Onewheel.Pro interviews Matt Hoover, founder of Land Surf.
OWP: Tell the community where you are from and where you live now?
Matt: I was born in Sacramento, and grew up in Novato, Manteca, and Modesto, CA. From 1999 to about 2009 I lived in San Francisco. I now live in Marin, north of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.
OWP: When did you first hear about Onewheel and how did you become involved with the sport?
Matt: I remember seeing an ad on the Internet while looking for an electric skateboard or EUC. I remember thinking the Onewheel had such an odd look to it and I never anticipated that it would function and ride like it does. The same way no one understands the magic feeling until that “ah-hah” moment when they first ride a Onewheel.
OWP: How many boards do you have and what type of setup do you have on them?
Matt: I have 5 full size boards and a Pint currently. Three XR’s and two Plusses. Of course, all are outfitted with Fangs 3, Platypus footpads front and rear, Platysense front sensor prototypes, and most also have a Contour fender because I hate rocks in my socks and shoes. Some have rail covers, some have Bone handles. I have tires like the FF Whisper, Burris Treaded 5.5 and 6, as well as some Hoosier slicks. Next up for me are some CXBR battery upgrades.
OWP: Tell us about your company Land-Surf, how did you come up with it?
Matt: Shortly after getting my Onewheel I was headed up a steep hill going home, too confident, and leaning way out the front to push the nose down and climb the hill. Next thing I know, I’m on the ground. My first nosedive happened so fast I didn’t have time to put my arm out. I wished that the nose could have just rolled a bit instead of stopping instantly.
So, when I got home I started thinking about the V1 version of Fangs. Once I showed some people prototypes (back in the day I was on the Onewheel site only, not Facebook), they seemed to like it and I was then making the V1 fangs with my 3d printers and some off-the-shelf wheels. “Land-Surf” was a name I chose early on because I thought later on in life I might like to make some aftermarket parts for e-skates and EUC’s. So, to cover all of those non-Onewheel products, I chose that more general themed name instead of using “Onewheel” as part of it.
OWP: What is the difference between original fangs and Fangs 3.0?
Matt: There are so many differences that the only similarity is that both have wheels. The originals were 3D printed and strong, but some users were rougher than others and some breaks occurred. They were also very small wheels (about 15cm or less in diameter). They are what would now be known as “Fang Minis” V1. The wheels were off the shelf and very hard. Fangs 3 is the 6th generation of bumper wheels, if the Pint Fangs are counted.
The new Fangs 3.0 is a complete front bumper replacement and requires a big, expensive mold to produce. It has 6 CNC’d pieces of aluminum and steel to hold the wheels in. It comes in 8 colors and has specially designed wheels that come in 5 colors and are only a bit smaller than the skateboard wheels that are popular now on push skate decks. And those wheels are now further out from the centerline of the board, providing a wider stance and more stability. The axles are custom machined stainless steel 316 for a precise fit. And the overall shape of the bumper presents rounded edges and flowing lines to avoid having any part of it catch on the landscape you’re riding over.
OWP: Your Contour Fender is one of the sleekest looking in the market, with so many aftermarket competitors already producing fenders, what sets Land-Surf’s Contour Fender apart from the rest?
Matt: Two things. One, it’s made of Dupont Zytel – a super tough nylon. To this day no Contour fenders have been cracked or broken. The material is just ridiculously tough. And two, the shape of it is unique as it hugs the tire in a constant radius. It’s also just received a design patent award, a few weeks ago, after 18 months of being in the US Patent queue.
OWP: Your Platypus footpad is a new product you recently launched; can you tell the community about it?
Matt: The Platypus is a urethane footpad that has a W-shaped profile to it. I wanted to make something different than what was already available. The center hump was very comfortable to me, as I have flat feet – and many people like the feeling also, but it isn’t for everyone. Some don’t like the hump, and that’s okay. I prefer to have a bit of arch support, and it feels even better barefoot.
After making many high-backed versions on my 3d printers for friends in the community, I decided to make one that was less extreme in height. I wanted more leverage for trail riding, so I made the pad significantly wider, to the point that it overhangs the rails on each side by about 1/2”. I was also tired of the stock footpads losing their brass inserts, or having them spin in place, so I made the inserts on the Platypus out of a thick piece of steel that can’t be pulled out of its spot no matter how hard you pull.
OWP: If you could create the next version of the XR, what improvements or design features would you change?
Matt: Oh, man! Big question. We’ve all seen many posts and responses to this. I think the top wishes for me are a more powerful motor, better range, lighter, and more water resistant. There are many places for improvement, but the current XR does so well.