I am still learning to ride my 36. I took a huge spill onto the asphalt this morning. I could not run it out and landed on my palms and knees.
I walked away unscathed to ride again thanks to my hillbilly gloves and 661 Evo knee pads. I did feel the impact on my knees but had no injuries. My palms also slid forward on the plastic splints and dissipated the impact. I also had my helmet on but thankfully didn’t land on my head.
My worst spill on my 36 was on my palms and ribs. I had bruised ribs for about 5 weeks. I could still ride unicycles but not surf during recovery. I too wore Hillbilly wrist guards and was very glad I did. I’ve had two crashes on pavement riding my 36. I don’t go any faster than 8-9 mph because I can’t outrun a UPD if I go any faster. I’m amazed at those ride 36 Gunis.
I wear wrist wraps that have slid so far , without them, my arms would have sanded off past my elbows.
I have never done a roll (but it is flat here, dumping downhill may be different).
The forward palm scrub has served me well. On flat terrain, the belly flop is best IMHO. Plus I am fat, so it looks better. Gotta have wrist wraps, all jokes aside, belly flopping is OK , but you better have wrist wraps.
The roll rocks… You’re are going to eventually break something if you fall on outstretched arms enough. You’ll almost never break anything if you roll properly. Flat or hilly, the roll is the best. Of course, there are always going to be those who say, “… But what about large backpacks? … But what if I am giving a piggy back ride to a child or a small adult and then fall … But…”
Well, there are probably exceptions but I wear a pack with a camelback and essentials and have never had a problem; I am a card-carrying ninja though
By rolling, I’m just taking cues from martial artists, free-runners, gymnasts, and Parkour-ists.
It’s not just your wrists that are in danger, one of the most common breaks by falling on an outstretched hand is a supracondylar ridge fracture of the humerus and separated shoulders. Even wrist wraps won’t prevent those 100% of the time.
I think I’d echo the others recommending the roll. It’s something that I have not done properly in the past and at high speeds that’s led to me dissipating energy by sort of sliding along the tarmac. By default I’d put my hands out in front of me (bad idea 1, really) but then I think the momentum must have rolled me involuntarily onto my back / side… If I’d had control I could have carried on rolling out and done myself less damage!
The roll can actually feel graceful, I doubt it looks graceful to watch an overweight middleaged guy dump a unicycle, then run a few steps, fall and roll then land on his feet. I have sprained a ring finger, scraped elbows and bruised a rib in various falls that I mitigated with a roll. A pear in my fanny pack didn’t fair so well on one (I ate it anyway).
I would recommend practicing a couple of rolls on the grass just to get the hang of it. My gymnastics career ended 47 years ago (fear of back flips), but I have managed to escape injuries from bicycle and unicycle crashes by rolling. My 75 year old father did the same when he hit a curb with his bike. He was pleased to have retained some agility from his college wrestling years.
I don’t often do a face plant off the 36er. Perhaps I have a bit more time to get my feet under me. My 26in muni does provide a face plant now and then. The wrist guard slide is useful and probably automatic to save your face. Mostly you don’t want to stiff arm the ground (breaks your collar bone easily).
The wrist guards and knee pads are essential to prevent career ending injuries. Helmets are required because one brain injury can spoil a good ride.
Mostly it is a safe sport. My closest brushes with serious injuries have come when walking my uni in a crosswalk with the light.
that may be one of the reasons I love unicycling so much. For some reason, I roll in a Uni UPD, but always perform the aforementioned dislocation slide when on a bike… I have 4 separations to prove it.
Edit: that may have something to do with getting tangled all up in metal as I go down…
Need a little help here. How do you roll out a UPD? It seems that my instincts tell me to run it out and stay on your feet. This works most of the time but sometimes you just can’t outrun your upper body momentum. Do you tuck your chin in and roll head over feet? Or do you try to twist and do a sideways roll? Sounds scarier than landing splat on your kneepads and hillbilly’s.