stillstands for the chosen few

Is it possible that the uncompromisingly high level of balance needed to achieve a lengthy stillstand isn’t there in some human beings?

After months upon months of practice (sort of), it just doesn’t seem possible. I’d really like to see a proper video of someone doing a stillstand - or is the entire concept of really long stillstands just a myth?!


Most of my motionless moments are during mounting and stopping.
I have no idea how much time counts as a ‘free stand’.
(seconds or minutes …?)

It usually happens when I’m showing someone how to get on without assistance.
It’s just a momemtary lack of balance for me that causes it.
(very awkward… waiting for the out-of-balance to happen)

It’s usually a moment of needing ‘no balance’ because of lack of out-of-balance.
(If that makes sense… lol)

Anyway … are there records for such events…?

I’ve seen a video of a stillstand that lasted about forty-five seconds. It’s somewhere in the gallery but I’m not sure where. In order to do a proper stillstand, you have to balance for at least three seconds without moving the wheel. Three seconds is about my longest currently since I haven’t spent much time praticing it. The record stillstand was about fifteen minutes. I suspect most people who can unicycle have the balance necessary to do short stillstands, but it probably requires a degree of talent to go more than a twenty seconds or so. How do you define “lengthy” stillstands?

Another Q…

Are feet required to be on the petals…?

Seems to me … (never tried it)

… that you could achieve this easier by going into a wheel walk, but just dont walk
(hold the tire still with foot pressure locked on frame to tire.)

that would be like ‘pole standing’ then …
(with a seat :smiley: )

The pedals, yes.

I don’t think this would make it any easier. Having your feet higher up and in a more cramped position sounds pretty uncomfortable.

The guys who did the 15 minute record in Japan did pretty much what anyone else does when they stillstand; they just did it a lot longer. I would not consider any forward-back movement their wheels made to have been a significant factor. They stayed within a very tiny piece of real estate with perhaps a few centimeters of play. Stillstanding is about the side-to-side balance. Unless you are making some kind of adjustment by moving your wheel around, the side-to-side is what’s eventually going to get you.

Or being tired, especially in the August Tokyo weather! One advantage for those guys, being from the Philippines, the weather was probably pretty normal for them.

I have a video clip of the guys working on their record. I need to figure out a way to post them for all to see. I have too many to put them on my web site. I have to convert them to MPEG1 and then they can be on my Smugmug site… All my Unicon photos are posted now, they just need some captions! I’m working on MUni Weekend.

Stillstanding is a skill like any other. I’m sure if you practice you can get better at it. Having someone coach you and tell you how to improve your technique would surely help. However I do think some people are more sensitive than others in how they balance. Some people just seem to have an uncanny ability while others have to struggle.

i’ve done a still stand for maybe 10 seconds. seemed to be forver. get some friends and a fence or poles or something and just have contests. just stand there. you’ll get better. if you can go for more than 5 seconds that’s a really good start. practicing with friends is a much more fun way to get better.

I used to be quite good at stillstands, but now, my power is gone. I used to average around 20-30 seconds, but now I’m lucky if I can get over ten.
What happened?

Actually it is possible to do stillstands with your feet off the pedals. I read that Jullian Monney did static coasting, that is a stillstand with feet on fork and not touching the wheel, for thirty seconds. I’m sure wheelwalking stillstands would also be possible.

Short still stands don’t require much in the way of balance.
If you can ride reasonably well and stop pedalling you should be able to pause for at least a little while before over balancing and either
a) having to pedal or
b) falling off

I find still standing for longer than several seconds very similar to the sensation of coasting. Just like coasting it is:

  1. hard to learn
  2. easy to lose your skill at it if you stop practicing
  3. it can take a good twenty to thirty minutes to warm up to it
  4. a very fine balance envelope.

If you stay within the “Balance envelope” you can stay in the still stand for ages. Unfortunately very small changes in weight can send you out of the envelope and hence even smaller adjustments are required to keep you in the envelope.

This level of adjustment takes a long time to develop and I wouldn’t be surprised if it took some people several months to a year to develop a decent still stand technique. That said some people have very good balance and my pick it up much faster.

Pete - my advice is to try still standing from hopping rather than riding. Since you do a fair bit of trials try still standing for as long as possible and then hop out of it to another still stand. This is a useful trials technqiue and should help develop your still stand balance.

I agree that some people have the ability to jsut do that… but if you practice enough (so much more than the talented people had to) then there is pretty much no way you shouldn’t be able to do it. Just a matter of how much time you have.

hell. why bother riding first? i practice up against a pole in a gym basement where i practice. Mount up an arms length from the pole, so you can barely touch it. Use that to steady yourself from whatever position you want to be in for you stillstand, and then just let go of the pole/fence/wall. balance for a bit and either lean back on wall or step off pedals and try again.

Because if you’re riding or hopping you’re more likely to have your weight directly above your wheel. If you’re leaning against a wall, even if barely touching it, the initial conditions for your stillstand are less than ideal. ie your point of balance is not directly above the wheel, it’ll be some (slight) distance off to the side that you’re leaning. Plus if you know that you can touch the wall and you’re falling towards it this can reduce the length of your stillstand.

Just my 2c.

Thanks for the tips everyone, I reward u with a photo of me standing still. The photo is definitely of ME.


i agree to a point. i starting barely touching a wall is a problem do a little hop to get away from it. I usually stillstand with other people and have a little contest, so we all hav to let go at the same time to see who can stay on the longest. so that’s why i use a wall/pole generally. i think its harder to come to a stop/stand up and then stand there than it is to just start from a stand and not move, but either way works.