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Recall issued for Santa Cruz skateboard company after multiple deaths

By Brisa Colón

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    SANTA CRUZ, California (KSBW) — OneWheel riders are being asked to stop using their electric skateboards immediately, as there have been dozens of reports of injuries and even four reported deaths. 300,000 electric skateboards made by Future Motion, a Santa Cruz-based company, were recalled by the U.S. Consumer Product Commission.

“The skateboards can stop balancing the rider if the boards’ limits are exceeded, posing a crash hazard that can result in serious injury or death,” said the report from the commission.

Reported injuries include traumatic brain injury, concussion, paralysis, and fractures. The four reported deaths were due to head trauma, according to the report, at least three of the victims were not wearing a helmet.

“It’s unfortunate for people that have been injured and affected and their families that have been affected by that,” says John Marheineke, Santa Cruz resident.

“It’s definitely not what we wanted to hear, but at the end of the day this seems like to me it’s more of a rider mistake,” says Olivier Guincetre, Covewater Surf Shop Owner & OneWheel vendor.

Olivier is a big fan of the product and was one of the first to sell them at his Cove Water Surf Shop in 2014.

“It’s not something new to us. We had emails regarding these kinds of incidents. Once again, how many? It’s a really small amount compared to the amount of boards they’ve sold,” says Guincetre.

As a small local vendor, Olivier pre bought his boards, so this recall could leave him thousands of dollars in the hole. But, he says he’s hopeful it won’t affect his sales.

“The community is definitely very strong behind it. There is a way of living behind the OneWheels,” says Guincetre.

Santa Cruz residents who’ve tried them tell KSBW they are fun, but not the easiest to ride.

“They’re hard, they’re hard, yeah because you don’t have control with your foot, you’re not pushing, it’s motorized and if you’re in a little too much and it gets a lot of speed and you’re so far off the ground so when you fall, we’re going to hit the pavement,” says Sienna & Khadijah, Santa Cruz residents.

The models under this recall include the OneWheel GT, OneWheel Pint X, OneWheel Pint, and the OneWheel+ XR.

The report urges users to get the OneWheel app and download updates to include a buzz alert function that gives riders a buzzing sensation when the board reaches close to its limits.

This isn’t the first time the company has been under fire. The commission sent out a warning to users last year regarding a possible ejection hazard.

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