im going to learn to pirrouette, however i don’t know how the trick actualy works,
i know what it looks like but that dosen’t tell me everything.

could some of you folks out there tell me how you learned and what exactly the forces involved are?

i unserstand things best when i know what is happening in terms of forces and direction, be as descriptive as you can please.

i’d like to be able to teach my german kids to pirrouette, i think they’d realy get into it.


You are going to get at least one message that tells you to search the archives of this forum - so let me get that out of the way and say it first.

I can’t do the trick, but from what I heard before, you will need to practice riding in smaller and smaller circles.

Yes, first get your spin down. A spin is where the wheel is making circles, but your upper body is rotating relatively around one point. Once you get your spin consistent, you can make that circle bigger or smaller and keep it that way until you throw up.

[SIDEBAR: I don’t have good advice on the throwing up or dizzyness thing. I’ve never seen anyone “spot” with their head while spinning on a unicycle, and every time I try it, it makes me even dizzier. I might be doing it wrong though…]

To turn the spin into a pirouette, you must crank into the center of that circle until you eventually stop pedaling and your wheel is just grinding around on one spot. I say grinding because that’s what it does if you’re on rough pavement. A gym floor will be much easier on your tire if you have one available.

If you pedal too far into the center, your wheel will start making circles again on the other side. You’ll come out of that going backward. This looks nice too, but what you’re looking for is to hold the center.

For a full pirouette as described in the IUF Standard Skills List, you have to make three rotations with the wheel not turning. That’s hard on a gym floor, and harder on rougher ground.

My unicycling coach (Irene) says that she needs to pump up the tire to a very very high PSI in order to get a legal full three turns in a pirouette. And she has to do it on a gym floor. Verifying that you get a full three turns during a skill test is also not easy. Irene had her skill test video taped so they could verify the number of revolutions in the pirouette.

thanks everybody.

does anyone happen to have a nice video of a pirouette?

3 times around seems kind of dificult.

johnfoss, any advise on spins? i’ve never realy seen / heard of spins outside the skill levels context.

i recently got some shorter cranks, 110mm bicycle euros.
and i’m feeling realy freestylish at the moment.

You can find a pirouette at the bottom of the page.