What do you call this trick?

As a long term goal, I want to learn something I’ve seen - but I don’t know what you call it. It starts with the rider going backwards. Next he does some type of 180 and procedes in the same direction but now riding forward. Expertly done it looks like the rider loses very little speed while changing the direction he is facing. Obviously this can be done backwards to forwards or forwards to backwards.

What is this called?

I think that would be called a backspin.


I thought a sex change was a body varial with a crankflip. I think.

It’s called a Mctwist


Does the unicycle stay facing the same way???

If the rider does a 180 with the unicycle its called a 180twist. If the rider does the 180 without the unicycle its called a 180bodyvarial.

/\ So is this correct? /\

Yes, sorry :smiley:

No need to apologize! :smiley: Thank you for answering so quickly!


This is somewhat confusing to describe so I’ll approach it another way:

Rider rides backwards, traveling north.
Rider does a 180 maneuver of some type (hop or twist?).
Rider ends up riding forward and facing north.
The rider and unicycle are always oriented the same direction.

For those 40 year olds and older, it looks like the “Rockford” car stunt done on the “Rockford Files” TV show from the 70’s. Here’s a clip of somebody doing the car stunt. As you can see, they call the car stunt a reverse 180.


it is a backspin, and if you do it forwards to backwards it is called a frontspin.

That car stunt is also called a J-turn. It looks like it would kill your transmission.

The unicycling.org levels page has a link to a nice description (it’s listed as a level 6 skill).

Yeah, the unicycling.org levels page has a link to a nice description (it’s listed as a level 6 skill).

Ahh, I was wrong. It’s a frontspin when you ride backwards and turn 180… :smiley:

Ah Yes…

Thanks davidp for the links. So the answer to my question is “Frontspin” when starting backwards and transitioning to forwards. A “Backspin” is the opposite, starting forwards and transitioning to backwards. Therefore the name of the skill describes the direction you end up facing upon completing the maneuver.

Here’s the official description:


While riding backwards, slowly turn the upper body 90 degrees left (or right) relative to the wheel’s direction.
Quickly twist the upper body 180 degrees (the action), causing the wheel to pivot on its vertical axis 180 degrees in the opposite direction (the reaction).
Recover from the 180 degree wheel snap by slowly returning the upper body to a normal riding position from its 90 degree right (or left) position.


A frontspin is defined as riding backward, quickly rotating (snapping) the wheel 180 degrees about the vertical axis, and then riding forward. This must all be done without any perceptible change in speed or direction (of at least the rider’s upper body [except for twisting which is required to perform the skill]).

I like the last part - “this must all be done without any perceptible change in speed or direction…”. When done this way it is very impressive to me.

So now that we have an official answer, how about a demonstration video from someone (or multiple people) performing this skill (preferably the “Frontspin” going from backwards to frontwards.) Better yet, how about multiple people submitting video’s (of this skill only) and we can all compliment whoever can do it do it expertly.

Highest praise to be given to whoever can do it with the least change in speed and direction. I’ll submit my video in 2 years or so when I can do it!:smiley:

Bring it on!

Take a look here: http://www.unicyclist.org/cont/levels.cfm under level 6. You can see small videos of backspin and frontspin (which I cannot do either).

Best regards

Well here’s an unidentified girl doing a freestyle routine with a frontspin at 17 seconds. Better yet, watch what she does after her pirouettes. At 1:44 she does a backspin but she hops for the transition. I find the hop more impressive than the pivot technique. That of course is immediately followed up by a super clean frontspin. She does countless skills that blow my mind.

Who is this girl?


You missed the even more impressive frontspin at :54 seconds. :astonished: