"Theoretically impossible skills", skill levels

Ken Fuchs wrote:
|> Want a really, really mad unicycling skill? Trying coasting backwards,
|> standing on the seat in a figure 8! Is it even theoretically possible?

Careful! “Theoretically impossible” is a forbidden word in our sport. Back in
1979 when I first took a Japanese team to the NUM in Findlay, then in 1980 over
dinner with John Jenack and his father Bill Jenack (the “father of modern
unicycling”), we had vehement arguments over the possibility of coasting. I
maintained that it’s possible, the Jenacks maintained that my “ignorance of
physics” was showing through.

Well, in 1980 during my trip around the world to stir up interest in forming the
IUF, I met Joackim Malm (I think it was him) in Stockholm, where they held the
first Swedish meet. We were exchanging tricks when he says real nonchalantly,
“Hey, can you do this one?”, and he goes off coasting! I said, “Hey, man, you’re
not supposed to do that! You’re breaking the Laws pf Physics!”. He says, “Oh,
yeah? I’ve been doing it quite a while”. I filmed him to have living proof of
this miracle.

Another argument I had with the Jenacks was that I maintained it’s possible to
ride an ULTIMATE GIRAFFE and an ULTIMATE TWO-WHEELER. Just imagine the last two
without the seat and fork. I have not proved my claim yet, though I tried the
former. The Jenacks, of course, said “theoretically impossible” and gave me a
long line of theoretical evidence…Why don’t some of you level niners out
there give it a shot?

Another skill (I hate when people call it tricks – we are not all circus
clowns) that I think is possible is coasting whgile standing up on the seat – I
don’t mean on the fork crown. I think Ken got this idea from me. I suggested and
challenged Jose Roman at Unicon VI to do it, and I’ll bet he can. How about it,
boys and gals, get to work! Wouldn’t it be ABSOLUTELY SPECTACULAR!?

(John you might want to use some of the above stuff as a basis for an article.)

By the way, somebody posted something about skill levels being silly. I think
s/he misses the point. We are trying to standardize unicycling as a sport.
Clowning around and using unis for transport is not the whole story. At least in
Japan, unicycling is a serious sport supported by the governmet. Over 90% of
elementary schools now have unis and its spreading to Junio High Schools.
Probably 1.5 million unicycles have been sold in Japan over the years since I
started the Japan Unicycle Club (now the Japan Unicucle Association, Inc.).

Enough for a Sunday morning’s rambling…

Stay on top,

Jack Halpern IUF Vice President

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