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The “Bug” April 14 2016

The “Bug” is what we here at Onewheel like to call the immediate and overwhelming desire to keep riding once you’ve gotten on the board. Symptoms include mouth watering, feelings of euphoria, increased heart rate, and overwhelming joy. Many people have been infected along the way.

At Body Glove V.P. of Marketing and all around cool dude Scott Daley had a difficult time getting off after his first taste.

Rip Curl’s North American pro team surfer Noah Wegrich didn’t fair much better and was another victim. Sticking a switch curb drop on your first try can have that effect on people.

And then there was our host family and friends in Newport Beach. The kind folks on L Street put The Experience Crew up for two nights and had a neighborhood block party demo session that featured a demo line rivaling those seen at the DMV on a Monday morning. Just a block from The Wedge, one of the most legendary breaks in the world, L Street is home to some of surfings most promising young guns. We had the whole teenage crew hooked including Hurley team rider Zane Waysz and several other gnarly shredders.

Caution the bug is real. Need the antidote? Pre-order now and be cured in December.


The Slomo Experience April 14 2016

A couple months back we stumbled upon an award-winning documentary produced by Josh Izenburg titled Slomo. Slomo chronicles the life of John Kitten, a man who left a successful medical practice for a simple existence slowly gliding down San Diego’s Pacific Beach boardwalk on a pair of trusty roller blades. John, who is now known only as Slomo, has spent every day of the last 16 years perfecting his unusual signature skating style and has grown into a folk hero and local legend.

We were blown away after watching the documentary and shot an email over to Josh expressing our kudos. It turns out he is also a big Onewheel fan, and after an impressive demo session at our shop, he connected us with the man, the myth, the legend, Slomo.

We met Slomo on the Pacific Beach boardwalk after a long morning shooting video footage at dawn. Honestly, we were star struck and needed a moment to collect ourselves as he came into view, clad in his classic blue tank top, fishing cap, and of course, skates. Amidst the crowded boardwalk he barely saw the board rolling up, we got off as he examined it with considerable interest, enthusiasm, and admiration.  He began expressing his desire to go for a ride and then launched into a 45 minute introduction to his gliding philosophy.

“This is all an art,” Slomo explained of his roller blading, in a slow pensive southern drawl, “it’s not a sport. When I say its an art I mean its done inside yourself (pointing to his head), a sport is done out here (pointing towards the street)”

Slomo explained that there is something about the feeling of acceleration that people love, so much in fact that it has the power to change them (check out the documentary for the scientific explanation). It’s the reason we jump out of airplanes, become ski bums, or wait in absurdly long lines to get on roller coasters. The problem is that the euphoric experience ends with the inevitable deceleration.

Accordingly, Slomo has created his skating technique around perpetual motion. It has a way of locking him into the present allowing him to enter a state of acute awareness and heightened consciousness; it is a form of meditation.

“We worship the same god, this is a type of worship, and what this machine is, is one more way to get you into this type of worship.”

Finally Slomo turned on his music, a Wagner sounding composition which he made himself, froze instantly in a heroic pose, eyes staring into the future, and took off, very, very, slowly. At that moment I rushed to turn on the board, hurriedly stepped onto it and….. nothing. Dead.

I could not believe it. After 45 minutes of sermon we had reached a spiritual riding crescendo; the moment was here and there was Slomo gliding on down the boardwalk without us.

He circled back and noted the problem with an understanding chuckle. Even without our tandem ride, we did not feel cheated in the least, we had gotten so much more than we could have ever expected from this mercurial character.

After another 15 minutes on life, love, philosophy and spirituality, and just before we went our separate ways, I tried the board one last time. To our amazement it worked, resurrected from the dead by the power of Slomo. We had a quick ride, he gave an admiring look, as one does when a grandchild takes its first steps and we said our goodbyes.

Our time with Slomo was an absolute privilege, and completely surreal. We are planning our next riding session, this time with a charged board…


Paradise on Earth…Outdoor Retailer April 14 2016

Outdoor Retailer is paradise on earth. Imagine all of the brands you love, showcasing the gear that will drop 2 years from now. Oh and they all tap kegs for ‘happy hour’ at 3:00pm…

Here are some of our favorite experiences from the show:

  1. The taste of Mountain House’s Raspberry Cobbler after a long day of riding.
  2. Demo riding on the cushy carpet, which fondly became know as the magic carpet ride.
  3. Hearing folk’s gratitude for developing something fresh. “Nice to see something completely new instead of another nutrition bar or Bluetooth speaker.” – Random Dude
  4. Attending Klean Kanteen’s 10 years and 1 Million dollars (1% for the Planet) donated party at Squatters brew pub. It was inspirational hearing all the good they’ve done; we hope to throw a similar event someday.
  5. Teaching news anchor Keith McCord and the KSL Channel 5 News team the ropes.
  6. Beer flowing at happy hour while hanging out with the people behind our favorite brands
  7. Lounging with the Cotopaxi llamas

Hood River Hidden Gems April 14 2016

You want Mitch P. on your team. He brings 24oz redbull type energy to the table, he’d give you the shirt on his back if you let him, he knows EVERYBODY and he regularly flies 40+ feet in the air Kitesurfing. Luckily for us, Mitch IS on our team, he’s a Kickstarter Backer.

Mitch served as our local guide during our time in his hometown of Hood River, Oregon. If you haven’t been to Hood River, you should go. It’s known as one of the premier kite/wind surfing destinations but is also home to some phenomenal breweries, scenic vistas, and a diverse cast of characters.

Mitch took us to Discover Bikes, an awesome shop run by Kurt Buddendeck. Kurt, being a complete badass built himself a pump track on the third floor of his shop, and with Mitch leading the way, we were able to get Onewheel access. A narrow set of wooden stairs led us up to the third floor man cave complete with couch, big screen TV, weights and an elaborate pump track.

The pump track consisted of a massive eight foot quarter pipe, a plethora of rollers, and three ridiculous banks. With Mitch egging him on, Kurt gave us a demonstration. He rode onto the track, took three pedals, and began pumping the banks and rollers. Within fifteen seconds Kurt was flying around the track with insane speed, launching off the quarter pipe, landing, pumping the rollers, floating around the banks, and repeating.

Then it was out turn. We had some serious fun on the quarterpipe and the rollers – no pumping needed.

Feeling as if we had just witnessed some underground extreme sport Cirque de Soleil we left Discover Bikes in awe and with large smiles on our faces. Hood River treated us great and we can’t wait until the next time we can roll through.


Happy Campers: Fun Times at Windells April 14 2016

The sign outside Windells say “The funnest place on earth.” We would have to agree… The camp parking lot sets the tone for the entire experience; it’s riddled with bowls, and kickers, and has ramps weaving in and out. It may be a parking lot, but you better drive slow and keep your head on a swivel; its there to be skated and kids come flying out of the woodwork.

We came just after the summer sessions had ended and the ‘coaches’ were still at camp hanging out. Coaches at Windells range in age, experience, and accolades but one thing is for sure, they all shred. We were beyond excited to get them on the Onewheel and see what they could do.

Out of the gate we noticed that this demo session was unlike any we had done before. These guys and gals jumped on the Onewheel with authority and the intention of pushing the limits. Whether it was stairs, banks, or ledges, the Windells crew had no fear. This combined with their world-class athleticism made for quite the epic day.

 

As the session was winding down, one of the coaches set his sights on a tricky feature, a small ramp leading up to a six-inch curb. We always thought getting up a curb on a Onewheel was impossible and we cringed as he ran the board smack into the curb time and time again, each attempt marked by a brutal sound of metal on cement.

Just when we were starting to think that it was time to call it the impossible happened.

He made his approach, gaining speed up the ramp, bent his knees and loaded the tire, popped it and went airborne. Time stood still at Windells for a brief moment—and then he landed, right on the deck. Stuck it. Onlookers erupted in cheers; we had just witnessed Onewheeling history. It was a moment that encapsulated the Experience Tour, giving riders a chance to experience something completely new and watching the progression of sport.

We hopped back in the van and the sky immediately opened up for an afternoon deluge. We we’re planning on getting footage the rest of the day, but we didn’t care. We got what we came for.