Some pro skiers say unicycling is one of the best ways to condition for ski season. According to The Snow Pros, Dave Schuiling, the PSIA-AASI Director of Education, and Scott McGee, the former PSIA-AASI Nordic Team Coach, are massive proponents of unicycling as a way to cross-train for skiing. Both say that balance, coordination, and concentration are key attributes of unicycling that directly transfer to the sport of skiing.
McGee & Schuiling say unicycling is a legitimate way to train for skiing due to the following:
- great for balance, fitness, and specific strength
- I like the separation between the lower and upper body as they work together to maintain balance. Some of the unique challenges I’ve encountered while unicycling have been putting back in a contact lens, or sending a text
- Also, much like skiing, you have to utilize your muscles for contraction, and not just extension. In skiing you don’t just push off, you also have to absorb terrain evenly and fluidly throughout each turn you make
This might come as a surprising way to cross-train and have fun to some, but it has been popping up on my radar recently. One of the stronger skiers I know is a huge fan of the one wheel. Hannah says:
“The camaraderie of the unicycle is unlike any two-wheeled vehicle. Whether it’s rolling up to Bridger Bowl parking lot, the bus stop in East Vail, or the deserts of Fruita, the unicycle brings people out of their shells and keen to try new things. Each day you get out for a spin you get to seek out new challenges! One of my favorite successes to date was riding my uni with ski boots at the end of an epic spring skiing day at Vail.”
It seems like fun, right?!
If you are interested in unicycling and have never done it before, McGee & Schuiling have some pointers. They suggest building some parallel bars to learn balance and how to peddle. If you don’t have access to parallel bars use the side of a building or a handrail. Personally, I’ve never uni’d before, but it looks like a fun way to work on your balance, coordination, and concentration!