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Old 2016-03-08, 11:28 PM   #61
johnfoss
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This is exactly what I was going for. I also think that the presence of a "poser" category, whether in skating, golf, or motorcycling, drives a great deal of the marketability of the given sport.
True. Without the existence of other newbies to hang out with, unless you already knew each other, such social opportunities barely exist. We have a ways to go before that changes.
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Clearly this guy wasn't going to be riding in the tour de France, yet he still bought a few thousand dollars of gear. That's where all the money is in any given sport, and we currently lack anything resembling that sort of following.
We actually do have a little of that, now that there's a "unicycle market" but there are still relatively few of us. I remember Brett Bymaster talking about it 20 years ago. Somebody said something disparaging about posers, or weekend warriors, those are the people that fund much of the R&D that improves our equipment. Celebrate them! The people who buy two Schlumpfs in their first year of riding, or who scour the world looking for parts in just the right colors to build beautiful uni works-of-art. They are very good for us. More are always welcome!
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Old 2016-03-12, 05:04 PM   #62
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I was out snowboarding today with my 8 years old daugther (she is also a unicyclist) when she asked me: Hey dad, where's your other ski? Snowboarders probably don't get that much.
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Old 2016-03-12, 05:13 PM   #63
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Hey dad, where's your other ski?
I like that!!

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Old 2016-03-13, 04:19 PM   #64
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Why doesn't unicycling take off like snowboarding has?

This is an interesting thread. I just read the Wikipedia article on snowboarding. Crude snowboards started being used in the 60's, and the sport peaked (measured by board sales) in 2007. Snowboarding gained in popularity, despite it being viewed by the skiing community as a nuisance. They were banned at some ski resorts.

Factoids aside, I think the popularity of snowboarding can be explained by the cultural dominance of the 1-percent. Skiing and snowboarding are rich-person's activities. Gear, transportation, lodging and lift tickets are expensive. Add to the that the bourgeoisie tendency to want you to know how cool they are, and everyone else's tendency to try to emulate them.

Then there is how snowboarding "looks". The posture of snowboarding is similar to surfing and skateboarding, with the feet perpendicular to the board. I think this makes kids identify with snowboarding more than with skiing.

And unicycling: I think someone already mentioned that unicycling doesn't look cool. Agreed. Poseurs need not apply!
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Old 2016-03-17, 12:26 AM   #65
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Hey guys, it just came to me why unicycling hasn't taken off like snowboarding. When you first try unicycling it's not fun. When someone tries my unicycle they never say it was fun losing there balance and falling. They say it's to hard to ride.

The fun part of unicycling doesn't come until you've learned how to ride. With snowboarding your having fun relatively quick.

I know were always talking about the learning curve, but I think it's the fun factor that stops people from wanting to learn. I think if it was initially more fun people would want to ride more.

What do you guys think?
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Old 2016-03-17, 01:42 AM   #66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UniMyra View Post
I was out snowboarding today with my 8 years old daugther (she is also a unicyclist) when she asked me: Hey dad, where's your other ski? Snowboarders probably don't get that much.
Brilliant! Where's the like button?
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Old 2016-03-17, 08:13 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Unicyclist Lou View Post
The fun part of unicycling doesn't come until you've learned how to ride. With snowboarding your having fun relatively quick.

I know were always talking about the learning curve, but I think it's the fun factor that stops people from wanting to learn. I think if it was initially more fun people would want to ride more.

What do you guys think?
I agree, and I've seen interviews with Kris Holm where he has said things along those lines, that the learning curve with always limit the popularity of unicycling.

It does seem like there was a time, something like 10-15 years ago, when it looked like unicycling might be ready to take off. You can read posts in old threads on this site and see what the quality of interaction was like with kids who thought they had the world by the tail. It's a better place without them. (Maybe Facebook drained off a lot of that too.)

But I'd call into question the premise behind, "Why doesn't unicycling take off?" As if there's exactly one reason. There have been some excellent replies already that hit on a bunch of reasons. I think it might be more like: What are the reasons why unicycling might have taken off, and why didn't any of them happen?

There's definitely something to the point about how long it takes to get to the point where you can imagine yourself doing what the people in pictures and videos do. Snowboarding seems to have that going for it more than unicycling, but you can say the same thing about playing the violin. It's crazy hard to sound anything but awful with a violin for a very long time. But there are a lot more violinists and fiddlers than there are unicyclists; maybe more than snowboarders too, so something else is at work there.

It might be that unicycling never had its Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong figure--for better or worse. Unicyclists e.g. Kris Holm and Dan Heaton are interesting and thoughtful people but not really the sort of personalities that explode in reality-based media. (That's probably redundant.)

There's the thing about not being able to turn potential energy into kinetic energy by coasting, so unicycles don't look as impressive in videos as other action sports. Also, while unicycling is a cheap hobby and we don't have to pay every time we ride, which is awesome, that means there's no equivalent to the ski resorts that stood to profit from snowboarding, and so they advertised and promoted it really hard.

And while we enjoy the diversity of muni, road, street, trials, freestyle, juggling, basketball, hockey, and whatever else we can dream up--and "diversity" is never a bad thing, right?--that's probably confusing to the outside world. Skiing is similar with lots of styles and variations, while snowboarding has a clear message: It's surfing on snow, period.

I guess if anyone knew the secret formula for promotion and popularity, they'd probably want to keep to themselves.

Last edited by LargeEddie; 2016-03-17 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 2016-03-18, 06:34 AM   #68
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I think it's still a very basic perception of most folks.
Think unicycle-think circus.
Think banjo -think ????
See....hard to change that image.
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Old 2016-03-18, 09:12 AM   #69
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Think banjo -think ????
An instrument that I play, although not nearly as well as I'd like to... The first musical instrument invented in America... One that is historically important and still very much alive and beloved especially in central and western North Carolina...

Your point, sir?
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Old 2016-03-18, 11:49 AM   #70
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Your point, sir?
Since my response to people "singing" Entrance of the Gladiators at me is a correspondingly bad vocal rendition of Duelling Banjos (I am in the South), I think I can guess what jona's point might be.
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Old 2016-03-18, 04:56 PM   #71
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Your point, sir?
I also own and enjoy playing the banjo and there is a given response from people when they hear what you play. Hard for most people to go against the main stream thinking.
Junior high was all about fitting in, not independent thinking. I think that is the crowd that makes things "HOT". They all know who's who in the skate/snowboard world and what ever is cool at the time. Get the Beabs or Miley to ride, say it's cool and they'll notice. Until we get them interested on a large scale we'll just be circus folks.
And banjos..........yep, you still have your opinions
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Old 2016-03-20, 01:55 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Factoids aside, I think the popularity of snowboarding can be explained by the cultural dominance of the 1-percent. Skiing and snowboarding are rich-person's activities. Gear, transportation, lodging and lift tickets are expensive.
I'd say it's more the upper middle class. The relatively poor can still ski/board a lot if they plan & sacrifice enough.

Two brothers who go t kind of famous from ski movies because of their abilities thanks to working at a resort part time and living out of their van in the parking lot so they could ski every day.
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Old 2016-03-22, 09:17 PM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo View Post
Crude snowboards started being used in the 60's, and the sport peaked (measured by board sales) in 2007.
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It does seem like there was a time, something like 10-15 years ago, when it looked like unicycling might be ready to take off.
Note both of these seem to coincide with the global economic crisis that started in 2007. Lots of things comparitively peaked around that time, and may peak again as the global economy recovers and regains momentum.
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Originally Posted by elpuebloUNIdo
It might be that unicycling never had its Tiger Woods or Lance Armstrong figure--for better or worse. Unicyclists e.g. Kris Holm and Dan Heaton are interesting and thoughtful people but not really the sort of personalities that explode in reality-based media.
I don't think unicycling yet qualifies for any Tigers or Lances. We're too small. Even with amazing champions (which we do have), nobody is paying attention yet. Stars will help, but probably not until they are accompanied by a surge in "popularity" of unicycling, which is what we're trying to figure out here. It probably needs to be a combination of visibility in popular culture (at least some), promotion by the makers of product, and easy access to help with the dreaded learning curve. Also events for people to attend, all over the place, would really help. Nothing motivates riders to increase their skills than being immersed in an environment where they have lots of positive feedback!
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When you first try unicycling it's not fun. When someone tries my unicycle they never say it was fun losing there balance and falling. They say it's to hard to ride.
There's definitely something to be said for that. I recall one of the funniest quotes I ever got from a random non-unicyclist. It's a longer story but I'll spare you the setup. He took one look at three people pushing four unicycles down a busy Manhattan sidewalk, and said "F**k THAT!" He was imaging how not-fun it would be for him. Whatever else anyone thinks about learning to ride, like they could never do it, everybody can probably agree that it will take a good deal of effort and time.

So that's true, but a long learning curve is also associated with some other extremely popular activities. Like golf, sailing, flying an airplane, regular skiing, etc. Not that you can't enjoy the learning process, but you definitely don't get immediate gratification either.
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Think unicycle-think circus.
Think banjo -think ????
Slightly less people automatically think circus. We're making progress there. As for banjo, I get what you mean, if you compare it to hearing a guitar, which could take you in a lot of directions, the sound of a banjo would mostly take you in alternate directions.
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I'd say it's more the upper middle class. The relatively poor can still ski/board a lot if they plan & sacrifice enough.
I think he meant influence of the 1 percent in determining what the less-rich would like to focus their energy (and money) on. And yes, Jamey Mossengren should probably write a book about how to have blast skiing, unicycling, and doing all sorts of other stuff while living in your van, on a shoestring.
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Old 2018-03-16, 12:13 PM   #74
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2 years later the popularity of snowboarding has dropped like a rock. The skill level of the top snowboarders are higher than ever as we could see in the olympics recently, but in the ski resorts it'is another situation. While the percentage of snowboarders were maybe 50 a few years ago, it is now down to 5 or something. It looks like snowboarding is going down the drain like windsurfing did (why on earth did that happen?), whereas unicycling keeps growing slow but steadily.
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Old 2018-03-16, 01:00 PM   #75
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The skill level of the top snowboarders are higher than ever as we could see in the olympics recently
To be honest I think the skill level is higher than the sporters were able to show in these windy and bad circumstances there.
But I see what you're saying, and that's obviously true.
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