From surfboards to skateboards, Onewheel zooms into Santa Cruz with huge new R&D office

Byby Juan Carlos Guerrero via KGO logo
Tuesday, October 30, 2018
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Future Motion, which makes the Onewheel electric board, just opened a new headquarters in Santa Cruz.

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (KGO) -- Electric scooters seem to be all the rage right now, and one Bay Area company is looking to capitalize on the popularity of personal transportation.

Future Motion, which makes the Onewheel electronic skateboard, just moved into a new 60,000 square foot research and development center in Santa Cruz.

The company has about 40 employees right now, but is looking to hire engineers, sales and support staff for its new headquarters.

RELATED: The do's and don't for riding electronic scooters in San Francisco

Future Motion manufactures Onewheel in San Jose. Its engineers designed the motors, sensors, power electronics and battery that make the board run.

Riders control the board by leaning forward to go faster and leaning backwards to slow down. Since it is an electronic transportation system, the board is not allowed on the sidewalk and must be ridden on bicycle lanes. But the company does not expect to face the same backlash that shared scooters have gotten.

"One of the big challenges with the sharing systems that you see out there is that there is a lot of vehicles parked on the street. With Onewheel, you are going to pick it up and take it with you. It's really more of a personal vehicle," said Kyle Doerksen, Future Motion CEO.

Onewheel has two models. The Onewheel+ has a 5-7 mile range and costs $1,399. The Onewheel+ XR has a 12-18 mile range and sells for $1,799.