25th - 26th SEPTEMBER 2019  |  OLYMPIA

Review: Onewheel's Pint Is Pocket-Sized Fun

Wired 09 Aug 2019 01:00

To start the board, you have to engage the sensor pad on both halves of the front panel. Sometimes, the front panel didn't sense my heels and the board didn't start, but my spouse, who is heavier than I am, never had a problem. Overall, the Pint’s shorter size, smaller wheel, and slimmer width made it much more responsive once you do get moving. On my first ride, I wobbled significantly more than I had with the XR. Letting a little air out of the tire seemed to make it a little less squiggly, but not much.

If you have crowded commutes or navigate city streets, you’ll probably appreciate the increased maneuverability. It’s small and fast enough that you can even chase small children while riding it around your kitchen table, although I don't recommend doing this if you would regret damaging your kitchen table.

It also has a new light on the front panel which shows how much battery power you have left, and a red rear light to make the board much easier to see at night.

Safety First

Admirably, Future Motion has made a lot of steps to ensure that their boards are as safe as possible. Both the website and the app are riddled with warnings, advice, and disclaimers. One of the changes that Future Motion has made was introducing Simplestop technology.

Getting off a Onewheel has always been one of the hardest parts. Before, you had to lift your heel off one side of the front pad. If you didn’t clear one of the pads, pffft—you flew off, and the board kept going. (This is how I sprained my knee the last time I reviewed one.) Riding the Pint, I breathed a silent sigh of relief every time the board stopped when I leaned backward.

Another new safety feature is pushback. If you go too fast, on too steep a slope, or try to ride with too little battery, the nose of the board lifts and forces you to slow down or stop. When I asked Jack Mudd, Onewheel's chief evangelist, if it was possible to disable pushback the way you can disable Simplestop, he reminded me that it's important to keep riders from pushing the board past its capabilities.

In theory, I appreciate this feature. The Pint did gently remind me to recharge before I got too far from my house. And the last time I reviewed a Onewheel, I catapulted off a hill that I was probably not supposed to be on. This time, it was hard not to picture Future Motion’s engineers cackling whenever the board nosed up on a gentle slope and I had to get off and walk.

But boards, electric or otherwise, are not supposed to stop abruptly for no immediately apparent reason. I recruited my spouse to test the Pint’s top speed and when he did, the board reared back. This is terrifying to both experience and witness at 16 mph.

He jumped off and was able to land on his feet, skid down the street, and walk away with just a burn on his ankle. But I recommend buying the bundle with the wheel fender and wearing skate shoes when you ride it.

Carry On

Even with its limited range, the Pint is a much more useful and versatile Onewheel than the XR. It’s much easier to carry and stow. Holding it while walking into a diner for lunch with a friend is just like carrying a smallish suitcase.

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