Discovery Channel Shoot With Kris Holm


I was contacted last week by a Discovery Channel production company interested in this self-balancing unicycle they’ve been hearing about.  They happen to be doing a story on the incredible achievements of Kris Holm and wanted to include what the future of unicycle may be.  If you haven’t heard of Kris Holm, then you have to check him out, he’s what Tony Hawk is to skateboarding, oh, you haven’t heard of Tony Hawk? Tony Hawk’s what Michael Jordan is to Basketball…you know Michael Jordan, right? Okay, let’s move on. So Kris Holm, awesome unicyclist, and turned out to be a really cool guy as well.
I drove up to Canada and met the film crew at this huge skate park in Vancouver (where everyone said my car was, for sure, going to get broken into) and luckily found a parking spot within view of the park. They filmed me meeting Kris and him learning to ride the SBU for the first time.  It’s always interesting when expert unicyclists try the SBU because it requires them to unlearn certain techniques for them to balance. Luckily Kris had great balance and it only took a few minutes for him to be cruising around on the SBU. I think the fact that he experiments with so many different riding styles and conditions allowed him to adapt very quickly to the SBU.  Also, he has no fear and just went for it with everything he had.  He thoroughly enjoyed the SBU and was quickly seeing what tricks and stunts he could achieve with it. I told him to try any trick he could think of, SBUs are extremely tough. He went from riding it at top speed to standing on it, to one-foot standing, then progressed to riding it down concrete stairs and banking it off ramps. Eventually he became very comfortable on it and was zooming around the whole skate park in pretty unconventional riding “stances” freaking out all of the pot-heads that had gathered to watch. At one point I was talking to the director and I looked over to see Kris riding the SBU on his belly.
I also was able to give Kris Holm’s unicycles a try, which was awesome because they are by far the best unicycles you can buy. Then he taught me how to freemount his unicycle, thanks Kris! Then Kris and I rode down some sheer granite faces of a 15,520 foot high volcano called…okay, just kidding, only Kris does stuff like that.
Everyone on the production crew was great and they all gave the SBU a try. Look for the segment to air in a new prime time series called “Is It Possible?” on the Discovery Channel in January.

I was contacted last week by a Discovery Channel production company interested in this self-balancing unicycle they’ve been hearing about.  They happen to be doing a story on the incredible achievements of Kris Holm and wanted to include what the future of unicycle may be.  If you haven’t heard of Kris Holm, then you have to check him out, he’s what Tony Hawk is to skateboarding, oh, you haven’t heard of Tony Hawk? Tony Hawk is what Michael Jordan is to Basketball…you know Michael Jordan, right? Wow, you need to get out more. Okay, let’s move on. So Kris Holm, awesome unicyclist, and turned out to be a really cool guy as well.

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I drove up to Canada and met the film crew at this huge skate park in Vancouver (where everyone said my car was, for sure, going to get broken into) and luckily found a parking spot within view of the park. They filmed me meeting Kris and him learning to ride the SBU for the first time.  It’s always interesting when expert unicyclists try the SBU because it requires them to unlearn certain techniques for them to balance. Luckily Kris had great balance and it only took a few minutes for him to be cruising around on the SBU. I think the fact that he experiments with so many different riding styles and conditions allowed him to adapt very quickly to the SBU.  Also, he has no fear and just went for it with everything he had.  He thoroughly enjoyed the SBU and was quickly seeing what tricks and stunts he could achieve with it. I told him to try any trick he could think of, SBUs are extremely tough. He went from riding it at top speed to standing on it, to one-foot standing, then progressed to riding it down concrete stairs and banking it off ramps. Eventually he became very comfortable on it and was zooming around the whole skate park in pretty unconventional riding “stances” freaking out all of the pot-heads that had gathered to watch. At one point I was talking to the director and I looked over to see Kris riding the SBU on his belly.

I also was able to give Kris Holm’s unicycles a try, which was awesome because they are by far the best unicycles you can buy. Then he taught me how to freemount his unicycle, thanks Kris! Next Kris and I rode down some sheer granite faces off a 15,520 foot high volcano called…okay, just kidding, only Kris does stuff like that.

Everyone on the production crew was great and they all gave the SBU a try. Look for the segment to air in a new prime time series called “Is It Possible?” on the Discovery Channel in January.

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5 Responses to Discovery Channel Shoot With Kris Holm

  1. Clay, I’ve got an SBU, now with more than 100 miles on it. Speed is controlled by the operator leaning forward. More lean, more speed, up to a point.

    I learned to ride a pedal-unicycle a couple of years ago and this is far easier to learn and a lot less work.

    When the wheel is off the ground, unless the seat post is precisely vertical, the controller will spin the wheel to the max. I don’t think it would be a good idea to do that too often.

    Readers and especially owners are encouraged to contribute to the new Yahoo group for this vehicle:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FocusDesignsSBU/

    Disclaimer: the Yahoo group is not officially sponsored or supported by Focus Designs.


  2. Elaine

    Daniel, my husband was JAZZED to get his SBU for Christmas, especially after he found out it was the one Kris Holm demo’d. He’s been riding a conventional unicycle for almost 40 years now, so has some habits to unlearn – but he plans to have it mastered on his next day off. My sons on the other hand – also unicyclists – pretty much got on and rode.

    I earned some major wife points with this gift – worth every penny. And he’s gonna be the coolest gray haired kid on the block :o)

  3. Clay, I’ve got an SBU, now with more than 100 miles on it. Speed is controlled by the operator leaning forward. More lean, more speed, up to a point.

    I learned to ride a pedal-unicycle a couple of years ago and this is far easier to learn and a lot less work.

    When the wheel is off the ground, unless the seat post is precisely vertical, the controller will spin the wheel to the max. I don’t think it would be a good idea to do that too often.

    Readers and especially owners are encouraged to contribute to the new Yahoo group for this vehicle:
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/FocusDesignsSBU/

    Disclaimer: the Yahoo group is not officially sponsored or supported by Focus Designs.


  4. Pedro Tejada

    Awesome!

    The SBU sounds fantastic and Kris riding it was probably stunning! Can’t wait to watch the full TV show!

    Congrats to Focus and Kris!

    Cheers,

    Pedro Tejada
    Kris Holm Factory Team
    Brazilian Uni Team


  5. Clay

    This is awesome that someone finally figured out the technology to accomplish the SBU. I’m a regular unicyclist and would love to try one of these just for fun, but I am not prepared to drop $1500 on one. It doesn’t look like you would have as much control on a SBU as you would on a regular uni. How is the speed controlled? How does it know when to stop? I would like to see the video of KH doing some stunts on it to see how the balancing mechanism responds to some air time.

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