Which 12" to get?

I’m looking at the Balance and the Hoppley.

Does anyone have experience with either of these? Which will be best for the kiddos. I have a 5 and a 3.5 year old that I want to start teaching. I measured a 16" and it was too tall for them at this point.

Do you want to pay 5 more dollars for chrome, or is black going to be okay? I don’t see another significant difference between the two. Not that I’ve used them, but either should be fine for learning.

The only difference in those 2 unis is the color, so get the one that looks the best to you!

As a rider with 4 kids (two of whom go Muni riding with me) I can tell you that it would be very unusual for kids as young as yours to pick it up. Not impossible - but unusual. Adam Cohen (JustOneWheel) taught his son, Ziggy, to ride when Zig was 2 or 3. Check out his website Justonewheel.com for a video.

If the kiddos don’t pick it up right away, don’t get discouraged. Just wait a few years.

Oh I’m aware, but I think it will be fun for them to try. Plus it would be funny to ride around sometimes.

I went with the black frame. I just wasn’t too sure if there was anything I was missing. I figured the rim was identical.

Looks like UDC’s photo for the 12" Balance is of a 16" or larger version. Not that the components are probably any different, just the proportions. The picture of the Hoppley looks like a 12".

At very young ages, usually only the most motivated of kids learns to ride. Learning times tend to get longer as you go younger from 8 or so, and can be very long for kids with less physical development, like ages 5 or under. Probably the worst thing you can do is push them; let them learn at their own pace and their own level of motivation. Even if they lose interest for a while, they may go back to it later on.

Thats my plan. I want it to be fun for them not a discouragement. They both have been asking to have a unicycle to try like daddy that is their own size. My 3 year old is about the size of an average 5 year old and is very coordinated. They are both pretty determined to try new things and try them on their own.

The earlier the better

I agree that you shouldn’t be a jerk about it. It has to be fun for the child.

I spent some time talking with Nick Gatto and others after his son Anthony Gatto (current juggling power master), came in third at the IJA nationals, at the age of 7, or 9, I forget.

I expected Nick Gatto to be a power driving evil nut. He wasn’t at all. One of the nicest fathers I have ever met, Nick Gatto was awesomely kind and helpful to everyone.

Anthony Gatto holds many juggling records, and his dad encouraged him from a very young age. An autistic savant, he was juggling 5 clubs at a world class level when he was 8. Nick would be the first to tell you he just saw what was there. You can’t make a natural, but if you have one, the earlier they start practicing, the better. Anthony wasn’t driven by his evil hard driving father, Nick was a real nice guy as well as being a huge fan of fine juggling. One of the nicest people I have met. Start them young, follow the fun, your kid just might need only a bit of support and teaching to blow you away. Maybe everyone else to. Nick told me he started to believe Anthony was unbeatable as he juggled as a toddler.

One thing that can work, though it can also backfire, is to remind the child that unicycles take a long time to learn. That it’s hard. The hard part is to know how far to go with it. Being fair, definitely let them know it will probably take at least several days. At the more extreme end, if you know your kid is determined, you can say stuff like “most kids can’t do it” or “I don’t know if you’ll be able to do it at such a young age.” In many cases, telling kids they can’t is the best motivator. But not always, and that’s the danger. It’s generally not great to say “you can’t” to anyone.

He was ten when he won the silver, I think, at the IJA Fest in Purchase, NY in 1983. I was there for that. Allan Jacobs was first, and I can’t remember who the other guy was. He may have won bronze in a previous year as well.

Woah, who made that diagnosis? Though being on the spectrum is probably an ingredient in most top technical jugglers (and unicyclists), it carries a negative stigma so most people don’t want to be labeled as such…

Everytime I saw a kid who seems especially talented at something and the parent(s) weren’t slave drivers, the mom/dad was very outgoing and super positive and encouraging.

Learning for me was very slow 80 hrs over 8 weeks. I stayed motivated by looking for any small improvement. ie I rode the length of my railing and had to grab w/ 2 hands four times twice in back to back attempts in a practice session instead my previous best of twice for the whole session. I rode in along a wall instead of my usual rail, I rode along my rail and only touched w/ two fingers (I also found it easier if I put something bright at the end for me to focus on then later take it away), ride w/ less or more air pressure than I’m used to, etc.

I use the same emphasizing thing when teaching people to juggle ie they are on 2 balls and I’d say “Great! You actually threw both balls!”. I find the people focus too much on their mistakes and negative things.

What ever happened to Edward Jackman?

Jacobs was first, Jackman second, and Anthony 3 rd , at Suny Purchase convention. Maybe John is right about little A ( what we called him then) being 10 then. He started winning prizes and a serious rep during earlier conventions.

I was at that convention also. I hung out a lot in the gym with Bruce Serafian, who was plugging away for hours with 7 and he showed me his unique way of juggling 4 in one hand, which I couldn’t understand then, and he wasn’t all that good at it then. But man, could that guy practice. A single minded zealot (for numbers ball juggling) , he cared not a bit about any other juggling skill, and did not brag or talk about performing. He practiced with serious focus more hours than anyone there. I hung out with him a lot, and being a physical autistic myself, I could tell by the end of the convention I was beaten by this guy. Not only was he better than me at the start, he way out practiced me at 7 pumping during the time we had. I wanted to be a performer, a torch expert, boxes, balls, street show. Sarafian was full on Autistic, he was going to set world records. Hell with talking to people about it. He never told me he was going to break the world record, he was quiet like that. All go, no show. But a brilliant inspiring man to practice with. We would meet again about 10 years later.

I had gotten my spot for my street juggling show at Mallory square at the managers booth. Walking past comes 2 guys, one who looks like Sarafian .
A friend had given me a copy of “Juggler’s world” magazine, so I knew my old friend Serafian was in the Guinness book. I wasn’t sure it was him ( many autistic people have the facial recognition skills of much smaller mammals). I just yelled out “great news on the world record, that must feel pretty good”.
He acknowledged that, but became kinda withdrawing when I told him from where I knew him (he plainly did not recognize me). So I changed the subject, inviting him to watch my show, which he did, twice.

I know Serafian, even if he doesn’t recognize me. I don’t suggest dinner, drinks, this is not a normal man. I told him the best place to juggle at night was this park with lighted tennis courts. Nice people, excellent lighting, a drinking fountain. Sarafian was sold, not really tired from the road, he had juggling withdraw, and we met there an hour later.

I was blown away by his effortless 7 and 8 ball patterns. I just sat and watched him for 10 minutes. When I got up to start juggling myself, I fidgeted with the balls. I always roll the balls around in my hands, and dance my special dance before I start. As well as fidgets between rounds. A big smile came on Bruce’s face. "I know you ", he said. I already knew he was autistic, like me. It was pretty cool, I could feel it. Before that, our history went back 3 hours, after it, it went back ten years. It took him 3 hours to remember who I was. Sarafian is more autistic than me. He is also a record holder, and I am not.
I have trouble recognizing friends I have not seen for several years. I am fast to remember dangerous people ( they all feel the same), but people I like all feel different, and it takes me longer to figure out who they are (were).

What do you mean that he would set world records because he was autistic? I probably sound like an idiot but isn’t autism like a mental condition or something? Kinda off topic, sorry…

Autism is a disorder of neural development characterized by impaired social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior.

Anyway, yeah :slight_smile: I had fun playing about on a 12" a few months ago, but i guess i’d get bored of it eventually :stuck_out_tongue:

i found a 12" on ebay… it had a mag wheel. Worked fine until i started hopping breaking one of the spokes.

Sounds good. I definitely remember him being 10. Great times! That was the first IJA festival I went to, along with a bunch of other unicyclists straight from the 1983 USA meet in Syracuse, NY. We were the ones riding around on the bleachers and statues. :slight_smile: The guys who “invented” coasting, gliding and seat drag were there.

I remember seeing guys like Bruce, who basically practiced all day. These were the serious, serious hobby jugglers. After a while, one wondered why they needed a juggling convention to stand in the corner and practice all day? But some of us unicyclists aren’t any different…

A lot of people with autism have a singular focus, and can get very good at what they’re into. Autism is described by some experts as a spectrum, with some people on the extreme end, where they have difficulty even communicating, and on the “lite” end, where somebody like a Bruce Serafian might fall. Many of the unicyclists known to us are probably on the autism spectrum as well. Certainly there’s no shortage of people with amazing technical skills and poor people skills, though that’s not necessarily an indicator… :stuck_out_tongue:

Aspergers Syndrome, a common type of autism, is sometimes called the “little professors” disease because thode who have it are quite focused and usually very perceptive and bright. i know a kid who has it at my high school who is super socially awkward, but is a musical genius with perfect pitch and is also a very good student.

Yes, Aspergers is part of the autism spectrum. Lots of very smart and some famous people probably fall under that description.
. What were we talking about? 12" unicycles? :stuck_out_tongue:

The math supports an autism-juggling link

I know 6, counting myself, autistic 7 ball (or better) jugglers. We have to practice hard and long, like anyone else. There seems to be an innate love in some autistics for repetitive physical sensations. Channeling this into juggling is not uncommon, and can become an addictive source of pride. It is fun to show them up, autistic or not.:slight_smile:

And the earlier you start learning a physical skill, the better. As long as you love it. Forcing a kid to practice something will just teach them to hate it. It takes a lot of love, and fun, to put in the thousands of hours it takes to get to a level where you can do your fun thing at a world class level. It has to be fun. Discipline is overrated. Autistics kick ass in juggling because it’s more fun for some of us, than it is for almost all of you.

I’ll confirm the photo at UDC is wrong. I took advantage of the recent sale on the Balance 12" and got one. It’s fun! I used it as transport on a pub crawl last week where everyone in the group dresses up like clowns.