damn these 180 unispins

Thats exactly what I’m talking about, but if it doesn’t feel right its always up to you.

No-footers (Aerials)

I am starting to get static 180 unispins to where I am doing about 20 or so per practice session, and doing 3 in a row at times.

But I gotta say I am HORRIBLE at no-footers/aerials. I’m starting to practice those now more but they seem almost harder for me than unispin for some reason. Some people have no prob with them but for me I have great difficulty when not actually doing anything with the wheel after my feet leave pedals.

Anybody else? The idea is to practice aerials higher and higher, and work on getting unispins higher as well. Many of the tutorials recommend practicing aerials to help unispins.

Hey Matt! Yes, I’ve seen the same tutorials. I’ve done aerials on my trials, MUni and even my Oregon. The hardest part is committing and just going for it. Probably the most common fear is missing the pedals and nutting yourself! Not very likely on a trials though.

I started by just jumping up off the ground (no uni) and trying to replicate the movement as if I were on a uni, with same foot position, one forward, one back. That seemed to help a lot. Then I moved on to 180 mounts, where you jump onto the uni while spinning it 180. My next goal is to progress to 3 spins using the same steps.

Today I was successful on 21 of 40 attempts. This is the first time I’ve been successful more than 50% of the time. Woot! Woot! I’ll be going for another personal best tomorrow. I’d like to hear how others are doing as well.

Here’s some 180 unispin practice video. It seems to me that my jumps are good, but my spins are too slow. Your critical comments, suggestions, tips are welcome.


The main barrier is commitment with the legs and feet. Just force yourself to pull your feet back in more than you feel you should. Also spin the uni more than you think you should. Do you have rollos? They increase the surface area of the crank, which helps a ton if you are using regular cranks like Moments, Spirits or Nimbus cranks.

The fear is greater than the actual risk. Especially if you do it on grass. I have yet to really hurt myself with the proper protection. Helmet, shin/knee guards and half top shoes that cover the ankle, and gloves. Cross my fingers. And I have been doing them for over a year now.

No, I don’t have rollos. I had to look up what they are.

I had a good session last night. I kept reminding myself to spin the uni more than one thinks one should. That’s a good tip.

Glad I could be of help. They are a hard trick. Lots of respect to those folks that do 360s+.

Do you have KH cranks? If so, rollos really help with this trick. I have trouble doing them without. Impact also makes, or used to make, cranks with nubs.

I got my first 180 unispin (landing and riding out of) the other day, followed by the second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth.

I would be more excited if it weren’t for the following:

  • I was only able to do it with the dominant foot back.
  • I was only able to turn the uni counter-clockwise.
  • I was not able to finish it with another 180 to put me back into normal position.
  • I am a chicken and do it on grass.
  • I have no consistency.

Congratulations! The other stuff you list will probably soon follow.

Did you do a 90 degree unispin or hop onto the tire before that?

I will have to try that stuff. I can jump mount onto the tire, then onto the pedals. I should incorporate this into my unispins.

What helped me was wearing my motorcycle gear. My brain knew I couldn’t get hurt, even more so than with leg guards.

It’s funny, with unicycling, how seemingly related skills, when you try to actually learn them, don’t seem so similar anymore. Once I learned one-footed idling, I thought I’d be riding one-footed in no time, but I was wrong! On the other hand, many of these skills are connected to each other in surprising ways…

Yesterday I practiced some variation techniques, some of them involving performing a series of 90 degree maneuvers. For example, mounting into a one-footed idle position (with the other foot on the crown), then transitioning 90 degrees to standing on the wheel with feet on either side of the crown, then hopping onto the pedals (another 90 degrees), resulting in the unicycle pointing backwards. Not a 180, rather a 90+90. My soccer shin guards are really coming in handy!

Not-exactly related to unispins, my control of the positioning of the foot-on-crown during one-footed riding and idling has improved. I am starting to learn how to drag the foot-on-crown against the wheel during one-footed riding. The more I practice it, the more controlled it feels, and I’m hoping this skill will help me eventually learn to glide (still seems crazy hard and dangerous).

I love unicycling because there are so many variations of technique. Also, with some creative experimentation, there are ways to scaffold my way towards a new technique. As a middle-aged guy, I’d rather learn this way than continually fall on my rear.

From the tutorials I’ve watched, gliding is something you build up to via the wheel walk and then the one-footed wheel walk, but here I’m talking about stuff that’s way over my head.

I have noticed, though, that when I ride one-footed, if my resting foot rubs against the tire a little, for some reason it’s a recipe for success. Maybe it slows my wheel down just a tiny bit and helps me regain balance, or maybe it happens because my thighs are closer together and have a better grip on the saddle. It doesn’t happen often enough for me to really know, but it makes me think wheel walking might not be impossible.

It sounds like you’re doing a lot of stuff that more than anything else requires just a split second of bravery- a leap of faith, I guess you could say. I don’t even do jump mounts yet, but your posts are inspiring, and it’s good to know that these things can be done with soccer shin guards, as I don’t own any leg armor.

No one here but us chickens. If you could roll around on the soft grass in the park across the street from my home, you would not call me brave. If you saw how much safety gear I had on, you would not call me brave. There are very few bad consequences on the grass wearing shin guards. Which is why the park is a great place to get stupid.

Funny you mention bravery, because I have never done a real suicide mount. I always jump-mount starting with one or both hands on the seat, and even then, I am too concerned for the well-being the family jewels to land SI. Letting go of the seat for even a split second feels like a complete loss of control. Imagine landing a suicide mount squarely on the seat, but for some reason missing the pedals. Ouch!

Song, thanks for all the encouragement about stair hopping. There are a few choice places in my vicinity to practice stair hopping. Just like many other aspects of riding, hopping up any particular set gets easier/takes less effort with continued practice.