Unicycling is such a young sport. Street and trials riders are pushing the limits of what’s possible all the time and we are at a stage where a web video can absolutely smash those boundaries and completely redefine what is possible on one wheel. Over the years there’s been a few of these videos. Here’s my countdown of the top 10 web videos that changed unicycling.
Number one has to be Koxx One’s Vener with Xavier Collos. When this first came out, no one did tricks as fast or as smooth as Xavier. It was the first time I’d seen crank rolls or any type of flatland and wall plants. The riding is starting to look dated now but at the time it blew my mind.
Joe Hodges – Koxx One Vid 1
No one can argue that Joe Hodges changed the face of trials unicycling in 2006/2007 with his Koxx One video series. This isn’t my favourite video of Joe but it is the one I think had the biggest impact on the unicycle trials community. Up until this video the only skinny riding you saw was full-speed, out of control, hell-for-leather style. Joe smashed expectations of what was possible on rails by riding them slower and more in control than we’d ever seen before.
Shaun Johanneson – Flip Video
The first time I saw Shauns flip video I thought it was rubbish. He did a load of tricks that looked the same, off a curb. I had no idea how influential this simple trick would become in unicycle street riding. This video inspired a generation of riders and changed the face of street unicycling forever. Sorry for the link rather than an embed. Shaun took all his videos down a few years ago and UTV is the only place this video still exists.
Mike Swarbrick – Triplebackcrankflip
During the early years of ‘new school’ street unicycling, riders were constantly exploring the boundaries of how many spins or flips were possible. At a time when doubleflips were considered elite, Mike was leading the way and landing triple back flips. This video was the beginning of the technical street era. After this video, riders started doing massive flips and spins on flat. Where as before, riders would send tricks off of drops to get more rotations, people started to get huge tricks on flat. Another milestone in street unicycling.
Luke Collalto – Pokemon
Luke pioneered a style all his own. Until his videos, no-one else went as big and could dig from a bag of tricks quite so large. He also had THE cleanest style I’ve ever seen, no setup or correction hops from Luke. Period!
His riding still inspires many today and his latest video, released in 2012, shows he’s still got it.
Cedric Vincent – Big Street (Unicycling)
Before Cedric started riding street on a 26″ unicycle he made Big Street (Unicycling). This video caused a massive stir in the street community and arguments about which was better, going big or tech, raged on the Unicyclist.com forums. Cedric was the first rider to do really BMXy stuff on a unicycle and ride huge stairsets. He is also one of the first riders I remember seeing doing massive handrails.
Elias Poham 2010
Elias is one of my favourite riders but that’s not why this video made the list. At a time where everyone was trying to get more flips, more spins and go more tech than ever, Elias was going his own way and riding creatively and with style. All of the lines in this video are pulled so clean and effortlessly. He also manages to go huge and do some massively scarey stuff without breaking a sweat. Also, that turnaround on the rope and 180-catch-180, whaaat!
Journey made this list not so much for the riding, although it is very good, but more for the cinematography and style of the edit. I feel that before Raphi released Journey, the formula for a street or trials video was whack a wide angle lens on, have an ‘urban’ soundtrack and a fast cut edit. I feel Journey changed the way people looked at web videos. If Raphi had put it on disc and sold it, Journey wouldn’t have looked out of place in my DVD collection.
Journey was also one of the first videos that really portrayed the camaraderie between riders on a roadtrip and showed the fun that we have when riding unicycles. From a fellow filmmaker, big ups and respect to Raphi.
Max Schulze – NAUCC 2010
I was actually over in The States when I first saw this video. I’d just flown East after spending a couple of days at NAUCC and this video totally blew me and the rest of the unicycling community away. This video is all about one thing, the Max Whip. It was a game changer in street unicycling. Suddenly something that everyone thought was impossible had been done. It opened peoples minds and since this video a fair few others have landed similar, seemingly impossible tricks. For me, this is the most influential unicycling web video in recent years.
Pretty Good Videos
There has always been ‘crew’ videos in unicycling, but none have lasted quite as long or promoted having fun on your unicycle as much as the Pretty Good Crew. Watching their videos makes you wish your riding scene was half as good and it motivates you to make that change. The great thing about unicycling is that it takes a certain type of person to persist and learn to ride in the first place. As a result, it’s rare to meet a unicyclist who isn’t a nice person and you get groups of people like the PGC that ride together, have fun and make amazing videos. The Pretty Good Videos personify what unicycling means to me and I hope to see more crews emerge and make videos. Boggle!
Obviously everyone is going to have a different opinion about which videos should be on this list and maybe I’ve missed some. This list is compiled of videos that I think changed unicycling in some way. Got a different opinion? Let me know in the comments!