GoPro Mountain Games Onewheel race open to all in Vail Friday
IF YOU GO:
What: OneWheel Race for the Rail
Where: Golden Peak
When: Friday and Saturday, 3 p.m.
Cost: $20 to enter, free for spectators
More information: mountaingames,com
VAIL — If you thought Onewheel electric skateboards were a common sight around the GoPro Mountain Games in the past, this year you’ll really be impressed.
The second annual Race for the Rail is set to go off Friday starting at 3 p.m., where the best Onewheel riders from around the country will gather to see who has the most skills on an off-road cross course. This year the competition has been moved from Lionshead to Golden Peak, where a singletrack venue will be able to incorporate more off-road elements to the experience. With off-road capabilities being one of its major draws, the Onewheel course at Golden Peak will be able to better showcase the device’s versatility in year two of the competition, says spokesperson Jack Mudd.
One and all are welcome to enter the competition for a $20 fee.
“We’re expecting like 40 or 50 racers to show up,” he said. “So there will be time trials to get into a bracket round of 16. People are coming from all over the map — Chicago, Florida, we have a whole group that’s road tripping out from L.A. — so it’s going to be competitive; it’s going to be fun to watch.”
Finals are set for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Two years ago, Mudd and the Onewheel folks visited the Mountain Games, set up a booth and let people try out their product.
We had an informal race with our staff, just for fun, and people came and watched it,” Mudd said. “We’re were kind of blown away — we had a little crowd.”
When they returned last year, the Race for the Rail was born in Lionshead.
“We probably had about 20 competitors come and race, it was super fun,” Mudd said. “But now, there’s probably twice as many Onewheels out in the world, maybe more, so the community has grown a lot.”
Word of mouth and a little social media have helped spur the growth.
“The more you get them into the world, the more people see it, the more people realize they’re incredibly fun and you can do it anywhere,” Mudd said. “It just makes your life better.”
The GoPro Mountain Games have helped, as well.
“We met a lot of the people who became really important to our brand at the Mountain Games,” Mudd said. “Some of our best riders, and some of our best ambassadors. It’s really helped connect us to the outdoor community, it’s been a really good fit. With Onewheel it’s all about getting outside and exploring, so I think that’s why this community loves Onewheel so much, it fits their lifestyle.”
TRY IT OUT
For those curious about the Onewheel but aren’t ready to jump into the Race for the Rail, demos will be available for visitors to the Golden Peak booth.
The next generation of the product was just released this year; it’s called the Onewheel Plus.
“It has a new motor with hypercore technology, so it does a great job pulling heat out of the motor and into the axle blocks, getting it more power, more speed and more efficiency,” Mudd said. “The level of riding is light years ahead of where it was last year.”
While it’s currently on a one-month backorder, Mudd says they will offer an incentive for the Mountain Games crowd to try out or purchase a Onewheel.
“You’ll get a special for the Mountain Games,” he said.
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Jeff Shiffrin, with his wife, Eileen, made the Vail area their home decades ago, and together raised Mikaela and Taylor Shiffrin, who was a member of the two-time NCAA Champion University of Denver Ski Team.