Freestyle Spins/Pirouettes

Hey everybody, I’m a mostly beginner unicyclist, sort of. I can balance fine and i’ve got control and i can jump and do a few other stuff, but mostly i’ve worked on street. That makes me feel guilty because when i was just learning (age 10), i saw kaori matsuzawa spininng and I knew I had to do that.But I never worked on freestyle =-(. I mean, sure i’ve tried wheel walking and can ride sif, but i want to try spinning and pirouetting. Please tell me anything or everything about it. even if you think it’s irrelevent i’ll listen. Thanks

first of all admit that unless you ride in a gym you will eat through tires like nothing else besides a power sander, and that you will probably want a decent freestyle tire to do this

learn to turn in smaller and smaller circles(leaning turn), then take a ski pole or hockey stick or something similar and use it to push you into your turn while you twist into the leaning turn(don’t just be twisting, you need to be riding a tight leaning turn)

most people spin to the left, so if you learn to the left you should have the hockey stick in your right hand and use it to catch the ground a couple feet to the left of your tire, if you manage to go into a spin just keep pedaling through it, you won’t need the hockey stick after starting the spin

eventually you will be able to simply twist yourself into a spin, even without the ever important leaning turn

Keep at it until your tire is completely wrecked, then buy a new tire and stop spinning on pavement, if you want to spin go to a smooth, non-abrasive surface, though I don’t recommend this for learning as you will need the extra traction


For spinning I like high pressure in the tire- a good quality tire will hold more but just put the max in for what you’ve got. A smooth surface to ride on is useful- wood or smooth concrete. Someone showed me a method in the supermarket carpark where he rode up to something and pushed off with his hand to cause spinning (in his case a supermarket trolley). Riding on the right of a pole or wall you push with your left hand to spin right or if you are on the left push with your right hand to spin left. A firm push will send you into a pirouette spin type of motion and help you find out how to get that feeling. I get dizzy trying the pirouette things and I’m not as good at it as Kaori but that seemed to help for me.

I have only recently learned how to get into a pirouette. I started by riding in small circles to the right, getting tighter, then I put more pressure on the cranks to get the actual pirouette off. I was running about 100psi at the time, and was next to the beach, so the sand on the path helped a bit.