Freestyle Skill Levels
The USA Skill Levels are the most widely used list of unicycling skills for measuring progress in attaining unicycling proficiency. The levels are comprised of 10 skill lists with increasing difficulty. Level 1 can be passed shortly after you learn to ride. Very few people reach level 10. The skills in the levels are taken from artistic freestyle skills, and are easiest to perform with a 20” freestyle unicycle on smooth ground, such as a gym floor.
The Skill Levels were first defined in 1998 in the US. Later, they were adopted by the IUF for international riders. Nevertheless, most level testing has been done in the US, and much of that within the Twin Cities Unicycle Club (TCUC). In fact, most of the riders who have achieved level 10 have been associated with TCUC.
Regardless of whether you actually test, the levels provide an excellent recommendation for which skills are appropriate to learn next. The skills are well chosen to differentiate levels of mastery. Often, to achieve the next level, you not only have to learn the new skills, but you have to become a better rider.
Level testing must be done by an official level tester. Normally, TCUC has 6 to 8 approved level testers each year, so one will likely be available at most practices. The complete set of rules can be found in the IUF Rulebook (IUF Skill Levels), but here’s a summary of the important points:
- In general, each skill must be demonstrated on the first attempt, but up to three skills may be done on a second attempt.
- All preceding levels must be passed prior to testing for a higher skill level.
- All skills (except mounts) must begin and end with the rider sitting on the seat, feet on the pedals, and riding in control for at least three revolutions (cycles of the wheel) before and after each skill.
- Skills in each level can be performed in any order.
- During the test, the rider may not practice any skills for that level.
- Riders may only test once per day.
For the actual list of skills see the USA Skill Levels on the USA website.
Flatland Skill Levels
Over the last few years, Dale Grzych and the flatland community have been developing a set of flatland skill levels to parallel the freestyle skill levels. This effort culminated in 10 flatland levels published in 2019.
For more information and the list of skills, see the USA Flatland Levels page on the USA website.