Learn to Rola Bola safely
as taught by Still Having a Ball
teachers of juggling, unicycling, stilt walking, and rola bola skills.
Beginning Rola Bola (a potentially very dangerous activity) - you have been warned.
Place the board on the floor. No roller! Just stand on the board in front of a mirror if possible.
- Posture checklist:
- knees bent, always
- spine straight, hips level
- eyes straight ahead
- feet almost parallel and a little wider than your shoulders
- Step 1 (Board on the floor!)
- Keeping your knees bent, move slowly from side to side.
- Do not move your feet.
- Be sure to keep your spine in a vertical line.
- You should get to the point that you can move your body quickly from one side to the other with only your knees adjusting.
- If you do not have a mirror, look down the front of your body as you move laterally from one foot to the other.
- The shoulders and especially the hips must not be adjusting.
- Keep the knees bent being careful not to lock them.
- Step 2
- Place the board on the roller next to a chain link fence, or a friend.
- The roller should be on a clean, smooth, hard surface - no carpet.
- Carpet resists movement of the roller (slower, easier - right?).
- Unfortunately, when it finally yields to the imbalance it "jumps".
- (Note to the spotter: Do not hold the student and try not to "help" them balance.)
- Holding onto the support for dear life, set your feet on the board a little wider than your shoulders.
- Muscle yourself to a level board position.
- Go through the posture checklist.
- Move as little as possible trying to keep the board level.
- The slower you move, the faster you will learn.
- Do not release from your support.
- Just lighten the pressure; extreme uncontrolled wipe-outs can result if your confidence gets ahead of your skill level.
- Get off the board. Think through what just took place.
- Step 3
The techniques outlined are to enhance learning.
After you have mastered the rola bola, play with your posture, hip/shoulder movements.
- Muscle your way back up to the centered position.
- Keeping light contact with your support, let the board drift to one side.
- Placing all your weight on that foot (the one farthest from the roller), the end of the board should snap down on the floor stopping harmlessly.
- Repeat until this can be done without holding on to the support.
From now on, do not grab the support unless death is eminent.
Do not solo (move away from the support) until you can stop and start without grabbing the support.
See the FAQ for more tips.
© Still Having a Ball (Revised May 2, 2006 - Thanks Popstar Dave)