I always firmly believe that many people are looking at flatland in the wrong way. To many people flatland is: do anything on flat ground or even off small stairsets… that technically makes me a flatlander in their eyes then… well, anyone is a flatlander then… haha…
Unicycle disciplines are like mirror images of their bike counterparts… I mean look at trials… muni… street… respectively: biketrials, mountain biking, and BMXing.
Flatland in unicycling is derived from flatland BMX. The key to flatland BMX is all about flow. Look at how they ride? They pretty much always keep at least one wheel on the ground rolling and do a truck load of rolling balance tricks. You don’t see them doing street BMX tricks like bunnyhop-barspins or bunnyhop-tailwhips in normal circumstances because they are considered street tricks. Thus doing crankflips off curbs and 3 sets are not flatland. It’s in the name for pity’s sake: FLAT… LAND… therefore all of it is done on a flat plain of land. As shown in the following picture:
Most ‘flatland’ riders and ‘flat’ videos are just mini-street. The only riders capable of true flatland that I have see so far are: Spencer Hochberg, Arthur Caron, Loic (to some extent), Xavier (to some extent). There are more out there, but I haven’t noticed yet, apologies.
Spencer especially as he sees flatland in the proper light: i.e.: about balance tricks, flow, no hops. Sure, him and Arthur do crankflips and street tricks in their vids as a mess-around, but in the serious flatland parts… they are fully capable of doing impressive balance combo tricks, which many so called ‘flatland’ riders don’t ever do. Flatland vids are quite monotonous sometimes i.e.: unispin, pause, hop hop hop, doubleflip, hop hop hop, 180 crankflip, bail, hop hop… Where’s the flow? Where’s the balance trick combos?
I know a lot of so called ‘flatland’ riders will think I’m an ‘ignorant trials dick’ that knows nothing about flat… but hey… read what I typed out above and think about it. I’m all for unicycling to evolve into something truly impressive… partly the reason why I took the effort into creating the Triton Sponge titanium frames. I take a genuine interest in seeing things grow and evolve in the right way and I like contributing to it by helping to un-cloud some people’s opinions and judgments.
Someone PLEASE prove me wrong about the general ‘flatland’ scene in unicycling and bang out a proper video taken from the mold of Spencer and Arthur’s continuous rolling balance trick combos. Because to me and many many others, it is just mini-street right now. No crankflips or stairsets please. Just balance, rolling, and flow. No hops. BMXers generally laugh at us, especially at flatland… every BMXer or friend of mine that sees ‘flatland’ unicyclign they say: “what the hell, how is that flatland… it’s bunch of sketchy street tricks with no flow”. I agree with them 100% to be brutally honest. Let’s see flatland move in the right direction… go and watch Spencer’s vids on youtube and try and learn his balance combos. I’d be FAR more impressed to see people doing 20 second clips on youtube doing one balance combo consisting of crankrolls, legwraps, tyre-step overs etc… rather than a 5 minute video of crankflips off 2 sets and curbs.
On a less critical note: Anyone reckon they could do megaspins on unis?
^My idea of it is: Get in a donkey kick position, but instead of kicking the tyre backwards, do continuous backwards scuffing of the tyre as if you are doing backwards standing 1-foot wheelwalks, but spin in a circle whilst doing it. I chatted about this with Spencer, and sure it is damn hard in theory, it would be sweet if someone pulled it off.