Essential safety gear

Given my recent accident (see thread Onza bites man ) I was wondering what is the most essential safety gear when learning to ride new tricks. I would like to learn to ride down flights of steps, hope back up them, improve my rolling hops and practice higher and higher drops.

When I first started I rode with no safety gear, then my first bad fall persuaded me to use wrist guards and my latest accident has convinced me to buy some leg/shin pads, but what else sholud be on my shopping list?

  • Helmet
  • Gloves
  • Elbow pads
  • Back protector
  • Body suit
  • ...
What do other riders typically wera when trying new stunts?

When I’m pushing my limits and doing new things (and old but scary things) I generally wear (in order of importance):

  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • 661 Knee/Shin guards
  • 661 Elbow guards

I usually wear all of these anyway. I’m considering investing in some wrist guards too.


When on the Coker (with plastic pedals):
elbow guards
knee guards
harbinger wrist supports/gloves

When on the MUni (with shin-eater pedals):
661 shin/knee guards
661 elbow/forearm guards
harbinger wrist supports/gloves

For me,

  1. Shin pads for any sort of trials and tough off-road and new freestyle tricks (usually involving spins of some kind)

  2. Gloves always for road or sometimes trials and muni.

  3. Knee/shin pads for some tough/dangerous trials and muni.

  4. Would like some kind of ass pad for learning variations of wheel walking. Would make a great addition to the KH range I think…

Never had the need for a helmet, though seeing stuff that guys like Andrew do a helmet is a good idea. I have a big head and always spend the money elsewhere! Never really bashed my elbows, but I have seen friends who are trying to learn cut them up pretty somehow…

Just gloves for hockey.

For gentle muni - helmet amd wristguards

For proper muni - helmet, wristguards, 2x4 and 4x4s (elbow, knee and shin protectors)

EDIT: … and cycling shorts for all occasions :sunglasses:


Helmet always, for muni I wear Fox shin/knee pads, elbow pads. When I’m just going from point A to point B, I only wear the helmet. My girlfriend yells at me at that point, and I try to explain that it’s not that dangerous, and she goes quite and I have to be uber sweet. BTW, my only uni is a 24" Nimbus Muni, so I’m not cokering or anything on my A->B rides…
Anyone else have similar problems with their non-uni spouses?

You rank Gloves above helmet? I wear a skate helmet and one glove on my hopping hand. This glove is also reinforced with a bit of an inner tube as it was still getting to my fingers after the 4 hour rides i was doing like 4 days straight. These are just sailing gloves we had around the house though, not full fingered and not very padded around the fingers.

I use all of the usual, helmet, knee/shin, elbow, wristguards, and I also use ankle suports. I use a soft wrap that laces on and has figure eight straps with velcro the brand name is ASO which came from an orthotics place, there are other brands that make a similar product. You can get active ankles from but I didn’t like them they are plastic stirup that goes in your shoe and pivots at your ankle, I don’t like how wide they are, but they probably give better support than the kind I use.

I highly recomend them for trials and muni, and for beginners. I wish I had a picture of my ankle after I broke it riding on slickrock trail in Moab, my foot was at an amost ninty degree angle to my leg after dislocating my ankle breaking both the tibia in two places and the fibula. I’m preaty sure it wouldn’t have happend if I had been wearing ankle supports or it wouldn’t have been as severe.

Some people will tell you that wearing ankle supports will cause youre ankles to become weaker, but I believe that riding a unicycle doesen’t strengthen your ankle like hiking does. The suddden impacts that occure in an UPD don’t strengthen them either and it’s easy to twist or break your ankle without support.

Here’s a picture of the x-ray of my ankle after surgery. Dan

I always where a skate helment when doing stuff like street and muni. I where shin guards when i muni and I very rarely ride shin guards with street, i sometimes where a soccer shin guard but I just found the wonders of Levi Strauss leg armor i find it to not provide as much protection as say 661 but it does provide some and is probably the most comportable leg armor out there.


I think “ESSENTIAL” saftey gear is shin guards/gloves, with a helmet for everything but freestyle. I do need some elbow guards though… i’ve scraped those pretty badly, on occasion.

Yes, but I consider both to be very important.

I own 6 types of safety gear which I rank in this order of importance:

Knee/Shin guards
full finger gloves
661 ankle biters
wrist guards
elbow/forearm guards

I rank them in this order by frequency of injuries or near misses to the various body parts they protect. Helmet is ranked low because head injuries in unicycling are very rare. For me the most common injury is getting a pedal in the shin or calf - it’s painful but easily protectable - that’s why I’ve ranked knee/shin guards highest. I very rarely wear my elbow/forearm guards.


for protection I wear,
a tee shirt
and occasionally gloves

hurt prevention is not worth mobility limitations. not for me.


I always wear a helmet(because I need my brain)
And I always wear biking gloves(because I play violin and cant play with scraped hands)

i wear boxers

that’s right

Re: Essential safety gear

I personaly think a back protector and body amor are overrated, i just wear shin/knee guards and a helmet (rarely do i wear arm guards) and gloves

I wear a helmet because I realised how screwed you are if you take a bad fall on your head. Pedal bites just leave scars, but if you knock the back of your head on the edge of a stair, you could be dead. Helmet doesn’t limit my mobility at all, it merely adds a bit of weight. That tiny bit of weight is well worth it for the the amount of protection I get, so far I’ve needed the helmet once.


When im doing some little trial things, im just wearing my gloves and my elbow 661 guards, which i am wearing on my knees and shins because the shin and kneeguards from 661 in size S are too big for me g. :slight_smile:

In advanced trials im wearing my helmet too.
In Muni helmet, gloves and the elbowguards on my shins and knees.


What’s the main difference between skate and bicycle helmets? I’m not talking asthetics or materials or weight etc, but what kind of knocks is each one designed to take??

Skate helmets come down the back of your head, more like a hat. So they will be alot better if you fall and hit the back of your head as I do mostly.