Crashing advice wanted

Okay, here’s the deal. I want some advice on HOW to crash. I know, I know. “Don’t crash.” Seriously, when I do a relatively high speed UPD, I almost always try to run it out and then things go terribly wrong and I end up taking a fairly high impact fall on my wrists and knees. I even one time did a real faceplant. Once I hit my shoulder and fractured my collar bone. Damn, that hurt. Anyway, I’ve read a few of your posts that mention being able to roll out of it or do a shoulder roll or something like that. How do any of you do this? Do any of you have any techniques that can help minimize the impact? Any drills or techniques to practice rolling, tumbling, etc.?

theres an acrobat/unicyclist somewhere on these forums…i bet he’d have some good tips for you.

part if it just comes with time and experience. it also helps to be flexible. im curious to see what other people say. however, im not totally convinced that you can teach someone how to fall in a safe and coordinated way.


IMO , your going way to fast for your skill then.

More ‘uptime’ will strengthen your legs to ‘hold back the petals’ going fast.

I always land on my feet with my right arm swung back to catch the seat.

good luck , stick with it.

(Ok , I lied , I miss the seat grab sometimes ;D )

If you push the edge of the envelope in this sport, YOU WILL CRASH. Its not a matter of if, but when and how often.

Invest in appropriate safety gear. I never ride without wristguards. And for anything but the most casual loafing rides, I wear a helmet. That’s all the safety gear I own, but others in my group wear arm armor and leg armor.

Practicing diving rolls. We did that in baseball. Helped us catch balls on the dive. You’re more OK with hitting the ground if you’ve decreased the fear of it by exposure to it.

Get the gear tho.

Memphis Mud is right so far as my experience goes. Start pushing it and you’ll go down and go down hard. Here’s where my accidents have happened:

For me, MUniing got far more dangerous once I could start trying steep stuff that required connected rolling drops onto irregular terrain where you either rolled out of it and carried on, or flew off at speed, often onto rocks. The boys up in Santa Barbara have an unstated code that the authentic way to ride even the hardest single track is to “roll” the whole shebang, meaning you keep the tire moving and never stop to line up the cranks and hop the hard bits–which is consisered a MUniing version of snow plowing a downhill ski run. I’m not nearly good enough to roll all of those trails but I’m starting to try – as did a guy who broke his lower leg in half a few weeks ago. Point is, on grim MUniing, push your limits slowly, or wear a cast.

And for freestyle stuff, everything up to 2 foot wheel walking was pretty safe, since you always have a foot on a pedal on the tire, and I never fell too hard. But at 1 foot ww/gliding, you’re in a quasi coast for a split seconds and I slamed down like a car wreck a few times, and it hurt like crazy. Trials stuff I can usually jump out of, but only sometimes on the MUni or while learning harder freestyle tricks.

Botome line: IMO, the best protction is not pushing things too fast, and always wearing shin guards, writs guards and a helmet. It’s hard to hold back – especially when all the guys are going off around you – but it’s always easy to don the gear. Pushing things and going without the gear is begging for an injury. Actually, I can’t imagine really going for the hard stuff and NEVER getting injured. It just comes with pushing your own envelope. The trick is trying to limit the seriousness of the injuries.


don’t crash


I second the “practice diving rolls” comment. The diving roll starts with the leading arm and shoulder initiating the roll, then tuck the head and you’re there. Find a soft field to practice on.

Take Aikido if you really want to learn this well.

Or, stay on your feet by running. Are you riding faster than you can sprint? Probably not. Just leave the uni bouncing behind you and run!

I’m only a level 1+ rider so weigh my advice accordingly.

Basically you do want to run it out. What you are doing is catching your feet up with the momentum you have gained. Sometimes it is impossible to run out of a crash and you have to roll. I have found that rolling is usually painless if you do it right and don’t roll over any pointy rocks. Basically you just fall diagonally and catch youself partially with your arms (but dont keep them rigid, just use them to shock the landing) and then once you are on the ground you roll until your momentum has been eliminated by friction.

This will make a great addition to !


Re: Crashing advice wanted

“underdog” <> wrote in
> Okay, here’s the deal. I want some advice on HOW to crash. I know, I
> know. “Don’t crash.”

Nip down to your local Judo club, and concentrate on the breakfalls and
being thrown rather than throwing others. They will show you how to do a
rolling fall AND give you the chance to practice it on a surface that won’t
hurt. Then when you get the UPD unicycling you are in with a chance.
Running out will always be the better option though if you can


Know which shoulder you like to roll on, tuck that shoulder down and roll onto your back.

It’s not like a forwards roll, more like when you’re a kid and you go rolling over and over on your side down a hill.

Having a rucksack/camelbak on helps, because your back is padded.


Re: Crashing advice wanted

u dont mention what kind of riding u do
high-speed UPD as in 15MPH+ COKER UPD, or 3MPH rock-picking Muni UPD?

simply from having read a variety of threads on this issue, it sweems to me that the ‘concensus’ is that u run out of the ones u can and learn the forward roll for the ones u can’t

but it would probably help to know what kind of riding u do

Thanks for all the advice. I think the best one was to go to the local judo club and learn to fall and roll. The general overall concensus seems to be run it out if at all possible then have a good roll in your bag of tricks for when you can’t. And to put everyones mind at ease about the safety gear, I do wear it always. And yeah, I’d love to see a video on falling/rolling techniques on unicycle2ya. :wink:

You can’t start Aikido/judo rolling on rocks lest you break your fricking back. And when there’s big drops and the terrain is steep, rocky, irregular, and oftentimes narrow (shoting gaps between rocks), you can’t run stuff out. You just bash into living stone when you UPD. Here’s where I’ve gotten most of my knocks, and here’s where I’ve learned to be conservative–and where the protecive gear comes into its own. Even so, a while back I fell right on my ass on a rock rib and got a welt the size of a flapjack that lasted a week.


Yeah, I can see where you just plain have to take your knocks when riding muni. I’ve seen some video of some really nasty falls in the rocks. Even though I have the goal of getting good enough to muni, so far I’m just street riding. I can still get taken down by relatively small imperfections in the pavement. Don’t know if I’ll ever be good enough to do technical muni but I keep practicing in the hope that one day I can inspire a mtn. biker to change his evil 2-wheeled ways.

I’ve gotten in the habit of taking it on my elbows/gorearms where my padding is… As a last resort. To quote Arthur (King of the Britons) “RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!”

Step one: Play rugby
Step two: Drink malt liquor
Step three: Crash
Step four: Rinse and Repeat

You should not feel any pain, or sense of self-worth.

Rinse? C’mon, let’s not be sissy about this…

First and foremost, if you can afford it, buy some body armor: arms, legs, wrists, ankles, etc. It will almost always pay for itself after your first few crashes. You can’t buy your own blood back, if anything, you’ll end up having someone else’s pumped back into you :stuck_out_tongue:

I also recommend studying a martial art that involves rolling and falling. Aikido, Hapkido, Judo or Jiu Jitsu are examples of such arts (esp. Aikido & Judo).

Since proper falling is required to avoid injuries during training, it is often the first technique that is taught to students. In as little as one month you will learn forward and side rolls / falls which will help you greatly when you dismount on flat ground or offroad.

With more study you will become more aware of your immediate surroundings as you fall. You will develop more control, both during the fall, and how / where you land. The rate at which you learn this is directly proportional to how small and crowded your dojo is :slight_smile:

Awareness is essential to avoid skewering / spraining / dismembering yourself in harsh offroad terrain. I constantly look around as I ride, keeping in mind where it would be relatively safe to fall.

Quite an appropriate typo :slight_smile: