Out of all of the personal electric transports available these days, the self-balancing unicycle remains one of the hardest to learn how to ride.
The major difference between hoverboards, electric scooters and unicycles is that you cannot stand still on them, making the balancing act something you have to get used to.
As you ride, you must remain in constant motion to stay on top of the device and avoid a nasty fall. This makes the challenge of learning how to ride an electric unicycle a more rewarding process once you master it.
These devices tackle urban terrain while remaining incredibly compact, allowing you to whip through the streets in style. Which, of course, is a ton of fun. Mastering the unicycle takes time, but follow this guide, and you’ll be riding like a pro in no time.
Selecting the best electric unicycle is no easy task, so check out our guide on the subject before you buy.
While you won’t be able to lean side to side at first, it’s more important that you learn how to balance before you start getting fancy. Your first goal is to master mounting and dismounting the unicycle safely.
Once the training wheels are on, start by stepping on and off the device until you feel comfortable doing so. It might take a few tries, and you might fall, but keep at it.
The Safety Tether
Most models come with a strap that attaches to the handle-like apparatus sticking out of the top. While it might make sense to hold onto this while riding, it’s never something you want to do.
This strap acts like a tether, keeping the unicycle from damaging itself should you fall off. It stops the device from running into people and objects, which as an important safety feature for pros and beginners alike.
Starting to Ride
Always practice safety first by wearing a helmet and pads. Safety gear is essential when riding a unicycle, especially when first learning how to do so. Next, make sure that the batter is fully charged by plugging it into the wall.
Find a level surface to ride on at first, like a flat driveway or neighborhood street. Ideally, you want to find an area that has an adjacent wall. You can use the wall to stabilize yourself at first if you’re feeling a little shaky.
Stand the unicycle upright, making sure the safety tether is properly fastened, then fold the pedals out into their standing position. Switch the device on via its button, then roll it forward and backward to get an idea of how strong its acceleration is.
While keeping hold of the handle, place your first foot onto the pedal. The next step is to place your other foot on the second pedal while the unicycle is moving. This is the hardest part for beginners, and takes a lot of getting used to since standing still is not an option.
Practice getting on and off like this until you feel comfortable doing so. If you have the training wheels on, this step is a lot easier. Either way, don’t feel bad if you fall down a few times while learning how to get onto the device.
As you become comfortable mounting the device, you should practice rolling around for short distance and coming to a complete stop. Stopping can be just as difficult at first as getting on, but it becomes easier the more you practice.
Twisting and Turning
Mastering the art of turning on a unicycle isn’t all that different from making a turn on skates or with a bicycle. The faster you move, the more the wheel resists being turned. Unlike other in-line wheel rides, you won’t be able to lean as far without falling over.
Instead of trying to lean your whole body into the turn, you’ll find better success by turning the unicycle with your feet instead. This will give you better control over the turn, aside from keeping you upright and off of the ground.
When you become a little more comfortable making turns start practicing it at higher speeds while using your hips to make the turn instead. Just turning your lower body offer the greatest amount of control no matter where you are riding or how fast you are going. Again, start with the feet first and work up to this.
Use a systematic approach. Start slow, then work your way up to faster speeds a little bit at a time.
Learning to Ride
Learning how to ride an electric unicycle isn’t as quick and easy of a process as other electronic rides, but it also offers a unique and fun experience that’s sure to turn heads as you zip through the streets.
The freeing experience that these devices offer is perfect for a fun afternoon, commuting to work, or even just heading to the local coffee shop. Once you get the hang of it, you can even start learning tricks and advanced techniques like jumping over a curb.
No matter how tough the learning process gets, don’t give up because you are frustrated. Keep practicing, and you’ll be riding like a pro before you know it.