What is your opinion on switch tricks?

I do some things left foot forward, some things right foot forward… who cares?

It may be impressive to do tricks both ways, but not by anymeans any kind of bench mark to ride by. Whatever is smooth, thats what the rider should be doing. Why fall fifty times if you could do it once the other way and get a smile.

It is not like some sports where you may land switch and have to do a switch trick out to keep yer flow and not do an ugly revert. I guess if yer doing crazy lines on a uni, it would be nice to be able to tre flip at the end of the ledge no matter what foot is forward… hell why not do it with the feet in vertical positions. Now that would be worth all the hubub.

Switch tricks I could imagine would be difficult at first, but once your body got use to the switch footing, it would begin to get easier, and it would just be relearning the tricks. They’re very cool and useful but flips aren’t giving the credit they deserve for difficulty, so I doubt the world is ready for switch.

-Shaun Johanneson

p.s. Switch, blind, what not is where it will be at shortly. There are only so many flips in the sport, after that, time to go switch and blind. It’s popular in skating since skating is a lot older, it will come around. Nay say to the nonbeleivers.

i will definitely attempt to stick swich tricks when i am more consistent with regular riding. i definitely think it’s worth it even if i’m not really at the level to discuss things from a more authoritative position.

Switch tricks are of value mostly to the rider, but not to the observer. To the casual observer, the person has to know several things before they can appreciate a switch trick:

  • They have to be able to spot the trick
  • They have to be able to detect which foot was dominant (or leading)
  • They have to have a frame of reference as to which is your non-dominant side.

So tricks are just tricks until your switch side has been established. If your audience is a group of fellow riders, no problem. They already will know exactly what to look for.

In a competition, a judge won’t know which is your switch side unless they happen to be familiar with your riding already, or if you do enough non-switch moves to establish your dominant side.

From a functional point of view, the more switch stuff you can do, the more versatile your riding can be, especially for basic stuff like jumping, hopping, gapping, whatever you want to call it. You’ll have much more flexibility.

In “old school” tricks, there is definite value to learning some tricks on what we call the “non-dominant side.” It’s good to be able to mount with either foot, ride one-foot, hop and a few other things, but beyond a certain point it loses its value (except to a very observant set of Freestyle judges). An audience will not care if you do it on the “wrong” side. They might notice if you do something on both sides, but a general audience does not detect this in any show I’ve ever done.

If you look at the IUF/USA skill levels, you will notice there is a lot of switch stuff, to prove you’re increasing your skills by learning them on the non-dominant side. Back in the early days of Unicon, we had a Compulsory event that was part of an overall score for either the Freestyle or Standard Skill champions. The last time we used it, the hardest Compulsory routine included backwards one-foot figure-8s with one foot, then the other foot. Ouch. I spent a lot of time getting that one down!

just out of curiosity- in skateboarding i believe there is a term for people who ride with their right/(dominant?) foot forward ie: goofy and regular riders ride with their left foot forward (when going forwards for both of them).

do we have something/could we have something approximate to that ie: hop with the left foot forward generally=regular stance/regular; hop with right foot forward generally=goofy.

i think that convention makes it easier to define switch tricks/riding, although because one’s orientation to the unicycle doesn’t really alter apart from when someone prepares for a hop, it isn’t really recogniseable like in skateboarding when someone is just riding along normally.

is there normally a preference for a particular foot to be forward in general, for example, do most riders hop like me (right foot forward) or is the general trend to hop with left foot forward?

Im right footed. When snowboarding, sakting, ro wakeboarding, antyhing with a board, I keepy my right foot at the top, left in back. Skaters tell me that I ride goofy footed.

On my uni, I jump left foot forward.

I dont know if goofy footed would work too well in unicycling, cause there are so many combinations of stances it would be hard to determine what makes what stance what for that person.

If having a specific foot in front makes you goofy-footed, this sets up an automatic way of knowing foot positions. I don’t like the name (reminds me of a Disney character and somehow implies one foot is better than the other), but it works.

I don’t know if the same type of distinction applies in unicycling. Generally if your right foot is dominant you jump with it in the back, and the other way around if you’re left-footed. Some people are exceptions and do it differently though. What might matter more is which foot is in front in relation to the obstacle you’re dealing with, for instance. When hopping up stairs from your left to your right, if it makes more sense to have your right foot back, this would be considered the regular or “non-goofy” foot position. Does that make any sense?

I don’t think there should be a “goofy” and “normal” stance in unicycling, only “normal/regular” or whatever and switch. The thing that makes unicycling different from skating/surfing/snowboarding is that you can’t ride in a specific stance, you can only trick from it. (if that makes sense)

As what Shaun said, I don’t think unicycling is quit ready for switch stuff yet. It’s definitly coming though.