With the GT and Pint models, Future Motion really improved the design to a more refined look. No longer is wood meeting metal. The entire board is aluminum and composite components (bezels, footpad trim, fender, etc). A minor detail here but on the Pint and Pint X, the fender extends below the battery box which prevents any splashing on the box space. Its details like this that have improved the water resistance of the Onewheel. Most importantly, the gaskets do wonders.
Riding a Onewheel in Wet Grass and Damp Soil or Mud
Future Motion advises staying away from wet surfaces entirely however the Onewheel can generally withstand wet surfaces such as wet grass, frost, damp or wet dirt – even mud. How well the Onewheel performs in these conditions is really the question to ask.
Onewheels have three internal accelerometers and gyroscopes that are always calculating and measuring the orientation of the board. The controller monitors and calculates approximately 14,000 times per second in order to keep balance. Mud, frost, wet grass and even very loose sand can impact a portion of a ride to such a large degree that the onewheel may not be able to maintain balance. That being said, I ride through wet grass and frost often. Light mud can be handled however these terrains do require special attention as these conditions may exceed the controller’s ability to balance. This is where practice and technique as a rider comes in.
You are going to notice a notable decrease in battery range if you find yourself in soft surfaces. While these can be ridden, its best to just avoid softer terrain all together.
Badgered Onewheels and Waterproofing
Badgerwheel makes a “waterproofing” kit for the Onewheel. If you are in the market for a used Onewheel, you may see a “badgered” designation simply meaning that the Onewheel has this “waterproofing” kit installed. Badgerwheel does use the word “waterproof” which (by definition) should make the board impervious to water. This kit however does not provide an IP rating for the board and it is only as good as the person who installs it. It is important to know that Badgering is technically a name brand process for waterproofing.
The process of Badgering a onewheel can take up to 3 hours. A meticulous process in where all ports and enclosures are sealed. I have seen onewheels be totally immersed in the ocean and operate afterward. Something to consider is that if you intend to ride in wet conditions often, a badgerkit will help assure that the board can tolerate some of the conditions. Replacing the bearings prior to 1000 miles may also be recommended depending on how “gritty” the ride feels.
If you just want to be assured you can ride home in the rain, rest assured that the Onewheel GT and Pint / Pint X do relatively fine riding in the rain. Always try to avoid puddles. Frost, wet grass and mud can be ridden on however there is a higher chance of losing balance. Practice maintaining balance in different conditions. If wet conditions is a common terrain you intend to ride then getting your Onewheel badgered is highly advisable. Badgerkit is a name brand. You can do a great deal of sealing with simple windshield glass sealant found online.
(Disclosure: I have ridden thousands of miles and have yet to have an issue with a board malfunctioning due to wet conditions and have not badgered (waterproofed) any boards).