IUF skills - does anyone bother with them?

As the title says really.
I know the skill levels exist but have rarely seem them referred to.Does anyone actually bother with them?

Yes

So, other than for personal satisfaction, what purpose do they serve?

I think they are good for building up your skills gradually and making sure you don’t neglect one side for mounting or one footing. If you are new at unicycling it serves as a good list of future goals that you might not imagine otherwise. I hand out copies of the IUF skill levels for students who need more of a challenge than just riding. Unfortunately I can’t demonstrate them all but I can do quite a few.

Thanks for that.
I’m new, very new, but having something to aim for is what always motivates me. Also will help me know what sort things to learn next as I dont know any other riders. There Is a club about a half hour drive from me, but I would rather be a little better before I attend so as not to make a complete fool of my self. :wink:

I don’t do them anymore, but when I started it was the only thing I did. For me it was really important to get level 4 so I could attend in Junior Forum (a unicycle meet up in DK). I gradually started riding trials then, and thought it was funnier, but I really think it’s a good start to get just the first four levels, so you have the basic skills! Especially if you want to ride flatland!

Now I have level 6, but I only took level 5 and 6, because I realized that I could all the tricks :stuck_out_tongue:

The guy who taught me when I was training levels only had level 1 and couldn’t really anything else than ride… The important thing is to know how to teach them! And to be able to see what they’re doing wrong and right!

Unicycle clubs are very open to having beginners at their practices and you’ll learn skills a lot quicker with the help of others that already know those skills.

North-east England? There are several clubs around; if you know of dynamix skate park in Gateshead, there are unicycle sessions there on sundays. If you are near Stockton, call in to JUST (Juggling and Unicycling Stockton on Tees). Apparently there is a club in Durham too.
I’d strongly recommend joining one of the clubs above. I go to dynamix every week, and it’s great. The skill levels range from still unable to ride to some pretty technical riding. You’ll definitely pick up skills faster when riding with others.

Well I live in peterlee, county durham.
Could not find much on a one in Durham, but I sent a mail to JUST to find out a little more.

I don’t bother with them.

I enjoy them.

What’s the problem with one sided mounting, it works in most situations, such as getting in and out of bed, going to the bathroom, etc…

But seriously, I don’t practice any of that levels stuff, I just ride my unicycle.

Too many rules, I don’t like rules, the structure makes me edgy :stuck_out_tongue:

I’m a big fan of the levels. I know some of the tricks seem a little silly (“stomach on the seat”) but most are fun to practice and do. Overall it’s a good way to progress in your freestyle unicycling skill. The balance you gain from practicing them carry over at least in part to other disciplines (muni, basketball, etc.). I’m not saying you have to have the levels down in order to do other things.

Why ride a unicycle in the first place? It’s fun and challenging. The levels are a list of fun and challenging unicycling tricks to work on.

The levels… Well it depends on what style of unicycling you want to ride. I teach unicycling and its quite hard sometimes because everyone is different and everyone (if they know what they’ve gotten themselves into) will have a general idea of the tricks they want to be learning.

Often I’ll have a set list of things I think people should learn, depending on what style they’ve told me they want to progress towards. And often I’ll have tricks on that list that they really don’t want to learn haha.

There is no list of tricks/skills that everyone will want to learn and no list that would be ideal for everyone to learn.

The only purpose I see for them is that they’re a good guide for super beginners.

Wait a minute, what makes Stomach on Seat more sillier than, say, riding a unicycle? It’s all relative. :slight_smile:

Yes. Historically they were “tricks to practice”, there not being so many different ways to ride outside of a gym or parking lot. Wheels basically were 24" and smaller, and doing tricks was one of the main activities.

Actually the levels come in handy for people who don’t know what to work on. Either that, or people in clubs who want to incrementally “prove” themselves.

Absolutely. Now it’s really more a list of Freestyle skills, but like people have mentioned, much of that skill carries over into other forms of unicycling.

We could still use a more beginner-friendly set of levels for people who are just learning; something with much smaller increments. These levels are for people putting a lot of time in. But for a school environment, for example, riders often don’t have much time per week on the unicycle so they would benefit from a more broken-down set of progressions.

Also it would be nice to have learning progressions for other types of riding than Freestyle. There has been an effort to develop these for many years, which you can learn more about here:
http://home.comcast.net/~carol.mclean/UC1.htm

I use the skill levels a lot at the school I’ve been teaching at for several years. They are a good guide for which skills to learn next as each level builds on the one before. Last year 2 students passed level 5 and this year another passed level 5 and one passed level 6 and is ready to be tested for level 7.

I find the skill levels to be useful, but do think that level 1 is set a bit too hard by virture of having to learn to freemount. The way most people first ride a unicycle is using a fence/wall/pole to mount then riding away. Then later on freemounting is learnt. I reckon these skills should be on separate levels, to reward progress.

The IUF is working on developing new skill levels now. http://iufinc.org/blog/category/skill-levels/ click on ‘Freestyle’. These are an improvement, but still suffer from getting too hard too quickly, in my opinion. After the 3 Base skills, Freestyle Level 1 includes wheelwalking - way too early to introduce this skill I reckon. To their credit, I do like the removal of distances that skills have to be performed for. Under these new levels it would mean that I could officially do handwheelwalk, which is currently stopping me from passing level 8.

It’s a matter of personal preference, in my opinion. It’s a good indicator of progression, but also unnecessary.
They were implemented a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, where unicycling wasn’t quite as advanced and broad as it is now. Now, we have expansive numbers of MUni riders, distance riders, etc., where the IUF levels don’t play in as much. I’m Distance, and I could care less about the levels. I don’t need to mount with my other foot, that’s just silly.
I posted a thread and poll last year about maybe getting new levels, for all the different styles of riding… Or abandoning them entirely. Of course, as with most polls here, I did nothing with the data I collected. Changing IUF levels is far beyond my ken… And let me tell you, it ain’t kissing no barbies.

The levels aren’t really relevant to muni, which is my main interest. Practising things on the list is tedious by comparison to blasting along a trail. I want to be able to ride backwards but I got so bored trying for just 30 minutes today that I probably wont bother again for months.

Mark,

You should go along to JUST. There are people who have never ridden before there along with others who have been riding for years and are at level 7. It is also really friendly.

The IUF skill tests are used there to give help in acheiving more and as a guide. It is not essensial to learn to ride that way but can help some people.

Roger

Hi Roger,
I did send a message to the email on the JUST site to get details on costs etc, but as of yet had no response but I know easter is often a busy time. With 4 kids it certainly is for me.
Really need to get myself some safety gear before I do anything. The uni was a present I was not expecting, so I was not prepared with safety equipment.

With regards to all the other responses: It’s very interesting to see everyones different points of view on these and I can see how for some they would mean little whilst for other they are great.

Personaly I like a challenge, so i’d probably be interested in them.

Only time will tell.