First ever Onewheel Cross competition takes place in Vail
VAIL — Taylor Seaton practiced a few hours on a Onewheel before walking on to the first ever Onewheel Cross competition in Vail on Saturday.
The pro skier from Avon said he has been intrigued by the device since first seeing people cruising around on them last year at the GoPro Mountain Games. An electric motor which looks like a riding mower wheel in the center of a skateboard, the Onewheel allows riders to go off road, on grass and trails and up hills.
“I was surprised by how easy it was to learn,” Seaton said. “It’s really versatile and faster than I was expecting. I guess it’s no surprise they’re starting to do competitions on them.”
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Ten riders were invited by Onewheel to come to the games and compete on a course which includes berms, banked turns, narrow rails and hills. Six more riders were allowed to try to enter based on their times in a Friday time trial; Seaton said he “snuck in” at the last minute.
“I didn’t think I had a shot but then I started getting pretty comfortable on the course and put down a good time,” he said. “I’ve gotta say I’m pretty proud to have made it into the first ever Onewheel Cross competition.”
‘HISTORY IS BEING MADE’
Four riders went head to head in a bracket-style elimination starting with a round of 16, moving down to an elite eight, a final four, and finally a championship, not unlike the NCAA basketball tournament.
Brandon Edelson came in from Florida with hopes of making it into the tournament.
“I came in just for the GoPro Mountain Games, mainly for the Onwheel event,” Edelson said on Saturday. “History is being made today – It’s the first time they ever have had this type of event, and I just wanted to be a part of it. I didn’t want to miss out. It’s going to be intense.”
Edelson won a four-man qualifier to make it into the competition. He said he had practiced a lot on his Onewheel over the last year or so.
“I cruise around Florida on bike trials, on road, off road, on the beach, on the side of the beach, to the grocery store, there’s really no limits,” he said. “The rain doesn’t stop it either. It charges in 20 minutes and lasts for an hour.”
Edelson was one of the people who took advantage of Onewheel’s pre-order program in 2015. Waiting out the delivery, he saw a Onewheel in a store in Florida and bought it.
“I thought ‘Do I cancel the one I ordered?’” he said. “When I got the second one a month later, I just kept it so I could ride with another person. I ride with my bros, girls, my parents, everybody can do it. I’ve seen kids, old people, young people, there’s no limit. The Onewheel doesn’t discriminate.”
‘NEW WAY TO SHRED’
Zack Hughes won the Onewheel Cross event in Lionshead on Saturday.
“Race for the Rails was an awesome event,” he said. “It was a unique way to show off the toy and show everyone what this thing can do.”
Hughes is a co-owner of Badfish SUP, and bought his Onewheel last year at the GoPro Mountain Games.
“It’s an amazing product,” he said. “It’s really fun, a new way to shred and have a good time.”
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