Onewheel Pint Kicks Off a New Chapter for the Santa Cruz Company
In 2014, Onewheel was released into the world following a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign.
Led by founder and CEO Kyle Doerksen, the Future Motion Inc. team has grown to 40-plus people and Onewheel, its first product, is a global sensation.
There’s just one problem: with a $1799 price tag, Onewheel XR is out of reach for some.
“The Onewheel experience is really, really fun,” say Future Motion Chief Evangelist Jack Mudd. “We kind of built an aspirational brand, I would say. But it’s a lot of money and it’s not within reach for a lot of folks.”
Pint is described as the “Onewheel ride experience distilled into a smaller package for your everyday journeys and adventures.”
A smaller version of the Onewheel XR, Pint comes in at almost half the price.
“Pint is made to allow more people to tap into this fun we’re having,” says Mudd. “It’s everything that’s amazing about Onewheel but in a smaller, lighter, more accessible package.”
The Future Motion team worked on Pint for two years before launching it in mid-March. The New York City launch event for Pint featured a pop-up space, a 40 foot screen press, influencers, and a keynote by Doerksen and Mudd.
“It was something I never could have conceived of two or three years ago,” explains Mudd.
As Future Motion grows and expands its offerings, Mudd says the team is “trying to push [them]selves and evolve a little bit.” And the future is bright.
“We probably have 45 people now,” says Mudd. “In terms of the resources we have, and the bandwidth we have, and the teams we have, we’re starting to get to the point where we can do some really cool stuff.”
When asked about what they can do now, Mudd explains that with a video production team, they’re able to create more content and further amplify their marketing message, and they’re able to develop products faster because they have larger engineering teams—both on the mechanical side and the software/firmware side.
“Now, we’re starting to work on a couple of projects in parallel,” says Mudd. “When were four people, or 10 people, it took all of our bandwidth to focus on one product.”
Moving forward, the vision for Future Motion is to keep moving and growing.
“I couldn’t say what’s next,” says Mudd. “What we’ve seen is that there’s a tremendous demand for Onewheel products, and that’s our entire business so far. We’re in this period of pretty aggressive growth.” He adds, “There’s so much room for it to grow.”
He points out that Onewheel is becoming well-known, but that when he rides it out in the world, people regularly stop him to ask what it is. This is true for the growing, global community of Onewheel riders who modify and customize their boards, creating a rich Onewheel ecosystem.
“We’re seeing that our customers want to take it in different directions,” he says. “We have people who treat it like a snowboard and want to go ride trails. Then we have folks who commute on it who have probably never ridden a board in their life—this is just a way for them to get around. We’ll probably continue to develop Onewheel products that extend in both of those directions.”
Committed to creating American made products, Future Motion is opening its own manufacturing facility in San Jose. In doing so, they’re doubling down on their commitment to “doing things locally,” says Mudd.
“There’s obviously a lot of pressure to make a lower cost product, and that usually means going to China,” he says. “But our San Jose facility signifies a future where we’re not doing that.”
Santa Cruz remains a vital element of the Onewheel brand and culture. Mudd explains that just being here has attracted the right type of people for what they’re doing.
“We have an amazing team of smart people, and we all love spending time with each other, which has been instrumental in creating this high growth environment,” he says. “Santa Cruz has been super instrumental in the growth of the company and the identity of the company, probably more than anything.”
The Future Motion team lives the Santa Cruz lifestyle. In fact, Mudd and the marketing department have been accused of being too informal at times, but he’s unphased, saying, “Ultimately, people gravitate to the message that we’re having fun. That’s pretty reflective of being here in Santa Cruz.”
For the first six months after the company’s Kickstarter, Doerksen’s workshop was in Mountain View. When the team needed to test new products, they would have to drive for 45 minutes or an hour to go find something to ride because the terrain was “just flat, with nothing there, and just not inspiring,” says Mudd.
Contrast that with the company’s new Westside location that looks out over the UCSC Marine Lab and the Monterey Bay.
“It’s so beautiful,” says Mudd. “We have people who leave the office and go for rides over in Wilder, or downtown for lunch, or whatever. It’s a space that has enabled us to live it more than we would have been able to if we weren’t here. Also, it’s just really nice.”
Cat Johnson is a storyteller and content strategist focused on coworking, community and workspace wellness.