Track a Onewheel – Prevent a Stolen Onewheel


track your onewheel xr, pint x or gt

Onewheels are not cheap costing typically anywhere from $1000-2,200. Damaging your Onewheel can be awful but what’s worse is having a Onewheel stolen from you leaving you out of fun and money with no parts to sell. Tracking a potential theft of your Onewheel should be one of the first initial thoughts you have when you acquire your first board.

A simple and affordable way to prevent Onewheel theft is to tag your Onewheel with an Airtag or a Samsung Galaxy SmartTag. Both tracking devices are very discreet and can fit usually within the wire housing, under the footpad or within a Flight Fin. Tracking down the stolen board now becomes possible.

Onewheel Serial Number Identification

Along the underside of the stock Onewheel rail is the serial number identification number for the board. Typically it is in the form of 2133###### where the last 5 digits are also found within the Onewheel App under the board model (commonly displayed as OW######). If the Onewheel has already been stolen then you will only be able to obtain that serial number through the app.

Notifying Future Motion of the theft via email may alert them if the board is registered however currently they do not support alerting you of the theft. Sadly, there is no official onewheel serial number lookup or registry that Future Motion uses for this purpose. If you are purchasing a used Onewheel, there are some public facebook groups online that are building a database of stolen Onewheels however it its not complete. It may worth checking if you are purchasing one used however.

onewheel serial numbers

Installing an Airtag or SmartTag on a Onewheel

There are several Airtag holders that secure the Airtag (or SmartTag variation) within the Onewheel however I find that Duct tape works perfectly fine. This photo is of the Airtag after 1000 miles or so of wear. I keep mine within the space in the control box wire area on my XR. Check out my hack for Pints and the GT. I wanted it to be easily accessible in case I have to replace the batteries.

airtag within the onewheel controller

You can also wedge in under the footpad near the connectors on the Onewheel GT and Onewheel Pint and Pint X. There are several holders for these tags but again, really strong duct tape has kept mine in place for many miles.

Read our AirTag tracker hack for Onewheels post. When hiding an Airtag, it has to be relatively accessible so that changing the batteries once or twice a year isn’t much of a headache. We recommend a few tools and a discreet spot!

Tracking a Onewheel with an Airtag

No one wants to hear this advice if the Onewheel has already been stolen. Hopefully, you take a proactive measure and install a tag within the controller cover, flight fin or within the battery box. Having the tracking tiles installed can aide in recovery especially useful within the initial stages of the board being stolen.

These devices do have their disadvantages however. Apple has created a feature on Airtags to prevent stalking. If the thief has an iPhone, it will notify the rider that your board (or something) is tracking them if they do ride it or drive with it for a prolonged timeframe. What is a prolonged timeframe? Currently Apple does not divulge this information.

Airtags do not require a monthly service which is why they are the most affordable option. Other tiny trackers usually require a sim card and either a preloaded or monthly service plan.

Using ‘Find My’ to Find Your Stolen Onewheel

Within the iOS ‘Find My’ app, there is a tab at the bottom labeled ‘Items’. Your configured Airtag will populate here. On an Apple map, all Airtags will show where they are and the last time they were seen by an iOS device. You can use the ‘Directions’ feature and go to the location.

Once you are close, the ‘Directions’ button will change to ‘Find’. This utilizes the Bluetooth within the iPhone to help locate where it is.

maps in Find My for airtags

Battery Life of an Airtag or SmartTag

An Airtag along with SmartTags typically last about one year. That being said, I have had mine exceed one year. Within the ‘Find My’ app, it will only show you battery levels if the Airtag is low. It is annoying that the battery levels are only shown if they are low. The good news is that Airtags use common CR2032 batteries which can be simply replaced by pushing and twisting counter-clockwise the stainless steel backing.

Onewheel owners really should be Airtagging or SmartTagging your Onewheel. This way you can track where it is at all times (even if you loan it to someone). As of now there is no board setting that allows you to disable a stolen Onewheel like smartphones have. Don’t let your board be stolen by a private group or individual. Track the board ahead of time. Its cheap insurance.

How AirTags Work and Their Range

The range of an Apple AirTag primarily depends on the Bluetooth technology it utilizes. Apple has not provided specific details about the exact range of AirTags but they use Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology. This will typically give you a range of around 100 feet (30 meters) in ideal conditions.

Obstacles such as walls, furniture, and other objects can diminish the signal strength and reduce the effective range. It also matters the model of iPhone or iPad that tracks the AirTag.

Apple introduced the U1 chip in iPhone models 11 and later. This chip enables ultra-wideband (UWB) technology, which offers more precise spatial awareness and can enhance the range and accuracy of locating AirTags.

Keep in mind that the AirTag’s range can also be extended by leveraging the Find My network, which utilizes the collective power of millions of Apple devices around the world. If your AirTag is out of Bluetooth range, it can leverage the network to communicate its location back to you when it comes within range of another Apple device connected to the Find My network.

Conclusion

You likely spent over $1,000 on your Onewheel. Hiding and securing an AirTag or SmartTag takes 30 minutes to do. Many PEV riders are able to recover their devices with these trackers. You can remove the speaker on them to make them even more stealth. Slip one in the bumper and call it a day.

David Stapleton

David Stapleton is a Onewheel Enthusiasts, avid trail rider and father of two. Beginning in 2020, David was introduced to the PEV movement and has been immersed into the Onewheel 'cult'-ure since

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