It’s not easy to learn how to ride a EUC, but it is very rewarding once you do. Here are some tips I use to help new riders.
All four of my children learned to ride. Some were quicker than others. My experience has shown me that if you are determined to learn and put in the effort, you can learn it. Once it clicks, you‘ll love it. You will find a new hobby and talent that’s both fun and rewarding.
There are many ways to learn to ride. My journey began with a determination to learn. I learned by mounting, falling, and trying again. If you’re super determined, this approach works well. However, there are simpler ways to learn how a EUC is ridden.
STEP 1: PREPARE
Intro to device
The electric unicycle can balance forward and backward, but not side to side. This is what the rider must do by combining balance and momentum, much like riding a bicycle.
You should be familiar with the EUC that you have purchased. If your device has one, you should be familiar with the handle, foot pedals, and cutoff switch.
Falling is an important part of learning. As you learn to ride, you will fall and scratch your wheel. This is something you need to know. Don’t give up! It would be very different if toddlers stopped walking after falling the first time.
Tape and foam can be used to protect the wheel from any beatings it takes during the learning process. I accept the scratches and scuffs as battle scars.
Use a minimum amount of gloves/wrist protectors and a helmet. Consider elbow and knee pads. I have a safety gear video you can watch here.
Comfortable clothing and closed-toed athletic shoes are recommended.
Design a Location
Wide-open space. It is preferable to have a wall or rail. It is possible to park in empty parking lots or on tennis courts or basketball courts. Open grass fields are preferred by some people to reduce the impact of falls on the wheel’s exterior. However, the ride can be more unpredictable and unsteady.
Turf fields have fewer surface irregularities and are less painful to fall on. However, the EUC is less responsive due to the spongy surfaces of some turfs.
Get Physical and Emotional Support
To support you and to encourage you, bring a friend.
The learning process is broken down into two parts.
- Horseback riding
It is quite different to actually riding. Because people find it difficult to learn both skills, I separate them and then combine the two at the end.
This gradual approach reduces frustration and disappointment at not “getting it” immediately. New riders can concentrate on small wins and work their way up to becoming competent EUC riders.
STEP 2 MOUNTING/DISMOUNTING
Too many people want to just jump on and go. Instead, focus on one skill at a time and then add it all later. Before you can learn how to walk, you must learn to stand.
After you’ve familiarized yourself and found a good place to learn about the device, you can now focus on mounting and dismounting.
One foot practice
Place one foot on the pedal and center the wheel underneath you.
Your wheel should have two points of contact: your foot and your shin.
Refer to the following image:
- To keep your EUC upright, put down weight on your feet.
- Your shin should be against the EUC’s top.
- With your mounted knee, push against your EUC’s top.
Learn the weight and balance requirements of the EUC. Beginning riders will experience some discomfort in the calf/shin region during their first week of learning and riding. This is normal and should not be discouraged. It is normal and will pass.
Bend your knees slightly while keeping your back straight. Do not hunch your back.
To get used to the EUC, rock the EUC backward and forwards.
One foot is on the pedal. The other foot is on the ground. This allows you to walk or hop forward, much like a skateboard or kick scooter.
You can walk/hop around until you feel comfortable. To find the most comfortable foot for you, switch which foot you are using to mount your feet.
You will get more comfortable as you can go farther on one foot. Then, move on to your next step.
After you feel comfortable with your foot on the pedal and kicking off, mount your second foot onto an euc.
It will be uncomfortable to start, so you can just lower your foot to the ground and then try to kick off again. Continue doing this until both feet are on the EUC. It will take some practice, but you will gain confidence and skills.
Keep your back straight. Do not hunch over.
Once your momentum has carried you forward, both feet should be mounted. Now, look forward with your head up and back straight. If you feel the need to balance, use your arms. Although it may seem silly, you can balance by using your arms.
STEP 3: RIDING
Before you move on to the next step, make sure that your EUC is easy to mount and dismount. You aren’t trying hard enough if you didn’t sweat much in the previous tutorial. Practice some more.
Some of you may have learned how to ride the first section by yourself, just like my daughter. She did it in a parking lot while she waited for a group ride. This is a rare example of how to ride and mount separately. You can combine both skills with greater confidence once you are proficient in one.
This is what I didn’t recommend when I first learned: I tried shopping carts. I also tried strollers, lawnmowers, ski poles, and this rolling cart. But I found that these accessories can distract and slow down a rider’s progress. My oldest son, who is the most skilled skier in our family, struggled to learn the EUC. He was too dependent on his crutches.
What I can recommend is that we don’t mount here. This skill has been learned and we will be returning to it in the future. Instead, locate a fixed object such as a wall, handrail, or lamp post, and mount your EUC there. This can even be done with a sturdy ladder.
Stand upright on your EUC and use the wall to balance. Rock back and forth.
You should set a goal for yourself to reach. You can set a goal for yourself, either a tangible object such as a lamp post or wall, or an imaginary one that you place between 5 and 10 feet from the point you started.
Push yourself beyond your starting point, whether it’s a pole or wall. To accelerate further, lean forward but don’t hunch. As you strive to achieve your goal, keep your balance. Continue this process until you feel comfortable reaching your goal.
Speed will prove to be your friend and keep you upright. To get the device moving, put pressure on your feet and walk at a fast pace. You will lose your balance if you go too slow in the beginning.
As your confidence and skills improve, you can set your goals further away.
STEP 4: Putting it all together
After you’ve completed Parts 2 and 3 of Mounting and Riding, you should feel comfortable riding short distances and be able to mount and dismount.
Let’s now put all our skills together. Consider bringing a friend along to help you by supporting you with their support, possibly standing behind you or holding your waistline or shoulders.
You should aim to reach a distance of 5-10 feet. Do the following without relying on a pole or wall:
- Kickstart for some great momentum
- Mount The EUC with both feet
- Don’t hunch over
- Keep speed comparable to a walking pace by placing more weight on your feet and toes
- Maintain your balance, and try to stay as upright as possible. Don’t worry if you move to the side. As long as there is space, keep moving.
Some beginners may prefer to start slowly to ensure safety, but you should still maintain a steady pace of walking or jogging. Although it may seem counterintuitive for beginners, momentum can help you stay balanced.
It is equally important to slow down or stop on the EUC. You must transfer your weight onto your heels in order to slow down or stop.
To properly shift weight, I tell people to think as if they are performing a trust fall and shifting their weight to their heels. They can also imagine themselves sitting in a chair. These movements will help you shift your weight towards your heels.
The EUC can be used wherever the user is looking. It’s the weight shifts that make the EUC work. You will not be able to look at the ground if you have both feet mounted.
Beginners are often so stiff when they ride that a turn of their head causes weight transfer to the wheels by shifting the shoulders and waist.
The EUC is an intuitive device that can be used to extend your body. You will soon be able control it with no thought. You can practice turning by looking in the direction that you want and then turning your shoulders. Practice makes perfect.
Don’t stop learning how to ride once you have mastered it. Continue practicing and riding. It was more than 100 miles before I felt confident on my EUC. I loved every minute of it.
It is an exciting and satisfying accomplishment to be able to ride a EUC. Consider when you learned to drive, swim, ski, ride, or even ride a bicycle. Although it took practice and time, the end result was worth it.