Basically, street is doing various tricks, preferably while tackling various obstacles. If you only occasional use obstacles, what you do may be considered flatland, but if you lack tricks in your riding, instead of obstacles, it may be considered trials. The crankflip, unispin and their variations are the most used tricks for street, but as only you set the rules, you may even do the most difficult freestyle tricks if you feel the urge to.
"The best definition I have heard thus far is that street is skateboarding on a unicycle."
Even though street itself is a riding style, there is different kinds of street, which I will try to explain here:
Big street is generally when you do scary things. Like jumping down a huge flight of stairs. One can argue that tricks on flat can be scary as well, but I don't think they are, at least compared to big street. But you are dearly welcome to edit this good page. Anyway, big street often doesn't contain the more technical tricks, like sejflip and such, but it doesn't have to be like that. The opposite of big street would be small street. Watch this video if wondering what that would look like. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eqwb6WD8Tmk
This is going big, not obstacle-wise, but trickwise. Landing as difficult tricks as possible. The opposite of this would be simple street, but just like small street, this term isn't used.
The difference between old-school and new-school is, roughly, the crankflip. Oldschool is when you ride like people rode before Mike Clark invented the crankflip. This includes tiregrabs, no- and one-footers and shifties. Newschool is the style most people ride today, with lots of flips.
Feel free to add more street styles
This is my way of jumping stairs, it may not be the best way, but I can do 5 sets with it so, here we go. Basically I place my pedals in my preferred hopping position at the edge of the top stair. Ride backwards or roll the uni back around 2-6 revolutions, depending on what you like best and the length of the sets, so that if you were to ride forward, toward the stairs, when you reach them you would be in your preferred hopping position. From there get on the uni and ride forward at a comfortable pace and rolling hop the stairs. You may want to speed up if the stairs are particularly long. Hopefully you will clear them. Remember that you can still land on the stairs and ride them out, if you're lucky. Remember to BE CAREFUL because you will not only fall, you will fall down the stairs.
This is the first step to learning a crankflip. You basically ride forward, jump, kick the cranks, plant one foot on the ground and jump back onto the uni once the cranks have done one or more rotations. You may want to learn the rolling jump mount before trying this as it teaches you how to land on moving cranks/pedals. Firstly you ride forwards at a reasonably slow pace (go faster as you get more confident). Then lean forward slightly over the uni, jump and kick the front pedal downward and quickly suck your foot back up. Whilst doing this plant your other foot on the ground. Don't "camp" ont the foot. If you do, kick the cranks faster instead. Then jump back on the uni, land on the pedals and ride away.(By the time you land on the uni the cranks should be back where they started)How long you have your foot on the ground depends on how fast the cranks are spinning. This trick teaches you how to flip the cranks for the crankflip. Also, check out Shaun Johanneson's crankflip tutorial on youtube. it covers zeroplant and footplant crankflips as well as normal ones. Crankflip Tutorial Here (Video no longer available)
Same as above except do a footplant on an object. See above for video tutorial.
The crankflips is, as you may have guessed, is letting the wheel do a revolution, without your feet on the pedals, while in a jump.
- Ride slowly fowards.
- Lean over the uni, right before you plan to jump.
- Kick your front foot down while moving your backfoot away from it's pedal, and jump up in the air as high as possible. The kick is more important than the jump.
- For safety's sake, pull the uni slightly out in front of you while you are in the air.
- Spot the cranks (they should be attatched to the pedals and hub).
- Plant your feet back on the cranks or pedals and ride away.
See above for tutorial.
When I tried crankflips, my uni always landed in front of me. It was reaaally irritating, but I then I began experimenting with different ways to kick, different places to put my legs while in the air and such. It suddenly clicked when I put my feet way too high in the air. So the morale is, experiment, for God's sake! try to find what works best for you, not what works for everybody else!
Firstly, you want to be comfortable hopping with the seat in front. Once you can do that learn the 180 jump mount. Simply jump, spin the unit 180 degrees, and land with your feet on the pedals. Once you can do both of these reasonably well you should be ready to try a 180 unispin. Get on with the seat out in front, holding the seat with one hand on the front and one on the back, and steady yourself. Some people like to do small bunnyhops in order to find their center of balance. Then, when you are ready, jump up while keeping the uni more or less on the ground. You do not want the uni to come up with you. Then spin the uni 180 in whichever direction you feel most comfortable, and then land with your feet on the pedals or cranks. If you are not sure that you are going to land correctly, try to land on the ground next to the pedals. One thing that really helped me was keeping the wheel on the ground and using the saddle to keep yourself in the air. This trick should take around 45 minutes, more or less, of solid practicing to learn. Even then, you may not be able to do it every time. Remember to wear shin guards in case you miss the pedals. Remember that your feet do not have to go out too much. I jarred my wrist really badly doing this, so wristguards or tape may be a good idea. The unispin is also in the freestyle section, but this is also a street skill, and this has more detail.
Here is a video tutorial. (This link is broken)
The 360 unispin is somewhat different to the 180 unispin. To do the 360 unispin you want to be able to do the 180 unispin well first. Unlike the 180 unispin the 360 jump mount is not necessary; I actually find the mount harder than the spin. Okay, there are a few things to learn. First, you want to figure out how you are going to spin the uni. Some people let go of the saddle when they spin the uni, some do not. I do not, I am not that coordinated. Once you figure this out practice practice practice. get comfortable doing this. then figure out whether to spin seat in or out. I spin seat in so that it stays under me. Then practice some more. One day it'll just come to you. Remember once your feet leave the uni it is key to snap them back in as quick as possible.
- Natural: The stance in which you feel most comfortable jumping and tricking. The natural stance comes in two varieties: left or right foot forward. Both are self-explanatory. On average, a larger percentage of riders hop left foot forward.
- Switch: Switch stance is the opposite to your natural stance; a regular footed unicyclist tricking with their right foot forward is riding in switch. This is difficult because your feet need to switch roles.
- Fakie: In fakie, you're in your natural stance, but travelling backwards. From a difficulty perspective, it's slightly uncomfortable, but because your feet still perform the same roles as they naturally would, fakie is only slightly more difficult than riding normally.
- Switch Fakie: In this stance, one must ride backwards whilst performing all tricks with the opposite foot forward. It is commonly accepted as the most difficult stance to hop and pull tricks from, because it combines the difficulties of the other stances.
Trick Descriptions & Tips
- Body Varial: Jump up, rotate your body 180 degrees in reference to the unicycle, and land.
- Hoptwists: A basic trick consisting of a hop and rotating with the unicycle before landing. They include: 180's, 360's and 540's.
- Shifty: In a jump, the rider tweaks the uni 90 degrees to one side and returns it to normal.
- One-footer: A self-explanitory trick consisting of a high hop and extending the front foot off the pedal and placing it back on before landing.
- No Footer: During a jump, the rider takes both feet off the pedals before landing back on and absorbing the impact.
- 180 Unispin: A basic trick for street unicyclists. To perform this trick, one must jump up and spin the unicycle 180 degrees on a vertical axis and land back on.
- 360 unispin: Similar to the regular unispin, the rider must jump high and spin the unicycle 360 degrees on its axis. It is much more difficult, though. In order to have it spin all the way around, most people find that they must let go of the seat before landing back on; this makes it harder to control while learning.
- 540 unispin: Exactly like other unispins, except the unicycle spins 540 degrees before the landing. Most would agree this is the most degrees it can rotate and still look well in a line or combo.
- 720 Unispin: As you can guess, a 720 unispin is the same as other unispins, but the unicycle spins 720 degrees before landing. First done by Andy Schwarz in the late 90's.
- 900 Unispin: More and more people are landing 900 unispins
- 1080 Unispin Adrien Delacroix landed a 1080 unispin first and it was on a spring board, but later landed one flat, Forrest Rackard did one off of a picnic table,
Eli Brill recently landed a rolling 1080 to be the third person to land a 1080 unispin
- 1260 UnispinEli Brill landed the worlds first and only 1260 unispin at unicon 16.
- 270/450 unispin: Unispins which are landed into/out-of hop on wheel. Many variations exist.
- Inward unispin: An awkward trick in which the rider combines a body varial with a unispin; the body rotates in the opposite direction of the unicycle, making it a difficult trick to pull off.
- Varial: A trick combining the 180 and a unispin starting with seat-in, in the same direction. This is easier than a 360 unispin to most, and helps in the learning process.
- Smallspin: A smallspin is performed by starting the trick with the seat-out (holding the seat out in front) and then simultaneously doing a 180 unispin and a 180 degree jump twist.
- Bigspin: A bigspin is performed by starting the trick with the seat-out (holding the seat out in front) and then simultaneously doing a 360 unispin and a 180 degree jump twist.
- Full varial: The full varial, or whippersnapper as Dan Heaton jokingly calls it, is a combination of a 180 and 360 unispin with seat-in, in the same direction. It is a smooth-looking street skill named after the whip-snap motion of the tire.
- rev*: The rider jumps into the air and pedals one rotation fowards.
- Crankflip: The crankflip is a challenging trick to learn and is a great skill to have. To do this trick, one must lean over the unicycle and jump up with pressure on the front foot. As the feet are pulled up high, the cranks spin 360 degrees around the hub before the person catches the spinning pedals and lands.
- Doubleflip: A trick similar to the crankflip; except in the doubleflip, the cranks spin two full revolutions before landing instead of one.
- Tripleflip: An extremely rare trick where the cranks spin three revolutions before landing back on.
- Crankbackflip: The crankbackflip is a rolling hop combined with a kick from the back foot that causes the cranks to spin a full revolution backwards. This skill is easier to learn if you have one-footers down.
- Doublebackflip: An advanced flip trick consisting of flipping the cranks two revolutions backwards.
- Triplebackflip: An pro flip trick consisting of flipping the cranks three revolutions backwards.
- 180 flip: This trick is combination of a 180 hoptwist and a crankflip. To excecute this trick, the legs need to be out higher but is relatively quick to learn nonetheless. '"180 doubleflips'" are becoming more common and 180 tripleflips are rare, but heard of.
- 180 backflip: This is a combination of a 180 hoptwist and backcrankflip.
- A hickflip consists of a unispin and crankflip. Named for Kelly Hickman. This is one of the first flip tricks people learn. Shaun J. has been known to land hickdoubleflips, which have an added revolution of the cranks.
- donkey hick*
a donkey kick and a hickflip combined. accredited to one of Shaun J's friends.
- Hickbackflips are a hop, unispin and backcrankflip before landing. Few, including Kelly Hickman can do this difficult trick.
- 360-unispin flips, also known as trey flips consist of a 360 unispin and a crankflip. It is difficult to land and is a very smooth trick.
- An inward flip is a variation on the inward unispin when there is a crankflip added in. (180 unispin + reverse body varial + crankflip)
- Varial flips are composed of a crankflip and a varial. (180 hoptwist + unispin + crankflip)
- Varial backflips are another rare trick that are difficult to pull off. It has a backcrankflip and a varial. (180 hoptwist + unispin + backcrankflip)
- Sex-change flips are a smooth trick that consists of a body varial and a crankflip. To make this trick easier, I find that if you tilt the front foot inwards whilst flipping it makes the body varial easier.
- The Donkey Kick, a term coined by Dan Heaton, consists of jumping up with one foot on the frame and the other on the back of the tire. After gaining your balance, one must jump and push the back foot away, causing the cranks to spin a full rev backwards. It is a fun trick, to see and to do.
- Footplants are a fairly simply trick. The unicyclist rides up to an obstacle, jumps off the unicycle, plants the front foot on it, lands back on and continues rolling. The footplant has countless variations such as the 'zero plant' where it is done on flat ground.
Flatland tricks are peculiar because there are so many of them and so many different variations that many of the tricks do not have names. Style and creativity can be added to these tricks to make them original and look better. Here are a few:
- The Superman differs from the generic use of the trick. In unicycling, the rider bends down, placing their chest on the seat and extends the legs parallel to the ground. Before the balance is lost, the feet are placed back on the pedals.
- The Seatdrop is one of the most basic flatland skills. The rider hops on the cranks, making sure to point the front foot inward. They drop the seat down until the toe catches it. To get it back up, one can either grab it with their hand, or kick it up with the foot.
- The Wrap is a stationary trick when the rider wraps the seat in a circle around each leg before they continue riding. Excellent street rider such as Dan H. and Xavier Collos have been known to do Double or Triple Wraps and even Superwraps in which they wrap each leg around twice before they continue.
Note about tricks - all tricks that rotate on a vertical axis (hoptwists, unispins, etc.) can be spun in the opposite direction to which you are comfortable. In street unicycling terms, the trick is known as 'blind'.
Street skill levels
These skill levels are in no way official. They are intended to help the street rider develop a basic set of skills, and to rate those skills after difficulty. When you feel confident with the skills in this list, only your imagination is the limit of what can be done!
If you are are just beginning to learn how to ride a unicycle, it is recommended that you familiarize yourself with at least level 1-5 in the IUF Skill Levels first.
- Rolling hop down a curb
- Rolling hop up a curb
- Ride forward down a 2-stair.
- 180 hoptwist (static)
- Ride forward down a 4-stair
- Rolling hop down a 2-stair
- 180 hop twist (rolling)
- Tire grab (static)
- Ride forward down 6 stairs
- Rolling hop down a 4-stair
- Backwards rolling hop
- 180 hop twist down 2 stairs
- leg around (static)
- Crank Stall on a ledge (like a crank grab but not going to rubber)
- No footer (static)
- Tire grab down 2 stairs
- Ride with seat out
- Hop with seat out
- Rolling hop down a 6-stair
- Backwards rolling hop off a curb
- Rolling 180 hop twist down a 2-stair
- No footer (rolling)
- Grind a 1 meter ledge or rail
- 180 unispin (static)
- Backwards rolling hop a 2-stair
- 180 hop twist down a 4-stair
- Rolling hop down a 3-stair with right and left foot forward
- Grind down a rail
- Rolling hop up a 3-stair
- Shifty down a 4-stair
- 180 unispin (rolling)
- 360 hop twist down 2 stairs
- backwards rolling hop a 4 stair
- No-footer down a 2 stair
- 180 hop twist to the right down 6 stairs
- 180 hop twist to the left down 6 stairs
- Rolling hop up a 3 stair
- 360 unispin (static)
- 180 unispin a 2 stair (rolling)
- backwards rolling hop down a 4 stair
- crankflip down 2 stairs
- crankbackflip (riding forward, and then crank flipping backwards)
- Hick or outflip a 2 stair
- rolling hop up a 4 stair
- grind a handrail of any size
- backwards rolling hop down a 6 stair
- backwards 180 hop twist down a 2 stair
- 360 hop twist to the right and left down 4 stairs
- 180 hop twist to the right and left down 6 stairs
- crankflip down 4 stairs
- backwards crankflip down 2 stairs
- backwards backward crankflip (riding backwards and flipping the cranks backwards)
- backwards forward crankflip (riding backwards and flippimg the cranks forward)
- Hick or outflip a 4 stair
- 360 unispin(static) a 2 stair
- grind a 6 stair handrail
- backwards rolling hop down a 4 stair
- backwards 180 hop twist down a 6 stair
- 180 hop twist to the right and left down 6 stairs
- crankflip down 6 stairs
- backwards crankflip down 4 stairs
- 180 crankflip down 2 stairs
- hick or outflip a 4 stair
- Treyflip a curb
- grind a 6 stair handrail
- backwards suck hop down an 6 stair
- backwards 180 hop twist down a 6 stair
- 360 hop twist down 6 stairs
- crankflip down 6 stairs
- backwards crankflip down 6 stairs
- 180 unispin crank flip down 4 stairs
- 180 crankflip down 4 stairs
- 360 unispin crankflip(treyflip) down 4 stairs
- 180 unispin(hick/out-flip) a 6 stair
- grind a 6 stair hand rail
- Footplant 360 unispin
- Unispin down 5 stair
- Unispin down 10 stair
- Footplant 180/180
- One foot down 5 stair
- One foot down 10 stair
- 180 no footer
- Wall plant 180/180
- Uni spin 180/180
- Uni spin 180 /crank flip
- Onefoot tiregrab
- Nofooter tiregrab
- 180 flips
- Footplant flips (Dutches, Negitives)
- Footplants to grind
- 180 tiregrab
- Footplant unispin
- Grind 180 out
- Backslide 180 out
- Unispin Crankflips (Hickflips)
- crankflip to grind
- matrix plant
- 180 no-footer
- Revert 180 backflip
- 90/270/450/630 unispin
- Revert to backslide
- bluntslide to 180 out
- footplant to bluntslide
- Revert backflip (Revert crankflips are pointless)