Uni for Kids

Hi All,

I ride a 24 Torker, nothing fancy, just basic and am new to this site. I would like to start a Circus Arts program for kids and have a few questions for the pros. (that would be you!)

-What age for beginning uni riding?
-What size uni?
-What brand should I buy? I will be purchasing about 6 - 10, so I need a good price and I need them to be durable.

The class will probably be 2 hours per week for maybe 8 to 16 weeks depending on the school. (20 - 40 mins per class spent on uni) The kids will have a uni to use at their school to practice during their outdoor time.

One other question. Where would I find a meet-up group in my area to hone my skills? I have only basic skills so far and an not yet able to start without support. (I can ride without support, just not start…) I live in southern California.

Thank you in advance for your help!!


Welcome to Unicyclist community Karin!

-Kids can start really early, the world record(I dont remeber exacly) is less than 4 years old I think. so anytime ou want to make them ride you can:p
-I would say for kids under 10, a 16" uni would be a good size, and for older than 10 a 20". I dont know how tall are 10 years old kids, but this is what I think.
-for the brand, I dont really know but take a look on www.unicycle.com and e-mail them if you want to be sure what brand (but I’m sure someone here can help you).
I let people from California for the rest, i’m not from there so we can’t really meet up:p

I bought a 16" uni off ebay for $50 a few days ago. It’s for my 5 year old daughter. She’s been begging me to get her one for weeks, after I got into it over a month ago.

It should arrive soon, and I’ll at least know if the size was right soon after. Determining whether she can actually ride will take longer.

She was cute the other day…
her: “Did the UPS truck come yet?”
me: “No, not yet.”
her: “damn it!”

woah!! where’d that come from? :smiley:

Riding a unicycle takes longer to learn than a lot of other basic circus skills, so this should be allowed for in your curriculum. If you only have a week or two for your program, having kids riding around at the end of that time is awfully ambitious. For best results, the kids will need some good coaching to get them started, and plenty of time later on for the ones who choose to focus on it.

From some median age, the learning time takes longer as you go younger, or older. If your riders are under 8-9 they will definitely average more time to learn. In the schools where I used to work, we rarely exposed kids to unicycles below grade 5. But this was up to the school of course, and what would work for their program. Also starting a little older will make it easier to just use 20" wheels.

If you can show the kids how to start, after a while it’s possible for them to spot each other. That allows for three kids to one unicycle, where two act as spotters while each one is on it. Being a spotter is a good learning tool also, as the spotters will watch and see what’s happening with the rider on the uni.

If you’re buying a bunch of unicycles together, you might qualify for a group (or school/learning) discount from Unicycle.com. There used to be a small company called unicycleclub.com that specialized in this, but they appear to have folded; at least their web site is gone. In any case, they were getting their unicycles from Unicycle.com so I’d recommend starting there.

Thanks for the info everyone. John, I plan to teach a 8 -16 week program at schools but it will only be two hours one time per week. I plan on leaving one unicycle at the school for the kids to ride during their recess. (There will be a “special list” of those who can use it who are enrolled in the class. I knew how hard it was for me to learn, so I want to give them the best chance of success. I had planned on working with 6th grade and up but maybe I will do two groups, one that includes uni and one that doesn’t. Thanks again!

Any advice where I can get together in So-cal to practice with other unis?


Hi Karin

I’ve been running unicycle sessions at the local primary school since May along with a weekly community ‘learn to uni’ group, fwiw:

Age-wise, kids of all ages at the primary school (5 years old to 12 years old) are rabid unicyclists! Generally the kids at the younger end might take a little longer to learn to ride, but not always. It’s lots of fun at the weekly learn to uni group to see the 6 year old kids from the school challenge the teenagers to see who can ride the longest etc :slight_smile:

I lend a collection of uni’s (16 or so I think!) at the school and depending on the weather and supervision, the kids can uni before school, lunch time and after school - if they want to of course. The frequent riding has helped a bunch re learning to ride etc. I had a training rail made so the kids can self serve, and was also there most days earlier on to support kids with one hand as they started to ride ‘out in the open’. The school has been super supportive of unicycling which is very cool, and I’ve just submitted a grant application so the school can buy a bunch of stuff so uni can become an ongoing part of the school culture. I use the same collection of learner uni’s for the weekly community classes and anywhere else.

Size-wise the main uni’s in use are 16" and 20" learner uni’s, that covers almost all the kids. There are also a couple of 12" uni’s - mainly for the kids to mess around on once they can ride, everyone loves to ride ‘mini style’. A couple of smaller kids who can’t fit on a 16" have learnt to uni on the 12"! There are also a couple of 24" uni’s - a couple of the older, taller kids have preferred to learn on the 24" (with 150 cranks) and the kids tall enough to fit on the 24" enjoy the extra speed once they can ride. I’ve also got 29" and 36" uni’s for the weekly community group.

Brand-wise I’ve mainly been using the Learner uni’s from UDC
Generally they have stood up to daily (relatively heavy) use quite well. The basic seat isn’t especially comfortable so I’m gradually replacing those, and a few of the plastic pedals have broken, but overall they’ve been strong uni’s. There are also a few other uni’s in the mix too, e.g. Torker LX, Nimbus 20", 29"

I’ve really made a point of separating unicycling out from circus and as part of that brought unicycling movies along for the kids to watch earlier on (which TBH I think really excited the kids as to what is possible once they can ride) and encourage the kids to come along on off road rides as soon as they are able to. Quite a few already have their own uni’s now!

I don’t update the school section in my blog much — privacy concerns etc — but you’re welcome to check out the info there:

Personally for me the unicycling sessions with the kids at school has been a genuinely rewarding and valuable life experience, and the kids have really gotten into it - just needed some uni’s, opportunity to learn and encouragement along the way.

Best of luck with it!