gliding down hills: equipment vs. technique

So far I’ve learned to glide on relatively short and shallow inclines, and I feel pretty solid. I’m doing this on a 20" Primo The Wall (slick) tire with typical skate shoes. Today I went to a local park with a long and wide path down a moderate slope. When I tried to glide, I found that I couldn’t control the speed. It didn’t seem possible to put enough force on the tire. With all the pollen in the air and the dry weather, I thought that maybe the conditions were dustier than I was used to, but being my first time on such a slope I’m not sure.

Would a different (perhaps knobby) tire give me better traction? Do I need to drag both feet on the tire? Do I just need to practice and practice and practice?

i’ve noticed dust affects gliding a lot more than you’d think, sometimes making it almost impossible
i have a 20" maxis creepy crawler w/ knobs
when i try and glide offroad (which some can do) the dirt makes it hard
but i find dust that collects on concrete makes it the hardest

getting used to a slope is challenging, but the dust’ll make it really hard

Gliding with a MUni tire

Figured I’d ressurrect this now that I have some experience that relates.

I was having the opposite problem - I needed an extremely steep hill to even maintain a low speed. I’ve been practicing gliding with a 24"x3.0 Duro Muni tire (stock on the KH freeride) and some “Simple” flat-soled shoes. The tire is definately the loser - it’s worn down noticeably while the shoe has worn very little. As soon as the tire warms up, it gets sticky, and it really grips my shoe. My first major glides were down a steep, tarred fire road that had some sandy patches. It probably would have been tough to maintain control on a less grippy tire.

As with everything unicycling, practicing worked out the issues. Foot placement makes some difference, as does getting used to the different surfaces. Even a little dust, sand or water makes it difficult to apply enough pressure.

Starting closer to the bottom of a steep hill may get you used to the incline without having to worry as much about losing control of your speed. You could then start from higher and higher spots until you can control it down the whole slope.

Dust is bad, and brings a variable to your glide that you can’t necessarily control. A sudden increase in dust cuts down your friction and away you go! Stick to pavement for more predictable results.

For real fun, do it on a wet surface as it’s drying off. A little different each time! This is what we had to use for the gliding competition at Unicon XII in Tokyo. No choice; it had been raining!

Beware of gliding with knobby tires. It makes it harder to learn good technique (a light touch), and mostly it’s hard on the tire. If you glide a lot you can prematurely wear the tire out. Depending on the tire though, you might concentrate on the corners and try to wear down those corner knobbies we unicyclists don’t really need. :slight_smile:

Obviously we know from Kris Holm that you can do long, fast, consistent glides on knobbies, no doubt about it. But it is hard on the tire.

Hard on your tire? What about shoes!

I don’t think dust is that bad. I learned how to glide on a semi-knobby tire, on a dirt road that was slightly wet from rain…

Shoes too, though the shoes tend to be harder than some of the rubber in the tires. Yes, we wore through some shoes back in our early days of gliding…

Good thing the Duro is (relatively) cheap. Hey, once the knobbies are worn off, I can keep it as a slick!

So I’m gathering that my tire is a poor choice for gliding in dusty or wet conditions. The rubber does seem pretty hard as tires go, and my left shoe has noticeably less sole remaining than my right. I’ll have to try gliding with a softer knobby tire sometime.

i got the same tire Primo The Wall…
but i cant glind yet :stuck_out_tongue:

I had trouble gliding until I switched to a knobby tire (creepy crawler).

gliding noob!

I just begin to feel I’m on the way to gliding (one foot ww in progress, not yet consistent, but I work on it).
I feel pretty noob as I see loads of young riders who can glide after a few month of practice… but you know, I’m more in the trial stuff:o … and this wears my tire out on located spots, though I turn it sometimes.
I use a Try-all tire (wich is very greepy, knobby and “soft”) and I wonder how the knob-less spots will affect my glidding. Is it possible to learn gliding with a partially worn knobby tire (for a “normal rider”)?