Saturday, April 28, 2012

How to ride a Unicycle: A Tutorial and Tips

So, you want to learn to ride a unicycle? Let me first tell you, this is not something most people pick up in an hour. You will need to dedicate several days to learning, but I can guarantee that you'll get it if you're dedicated. Once you're able to ride, you'll never forget! Here's a small tutorial on unicycling!

The Very Beginning

The very first steps of learning to ride are the most difficult. People ask me all the time, "How did you learn to ride?" The answer to that question for me is simple: I tried over and over until I got it. I'll admit, there were times that I said to myself that I would never learn, and that I was getting nowhere. But look at me know; I overcame all of those obstacles. You can do the same! Here are some extremely essential things to keep in mind before you begin:
  • Falling is inevitable, and you cannot let that discourage you. I promise that the falling will decrease, or even stop as time goes by.
  • WEAR SHINGUARDS. This tip helped me so much when I started learning. If you mess up, the pedals can wind around and smack your shins. This stopped many sessions prematurely until I got some shinguards.

 The Basics

There are several basic points that you must keep in mind that are absolutely necessary to follow:
  • The basic concept of riding is simple: you sit on the seat and lean forward, and as the seat moves forward, you pedal to keep the wheel under you. Now, that may seem complicated, but the actual riding isn't.
  • When riding, you must lean forward. If you pedal and do not lean forward, then the wheel will move, but the seat will stay still. Usually you want to go with the unicycle :)
  • Don't look down. I know that it is tempting, but you will ride with more ease if you do not look down. Pick an object ahead of you and focus on that.
  • Check the amount of air in your tire. Sometimes it may be easier to learn to ride if the wheel is a little low on air.
  • Sit upright. I've been told to pretend that there is a metal bar that extends from your bottom all the way up to your neck.

Learning to Ride 

I have heard of many different methods of learning. I'll outline a few here: 
  • Find a wall, and ride a long it. Although I did not learn to ride this way, I use this method when learning tricks.If you can find a long wall, just hop on the unicycle, get balanced, and start the process! If you begin to fall, then you always have a wall to keep you stable. This will help you get a feel for the unicycle very quickly!
  • Find a friend to walk alongside you as you ride. If you have two friends, this works too. You can have them support you by putting your arms around their shoulders. I don't think this is the best way, and would stick to the wall.
  • Find something, like a mailbox, and get on the unicycle. Then, just start riding. This is how I first learned. You may only be able to go a couple feet without any supports, but that's okay! Just get back on and try again. If you keep at it, you'll increase the distance you go each time. Eventually, you'll be able to go a very long way unassisted!
 Now, notice that all of these methods require you getting on a unicycle by yourself. I think that mounting the unicycle should be learned after you can ride. Others may disagree, but mounting was definitely the hardest part for me, and I did learn it right after learning to ride.

How to mount the unicycle

To me, this is the hardest part. You can ride without learning, but you'll have to hold on to something every time you get on. Here is how I do it:

  • Start with the non-dominant foot's pedal down.
  • Position the seat under you with the wheel out front. Make sure the seat is in a comfortable position (especially for the guys).
  • Put your foot on the pedal that is down.
  • Then just push off the ground with your dominant foot and put it on the pedal. 

That's a very basic tutorial on learning to ride! Remember, keep at it and you'll be riding in to time. Let me know if I left anything out! :)   Good luck!

New unicycle content - Trombone on a Unicycle

Hey, all! I've decided to open up this page to discussion and help on unicycling too! Getting introduced into the unicycle world is a fantastic experience; you can do nearly anything while riding, with juggling being a great thing! Learning to ride, however, is a beast of its own. That will be my next project. I should have a quick tutorial up soon. In the mean time, enjoy this video of me after I first learned how to ride:

My next video will be me playing the flute while riding. Hopefully that will go a little more smoothly since I have been riding a lot longer. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Hey, all! I've been thinking of what tutorial to post next, and I would like to know what you all would like! I could post 4 or 5 ball tutorials, or I could even post tutorials about unicycling! Let me know by doing the poll on the side of my blog. Thanks guys!

How to Juggle Three Balls: 3-Ball Cascade

Hey, everyone! I had a little free time today, so I decided to shoot a very quick tutorial on the basic three-ball cascade. This is the essential pattern for juggling three balls, and it is the first thing that you should learn. It was a quick video, and I left out some tips that might help. Those are to come! Comment if you have questions or want to share your success! Keep on juggling!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

How to Make Your Own Juggling Balls

Whether or not you're new to juggling, you're going to have the need for some quality juggling equipment. After numerous searches, I've come to a conclusion: this equipment is just too expensive! So, here are a  couple methods of solving your equipment problem. I've tried most of these myself, and I can tell you that they work like a charm!

Filling Racquetballs or Tennis Balls

Sounds like a great idea, right? They're already round and nicely shaped! The only problem is that they bounce (unless you want to learn bounce juggling). The other problem is that they're a little light, depending on your preferences. Here are some balls I recently made out of racquetballs:

The cool thing about these is that they actually look like professional juggling balls, unlike the type that you sew (I stay away from those, personally). So, here are a couple ways of doing this:
  • First, acquire some racquetballs or tennis balls. The balloons on the outside are completely optional, but I do recommend them. They help with grip, and they also look extremely cool!
  • Next, choose your filler:
    • Pennies: I have not tried these, but I heard these help with bouncing issues. They also add weight!
    • Water: These ones above are filled with water. The best way to put water in them is to have a syringe and needle to put the water in. If you don't have access, then a small hole will do the trick
    • Sand: This or any other type of gritty thing will work
    • Bird seed: I've heard that this one works well too
  • Next, just seal the hole and put the balloon around!
Rice and Balloons

This is the method for those of you who like the bean-type balls. This method is also very inexpensive; you can find these materials for less than $5 at most stores. Here is what they look like:

Now, these are entirely customizable. You can make them any size that you like! Here is how you do it:

  • Find an empty water bottle
  • Fill it with the desired amount of rice
  • Put the balloon on top, blown up (like the picture below):
  •  Note that I did not put the rice in the bottle above. You should do that before the balloon goes on.
  • Next, just flip the bottle over and watch the rice fall inside!
  • You then should cut the neck of the balloon (the small part where you blow) off. If you do this carefully, no rice will fall out.
  • Now just apply another cut balloon over the hole so that no rice can escape.

These are the two methods that I have tried, and I can tell you that they work very well! They are much cheaper than the professional balls, and they still look good. Hopefully these will help you get started. Hopefully by the time you new jugglers have these made I'll have my first tutorial up!

Enjoy  your new juggling balls, and keep learning!


My Purpose at JugglingSpot

Hello to all of the jugglers and juggling enthusiasts out there! I'm new to the blogging world, but I figured this may be a good way to share my experiences and interests in the art of juggling! I will be posting various tutorials for people of all skill levels, so come here to watch and learn! 

Here's what you can look forward to in the near future:
- A simple three-ball cascade tutorial. This is the most basic piece of juggling. I'll walk through the process and give tips on learning.
- Several trick tutorials, including Mill's Mess, Behind-the-backs, under-the-legs, and so much more
- Tutorials for how to juggle 4 balls and 5 balls! I'll go over different styles for each
- How to juggle different things, such as clubs and rings
- How to make your own juggling equipment!
- Much much more to come later!

Thanks for reading; I hope to have some videos and tutorials out to you shortly!