Onewheel Trail Etiquette

The number-one way to avoid getting stopped or banned on your Onewheel is to ride with respect—respect for other trail users, respect for the trail itself, and respect for authorities if/when they interact with you. IOWA has assembled these trail etiquette best practices, which we encourage all Onewheel riders to practice no matter where you like to ride.

Ride Responsibly

The Onewheel community are new users of parks and trail systems that equestrians, hikers, bikers, and park rangers have been maintaining for many years. It is every Onewheel rider’s responsibility to follow proper trail etiquette and help prove our community deserves the same rights of use. IOWA recommends the following best practices to help riders demonstrate goodwill and responsible trail usage.

Ride Open Trails.

Respect trail and road closures. Ask a land manager for clarification if you are uncertain about the status of a trail. Do not trespass on private land. Obtain permits or other authorization as required. Be aware that Onewheels are not permitted in areas protected as state or federal wilderness. If asked to leave an area, do not fight with authorities. Comply with all local and federal laws.

Leave No Trace.

Be sensitive to the dirt beneath you. Avoid spinning your tire, especially when trying hills too steep for you. Fix any divots created and pack it down tightly with your heel. 

Wet and muddy trails are more vulnerable to damage than dry ones. When the trail is soft, consider other riding options. If your tire slides at all, it is too wet to be riding.

Stay on existing trails; do not create new ones and do not cut switchbacks.

Be sure to pack out at least as much as you pack in. Leave a trail better than you found it.

Treat kids and Animals with caution.

Animals are easily startled by an unannounced approach, a sudden movement, or a loud noise. Kids can dart around and change direction without warning. Give dog walkers and parents enough notice and space to adjust to you. When passing horses, use special care and follow directions from the horseback riders (ask if uncertain).

Running cattle and disturbing wildlife are serious offenses.

Yield Appropriately

Do your utmost to let your fellow trail users know you are coming. A friendly greeting or bell ring are good methods. Try to anticipate other trail users as you ride around corners.

Horseback Riders Yield to No One

Equestrians need space! Due to a horse potentially getting spooked by a Onewheel, bike, or hiker, it is usually considered respectful to stop and wait on the side for horse riders to pass. If a horse gets spooked it can cause physical harm or death to a rider. Walk past and continue to talk, sing or whistle as to not spook the horse. Be especially safe around horses. 

Hikers Yield to Horses Only

Hikers are expected to yield to horses. Onewheel riders and Mountain bikers should slow down and be careful when letting hikers pass. Be thoughtful and avoid blasting into or dusting a hiker. 

Mountain Bikers Yield to Horses and Hikers

Mountain bikers must yield to horses and hikers due to the danger present when speeding around trails. Because Mountain bikers have invested so much effort into making these trails rideable, it is a sign of respect to give bikers the right of way. Bikers should yield to other non-motorized trail users unless the trail is clearly signed for bike-only travel. Bikers traveling downhill should yield to ones headed uphill unless the trail is clearly signed for one-way or downhill-only traffic. In general, strive to make each pass a safe and courteous one. 

Onewheel Riders Yield to Horses, Hikers, and Bikers

Call out when passing and pass with a wide berth at a controlled speed and hop off the board if the trail is too narrow to fit you and the other user at the same time. Your board is silent, and it is easy to sneak up on people from behind and startle them. Use your voice or do your best to alert those you are approaching from behind. People going slow or walking will disrupt other trail users flow or cause dangerous situations. Those going downhill yield to others coming uphill. Follow the correct trail direction if posted.

Foster Goodwill

Control Your Onewheel.

Obey posted speed regulations and ride within your limits. Be aware of where your board may go if you bail, especially if there are people below you. Without a rider, a moving onewheel is a 30lb weapon. If your board gets away from you be prepared to try to grab it or alert anyone using a trail system below you. A leash system may be a good idea for extreme slopes or conditions.

Plan Ahead.

Look up the trail difficulty before riding and ensure you can handle it. Know your equipment, your ability, and the area in which you are riding and prepare accordingly. Strive to be self-sufficient: keep your equipment in good repair and carry necessary supplies for changes in weather or other conditions. Always wear a helmet and appropriate safety gear. 

Respect other trail users and the natural environment.

Don’t be a noise polluter! Not everyone wants to hear your bumpin’ playlist. Remember people are trying to enjoy nature and it disturbs wildlife. 

Be aware of current wildfire hazard levels and remember smoking in the forest is never a good idea.

Be a good neighbor! Pick up litter even if it’s not yours. Offer to help anyone who is stopped. Volunteer to help build or maintain trails whenever possible. Together, we can show natural surface terrain users that onewheel riders have earned their place on the trails.

Credits and Sources: Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA), IOWA Trailmasters Committee, and Onewheel Arizona .

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