Your Onewheel comes with two footpads, the "front" footpad and the "rear" footpad. To determine which one is the "front" and which one is the "rear", simply put the wheel down on a level surface. The board should naturally lift on one side. The raised side is considered the "front" footpad.
The "front" footpad is different from the "rear" footpad because it contains pressure-sensitive sensors to detect the rider. It is important to understand how this footpad works because it is ultimately how your board knows you are riding. We recommend checking the video below to familiarize yourself with how the footpad works and some tips on how to engage it:
Each "front" footpad is split into two halves; the left half and the right half. In order for the motor to engage, both sides of the footpad must have pressure on them and the board must be brought up to a level position.
If you have larger feet that extend past the footpad, we recommend to have your heel on one side of the sensor pad and the ball of your foot on the other. It is better to have your toes hanging off the front as opposed to having your heel hang off the back. You may have better luck with angling your foot and having your heel in the bottom corner of one side of the footpad and the ball of your foot in the top corner of the other side of the footpad.
The board's LED light will light up and stay blue to indicate when pressure has been detected to either side of the footpad. If you notice one side of your LED strip remains white when pressure is applied to both sides of the footpad, it may be because your foot is applying pressure in a buffer zone where the sensor does not detect pressure. In the images below, make sure your foot is making contact in one of the blue shaded areas.
For Pint and Pint X:
If you are still experiencing issues engaging your footpad after adjusting your stance, there are a few other things you can check for:
1. Dirt/Damage. If your footpad illuminates blue on either side of the LED with no pressure being applied, check to see if there is any dirt/debris caked onto the grip tape and clean it off. While inspecting the footpad, check for any damage to the grip tape such as a dings, dents, or deep scratches. If you come across any damage to the footpad, it's best to replace them with new ones.
2. Footwear. Ideally, you want a flat-soled shoe with a hard bottom. It is better to have a sole that has a hard compound vs a soft compound as a soft compound may redistribute the your weight to areas of the footpad where the sensor doesn't detect pressure, such as a buffer zone or edge.
3. The weather can also have an effect on your footpads. Colder weather may cause the materials in the footpad to stiffen up resulting in the sensor being less sensitive until warmed up. The Onewheel User Manual states that “If you do happen to leave your Onewheel out in the cold, you may have to bring your board in and warm it up to (60°F/15°C) before it is ready to ride. It may take an hour or more to warm up to a rideable temperature.”
If you do take a long ride in the cold and then stop to take a break, the temperature of the board may decrease, and you could experience issues with temperature alerts and/or the footpad sensor's flexibility. If this happens, try and increase your board’s temperature by taking it to a warmer area such as indoors, or a sunny spot out of the wind.
4. If your footpads are brand new, it can take a few rides for the materials to break in and become more sensitive, give it some time!
5. If your board is a GT or GT S Series with firmware version Cassiopeia - 6153 or later, the Onewheel app will allow you to adjust ride settings through Custom Shaping. There is a new feature that allows the board to engage when only one side of the footpad zone detects pressure.
After selecting your desired ride mode, click the three slider icon in the top right:
Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you will see the option for "Dual Zone" or "Single Zone" engagement.
With "Single Zone" activated, pressure on either side of the sensor will be sufficient to engage the motor at the start of your ride! This makes it much easier to get going.
Once you accelerate past four miles per hour, the board will default back to the standard heel-lift dismount recognition the next time you reduce speed to below 2mph.
If you are still experiencing issues engaging your board after checking for these things, we recommend performing a footpad health test to check the "front" footpad is responding to pressure properly. Follow the steps below:
- Please turn on the board in the ready to ride position and apply ample pressure to the left and right side of the sensor individually. Repeat this by touching different areas of the sensor to check for sensitivity. Please keep in mind if you touch the sensor in one of the buffer zones (pictured above), it will not respond.
- The LED bar should illuminate blue upon contact if done correctly with each press. If the left side of the footpad detects pressure, the left side of the light bar will illuminate blue, and vice versa for the right side of the footpad. When pressure is registered on both sides you'll notice the light bar will show solid blue across the entire LED strip.
- When applying pressure to different areas of each side separately, the LED headlights (red or white) on the front and back of the board should illuminate as well.
- If done correctly, the small Onewheel icon in the app will show the sensors registering pressure (pictured below).
- When the sensor detects pressure, a small foot icon will show up and make a connection with the heel side, toe side, or entire pad.
If your footpad's LED reacts to the different applications of pressure during this test, then your footpad is healthy and you may need to adjust your stance, footwear, or wait for the weather to warm up as mentioned above.
If during the test your footpad is not detecting pressure in one or more of the zones, you may have a loose footpad connection. We recommend removing the "front" footpad and reseating/tightening the connection. Below are some videos on how you can remove/install the footpad which show you which connector needs to be tightened:
If you are still experiencing issues with your footpad after following the tips and troubleshooting outlined in this article, we recommend contacting our support team to help you further!