How should Street Freestyle competition work?

This thread is about the birth of a Street Freestyle competition event. There are three pictures here:

  1. Should we call it Street Freestyle, or something else?

  2. The immediate need is to get something concocted real quick, so riders can get familiar with the idea in time for competition at MUni Weekend on Sept. 19. We’ll need to develop a set of rules, no matter how basic, while I work to get a detailed idea of what the performing space will include, and how big the paved part will be.

  3. The longer-term goal is to replace the Open-X event at USA and IUF competitions with something that’s more interesting and successful. The Open-X event finally worked pretty well this last time, at Unicon XII, but it still seems to be missing a non-flat riding surface, and it should be open to Trials unicycles because it’s aimed at a lot of people who ride them. This means it needs to be outside (or in a gym nobody really cares about).

So while we may put something simple together for MUni Weekend, the goal is to figure out a full-fledged event for future large unicycle competitions. And small.

So what do you think?

BTW, if you want to know what Open-X is, it’s one of the artistic events in those two rulebooks linked below. If you read about Open-X, best to read about Freestyle as well, to get some background. That’s the event it was derived from.

I think those rules will work fine although i think that you shouldnt be able to use props like juggling and dancing. Also i would say since it is a street freestyle comp the rider should be able to make it as flowy as they can. For example i dont think you should be able to stop, go into a seat out hop , do a few prehops then hop up onto obstacles and then go do a whole trials line because thats trials not street i think it should remain “flowy.” Also this is i completely up to you but if it were up to me I would say x-nay on the knee shins ay. Do to them restrictring leg movement but thats all you.
Dont worry I would probably have may more thoughts but this is the first stuff that came to me.

Brian Lundgren

For the most part we don’t tell people what they can’t do (goes with the definition of Freestyle). But I don’t think we need a section in the judging criteria to cover props and other skills as I don’t see them likely. Instead, some of this would go toward use of the obstacles and/or what you do on them.

Also good suggestion. Again the idea would be to be flowy or smooth, rather than jerky/stoppy (if we write that in), but not that you can’t.

Deep gashes and broken bones also restrict leg movement. Hmm. Which would be worse? But yes, we will have to decide if there will be any safety gear requirements. I think yes, because it’s not judged on what you wear, but this would probably be the same requirements as MUni racing: knees, hands/wrists, head. What do others think? It works for blade and skateboard comps. Not to start a big discussion about this, but I also like the idea of presenting a responsible image for our sport by depicting riders who look like they think ahead.

Thanks for the great feedback!

To me street riding is more about how you do your tricks/skills. Its about style. In trials it does not matter if you hop 3 times or 50 times to clean a section, whereas fluffing around doing a zillion prehops is not good street style. I think it should definitely include props such as grinding rails, ramps, stair-sets, planter-boxes etc and the judging should reward innovative use of these props.

I would think the easiest place to hold a street comp (without having to do a lot of carpentry) would be at a skate park.

My 2c


Me and my friend were discussing this earlier today… not sure if it’s a coincidence or if he’s already seen this thread. But I don’t really think Street Freestyle is a very good name for it… Street or Street Something or Something Street. Use the word street, but don’t include other styles in the name.

I think it should work sort of the way they hold local skate competitions around here. Basically just have an area, you could use slope to your advantage, small walls nearby would reduce the need for extra obstacles. Basically you have a set up of lots of things to do and you just give them like 2 or 3 minutes to do their stuff. Everyone gets 2 or 3 goes, then you narrow it down to a smaller amount and have a finals.

Something around that, but I can imagine it working very well, I can imagine alot of footplant developement if this became a competition. Anyway, boxes to grind, rails to grind, sets of stairs, a few small walls, one larger wall, and a few rails to gap across.

I think it should just be called ‘Street Unicycling’.

If you want to know what kind of obstacles to include, just watch videos like U2 and write down all of the obstacles that the street guys (Dan H., Dan D., etc.) use. Then find a place that has most of these concrete (static) obstacles and add the others that can be moved in (picnic tables, fun boxes, garbage cans, etc.). A small skatepark does seem ideal though.

I think the rules for the comp should emulate a skate comp too, only there may need to be extra time, since unicycling is a lot slower than skateboarding. It also depends on how exhausted the contestants get though.

For the armour issue, i think that you, once again, should follow the lead of skate comps: just enforce riders to wear helmets for the good pres. Anything else should be up to them, as it is in skate comps. I’m sure that most riders will wear what they need to wear to prevent injury anyway.

Finally, please record this competition (make a DVD?). I won’t be going to the comp, but i and most of the other uniers would still love to see it.

why not call it StreetStyle ?
since the enfices is on the style

hello. i havent replied yet in this thread, but i feel like i should just because im a street rider. im extremely impressed that this type of competition is seriously being considered. i think its important to have a reason for street riders to get together with everyone else seeing as some of us (including me) suck at trials and freestyle and muni haha. but yeah, as for a name for it, i dont think that street freestyle is a good name for it only because of the word “freestyle” in there. street is its own style, it shouldnt be falsly associated with freestyle i dont think. i mean freestyle is strictly a flat ground thing. street isnt. i mean sure theres a lot of moves you could do flat ground and call it street, but not everything. like hopping on the top of the tire i dont consider street. so yeah, not street freestyle, but i think street is what it should be call. thats what its called in every other sport pretty much, so why not in unicycling as well? i know street unicycling gets a lot of insporation from skateboarding, bmxing and inline skating, so why not continue with the name of this type of competition.

as for the setup, thats tough. the problem is that the transitions at most skateparks are too steep for unicycles, and the flat parts arent long enough to get at least 2 rotations in (for example on the top of a box that has a ramp going up to it on either side, the flat surface at the top might be 1 and a half rotations which isnt always enough). that isnt to say you can use a skatepark. its saying that you will have to carefully look around to find a skate park that is ideal for unicycling. you will alos have to bring in picnic tables and rails and everything like that. and im sure it wouldnt be tough to make a pretty high and long box and have a set of 7 or 8 stairs going down at the end with a handrail on both sides. you will also have to have an infinite supply of wax. because it will be needed.

oh, and i just came up with something. if you want it to be flowy, its tough. mostly because its hard to do tricks without lining them up first. so i think that for any obstacles (mostly stairs or downsloped ledges and rails) that will be used a lot and you need a perfect lineup, there should be markings on the ground as you ride up to them. these will tell you how many revolutions away you are form the obstacle (assuming you are on a 20 inch trials), and it allows you to try to line up a pedal however you wish before you reach the obstacle. and perhaps have different colours for each marking (example: green for 1 rev away, yellow for 2, red for 3) or something like that. anyways, thats just a thought and i think it would work.

as for judging or figuring out who wins, same as a skate comp. have like 5 or 6 judges, and kick out the highest and lowest scores and average the others. and the time of each run should be probably 2 minutes. but experiment with that somehow. factors taken into consideration should be consistency, style, technical difficulty, and like how big you go… odnt know how to put that.

for safety equipment, i think helmets should be manditory. no helmet, no riding. i know it might seem contradictory for me to say that seeing as i dont always wear mine, but i have begun to a lot more. my whole part in spaced out will not have a helmet, but any other videos that ive filmed for, my helmet has been on 95% of the time. i agree that we should send a sensible message. as for anything else, i agree with “hecklar”. it should be the riders choice. i know for myself, i dont wear anything besides a helmet. not because i feel that im safe, but because i feel that they do restrict some movement that you need for flopping aorund more than in trials. the only other people who flop around like street riders are freestyle riders, and they certainly arent wearing any. i bet they couldnt do some of the same stuff with leg armour on, but im sure theyre allowed to (dont know the rules). as well, i bet a lot of people will be using plastic pedals for grinding, and they are a lot more shin friendly than metal ones.

another issue, i dont thikn there should be a restriction on the unicycle being used. if they want to ride a 16", let them. if they want to ride a coker with that crazy shifting hub, let them. i mean if having a certain type of uni helps develop their style, then let it be. i think however that it should be pedal driven (prohibiting bc wheels) but if enough intrest arises, have a special category for bc wheels. but if you restrict the type of unicycle, then it could potentially stop the experimenting that street unicycling still needs since its still in its beginning stages.

anyways, i think thats enough writing for now, i will write more if i think of more. those are my thoughts john, and i think its awesome that youre doing this. if i could be there to participate in it, i would. unfortunately, funds are short these days, and my trials uni has been broken completely (pretty much every part). you can write a response to mine and disagree or agree with anything. im not attached to these ideas lol. anyways, im off. good luck with this!


More great feedback – keep it coming!

Here’s my take on what I’m picking up:

Street Freestyle, Street, StreetStyle. So far still variations on the word Street. The people who don’t seem to like the word Freestyle appear to be riders who have never watched a Freestyle competition. If we keep it Street Freestyle, it can always be abbreviated to either of the two suggested variations. The existing Freestyle event is not a limiting environment, other than the 11 x 14 meter riding space. Riders have always been free to ride whatever they want, and bring in whatever props they want. Freestyle is not a negative on street.

How about Sidewalk Art? :sunglasses:

My understanding is that in the BMX world the gound-based event is called Flatland Freestyle. Has this changed? We are doing something between flatland and vert. We can’t vert very high. But it’s still freestyle as well.


Even with existing rules, flowy riding will score better than 50 prehops. No problem there. Tugboat suggests “same as a skate comp.” I imagine there are lots of variations on that. I’ve seen lots of stuff on TV, but never been able to find any detailed rules on the Internet. Anybody know where some are? I’m interested in the judging criteria. That is, the specific stuff the judges are looking for. It can’t be too loose, or the results of a competition will be based on what that set of judges like, and not necessarily a fixed set of standards.

I like the idea of 5 or more judges, and tossing the high and low scores. We are about to make some changes to how we judge Freestyle, and those changes may be incorporated here, but we don’t know what those will be yet. For smaller competitions, you might be able to use less judges or some less formal system. I’d like to try for a formal system for MUni Weekend though, to try it out.

I like Robbie’s idea of everyone having 2 or 3 goes, then narrowing that group down to a set of finalists. I like the finalist idea for most events, but it takes more time. At MUni Weekend I think we’ll have the time. Others’ thoughts?


Skate park is an interesting option, but is restrictive to event hosts. If you already have access to a skate park that’s great. But in Truckee, the one park they have has a no-bikes rule. I don’t have the time for this MUni Weekend to try and contact someone, then get permission to ride in there. Much easier to have and control our own riding space, where we can make our own rules and use our own schedule. For future competitions, a skate park might work great.

Also, Dan Heaton pointed out that most skate parks are too spread out to make for a good competition. Whatever we do with this event, the audience and entertainment aspects must always be kept in mind. The Lloyd Johnson driveway is not perfect, but it will be the easiest place to set up our comp for MUni Weekend.

Time limit:
3 minutes for the finals. If we do prelims, maybe 2 minutes for those.


During the development of the event, we’ll probably have to keep it pretty open. But I would at least like to give riders a list of what will be available. In future, we might develop a list of required props, that must be built or provided for each competition. This can make the event harder to hold though, so I don’t want to make it too restrictive.

If there were a minimum list of stuff (to which hosts could add whatever else they have), what would you want on it? I’ll start a list:

  • Grinding rail
  • Low skinny
  • High skinny
  • Ramps
  • Stairs with platform at top
  • Low wall (how low?)
  • High wall (how high?)

Safety Gear:
Two recommendations for helmets only. One suggested that’s what other skate comps use. Is that true? I’m thinking in terms of state-sized competitions and higher, not local stuff. So helmets are a given. Still listening for more opinions on the rest of it. Safety gear too restrictive? We require it for High and Long jump, people have managed some pretty amazing measurements with their safety gear in those. Try some different gear. Remember, if we require kneepads for instance, that will mean you can wear a pair of volleyball pads and be legal. Comfortable, but less protection. At the moment I’m leaning toward just helmets being required, and the rest up to you. Helmets will already be required for anyone riding at Northstar.

Tugboat suggested markings on the ground for 1 rev away, 2, etc. This assumes a certain tire diameter, which will not be the same for every rider. I think better for riders to get comfortable with visualizing how much space they’ll need.

Also no restrictions are planned on the type or number of unicycles used. Got something you want to show on a giraffe? go ahead. BC Wheel? Why not (don’t see why it needs to be pedal driven). Show up with a plain old bike or something that doesn’t fit the basic “unicycle” assumption and the judges will know what to do.

Thanks everyone.

First off the name, Just call it a street comp. Everyone will know what your talking about and adding freestyle or anything else just makes the name longer than it needs to be. Right now there is not a drastic enough difference in the types of street riding going on to qualify for the seperation of different events.

Saftey Gear. My vote is for mandatory helmets and everything else to be optional. If it is felt that knee/shin is needed I would go along with that however I feel that wrist guards are limiting to alot of needed movement in order to grip your seat properly.

Scoring. I will get back to at a later date.

I agree the comp should be called ‘Street’. I’ve seen freestyle comps, but I think Street is just a cooler name.

An interesting idea, and could lead to more flowing riding. (I certainly like to line grinds up before I do them, so not having to ride backwards from the rail then forward into it would be good.) Usually before skate comps there is a practise session for the riders to get warmed up and try out the course. During this time you could suss out this kind of thing.

John - the flatlanders I know in Auckland call their sport ‘flatland’ not ‘flatland freestyle’.


YA that stuff sounds cool, i dunno about the skinnies though since thats not really street but it still would be cool. MAybe some picnic tables. Also you caan just get some pallets throw a piece of plywood on top and some coping on the side and you have a grindable. Hmm ya also for some picnic tables you can flip upside down and the medal is a grind rail. Kinda hard to explain but its the medal under the bench on the table there should be 1, just look next time u see 1 and youll know what im talkin about. And what do u mean by a wall?

  1. just do it the same as BMX (to avoid confusion):

street should be called street.
unicycling without any obstacles you could call flatland.

Those names covers well what’s it about.

I agree with this terminology. Open X as it is right now is basically flatland, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Without talking about anything to do with flowing/non flowing style etc., the fundamental differerence between trials and street is that riding obstacles is the end objective with trials, whereas in street the obstacles are not the end objective: the end objective is use obstacles as props to set up moves.

Whether or not a rider can flow well in what they’re doing has to do with rider skill, not whether it’s trials or street.


All this talk of the props for street tricks, I wonder where the attention to freestyle is. Is it something like riding a rail whilst seat dragging in front, or hopping on the wheel onto something else?

Anyway, I think a good name would be Freestreet, or Free Street, or any hyphenated version.

Re: How should Street Freestyle competition work?

On Wed, 18 Aug 2004 08:25:06 -0500, “hecklar” wrote:

>I think it should just be called ‘Street Unicycling’.

Do we feel the name needs to make it clear you don’t include someone
using their unicycle on the street to post a letter or run errands?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe

I really desperately think it should be called just Street. Or the Street comp. But don’t have freestyle in it, as Kevin said it Street is it’s own style. I like Kevin’s idea about the judges and almost everything he said except for the bit about the markings.

Sometimes when I’m out riding my tyre pressure goes down a bit between the start and the end of the day, just from doing what I normally do. Sometimes this makes a significant difference to where my rolling hop start points were before, and people in Street comps will have different pressures, and weigh more or less than others, also remembering that he said they can use a 16" if the want, so it wouldn’t really work.

If your going to have markings I suggest you have a small mark with your name written next to it and everyone lines their own up before the comp, then when a rider comes up to do their run a bright coloured strip of something is placed at their mark so they can tell where they should be. The riders would be allowed to go and remove their markings and make a new one at any time.

hello. i still think the markings are a good idea, and i was talking to dan heaton about it as well. we both feel that they are essential. even if you are allowed to make your own markings like robbie said. either way, there needs to be some way to do it or else i dont think it would work. only my opinion though i guess.


Re: How should Street Freestyle competition work? (Klaas Bil) writes:

> Do we feel the name needs to make it clear you don’t include someone
> using their unicycle on the street to post a letter or run errands?

I don’t think so. That would be road unicycling, not street.


There’s a lot of talk about it just being called Street. The idea isn’t to have a street competition, it’s to mix street and freestyle.

Correct me if I’m wrong.