Rails v.s leges

I was just wonderin why it seems like rails are harder to hit than ledges. Is it just me? I could do ledges pretty good now and I hope to be hitting a handrail soon but every rail I try to hit I end up sliding backwards. While on coping or ledges i could stay on. Why is this?

Thanks Brian

Hit ledges? I’m not sure what you are talking about.

Its when you grind them. Its a skateboarding term.


Are the ledges covered with metal coping?
Are the hand rails you try to grind at the same angle as the ledges?
Are you grinding on your Pedals or crankarms or both?
Do your pedals have pins?

I’ve not yet done any grinding but my guess is that it’s harder to balance on the narrower rails because there’s less to balance on. But also, I reckon you’re probably sliding backwards because there’s less surface there in contact with the crank and pedal and therefore less slowing your uni down.

Just a guess.



I have a few Questions.
Are the ledges you grind covered in metal coping?
Are the ledges and hand rails at the same angles?
Are the hand rails at a greater angle (steeper)?
Are you grinding on your pedals, crank arms or both?
Do your pedals have pins?

Ok, now how would the pedal slide backwards?
Seems like if its sliding it would go forwards… What am i missing?

It could also be that rails are scarier to grind, so you dont jump forward as much.

Ledges are easier as the vertical part of the wall stops your wheel from going much past vertical. On a rail its possible for the wheel to rotate about the pedal a lot more.

I don’t understand how you can end up going backwards when grinding rails. Are you jumping up uphill sloping rails??!?


Yes the ledges are covered with coping.
No they arent at the same angle and they arent really handrails they are just rails i wouldn’t consider them handrails because they arent as high as handrails and they dont go over stairs or walkways.
I grind on both
I grind on a plastic pedal.

When I say fall backwards i mean I fall backwards and my uni goes forward.

Thanks for the advice

Then you meant to say “the unicycle slides forward, out from under me.”

And that is very easily explained. Rails are metal and your pedal will slide much easier on them compared to ledges. Unless the ledge is metal. The downward sloap of a handrail would also do this.

“Yes the ledges are covered with coping.
no they arent at the same angle and they arent really handrails they are just rails i wouldn’t consider them handrails because they arent as high as handrails and they dont go over stairs or walkways.
I grind on both
I grind on a plastic pedal.”

Because the ledge and rail are at different angles the friction is different. The steeper the incline the smaller the force of friction. The lower the amount of friction the greater the acceleration. I’m guessing the rail is steeper than the ledge so there is less friction and greater acceleration. You are not prepaired for the increase in accerleration on the rail and that would explain why you fall backwards. Try leaning more forward on the rail to compensate for the increase in acceleration.

NO!! dont lean forward! I’ve made that mistake too many times. Ive had some nasty falls on a 10 set handrail because i tried leaning forward. If you do that, your uni will just stop on the rail, and you will fall forward toy our death. What you want to do is stay directly on top of the crank/pedal. good luck with it, Kevin

I found the reason why ledges are easyier to grind is because there so easy to get onto to grind compared to rails. 4cm Rail to a huge 1 Metre ledge, Makes loads of difference. Theres a shortage of ledges in England!!!


I’'ve just recently began trying out rails and stuff. Its difficult for me only because I still have to work on my rolling hop and theres a shortage of low altitutude rails around my area. Sorry to in a way steal your thread…did not mean it but I’m carrying on anyway.

Uniextreme said “I fall backwards” while trying to grind the rails. This must mean that he was leaning too far back. My solution was to lean more forward. Not very far forward just MORE forward.


sorry, i misunderstood. yes then, i agree. lean a little more forward. only enough to stay drectly over the point of balance though. not too far or youll get hurt.


rails are more dificult, thats the problem

youve got to line up your crank and pedal niceley or get your uni stuck with on the rail.
sometimes i manage to grind a rail if i just land on the pedal, its realy sketchy though, but it could be the best way to do it.

what kind of cranks you have could make a diference to you technique(i have profiles) i can imagin kh cranks being a bit harder.

on a ledge with
coping it easy because you just hit it with your pedal and crank and put all your weight on the pedal. rails call for a bit more subtlty.

try working it gradualy by conquering ledges, then find a skate park with “double rails”,master them then get onto a regular single rail.
just like when you learned massive drops, right?
you didn’t start off doing 2m drop offs onto concrete did you?

i’ve got plastic pedals too, oddyessy twisted pc. i’d like to try a set of those haro(?) pedals with the metal grind plate though.

also, don’t go too fast. especialy on a down hill rail.

wow evilewan… i dont believe ive taken any of your advice. haha.

i use KH cranks, and i think they are easier cause they have a flatter bottom where as the profiles are round. this would give a bigger area for you to have on the rail and make the balance a bit easier.

i think i did a “single” handrail before i did a decent sized ledge or bench.

actually after i did my first drop over 3 feet, i tried a big one, slightly less than 2 m onto concrete. no slight buildups for me!

haha if you watch my videos, youll notice i go down rail very fast. but thats just what works for me.

i am by no means saying these suggestions arent good, i agree with allof them! i would have prevented a lot of pain had this post been made before i started learning. good post evilewan! could save someones life lol.


my thinking about the kh cranks was that they are wider than the pedal, where as the profiles are thinner than the pedal. just a guess though, i’ve never tried a grind on the kh cranks.

well to be fair, i started by doing dropps that were far to big for me to land too. it wasn’t actualy a good idea, but it did work. although it cost me quite a lot of monney.

i havent seen your videos, i dont have a fast enough connection.
i’ve been finding that i can actualy just jump onto a downhill rail and ride it down slowly, its possible to go faster though but it isn’t necicarily much easier. on a flat rail though i agree, you want to go fast or it just turns into a crank grab…