Ready for giraffe riding?

I’m managing a young unicycle club and we have a few teenage felllows who have gone from not riding at all to being able to freemount, turn, ride a coker and a giraffe…in only one week.

I am starting to feel as if I need to set some guidelines as to when a person is ready to ride various club owned unis. I just want to avoid seious injuries to any one and I feel these young guys are involved in a bit of one-upmanship. The club enjoys a lot of freedom and minimal structure and seems to be thriving this way, so I hate to regulate excessively.

Do and clubs have guidelins about when someone is ready to ride a giraffe? What guidelines do you suggest?

i have been teaching one of my friends to uni and i think they are ready to ride a giraffe when they can freemount on a regular uni and ride nonstop. also, it is up to them if they are ready to ride a giraffe

If they feel confident enough in their ability that they are willing to attempt riding a unicycle with the seat 5 or 6 feet in the air, and they recognize the consequences of failing to be able to, they are ready to ride a giraffe.

Have them sign a waiver too, if that would make you/their parents feel better.

my first experience with a giraffe wasnt that good…
i fall off on the wheel and broked the rim…

this event caused to me a trauma and i cant ride a giraffe since it…

I think a waver is smart. It shows that you’ve told them of the hazards of the sport. It might include some verbage on the necessities of helmets, wrist guards, etc… “Participate at your own risk.” MUC even had parents of minors sign the sheet.

I think I read in these forums a long while ago that some clubs require at least a level 3 proficiency before riding club giraffes. IMHO, other good advice is to start by having the new giraffe jocky jump from a static ladder a time or two in order to become accustomed to the impact. Spend some time discribing and practicing the dismount. Riding a giraffe isn’t all that hard. But from up there, the ground is surprisingly hard.


You should have some guidlines to ensure complete safety on the girrafe in my opinion…The person must demonstrate complete conrtol of a ground level uni before steping up.

I think you should have some rules. These rules will not only ensure safety but will also encourage learing of the different skills needed.

  1. Mount and ride unassisted for an indefinate time period
  2. Turn left and right smoothly and with control
  3. Ride backward unassisted for an indefinate time period
  4. Idle with both the left and right foot down for at least 25 rocks
  5. Stop on a dime in complete control.

Once they can do these on a ground level uni it will prove that they are in complete control of their wheel and then they will be ready for the Giraffe.

I’ve seen the Level 3 suggestion a couple of times.
Other suggestions I have seen before included being able to idle and being able to ride backwards.
These all make sense to me and I would suggest including them in whatever list of requirements you eventually settle on.

At worst, it’s a nice incentive for the riders to get those very handy, yet very pesky to learn, skills under controll really quickly.

EDIT: Seems myself and trials_uni are thinking along the same lines.

I agree that idling and riding backwards should come before riding a club giraffe. If there is an assumption that the club is learning-based, these are core skills a new rider should be working toward in any case.

Being in a giraffe without idling or backwards skills will lead to more unplanned dismounts that aren’t necessary, and increase the chances of rider or equipment damage.

If they bring their own giraffe that’s another story, but it’s up to you (the club) on who rides yours.

when i learned to ride my giraffe i couldnt ride backwards on my trials, but i could on my giraffe


I just “learned” to ride a giraffe. It was a really old and bad one, but it wasn’t really that hard. It only took about 10 minutes before I was pretty comfortable.
I only fell a few times but no injuries whatsoever.

My friend also tried briefly and all he can do is freemount and ride.

Its easier to ride a giraffe than a normal unicycle… its just getting on thats the hard part…i say if they can freemount a normal uni and ride with control they are ready for the giraffe…

agreed with irvinegr,

someone once made the analogy that riding a giraffe was like balancing a meterstick/yardstick on your finger, compared to balancing a pencil on your finger.

I also think that having the kids jump from a ladder that is approximately the same height as the giraffe would give them a good idea of what it’s like to fall from that height.

The first time I rode a giraffe, I was down in Key West at Mallory Square. Some guy was performing a comedic routine on a giraffe. After the act was over, and he was couting his earnings, I asked if I could have a go on his giraffe. Having never ridden one before, I needed to use a lightpost to help mount it. I rode around for a bit, but soon tired of it’s ease. I dismounted/fell in front of an ususpecting older couple. It was funny - to me at least :smiley: