The Airwheel X8 is a self-balancing electric unicycle produced by the Airwheel Technology. It uses sensors, gyros, and accelerometers in conjunction with an electric motor to assist a rider balancing on a single wheeled vehicle.
Learning to ride the Airwheel X8 is like learning to ride a bike – impossible at first but with practice and perseverance you’ll be zipping around in no time. I leaned against the wall and just went back and forth, back and forth, for about 3 hours until I started to establish a sense of balance. Then I started trying to go forward without the wall.
Now I can ride the electric unicycle with just one foot, hop on and off with ease, zigzag to avoid people on sidewalks, and do all sorts of fun stuff. Trust me, when you figure it out and get some practice in it is awesome! Here are some key bullet points that I believe are most important when considering buying one of these:
1) The Airwheel X8 scuff and scratch but it doesn’t break. I have no qualms letting people try it because it just isn’t fragile.
2) I was afraid that people would make fun of me when I rode it around Boston or Cambridge but the exact opposite turned out to be true. I have had at least three cars pull over and ask if they could try it. Everybody stops and asks what it is and says it’s awesome and wants to try it. It was so nice when I visited Washington DC. It got me around to all the monuments and I charged it in coffee shops or my hotel. You will hear every single little kid you drive by go “Woah! Look at that mom/dad!”
3) It has some heft to it. You don’t want to roll around, run out of batteries, and have to carry it for more than 20 minutes back. This electric unicycle is meant to be ridden, not hauled.
4) The insides of my legs were definitely bruised for about a week after I began using my Airwheel X8. The bruise was not a permanent thing and it doesn’t hurt at all to use now.
5) I had several unicyclists try it the other day and the results were mixed. Three hopped on and within 5-10 minutes were riding around all over the place. One fell flat on her face :) The center of gravity is different and you don’t have the peddling rhythm to help stabilize you. They faked the peddling rhythm by weaving back and forth a bit, which eventually straightened out.