My name is Simon Tay, a self employed youtuber trying to make a living making game/gadget reviews and yet it’s not because of my job that I started exploring the possibility of riding an electric unicycle.
The question is actually how did I actually decided to try and eventually love this self balancing electric unicycle, the answers lies 2 years ago back in 2014.
Back in 2014, there was a series of H5N1 scare in Singapore and everyone were trying to prevent infection by wearing N95 mask.
I was then exploring ideas on how to prevent infection other than just wearing mask & washing hands regularly, I look at how many people are coughing & sneezing in overcrowded buses daily and it’s scary!
So I searched for a solution to travel short distances without taking buses, I turn on youtube and search for electric vehicles, scooters, and more.
I searched for days and come across a few interesting options, it’s either electric scooters or self balancing electric unicycle.
So I went to local electric scooter shop Falcon PEV and tried out their range of electric scooters and there were plenty of visitors roaming in their cramped office, managed to tried & test out a range of their scooters and found out that it’s kind of too fast & heavy…not to mention how expensive.
Usual electric scooters are $1299 and above and the weight can be over 20kg.
Then I came across a youtube video about a guy riding to work on a self balancing electric unicycle, with his hands in his pockets as if the future had just arrived. It intrigued me deeply and the desire to ride this was then very very strong!
I searched high & low for any local Singapore distributors for electric unicycle and came across AirwheelSG and visited their office near Yishun.
At first I tried out the Airwheel double wheel Q3 and Airwheel X5 with training wheels and find it easy to balance and paid for an Airwheel X5 on the spot without thinking.
Boy was I wrong about it being easy!! Hahahahahahaha!!
But I am very determined person and the videos of plenty of people riding this self balancing electric unicycle gave me plenty of motivation.
On day 4 or the first week of learning how to ride, I was fully wrapped with protective gears to prevent serious injuries and that did help me overcome the fear of learning but still only ride at near midnight to avoid embarrassing myself in front of many onlookers.
After day 4, it’s testing my fear again & again until I fear no more.
First was the fear of riding at narrow path as I cannot control the unicycle that well and turning accurately is kind of hard.
The very fine speed control by changing body weight distribution makes self balancing electric unicycle a game changer for me.
Falling multiple times were just how I learn what I can do & what I cannot do and learnt the following!
- You should slow down at small curb slope, bend your knees & overcome the small curb then straighten back the leg to avoid falling.
- Never ride fast at blind spot areas like corridors
- When in doubt ride slow
- Use lights to see where you are going at super dark areas
- Explore and enjoy! :D
Then I am hooked!
Gliding effortlessly around the neighbourhood like a super human IS STILL amazing, buying groceries in the middle of the night from 24hours supermarket IS way more convenient than walking.
From then on, I upgraded my electric unicycle multiple times & now use WindRider electric unicycle but I am always on the lookout for something better like with better battery and etc.
If you are like me, riding on an electric unicycle…welcome to the future!