Viewing direction while idling


I’m practicing idling for a while now and I was wondering about the correct viewing direction while idling. With regular riding I try to look straight ahead (actually I look a little down to keep track of potential obstacles). But with idling I tend to look more at the bottom (it’s approximately a 45 degree angle, or maybe even more towards the bottom) so I can see a bit of the unicyle in my peripheral field. Is this “normal” or do you think it would be better to try to look straight ahead as with regular riding?

Regards, Michael

Look straight ahead, there’s nothing to see down there…

Re: Viewing direction while idling

“johnfoss” <> writes:

> Look straight ahead, there’s nothing to see down there…

That’s the advice I heard when learning to idle, but I found it easier
to look down. Was I just being stubborn, or is it really easier to
idle looking down? After lots and lots of practice I can now idle
just as easily while looking ahead.

This looking down business extends to another skill for me, too. I
find myself more stable if I stare at the ground when riding
one-footed. My best ride so far is about 1 block one-footed, partly
because I usually fall at intersections when I look up to scan for
traffic. But again, I am getting better at making progress while
looking forward instead of down.


I prefer looking to the ground a few metres in front of me. That’s just the way I am though…I’ve always walked looking at the ground, etc.


I’ve been thinking about this a little lately, and I have some thought ( yes, I was amazed too : )

I think it really doesn’t matter where you look, your eyes aren’t the key factor, you just need somewhere to let them while your using the rest of your body to keep balanced. Looking forward might be better though, cause if your looking down you might be trying to see the problem rather than feel it, ok, theres my hypothesis.


If you look down while idling your posture is going to be poor. You’re going to tend to be hunched over with a curve in your back instead of sitting straight up with your back straight. When you’re sitting straight up with good posture you’re in better balance and in a better position to transition into another skill like backwards riding or a spin. Watch the good freestyle riders. They maintain good posture as they ride.

Re: Viewing direction while idling

This reminds me. When I learned riding, or idling for that matter, it
really helped me to look down. The visual input was somehow combined
in my head with balance organ input to detect imbalances quicker, and
figure out the proper reaction. All of that subconsciously, but still.
Now as a more experienced rider, it is somewhat awkward to look down
when idling or (especially) when riding.

Experienced riders always advise beginners to look away, not down. But
I think looking down for a beginner has it’s place.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

I like the idea of not having to balance when out on a ride - joe

But it would be totally stupid to not look down when riding a skinny right? You have to at least see your wheel on the object so you can make slight adjustments.

So you don’t need to do it as much as this guy / that’s how I used to do it, but I think I’ve corrected myself now.


Viewing direction while idling dosent matter at all. practice idling long enough, from any viewing direction, and you’ll be able to idle without worrying about viewing direction

i’ve been doing a lot of juggling while idling and for that u want to be looking at the top of the arc of your props
u’re actually looking thru them and just keeping an eye on the juggling pattern with your peripheral vision
idling/juggling while looking down would be a real challenge

Thanks for your help!

Re: Re: Viewing direction while idling

the older you get the more your balance is based on visual
(your inner ear is worning out)
so I suppose you should still get visual clues on where your are
so : one eye to the ground, one towards the horizon!