My first month of unicycling - Video mash up

A little over a month ago I’ve got my first uni after seeing Pierre Sturny do some amazing stuff on a uni (before that I thought they were only used by clowns 🤡).

Since then I’ve learned so much about this amazing sport and have had such a great time learning these new skills. So far I’ve spent approximately 30 hours riding a uni (and maybe even more reading and watching videos about it ).

So many inspiring people in this sport as well! Some have made amazing videos, others have giving me tips, anwers to my many questions and it really motivates me to keep learning and progressing! 😀

I’m very curious to see what the next month of unicycling will be, but I have some things in mind that I want to learn.

Here’s a mash up of the training videos I’ve made during this first month:

or on Instagram if you prefer:

I hope you enjoy watching it!

Cheers,

Mark

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Hi Mark, if you keep up this learning speed, you have to switch to another hobby next month, amazing.

@canapin Is it possible to exclude someone from this forum? It is too frustrating.

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Ok, you are already better than me! :rofl:

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Great video and good effort for a months work. I’ve been riding since May last year and still trying to get better.

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You an me both ruari. I’ve been learning from last March and can’t do half of what Mark is capable of. Well done Mark , inspiring stuff. Good video skills too. :blush:
Cheers

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Holy shit Mark… you got skills.

Can’t wait to see what else you do.

Thanks guys! I’m by no means a “natural” and to be honest I don’t even believe in talent.

The techniques and tricks I’ve done so far are technically very easy to understand. They don’t require a lot of subconsious conditioning before you are able to perform them.

Take the halfrev for example. it took me approximately 20 minutes to perform them consistently.
The technique is easy to understand but it took some attempts to feel how much force you must apply to end up in the oposite stance, and it took some attempts to get over the fear of pushing the uni out underneath you when landing incorrectly.
I started with a fence for support, then a blind wall and eventually in an open area (grass or softer sand might be better if you fear falling).

But I love to learn (and teach) new skills, so I’m always looking at ways to improve the learning process.
So far I’ve come up with a pretty generic systematic approach to learn any new skill (i’ve been learning/teaching myself new stuff almost every day for many years already) and it pays off :wink:

I’m actually working on putting my approach on paper so that others can apply it as well since I’m convinced that everyone could speed up their learning process simply by applying a few basic steps. It would be awesome if I could help others achieving their goals as well!

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I am looking forward to reading your method. In the meantime, it’s hard for me not to assume your success is built primarily on your background in trials bikes. Case in point, your acquisition of a still stand. Who learns that so fast!?

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Well, initially I would say it is, but balance is something which you practice in so many different sports. I’ve done martial arts, rock climbing, yoga and even things like parkour help with balance. Therefore it also means you can practice it without actually having to ride your uni. But most important factors there are being relaxed and without fear. If I perform the same balancing act a few meters above the ground, my balancing would be a lot worse…
but what stops you from performing balance practice in your living room? All you need to do is have a basic understanding on how to move your body to correct imbalance and then you’re off to practice…

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@elpuebloUNIdo You can also practice balancing in the office:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B8i2Cz4HjpS/

That was also something that I did for the first time that day, meaning it doesn’t really matter how you practice balancing, but it will always help since you subconsiously train your body to correct imbalances with gentle moves instead of with huge waves :wink:

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Good point. I feel like I’m over-correcting while practicing still-stands. It feels like the same kind of over-correction I associate with beginners, flailing their arms like mad. At some point, I am making corrections for my corrections. My best still-stand is only about 10 seconds. I am nowhere near “clicking” on that technique.

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Having read about your background in trials bikes, parkour, etc… I now feel a lot less incompetent. Watching that video I was a bit dumbfounded, thinking, “Wow, look at what he can do after a month! Damn!!!” Being able to do about 2/3 of that is my goal for a lifetime.

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Yes whenever I ride, I think about that too, so I force myself to ride with both hands on the seat whenever possible, though when riding off-road, it becomes much more difficult and having 1 arm in the air helps a lot. That always reminds me of how cats balance with their tail. The tail doesn’t way much, but gives them enough control to keep the balance. Must be the same with my arm.
Though when doing sharper turns I prefer to have both arms in the direction I want to go.

@mark.vogels : I was waiting for your chair to tip backwards, but you cut that part out I reckon :stuck_out_tongue:

Nah, it didn’t happen :wink: - Although I was completely free of any objects, the pole next to me was close enough by to grab if I would lose my balance backwards. Therefore it was safe to try…

The arm itself is for the most part just a tool to get there. Same as doing 360’s and looking over your shoulder. It will give you the correct body position to perform the move even though the weight of your head moving by itself will do little.
Whenever you move your arms for balance, your whole body moves as well by the spine. Therefore someone with no arms can still find his / her balance.
But when you fix your arm to your seat by grabbing it, you limit the movement of the body to perfom corrections. But letting your arms hang loose next to your body and you will find that you can still ride in balance pretty well (just like I did here in the 3rd clip)

Now that you spend so much time with your one-wheeler, do you still think about your two-wheeler too?

Sure! I still ride it several times a week, but I would like to learn / perform a crank grind on it, and I’ve decided to practice that on the uni first (less chance of expensive damage :slight_smile: )

That’s awesome.! I’m starting my 4th year and I can do half that stuff. or less. I guess that really means I suck.

You are not the only one. I only just got the confidence to go down a step - flat - step section yesterday, and only got the knack of hopping in the past few months.
I’ve been riding just under 3.5 years.

Mark is freaky good :slight_smile:

Why believe in talent when you already have so much? Your background in other activities and understanding of balance and body movement has served you very well. All that in one month of practice? I hate you.

Not really. You’ve made amazing progress! What do you have for longer term goals?

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Before I took up unicycling, I spent a lot of time practicing kendama, the Japanese ball-and-cup game. Of all the kendama videos I watched, there were a couple of Dutch guys who rose above everyone else, because to me, they performed like artists rather than skilled executioners. Spoiler alert, I’m holding Mark to these high expectations.

What is amazing about Mark’s progress is knowing he just began, not really what he is demonstrating. I don’t expect anything artistic to come out of his videos after one month. But, demonstrating some kind of style, something unique, could be a possible goal. Mark has proven he can get from point A to point B faster than some of us thought humanly possible. And we watch with mouths open, regarding him like we do a child prodigy.

Mark hinted, in an earlier post, that he wanted to write down his strategy for learning new things. Maybe that is his real goal. I’d be interested in reading that strategy.