OK whats everyone talkin about levels and stuff? i dont get it!

It’s some sort of a rating system so you can know how good you are at flatland style skills. Some people like the skill levels so that they have something specific to aim for when they’re practicing and other people aren’t interested in them at all. There’s about 7 or 8 “official” level 10 people in the world today.


According to a poll in this forum not too long ago, more people here are on level 4 than the rest.

As you can imagine, high level riders are few and far between.

However, that poll is likely quite misrepresentative. Many (most?) riders don’t understand the levels rules, so were actually overrating themselvs. You are only allowed 3 misses max during the skills test, and you must not miss any single skill more than once. That means that to pass a level you have to be pretty reliable at all the skills in the level. Level 4 has 12 skills (4mounts + 8others), so to have even a 50/50 chance of passing a level 4 test, those 12 skills would all have to over 90% reliable.

Yeah but that poll was a while ago so all those overraters probably really are level 4 by now :stuck_out_tongue:

As a newie, I like the level thing. Mainly becuase I can figure out what is ‘easy’ and what is ‘hard’. As a uni dufus, I thought that learning to idle would be the first step. The skill level thing set me straight.

As a motorcycle rider of over 30 years, it is surprising to me that a similar thing does not exist.


i dont really agree with that last post:

i learnt how to 180 unispin a while back which if i recall doesnt come into the skill levels untill later on, and yet i am only level 4 probably and still cant really ride stomach on saddle (lvl3!). i learnt to hop at the same time i was learning to ride in the first place. this isnt to say that i dont agree with the levels but the level does not always relate to how hard all the techniques in it are.

The levels aren’tentirely accurate, but they are a good guideline. Me, I never spent much time learning how to mount with my right foot. I’m probably 75% accurate on that one, even though I consider myself almost a level 6. But my passion is MUni, not freestyle.

Question: Is there a difference between flatland and freestyle? I’ve heard both, and am pretty sure that these both refer to the same thing.

Yes, flatland and freestyle are the same thing.

The levels are just a scale on which to measure one’s progress and skill. So when a fellow unicyclist asks you, “So, how good are you?” You can say, “I’m a level 4!” instead of “Well…”

It’s not like there’s a rule that says you have to go throuhg the levels. Most of them aren’t that practical anyway. I mean, if you can ride in a fairly tight figure 8, and hop up and ride off a curb, then you’re perfectly capable of unicycling for transportation.

Seriously, how often are you going to ride one footed backwards in a figure eight?

But the best part about the levels is that they provide all unicyclists with something to shoot for.

P.s. what’s the difference between gliding and coasting?

In Charlie Dancy’s how to ride a unicycle publication
Coasting - is to get up to speed on your uni and then remove your feet from the pedals and using them to control the speed of the wheel untill you lose momentum and come to a stop.

Gliding - is to do the same down a hill or gradient
these are not direct quotes fomr the book just from memory.

My understanding of freestyle vs flatland is that freestyle is aimed towards routines done to music. Like Torvill and Dean iceskating, they wear frilly/skintight clothing and choreograph each move to go with the music. They do stuff like standing next to their unis before the music starts in a pose and then dance their way onto their unis.

I think Flatland is sort of the same but you can wear what you like and you don’t have to be so graceful, it’s all about the technicality and originality of the tricks.

As for coasting vs gliding, gliding is easier because you can dab the wheel with your foot for control. Coasting is purely no feet.

Re: levels!?

On Sat, 28 Feb 2004 15:51:21 -0600, sockmonster wrote:

>P.s. what’s the difference between gliding and coasting?

Gliding is riding with no feet on the pedals. One or both feet are on
the crown, and the sole of the shoe is on the surface of the tyre.
With it, you modulate friction to keep upright. When done on the flat,
you will lose speed (depending on how much friction you exert).
Therefore, on a downhill gliding is a lot more fun.

Coasting is riding with no feet on the pedals NOR ON THE TYRE. You can
have one or both feet on the crown. Sustained coasting with both feet
in the air is deemed to be impossible (on a unicycle) but sometimes it
happens unintentionally, up to a few seconds.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“Heck, even my toes were aching from trying to grip the soles of my shoes! - Tommy Thompson”

Re: levels!?

On Sat, 28 Feb 2004 07:30:29 -0600, newtouni wrote:

>As a uni dufus, I thought that
>learning to idle would be the first step. The skill level thing set me

Idling is not easy (unless you can do it :slight_smile: ) but the skill is
important enough to try and learn early on because it facilitates a
lot of other skills such as different mounts, riding backwards and
general better control. Also in itself, it is a handy skill to have in
many circumstances (hockey games, traffic lights etc).

What is a dufus?

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“Heck, even my toes were aching from trying to grip the soles of my shoes! - Tommy Thompson”

Learn the skills in whatever order is comfortable to you. Work on tricks you think are cool. I can idle pretty constantly but I’d never get over the stupid obstacle in level 3, and mounting with my left foot just feels like I’m trying to learn all over again. So even though I may become proficient in some skill in the higher levels, I’ll still be considered a level 1 rider, officially. :frowning:

doof: Someone silly or funny.
Example: Chris thinks he’s funny, but he’s the wrong kind of doof.

doof: Australian slang for a rave party–refers to noise of bass.
Example: You going to the doof out in the bush?

dooficious: Adjectival form of doofus. Adverbial form = dooficiously.
Example: It is redundant to say that a dooficious doofus is waiting dooficiously in the dungeon.

definitions from:

I suppose the levels are kind of trivial, I mean they offer alot to some people and very little to others. My friend is not interested at all in completing the skill levels, yet he’s a very good rider.

Personally, I think I’ve gained alot from going though the skills. Each level presents some challenges that I can easily meet, and some that I need to work at for weeks, sometimes months. The idea of set guidlines also makes it fun for me.

I rode bmx for years, and after I got decent at riding, I had a hard time finding more challenging tricks to do. After awhile, I got bored and now I just ride my bike for transport. The skill levels keep me motivated and open minded to learn new tricks. I may never ride backward one footed, but who knows.

Re: Re: levels!?

There is, however, video proof that standing-on-seat coasting is not impossible (anyone have the link?).

This suggest to me that with enough practice one could achieve a both-feet-in-the-air extended coast.


Ive always thought this, and it kinda annoyed me when people got all mad becuase the levels are for freestlye, so thank you for typing that.


Check here. Julien Monney is probably close to the best freestyler in the world!

As to coasting with the feet off the frame, I think it just might be possible with enough practice. The best way to do it would be to extend both legs, but squeeze the sides of the saddle with your thighs. Maybe I’ll give it a try sometime. In one of the old threads, Ken Fuchs claims he can coast forward and backward, in the lotus position, that is with the feet against the sides of the saddle, which is pretty close to double leg extended coasting.

Levels - or some measuring device - are one way to:

a) compare your skills to other riders, and
b) compare your skills at two points in time (i.e., to know where and how you are improving).

They definitely cannot objectively measure how good you are.

And they don’t make it more fun to ride.

I ride MUni (although I’ve ordered a Coker). I wish I could do a lot of that free-style stuff. I also wish I was 19 again. (or 29, or even 39). I still have a lot of fun rocketing down gullies, crawling up hills, and doing a bunch of other stuff I don’t know how to measure.

But it’s definitely an 11.5 on the 10 point Fun Scale.

Re: levels!?

On Mon, 4 Apr 2005 17:33:34 -0500, “mgrant” wrote:

>There is, however, video proof that standing-on-seat coasting is not
>impossible (anyone have the link?).
The native location of these vids is

>This suggest to me that with enough practice one could achieve a
>both-feet-in-the-air extended coast.
I agree. I only wrote ‘deemed to be impossible’. But indeed, you would
have to exert forces with either the front or the rear of your crotch
on the seat by tilting your hips forward or backward, to keep the
unicycle upright. Like jsm writes, squeezing the seat would help as it
increases the potential to exert force. I still doubt if anyone will
ever do it (under control) but it is not physically impossible.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“When it comes to the family jewels, you won’t be having fun until they’re having fun. - Jake D”