Hoverboard vs Onewheel: An In-Depth Comparison

Hoverboards and Onewheels have exploded in popularity in recent years as fun, portable electric rideables. But how do these futuristic-looking devices compare?

This in-depth guide will examine the key differences between hoverboards and Onewheels across factors like design, performance, features, terrain handling, safety, learning curve, and costs to help you decide which is better for your needs.

Below we’ll look at how hoverboards and Onewheels stack up in various categories. We’ll also provide the pros and cons of each and give our recommendations on which rideable best suits different riding goals so you can pick the winner for your lifestyle.

Overview and Key Differences

Hoverboards and One wheels may look vaguely similar at first glance, but they have very distinct designs:


Gotrax Lil Cub Hoverboard
  • Two motorized, side-by-side wheels controlled by weight-shifting
  • Step on the platform between two wheels
  • Handlebarless
  • Maximum speed: 6-10 mph
  • Range: 5-15 miles


  • One large motorized wheel in center controlled by weight shifting
  • Step on platform covers the wheel
  • Handlebarless most models
  • Maximum speed: 15-20 mph
  • Range: 6-18 miles

So in simple terms:

  • Hoverboards have two wheels side-by-side
  • Onewheels have one center wheel
  • Hoverboards operate slower with less range
  • Onewheels offer higher speeds and distance

But there are more in-depth considerations around performance, terrain handling, safety, and learning curves covered next.

Performance Comparison

Performance factors like speed, power, and range are where more significant differences between hoverboards and Onewheels emerge.


Hoverboards: 6-10 mph top speed is typical. Some cheaper models may max out under 6 mph. Higher priced hoverboards may reach 10 mph. But in general, expect speeds of 6-8 mph.

Onewheels: 15-20 mph top speeds are common, with some high-performance models reaching 20+ mph. The larger wheel size allows faster momentum.

Advantage: Onewheel

Power and Acceleration

Hoverboards: Dual smaller motors mean less power. Acceleration is modest and gradual. Cheaper hoverboards can feel underpowered.

Onewheels: A single large motor provides very strong acceleration power. High torque allows effortlessly quick acceleration up to top speed.

Advantage: Onewheel

Weight Capacity

Hoverboards: 220-265 lbs is the common maximum weight capacity. Riders above that threshold may have performance issues.

Onewheels: Generally handle 240-275 lbs rider weights, with some models supporting over 300 lbs. Can accommodate heavier riders.

Advantage: Onewheel


Onewheels: Standard range is 6-10 miles. Upgraded batteries can extend range to 18-22 miles. Long rides are more feasible.

Hoverboards: Budget options may get only 5 miles of range. Mid-tier can reach 10 miles. High-end models may hit 15 miles max. Range is limited.

Advantage: Onewheel

Terrain Handling

Hoverboards: Designed for smooth, hard surfaces only. No off-road capacity. Struggle with steep hills or uneven terrain.

Onewheels: Excel on pavement but also handle trails, grass, and small obstacles adeptly. All-terrain versatility.

Advantage: Onewheel

Weather Resistance

Hoverboards: Not water or weather resistant. Riding in rain or through puddles can damage motors and electronics.

Onewheels: Weatherproof designs allow riding in rain or over wet terrain. Submersible up to 3 ft. Far more durable.

Advantage: Onewheel

Design and Hardware Comparison

Hoverboards and Onewheels also differ quite a bit when it comes to hardware and physical design:


Hoverboards: Two smaller 4-6.5” wheels made of solid plastic or rubber. Simple fixed axle.

Onewheels: One large 11-14” wheel with rubber tire and internal hub motor. Advanced suspension system.

Advantage: Onewheel


Hoverboards: No tires since wheels are solid plastic or rubber. No grip.

Onewheels: Air-filled rubber tire provides cushioning and tread grip, even off-road. Easily replaced.

Advantage: Onewheel


Hoverboards: Weigh 15-30 lbs. Easy to pick up and carry.

Onewheels: Weigh 25-35 lbs. Heavier and bulkier, not as portable.

Advantage: Hoverboard


Hoverboards: 6.5-10” wide x 24-28” long. Compact footprint.

Onewheels: 4.5-5” wide x 11.5-14.5” long. Even more compact.

Advantage: Onewheel


Hoverboards: Control speed and steering by shifting weight between pads.

Onewheels: Control speed and steering by leaning knees forward, back, left, or right. More intuitive.

Advantage: Onewheel

Hardware Quality

Hoverboards: Plastic casings and cheaper components make them prone to breakage.

Onewheels: Aluminum/magnesium casings and high-end parts like solid tires add durability.

Advantage: Onewheel

Water Resistance

Hoverboards: Not water or weather resistant. Riding in rain can damage circuits.

Onewheels: Fully waterproof casings allow riding in rain or through puddles with no issues.

Advantage: Onewheel

Bumps and Cracks

Hoverboards: Small wheels get caught on sidewalk cracks and small objects easily.

Onewheels: Larger wheel rolls over rocks, cracks, small branches with ease.

Advantage: Onewheel


Hoverboards: Lack power to ascend steeper hills. Limited to gradual inclines.

Onewheels: Much stronger torque easily powers up 25%+ grade hills.

Advantage: Onewheel

Features and Capabilities Comparison

Hoverboards and Onewheels also offer some differing built-in features and capabilities:

Learning Curve

Hoverboards: Very gentle learning curve. Most riders can cruise in under an hour. Intuitive.

Onewheels: Steep learning curve. Takes days of practice to get proficient. High skill ceiling.

Advantage: Hoverboard


Hoverboards: Safe top speed under 10 mph reduces injury risks. Harder to lose control.

Onewheels: Higher speeds increase risks losing control and falling. Protective gear recommended.

Advantage: Hoverboard

Entertainment Value

Hoverboards: Mostly enjoyed for cruising and commuting. Exercise potential.

Onewheels: Thrilling for carving, trail riding, and stunt-style tricks. Extreme sport appeal.

Advantage: Onewheel

Off-Road Handling

Hoverboards: Not designed for unpaved surfaces. Plastic wheels lack grip.

Onewheels: Excels on grass, dirt trails with rugged tire treads providing grip.

Advantage: Onewheel

Braking and Stopping

Hoverboards: Gradually decelerates when weight shifted back. No abrupt stops.

Onewheels: Sudden stops possible by leaning back hard. Improves control.

Advantage: Onewheel

Mobility Convenience

Hoverboards: Very lightweight and compact. Easy to store and carry anywhere.

Onewheels: Heavier and bulkier. Carrying for long periods gets tiring.

Advantage: Hoverboard

Apps and Customization

Hoverboards: Most have no apps or settings to customize performance.

Onewheels: Apps allow custom shaping and tailoring ride characteristics.

Advantage: Onewheel


Hoverboards: Budget models from $100 to $250. Mid-tier $250-$500. High-end $500-$1,000.

Onewheels: Start around $1,000 and go up to $2,500+. Significant price premium.

Advantage: Hoverboard

Safety Comparison

Safety is another key consideration when choosing between these self-balancing electric rideables. Here is how hoverboards and Onewheels compare

in terms of safety risks and precautions:

Speed and Control

  • Hoverboards max out around 10 mph, reducing risk of crashes and injury
  • Onewheels can hit 20+ mph, requiring more skill to control
  • Falling off at high Onewheel speeds has greater risk of injury


  • Hoverboards can be safely ridden with minimal protection
  • Onewheels require helmets and pads due to high speeds and falls

Learning Curve

  • Hoverboards can be ridden within an hour with little risk
  • Onewheels take dedicated practice to gain skill for injury prevention

Weight Limits

  • Most hoverboards support 220-265 lbs riders
  • Onewheels accommodate heavier 240-300+ lb riders in some models

Hardware Safety

  • Cheaper hoverboard components can overheat or catch fire if low quality
  • Onewheel batteries and parts undergo rigorous testing for safety

Off-Road Terrain

  • Hoverboards lack tread so cannot safely handle trails
  • Onewheel tires grip off-road terrain to prevent slips and falls

Weather Riding

  • Hoverboards should not be ridden in rain or over puddles
  • Onewheels are fully waterproof and can handle all wet conditions

In summary, Onewheels carry higher potential safety risks due to greater speeds and riding skill required. But their rugged hardware and tires make them more adept at handling off-road terrain and poor weather conditions safely.

Hoverboards are safer for casual, low-speed riding for novice users. But cheap models may lack hardware protections.

Pros and Cons Comparison

To summarize the key factors, here are the main pros and cons of hoverboards versus Onewheels:

Hoverboard Pros

  • Extremely easy to learn
  • Lower speeds increase safety
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Highly portable
  • Affordable price point
  • Fun for casual riding

Hoverboard Cons

  • Limited top speed, power, range
  • Not for off-road terrain
  • Less durable components
  • No customization or apps
  • Can struggle on hills and cracks

Onewheel Pros

  • Higher top speed and acceleration
  • All-terrain versatility
  • Advanced customization via app
  • Durable build quality
  • Exciting stunt riding capabilities
  • Thrilling off-road performance

Onewheel Cons

  • Steep learning curve
  • Higher injury risks
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Expensive price point
  • Stability takes practice

So in summary:

  • Hoverboards excel at low-speed neighborhood cruising.
  • Onewheels are optimal for off-road adventures and high-speed thrill-seeking.


Based on the comparisons above, here are some recommendations on which rideable is better suited for different riding styles and scenarios:

For Beginners

The easy learning curve makes hoverboards preferable for total beginners and casual riders. No skill or experience is required to start cruising immediately.

For Commuting

Hoverboards are the top choice for light urban commuting and mobility around town or campus thanks to their ultra-portable size.

For Exercise

While hoverboards provide some aerobic benefits, the higher speeds and active stance of Onewheels give a more intense workout.

For Off-Road Riding

The rugged tire and torque of Onewheels allow all-terrain riding on grass, trails, and uneven surfaces that hoverboards can’t handle.

For Thrills and Tricks

The high-speed capabilities and maneuverability of Onewheels make them preferred for learning stunts or pushing riding to the next level.

For Kids and Teens

The safety and ease of learning make hoverboards ideal for kids 10 years and older. Onewheels require mature riding skills.

For Heavy Riders

Onewheels can support heavy riders up to 300+ lbs that might exceed a hoverboard’s 220-265 lb capacity.

In summary, beginners are best served starting on hoverboards for low-risk training, while experienced thrill-seekers will prefer Onewheels for advanced skills and adrenaline. Choose based on your goals!

The Verdict: Hoverboard vs Onewheel

By this point, you should have a clear picture of how hoverboards and Onewheels compare – here is a quick recap:

  • Hoverboards have two side-by-side wheels making them highly portable and easy to learn, but limited speed and range. Ideal for flat commutes.
  • Onewheels use a center single wheel for all-terrain versatility and high speeds, but decreased stability. Excellent for advanced skills.

Onewheels outmatch hoverboards in terms of performance, features, hardware quality, and off-road handling. But they come at a significantly higher price and injury risk.

For most beginners looking for casual neighborhood cruising, hoverboards are the safest, most affordable choice to start. Their compact size makes them easy to store and carry.

But for experienced riders seeking very fast speeds, long range, and off-road excitement, Onewheels provide an advanced full-body riding experience and adrenaline rush. The high price pays for performance, durability, and versatile terrain handling.

So consider your personal riding style, needs, and budget to decide between these two popular electric rideables! Both offer awesome futuresque transportation…you just need to choose one wheel or two.

Appendix: Side-By-Side Specs Comparison Tables

To help summarize the key performance specs and hardware differences, here are two side-by-side comparison tables for hoverboards vs Onewheels:

Performance Specs

Top Speed6-10 mph15-20 mph
Range5-15 miles6-18 miles
Weight Limit220-265 lbs240-300 lbs
Terrain HandlingSidewalks and roads onlyAll terrains including off-road
Water ResistanceNone, not waterproofFully waterproof casing
Hill ClimbingStruggles with steep hillsHandies inclines up to 25% grade

Hardware Design Specs

Hopefully these breakdowns help show the clear contrasts between these two personal electric vehicles. Understanding the pros, cons, features, and performance allows choosing the right option based on your needs.

The Future of Electric Rideables

As battery technology continues improving and costs keep becoming more affordable, electric rideables like hoverboards and Onewheels will only grow in popularity for recreation, commuting, and exercise uses. More models will emerge with unique features and capabilities.

Both hoverboards and One wheels provide a thrilling glimpse into the future of eco-friendly transportation – just pick your perfect ride between one or two wheels! With proper safety precautions, they provide hours of clean, efficient fun.

So strap on your helmet, hop on your hoverboard or Onewheel, and enjoy the ride into the future! Just watch out for any passing skateboarders.

Available for Amazon Prime