I have wanted to uni-joust since I learned to ride. My brother Kyle and I finally tried it today. (sorry, no pics and/or videos yet)

The shields were made from 22"X22" squares of 3" thick cardboard with 1/8" of wood paneling on the front for extra durability. The straps on the back were made from duct tape, but I found that after jousting, the handle and sleeve had begun to rip.

The lances were 7’ long aluminum posts from a backyard badminton set. We put a tennis ball on the end, you know, for safety. We had another pair of lances made from plastic posts of a badminton set. They were shorter, and bendier. Ultimately, the aluminum worked better.

After 3 hits, one of the aluminum lances bent in the middle, making it useless for our purposes. We then switched to the plastic lances, which also broke after three hits.

The only problems we had were in regards to the strength of the lances, and the strength of the strapping and handle on the shields. Other than that, great fun. I wish there were official rules, so there could be jousting at other competitions. Maybe at an NAUCC in the not-so-distant future. If ping-pong and syncronized diving can be in olympic sports, why can I win gold with a unicycle and a great big stick?

Come to think of it, why aren’t unicycles in the summer games?

There can’t be many unicyclists who haven’t wanted to try jousting. However, it really ought to be with dustbin lids as shields, wet floor mops as lances, and with a bucket on your head as a helm. ;0)

And what’s this 3 inch thick cardboard? What was delivered to your home in a 3 inch thick cardboard box? A tiger? :astonished:

Me and my friend tryed jousting once, but we used the big road cones you find on the side of the road when its being worked on…it was fun

i’ve jousted with no shield, using a crutch w/ towel duct taped to the end. i think i have a video around somewhere… i’ll ask my friend to make a gallery of it.

The local paper mill got some delivery in some hardcore cardboard. I know a guy in management there, and he thought I might have some use for it. 1/2" thick, 1", 2", and 3" thick pieces.

I think as long as you put the wood paneling on the front, you could get by with the 1" shield.

Re: Jousting

Yesterday I watched the first day of Olympic competitions. Synchronized diving. Ever seen synchronized diving? I know it’s got to be hard. But synchronized diving? If the Olympics has room for that, surely there’s room for a sport that “stands on its own.”

The IUF works actively on the Olympic goal. Get involved if you would like to help.

I’ve never tried jousting before, though I’ve read about many variations of it over the years. Sounds like fun. But to do in a formal way at a unicycle competition, one would have to come up with a set of rules, and base it on a relatively safe way to do the activity. Assume many or most of the competitors will be trying it for the first time…

Moving on from jousting to the Olympics debate. I’ve long thought that the Olympics have lost their magic, partly because of the introduction of sports which don’t naturally sit with the Olympic ideal, as I see it.

I would prefer the Olympics to be about individual achievement on the track and field, or in the water: furthest, fastest, highest. I might make an exception for the rowing, where it seems reasonable to think of one boat racing, rather than 2, 4 or 8 people (plus cox where applicable).

I don’t think football, hockey, dinghy sailing, synchro swimming, synchronised diving and the like should be in the Olympics. they are all valid and challenging sports, but have no more connection with the Olympic ideal (as I see it) than chess, go, or 10 pin bowling.

So should unicycling be in the Olympics? At one level, it fits in with my preference for individual achievement and furthest/fastest. Indeed, it is the purest form of cycling. It would have to be track racing, with some strict rules. MUni, feestyle and trials wouldn’t really fit in. If nothing else, the Olympic schedule isn’t infinitely elastic. So I suppose that’s be 700c wheels (the standard bicycle size) with possibly a limit on crank length (though, at this level, I don’t see why; it makes sense for low budget racing where not everyone can get custom lengths) and basic rules on protective gear, handles, pedals, straps and cleats and so on.

Until there are people riding unicycles of this type competitively in several major countries, it’s not going to happen.

I say this without complaint or criticism. My sister was in the world champion dragon boat team last year (i.e. she got gold), and my brother and sister have both grass-skied for their country. I know the effort they put in was every bit as much as if they’d done mainstream sports. I would never expect either sport to be accepted as part of the Olympic schedule, though.

I’ll add to that (off topic, sorry) that I’ve just been reading AOL News about Tim Henman losing a tennis match at the Olympics. For goodness’ sake, the guy’s a millionaire who plays competitivie international tennis about 48 weeks a year. Does he regard the Olympics as a special once every four years event?

Track athletes train and practise to peak for the Olympics - the biggest event in an often short career at the top.

The Olympics are waaaaaaaaaay too all-embracing. It’s ridiculous. Mutter mutter, flogging’s too good for 'em, etc.


I think muni would be cool… much cooler than table-tennis!

I dont Know about The Olympics,Extreme Unicycling Should Be more like the X Games or somthing the Olympics Are to tame for Unicycles.
As for jousting,me and my friend did it without shields,with broomsticks with cloth wrapped all around the end,with lots of duck tape all over,It still hurt if you got caught in the ribs.But of course,i forgot to mention,at the time my friend was just learning,he couldnt ride more than 50 feet,but it still worked.

Methinks you have a very restrictive definition of “tame.” Ever try a double-flipping release move on uneven parallel bars? Maybe that’s only for little girls. How about velodrome racing at 40 mph on a wall with no safety gear but a helmet? Or, back to the events we’ve seen already (and the little girls), a multi-flipping, multi-twisting vault? Plenty of ways to get hurt doing all of those.

The first form of unicycling likely to make it to the Olympics will probably be track racing. Tame perhaps, but try riding as fast as our new champions. Getting our feet in the Olympic door, hopefully it will be easier to add more unicycling events of different kinds.

Meanwhile, work can continue in the direction of elevating extreme unicycling to the X Games or similar. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that!

Meanwhile I sympathise somewhat with Mikefule on his take on what sports “should” be in the Olympics. Sometimes it seems like they’re getting too esoteric. Chess? Is that a serious contender? I don’t know exactly how to define sports, but for the Olympics you should at least have to demonstrate some form of physical skill or effort.

And as a big proponent of the IUF, it means I want unicycling to be eligible for the Olympics. The more other “odd” sports get in, the more likely it would seem that ours can.

Even if we’re getting million dollar salaries by then. Yes, some athletes work all their lives to get to the Olympics, and others are pros taking time out of their season to play there. But it mostly goes by sport. Some sports have pros in them while others don’t. Not such a big problem for the athletes.

I was at fencing club tonight, and the conversation turned to the Olympics. (The men’s sabre final was controversial.) Someone else independently expressed disgust at Tim Henman’s attitude, and that of tennis players generally.

Tennis is a valid sport, as are squash, baminton, lacrosse, real tennis, football, Australian rules football, American football, baseball, basketball, ten pin bowling, nine pins, waterskiing, breath hold deep diving, motocross, BMX, and even horseback jousting. But are these “Olympic” sports? I think not. The original Olympics, celebrated those sports which had a martial; application: running, jumping, throwing spears, that type of thing.

Now, it is well established that bicycling features in the Olympics. so we have pursuit, track and so on. But what about down hill mountainbiking, cross country, BMX, trials, flatlanding (?) and so on? Many of these could be raced on solo bicycles, tandems, tricycles or even tandem tricycles. To include all of these categories would be ridiculous and unmanageable. Clearly a limit has to exist.

Now back to unicycling, we have a few recognised disciplines: track racing, cross country, MUni, freestyle, trials… and we have a huge range of possible unicycles, with wheels from 12 - 36 inches (and novelty sizes below and above), giraffes, stackers, eccentrics, kangaroos, ultimate wheels and even BC wheels. The number of bizarre combinations is matched only by my grandad’s underwear collection.

Very simply, there is no way on Earth that the Olympic Games could accept a dozen or more new unicycle-based minority sports.

But I sincerely believe that unicycling is a valid sport. I’ve trained against the clock and set personal bests on speed and distance. I know that people in this forum (e.g. John Foss) have bettered my times and speeds by huge margins. I admire that skill, stamina and ability.

So if we were to try to introduce unicycling as a “demonstration sport”, it would be vital to present it as a serious, credible, athletic endeavour. It would have to be accessible to the viewing public, analogous to something else already in the games, and accessible to competitors from all over the globe. I think that that would have to be track racing over traditional running distances (100, 200, 400 metres) on 700c wheels. We’d have to look like cyclists and athletes, not like a novelty act.

That’s not to knock the many keen and talented freestylers, trialsists, MUniists and so on out there. It’s just a recognition of the realities of trying to present our sport (if sport it is) in a format that would be taken seriously. We already get called clowns and eccentrics.

Really, the place for international unicycle competition is at international unicycle events. Any crossover into the mainstream would have to be handled carefully or it would further damage the image of a sport that it is too easy to ridicule.

When people see me land a major gap, or an insainly high dropoff etc etc…
they dont reply with comments to ridicule me. They show interest and respect what i do as a sport.

I am who i am, i’m not trying to fool anyone…and i dont think we should. Unicycling was and still is a part of a circus act, but we can make it one kick-arse show. and i think thats what people need to see, is that unicycling isn’t limited by the circus tents…it is way more than what people know it to be.

Has anyone ever tryed Coker jousting!!!
lol, that would be hardcore!
hmmm…giraffe??..ok now i’m getting ahead of myself…haha

If unicycling was to get in the olympics, it would need to have major competitions in a large number of countries right? Proper serious competitions with real timed races and the like.

As far as I know, they do this in the US, probably in Japan, maybe China?, and at Unicons. Certainly we don’t have serious racing at British unicycle conventions, they’re just not so competition based, more about riding with people and learning stuff and hanging around drinking too much. Which I reckon is a good thing, we don’t waste loads of time riding round in circles on flat racetracks, or spend loads of money on professional timing, which just doesn’t seem to be what unicycling in this country is about. Track racing just reduces unicycling to doing a running style race using a slightly difficult to ride bike, rather than being something unique and special.

I don’t really understand what the point of wanting unicycling in the olympics is, especially in the way racing is done now? The reason biking is really good in the olympics is because it’s such a different style of race to all the other events, whereas unicycling just seems like a rip-off of running races that happens to use unicycles.


This is just a minimum! See Rocket’s web-page for a pretty good analysis of
why unicycling ain’t going to be an olympic sport in the
near (or even medium) future.


To major points, which other could add to if it weren’t even more off the topic of this thread:

  1. Because getting there means we have established ourselves as a serious sport that the whole world is likely to be aware of.

  2. The process of getting there will do a tremendous amount toward building unicycling in many countries, organizing what we do, and otherwise spreading the word about unicycling, not just in a few events but in all the things we do such as at a Unicon.

Some of the hardest steps have already been taken. There are other hard ones still to go, but at least we have an international organization, and international set of rules, and an event every two years that people seem to recognized and accept as the focal point of international unicycle competition. Now we need to add countries, build up the organization, and solidify the way we do things so it’s worthy of the kinds of goals we have.


Except maybe triathlon, which came along later. Or marathon running. Certainly the velodrome is used by no other sport, so riding fast around that track is different from riding around the athletic track used for other disciplines.

So looking at it from your point of view, track racing might not be the best event to try breaking into the Olympics with. I wouldn’t go for road racing, because we’re so much slower than the bikes. We could try to elbow in on a marathon-length event, where we’d be faster, but not by that much. And we’d be copying again.

I perceive Trials as perhaps the fastest growing area of unicycling. Don’t know if that’s a good event to try for in the Olympics, but at least it’s different.

Artistic events, such as Freestyle, would also be interesting, but Freestyle judging is too subjective so I don’t know how acceptable that would be. The Standard Skill event, boring as it is for most of us, was developed specifically for the purpose of having an objectively-judged artistic event. To first help us get into Germany, and later head for the Olympics, like Artistic Bicycling. But I don’t think Artistic Bicycling has made much progress in the 22 years since I first got involved, so maybe that’s not the way either.

In any case, by the time we’ve solidified our position, and added bunches of new countries to the roster, surely things will have changed. We don’t have to worry now, about which unicycling discipline will make it into the Olympics first. Let’s just have fun doing the ones we like!

Including jousting, for all you riding-into-sticks fans!

Nothing wrong with a bit of thread drift, if it’s basically relevant to unicycling.

I wonder about the mixed motives that arise in all minority sports, where people take up the sport partly because it is obscure, then try to recruit more and more people in the hope that it will become mainstream

I enjoy unicycling, and I enjoy meeting other unicyclists, but I have no desire to see it become widespread or popular. It would lose some of its magic. On the other hand, if it became more popular, equipment might develop or become more readily available. And anyway, it will never be mainstream, because it’s not immediately accessible.

Be that as it may, I do get nissed off with people treating my chosen sport with ridicule, and anything that made the ordinary man in the street see it as an athletic endeavour rather than an entertainment would be a good thing.

What is the nearest sport to unicycling?


What about kayaking?

In kayaking, you have measured distance straight line racing. You have white water slalom. (Trials?)
You have white water racing. (Muni/Cross country?)
You have freestyle stunting where they play on one wave for a set time. (Freestyle?)

Kayaking appears in the Olympics. (My brother’s former housemate is competing in the slalom, I believe.)

So, by analogy, unicycling could be as valid an Olympic sport as kayaking. And kayaking was once very much a minority sport, participated in by fringe weirdoes. (40 odd years ago, my father was something of a pioneer in this country and competed quite hard long before kayaking became a well established leisure activity. He is still weird, but his fringe has receded alarmingly.)

But my instinct tells me that unicycling has a big credibility hurdle to overcome. The best way to overcome that is not to show what can be done on one wheel (jumps, hops and drops etc.) but to compete in a way which is to some extent similar to sports which are already credible. That would suggest a comparison with running or bicycling. Track races on the flat or the velodrome - or possibly cross country.

I think MUni would be too extreme as a first foot in the door of the Olympics, freestyle would be too nebulous (with the subjective scoring, although ice dancing is accepted) and trials would be too artificial: setting up obstacles just to ride them would be dangerously close to performance rather than athleticism.

I might be doing nothing more than airing my own prejudices here, but that’s the way I see it. Here’s an unscientific survey: I KNOW I get a more serious response from the GBP when I’m on the 700c, and I BELIEVE that’s simply because the wheel size is familiar - neither as toylike as the 20, nor as grotesque as the Coker.