How not to dismount a 10 foot giraffe!

Okay, so you think you want to ride a 10 foot giraffe unicycle, but you don’t know what it would feel like to dismount from that height? Well after watching my dismount from my helmet cam, your going to get a pretty good idea. Riding a 10 foot giraffe is not the smartest thing I have ever done, but at 53 years old, I figured it’s now or never. Before I started, I knew my old legs only had one good dismount in them from that height. So I was only going to ride it once, get it on video, and be done and move on to something else.

My one mistake was riding muni for 3 hours right before getting on the 10 footer. My legs where already wore out from riding muni. My friend Tobias just got a 10 foot giraffe and wanted to try it out. I used to ride a 6 footer all the time in my younger days, about 25 years ago. I borrowed a 5 footer from another friend of mine so we could warm up with it before getting on the 10 footer. I only rode that 5 footer around 20 feet and was ready to get on that big one.

Riding the 10 footer was pretty easy. Letting go of the support was tough. It’s kind of like jumping out of an airplane. You don’t really want to do it, but you eventually do. I knew the dismount was going to be tough, since my legs where so tired, so I rode it towards the grass and jumped off and landed on the grass. The dismount almost killed me as you will see in the video. You can see the video here:

I don;t really know how to post youtube videos, so I hope it works. Stick around for the credits.


Yikes! :astonished:

I would have aimed a bit left and grabbed for that other light pole, then shimmied my way down.

Or maybe have someone grab the uni and jump off into a swimming pool.

Thats funny

Panotaker: I got tears in my eyes from laughing so hard at that. Thanks for posting the video!

Of course its only funny because you posted it yourself.

Just make your legs all springy and you’ll be OK.

I just went out and jumped off a fence to simulate the 7-8 foot drop.

No injuries sustained.

The Darwin awards? You need 10 years more training if you’re going to make it into those. :roll_eyes:

you just made my day!

i once was riding a 8 foot giraffe and dismounted sideways accidentally and nearly went into a pole

normally you would slide the wheel on front of you but the wheel doesn’t slide side ways

Wow! I sont know if I still want to ride a 10 foot giraffe:p The wheel looked so small compared to a “normal” 20" wheel:p

Tuck and roll!

hahahahah, how the f1ck are we suposed to dismount on this?? :thinking:

Maybe I’d try that on the moon… while I was still “earth strong.”

Seven years ago I got access to a similar uni, the seat was 9 1/2 feet off the ground. First time out I planned dismounted onto grass with no issues. Second time out I rode about a mile around a track, and dismounted at a fence with no problems. Third time out I had a UPD and didn’t time the landing right; my legs were still straight when I hit the ground and I broke my left heel and severly bruised my right foot. On crutches for 10 weeks!

I jumped from height before riding too, the difference between a planned jump and UPD is huge on the landing. Did you lower your body before you jumped? That decreases the distance. Try jumping up from 6+ feet, then doing a safe landing onto concrete or asphalt.

Tall uni’s are for the younger crowd.

By the way, that uni is still for sale for the right price…

Last night I found out how not to dismount from a 5 foot giraffe. Apparently, the secret is not to drink a few strong pints of beer first, as this increases gravity quite significantly and risks leaving you in the middle of the road bloody and bruised.

Still, I wasn’t in a state to drive home, and even with injuries, it was still quicker than walking :smiley:


I know there are plenty of people that perform and juggle on 10, 12 and 15 feet unicycles, but for the average Joe, I don’t recommended. 10 feet is a long, long, long way to fall. I thought about riding to the pole and sliding down the pole. I was even headed there, but I turned and went towards the grass instead. I didn’t want to lose by balance 5 feet away from the pole and smack my body into the pole.

For those that someday may want to try it, I suggest you spend most of your time jumping off of tall heights to see if your legs can take it. Riding is the easy part. If you can ride a 5 footer, you can ride a 10 footer. Getting off of it is a whole different story.

Go sit on a basketball goal and jump off. If you can do that, you can dismount, but sooner or later, your luck will run out. The last guy that rode this 10 footer, has a titanium heel from a upd. He only rode it once too. His mistake was that he rode it for 20 minutes straight and also wore out his legs. He had an upd reaching for his ladder to climb down and landed flat footed. He was 30 years old and in excellent shape, and he still managed to explode his heel when he landed.

I got real lucky. I limped away with a sprained ankle, but it could have been a lot worse. I thought I blew out my heel too because my heel hurts, but it’s not swollen. His heel swelled up like a balloon, so I got a feeling mine is alright. I do have a slight sprain on my ankle though. So if your thinking of trying it, just remember that a 10 foot drop is a lot higher than it looks.


I recommend clipless pedals.

oh the humanity

Sorry about your nasty fall; the capturing of it on video is a nice example for the uninitiated. Yes, that’s what the wheel looks like from up there!

Now for the post-mortem of your ride. It looks like you headed away from your light pole without a plan of dismount. Unless your plan was to dismount to the ground? That’s not the best way to get off a unicycle over 8’.

Actually I’d back up a little bit from there. Before riding such a tall unicycle in the open, it’s best to be more comfortable with the idea. I recommend being able to idle and ride backward before getting on tall unicycles, as it will make you safer/more confident up there. Then you can practice the idle before riding away from your support. If you can idle, it gives you time to stop and think before heading for the grass. :slight_smile:

I’ve dismounted a 10’ unicycle to concrete once. That was enough for me!

One of my scariest unicycling experiences was on perhaps my second ride on a 12-footer. This was at the USA convention in 1983. I’d ridden it once, and decided to get on it for the parade competition. All the unicycle clubs rode around this indoor field house at the same time. So I’m up there with three clubs, feeling all cool & tall. Until I dropped one. As it fell I thought “Wouldn’t it suck if it lands right in front of the wheel?” Which of course it did. I had about two seconds to make a decision. Not enough room to idle or back up, it was a choice between a dismount (to a rubberized but very flat floor) or try to power over the club. I grabbed the seat and pedaled hard… and bumped over the club! Followed by an adrenaline rush that felt like my head would explode. No more clubs on tall-tall unicycles… :slight_smile:

Well, duh, you don’t want to UPD from up there:p, but I got the impression that Panotaker had planned beforehand that he would jump off when he got to the grass.

I wouldn’t want to jump from that height while holding a camera, either. I absorb a small ( but somewhat helpful ) part of the impact with my hands, mostly for balance, since if you lean forward as you hit the ground you can spread the force of impact out over a slightly longer period of time.

I just love happy endings …

Great ending, John.

Yes, I planned to jump off on the grass before I got there, but I also knew I could only do that once.

I wasn’t holding a camera, I had an Xtreme Recall bullet helmet cam on my helmet. It plugs into a Sony Camcorder that I had stuffed in my Camelback.