Any good material for learning to pirouette? Advanced tricks?

Hello everyone!

My name is Harlequin (yes, real). This is my first post here. I’m a writer and podcaster who blows off steam on the unicycle. So happy to see a place solely dedicated to all the weirdos out there riding unicycles. I have a big question, one that probably can be answered by veterans.

I’m starting to get into that addictive phase of having approaching intermediate skill on the unicycle. I can free mount, ride extremely comfortably, idle with one foot, hop up on tall platforms, use my cranks as steps, ride down stairs, take big drops, etc.,

One of the things I’m dying to learn is the pirouette. Yet, I’ve noticed something which I am beginning to suspect is a part of the unicyclist culture. Sort of an unspoken rule, maybe? Like a lot of intermediate and advanced skills, there simply is no source material (or very little) for learning it online in the way of instructional videos. It seems to be very much, “Find your own way,” save for perhaps some written advice from helpful riders on line.

Is this simply because this is such a niche sport or is there a reason why the experts aren’t showing all the noobies how to do advanced tricks on YouTube and such? Maybe I’m just not searching hard enough.

In any case, I would really appreciate if somebody had some material I could watch or learn from before just trying to go into pirouetting and other tricks blind.

Cheers!
Harley

Welcome to the forum, and thank you for such a succinct and accurate description of us! :+1: :smile:

(Feel free to give some more info about yourself in the Introduce Yourself section!)

Here is very good past thread:

How long to learn pirouette starting from IUF level 2?

Here are two videos of someone learning. Essentially keep turning smaller and smaller circles till in one place.

1 Like

Thanks Jim! I will study these videos closely. I think they’re more informative than I thought at first glance, as they show a clear progression. Cheers!

Yes, as said before: the way to learn pirouettes goes over spins. Learn spins first, try to get the “circles” as small as possible, so that your whole upper body, from the hip upwards stays totally vertical and exactly on the rotation axis. The just stop pedaling. This may sound easy, but the way to good spins can be a long one.

1 Like
  1. What Eric_aus_Chemnitz said.

  2. Get shorter cranks like 100 mm. If you are using 150’s, get 125’s and 100. Do a slow progression when changing cranks lengths. It greatly affects timing, response and feel. You might feel like a total beginner at each different length.

  3. Use your arms like a figure skater. It’s a subtle and gradual radius decrease. Slow video down too see that you just don’t whip your arms into the center.

Start in big circles and steer only by leaning your hip inwards (so that you ride “round” (w/o edges!) circles). Lean more and more inward and accelerate slowly to minimize your circles. Do not (!) twist your hip / body for steering as your circles will get non circular (polygone) by doing so and you’ll never end up in a proper spin. Every time you nab yourself twisting your hip (wobbly circle), abort your try to go smaller and start again in a bigger circle.

1 Like

Not sure if this could help, but I happened to came across it yesterday:

1 Like

I would say it’s because unicycling is a niche sport.
In France we are currently working on tutorials for all levels (beginner, intermediate and advanced). They are only available in French, but you can add translated subtitles within YouTube. We haven’t done yet the pirouette but we can ask our freestylers to do a tutorial for this figure… :smiley:

2 Likes

Maybe you could ask Kristina to make a Spin/Pirouette video … as she makes really great tutorial videos … but: it’s all german

I see mistakes in movement and body posture in both videos.

Normally i would have recommended the Trixionary too, but it seems to be offline.
https://unicycling.org/trixionary
Also the unicyclist.org multimedia archive has not been mentioned yet. In it’s freestyle section you’ll find videos of many tricks. Unfortunately, spins and pirouettes are not in the list.
Here is a video of a spin: http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/video5.cfm?p=spinL
And this one nicely shows the transition from spin to pirouette: http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/video5.cfm?p=pirouette
backward spin (bad movement / body posture at the beginning): http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/video5.cfm?p=bwspin-littlebetter
backward spin to backward pirouette: http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/video5.cfm?p=pirouette-bw
All of them are no tutorials, but htey show the trick really good.
For more trick videos, see here:
http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/standard.cfm

1 Like

so many cool things to try with a uni. I should never have gotten married and gotten kids (1 + baby coming soon). Now I only have time in the weekends to try things.

The UNIQUEST video looks very cool and I can see it will help a lot there, if I can already ride backwards. While learning to ride UW, I also noticed how much extra balance it gives to extend your arms. I always consider flailing a bad thing and force my arms close to my body, but when making 90º turns I do keep my arms up and actually twist my body to where I want to go. Sometimes I try to stay as straight as possible and only hang towards where I want to go, as that is theoretically possible… and needed for pirouettes, but I find that difficult.

Harlequin, we keep all unicycle knowledge away from facebook and google and only share it on this forum. :smiley: You can see it is the Living Handbook of Unicycling.

3 Likes

I am a total beginner at the pirouette and frequently fall off trying. I have to remember to keep my cadence consistent, not to slow down, as I make increasingly smaller circles. That takes some commitment, and the results can be scary. I’m pretty sure the rest of my pirouette technique is garbage, but keeping speed seems to be fundamental to my success. This may be obvious to many riders, but it is hard to see on video.

1 Like

I have 114 mm on my Nimbus. Do you think those would be conducive to spinning? Thanks for taking the time to leave these tips. I haven’t played around with moving my arms too much, so I’m excited to experiment.

I’ll keep that in mind. I can imagine that I would feel the instinct to slow down as I get out of control. Sort of reminds me of the tip to lean forward when grinding on a downward handrail. Sounds completely mad, but you shouldn’t lean backwards, as that often results in suffering a nasty fall.

I’ve binged the uniquest videos, they are great! I highly recommend them. The only thing I can’t do from them is the wheel walk. A few days ago I tried the wall push and was able to do some clean 360’s, but I’m struggling to transfer over experience of using the wall to spin into using my own body’s momentum.

Ah well thank you for taking the time to leave a thoughtful reply amidst your busy schedule. That tip sounds golden for pirouettes, I’ll give it a shot!

Mmm yes. I am happy to have joined this clandestine cult.

That’s a game changer. I’ve been jerking my hips all over the place. Thank you!

I could imagine id get very dizzy very quickly! Not for me as I have many challenges but I wish you well with them :grinning:

1 Like

Isn’t that this one?

I haven’t tried that one either, but it’ll come when I’m motivated to do so :wink: