Tips please--- How to fall and avoid injury.

A couple weeks ago I ate it pretty badly. I’ve just gotten to a point in learning to unicycle where I’m wanting to try things I never tried 20 years ago when I used to ride. I tried riding off an 8" step and obviously didn’t do it right. As I fell forward my left arm went out ahead of me, fingers outstretched. It was probably a good thing that I didn’t fall straight down on my arm, but as I moved forward I rolled over on top of my left pinky finger. No permanent damage, but two weeks later I’m just now getting full movement back.

This ugly wipeout coupled with Terry’s recent video got me thinking… What sort of tips can the experienced riders offer a relative newcomer as far as how to fall without serious injury? Am I correct in thinking I would have been better to fall with my hands in more of a fist shape to avoid injuring fingers?

Any suggestions appreciated. I’ve certainly learned the value of a pair of gloves, and I’ve just gotten some leg protection (661s).


Dakine wrist guards are excellent and can be worn UNDER your gloves. They provide wrist and palm protection. And when falling the worst thing to do is tense up! Stay loose and “roll” with it naturally if you can. Always let the uni GO when you fall so you can remain free from any entanglements. Unis are replaceable, but you’re not. :slight_smile: Also for you I would also highly recommend the 661 2x2 elbow/arm guards. I’ve taken a few spills where I’ve just let my arms take the impact and got up totally unscathed wearing the 2x2’s. Do NOT make a fist or anything like that. Your body will fall in a naturally defensive way if you let it, but stay loose. The wrist guards are designed to protect your palm also, so if I bail and I’m going down, I put my arms and hands out and let the 2x2’s and palm guard take the impact.

I don’t know about a fist, seems like that might break your fingers. I got some nice kh gloves with splints. Super nice for falls, there are some other brands, but I’m not so sure of their name. Splints make a huge difference.

If you’ve got to fall going to the knees when you can, or landing like you would do a push-up have served me well.

Take 2 and a half years of gymnastics.

Unfortunately, I’m afraid that as an otherwise fairly inactive 39 year old, I tend to fold more than I bend! :roll_eyes: Good advice though, I’m sure anything that improves flexibility would help avoid injury.


How about adding some pushups to your exercise routine? The poster who recommended landing in a pushup position reminded me how many times I actually HAVE fallen in this configuration. Being able to absorb some of the shock with strong (but yelding) counter-pressure from your arms (a result of pushups) might be a big help and confidence builder. Sometimes it’s just not possible to go with the flow and roll where the momentum takes you, because there might be a very large pointy rock awaiting you!

Take a few martial arts classes. A lot of them will have classes just on learning how to fall and roll. Doesnt take years of classes either.

Thanks for the suggestions Terry. Years ago I rode alot but I never had any interest in riding on top of things, or over things, or through things, or on the edge of things, etc. I think part of the interest is from the access to videos that weren’t available then and part of it is strangely related to the simple fact I’m getting older. Know what I mean?


haha we’re all getting older, but I would gladly trade 53 for 39, lol! But it’s clear that you don’t really have the desire to do drops off of 7’ tractors and 8 stair sets like me haha! I can’t blame you!:o The way I look at it, as long as I can do what I do, I’ll continue to do it, albeit as time goes by, I will probably ride MUni mostly for the fitness aspect, not for the big drops and stuff.:slight_smile:

I think I’ll draw the line at 4 sets. And no tractors.:smiley:

Ok, here’s a nice little 4 set for yee! :stuck_out_tongue:

4 set.jpg

Does it take a long time for the lessons to become ingrained enough to be second nature when you are about to eat it? Do the lessons still help with the sometimes awkward (and FAST) ways a person falls from a uni?


Nobody would call me a sissy for calling it quits at a 2 set, would they?:stuck_out_tongue:

i count 12 and i want to jump it now.

you could become a ninja if you think that will help. Its worked out great for me. jk. i wish i was a ninja

Perhaps Ninja Unicyclist is just the job description I’ve been seeking all my life. As a Ninja Unicyclist, what are your suggestions with regard to situations in which the torso continues to move forward after the wheel has stopped? :roll_eyes:


In a situation like this you should start pedaling. fast. like faster than if you were being chased by a hungry clown. (yea, that’s pretty fast, i know)

I’ve heard it said that clowns feed on fear.


Aside from becoming a Ninja Unicyclist, does anyone have any additional suggestions for eating it without breaking it?


Honestly, I’d say the best way to eat it without breaking it is to eat it…a lot. I feel that I have pretty great reflexes when falling, but I’ve taken my share of injury to get me to that point. Falling properly comes from experience in falling, as unfortunate as that may be. I would recommend practicing tricks that are only marginally above your ability; learn to fall as you go.

If you want super reflexes, you might take up freerunning ;). The extra dexterity might help.