Paul Selby is the Canadian Product Rep and Team Leader for Gauswheel Canada, and I am pleased to have him on as the 6th guest on the Dynathrive Q&A Sessions.
A brief background…
Paul and I first became friends during the early years of elementary school.
During that time, we spent the majority of afterschool hours skateboarding, playing with mutual friends and hanging out at each others houses to extend skating sessions, watch movies, and whatever else kids do to kill time at an age where it “feels completely abundant”.
This past summer, Paul contacted me to re-connect and talk about this new transportation and recreational tool called the ‘Gauswheel’ he’s been avidly pursuing and working on. He told me about the website, and I immediately went online to check it out.
Since then, I’ve met up with Paul a few times to play around with the Gauswheel and my experience has been nothing short of amazing.
The Gauswheel to me, is an efficient, practical and fun way to get from point A to point B in a timely manner without hurting the environment. The learning curve is fairly easy, and after finding your balance and footing, you can start to really enjoy the cadence and smooth riding experience that the Gauswheel offers.
After reading this Q&A, you will have a better idea on what the Gauswheel is all about, as well as educational information from Paul that will help, if you are looking to purchase one for yourself, or as a gift for family members, and friends.
Now… let’s jump into the Q&A with Paul Selby.
For readers that are unfamiliar with the Gauswheel movement, can you explain the concept of the Gauswheel and what you are currently doing with the company?
Paul: The Gauswheel is a hands-free push scooter designed in Hungary. The concept behind the Gauswheel is to have a form of transportation that is quick, smooth, efficient, versatile, portable and most of all, fun.
Some refer to this two-wheeled machine as an “urban” or “extreme” scooter, as it features a 20” BMX tire and a hydraulic disc brake. As skateboarding is similar to snowboarding, riding a Gauswheel finds commonality with skiing.
The fluidity of the riding experience is created with the combination of its shock dampening wheel and frame, and it’s incredibly versatile turning radius, allowing the rider to effortlessly slalom down slopes, and navigate through crowds.
As of now I am involved as a product rep for Vancouver, where I live, but have already travelled to Calgary, Regina, Seattle and Las Vegas to promote this eye catching device.
How did you first get involved with Gauswheel? And what initially got you interested in pursuing this cool concept of recreational transportation?
Paul: I began to get involved when one of my friends brought this “skateboard with a bike wheel” as he called it, to my attention.
His father had seen them in China at a trade show, and he wanted to know what I thought of this unique cruiser, which lands somewhere in between a bike, skateboard, unicycle and scooter. I was very excited to test one out, and once Rosemarie Sim, the CEO of Gauswheel Canada, received some demo units, I had my chance.
Right away the riding experience was like nothing I had tried before. It offered a new type of challenge and I was eager to jump on, progress, and bring this versatile people mover out into the public. I have always been interested in skateboarding, so the introduction of a new, smooth and faster push rider, that features a brake, caught my interest immediately.
I saw some skateboarders the other day crossing the street and it took them 7 pushes, with the Gauswheel it would have taken no more then 3. I think it’s about time more people see these things in action.
What are three tips you would give to someone that is interested in jumping on a Gauswheel for the first time and taking it for a spin? Any safety precautions?
Paul: The most important thing to recognize is that the Gauswheel is inherently held upright through a counter balance. Your weight forces the frame against your calf, once you are comfortable with this snug feeling, you will be able to control the machine exceptionally well.
- Try standing on the Gauswheel with your dominant foot, without moving. This will give a good impression on how to stay connected with the device.
- Lean forward. It is important when learning not to lean too far BACK. This will pop up the front wheel, which is awesome for wheelies, but when learning it can throw off your balance almost immediately. As a result, leaning forward is a good stepping-stone on your way to mastering it.
- Look ahead and not at your feet. Just as when you are walking, running, riding a bike and of course driving, you are looking straight ahead. Looking down at your feet will almost certainly result in loosing balance. Just as if you were on a ladder, don’t look down!
Be honest… what was your most embarrassing moment on the Gauswheel?
Paul: Oh boy. Recently I was in Las Vegas, and a co-worker and I were out for a cruise along the main strip. I was cutting around a crowd of people and I underestimated the surface we were on (many of the walkways are cleaned every night!) and I slipped out and fell on my side.
When you are used to skateboarding, snowboarding and many other activities, falls happen and I was perfectly fine. However a group of loud males had seen the entire event. Needless to say I didn’t hear the last of them until I got to the end of a very long Las Vegas block.
As a team leader for Gauswheel, what are some elements of entrepreneurship that keep you on your toes and constantly evolving?
Paul: The process of educating the public when it comes to bringing a new product into the market certainly takes patience and perseverance. Some people may like the product but can’t relate it to their lives.
Education then bridges this gap, and allows products like the Gauswheel to be accepted on a wide scale. The versatility of the Gauswheel is one of its greatest assets, and therefore the education process may have to cover more bases then your average product.
This versatility allows me to envision the Gauswheel as more then a toy, or a commuting device. Imagine mail delivery being carried out with assistance from a Gauswheel, completing a route efficiently while still getting good exercise. How about mall, or airport security? The possibilities only end when we stop looking for creative avenues.
When not working on Gauswheel, what are you spending the majority of your days and weeks working on?
Paul: My responsibilities with Gauswheel keep me relatively busy throughout the week. When I do have some free time I enjoy playing lots of sports, most notably hockey.
Like many sports, I treat hockey as a work-in-progress, trying to get better each and everyday. As you know, it is important to take care of your body, and for that reason I try to stay as active as possible. Riding a Gauswheel most days certainly helps with that!
Beyond athletics I find myself putting together videos of all sorts, some for Gauswheel and some for my own enjoyment. Digital design is something that I hope to continue in the future, as I enjoy the challenge of bringing the brilliance of real life and experience, onto the screen.
A fond memory I have with you is spending countless hours skateboarding during our childhood years—this was a seminal moment in my life, and I’m sure it was for you too.
Do you still skateboard? And since the Gauswheel is similar to being on a skateboard, do you feel that it reproduces a similar experience as skateboarding once did?
Paul: I have great memories of that time, and I believe it taught us both a great deal about the level of perseverance it takes to be successful in anything. I do still pick up my skateboard from time to time, but sadly it is something that I tend to do less and less.
The Gauswheel certainly reproduces the experience of skateboarding, and is one of the reasons I enjoy it so much. Skateboarding is by in large a trick based sport, which is an element I can’t help but bring to the Gauswheel. The two employ the act of pushing off the ground with your feet, which gives you the satisfaction of immediately experiencing the exact effort you put in.
The Gauswheel carries momentum so well that more often then not, you can stand comfortably and enjoy the cruise. Likewise this allows you to generate an impressive amount of speed. The maneuverability of the Gauswheel allows you to choose your own route, cruising around crowds, up and down curbs, and even swerving through gates designed to impede bikes.
Most of all, it delivers an authentic experience since you might be the first person to go down that hill, or go along that section of seawall on a Gauswheel.
What life skills did you learn from your parents?
Paul: Our parents shape us in many ways, and like it or not, they mold us into who we become. I was lucky to have parents that gave me an ideal amount of freedom, and I was able to pursue sports like skateboarding because of that.
However, they were sure to put me in my place when I needed to be, which gave me a good moral balance. Most of all they taught me patience and perseverance, as well as good problem solving skills. How best to react to a situation, and act on it.
Those are of course important skills in many fields of life.
If you were ever put into a freaky position where you had to choose between either keeping your eyesight, or hearing… what would you choose? And why?
Paul: I would choose my eyesight. This would allow me to continue playing different sports that I enjoy, as well as take in the beauty this world has to offer.
Although I would miss my hearing, I would be able to learn sign language and adjust to the best of my ability. Hopefully I never have to choose!
When was your last trip outside of Canada, and what did you get up to there?
Paul: I recently returned from Las Vegas from the world-renowned InterBike convention. Over 1200 bicycle industry exhibitors flock to Las Vegas for a week in mid-September to show off new and emerging products.
Bikes weren’t the only thing on display, hands free segways, skate and long boards and of course the Gauswheel were featured, as well as countless accessory suppliers.
It was a lot of fun, and we were able to make connections with accessory dealers, media outlets and retailers in Texas, California, Florida, Utah, and Idaho.
For those that are currently lacking the motivation to pursue their craft, what would you tell them to lift their spirits and go after what they want in life?
Paul: At least as it relates to my experience with Gauswheel, I would encourage them to pursue whatever activity keeps them active, happy and having fun.
For me, I enjoy exercise, I get a rush from it, I can easily enjoy what I do because I am constantly using something that gets me going, literally and figuratively. If their passion does not involve physical activity, I would encourage them to find something, anything that gives them that rush.
This takes your mind off some of the stresses of day-to-day life, and simply lifts your spirits no matter what you may be doing. Having that positivity pulsing through you will encourage you to go after what you love, and you will produce better work as a result.
What is next for Paul Selby, and Gauswheel? Do you have a plan of action for the next year, or two? Or are you just going with the flow for now and seeing how things turn out?
Paul: We are of course planning to bring Gauswheel to as many people as we can. Having the exclusive rights to Canada gives us a lot of latitude, and allows us to introduce the Gauswheel to large retail stores as well as more personalized experiences with the community.
I expect to lock down retailers in Vancouver before Christmas time and from there we will work on expanding into other parts of Canada and the United States. Hopefully once next summer rolls around, you’ll be seeing more and more Gauswheels on the streets of Vancouver and elsewhere!
Thank you Paul for sharing your time and taking part in the Dynathrive Q&A’s.
I’m glad we were able to stay connected for so long, while sharing a variety commonalities along the way. Your answers are much appreciated brother!
Lastly, where can readers find you online to connect and learn more about the Gauswheel?
Paul: The pleasure was mine Poyan, I’m so glad that we are still in touch, and I wish the best of luck to you in anything you pursue. You and your work are truly inspiring and I look forward to seeing more of it.
Readers can reach us through the following links:
Thank you so much for this opportunity, I appreciate your time and am so happy we could collaborate in this way.