What is German (Gymnastic) Wheel?

We'll start with anatomy

Then on to history

Patented in 1925 By Otto Fike.  A gymnastic sport, creating and competing internationally for over  75  years.  

How much experience do you need for your first class?

0% experience needed!  Gym wheel is accessible to all ages and all skill levels.  It is a very individual based skill, so you can progress at your own rate. In fact, one of my favorite things about Wheel Gymnastics is the variety of ways you can use the apparatus.  If you've read this far, just come check it out!

Where do you teach?

Great question!  Long answer.  I made an entire page for this.  Click here!

What should I bring to my first class?

As always, clothes that allow you to move are useful.  However, the most important thing is going to be your shoes.  This is the most crucial wheel garment.  A thin, hard soled, canvas top shoe is best – think Converse high tops or Keds.  Now, you don’t need to go out and buy new shoes - any hard soled canvas topped shoe will work.  The worst shoes, aside from sandals or heels, are big, soft, bouncy running shoes.  DON’T do it!  They make it difficult to get a secure grip into the belts and will make certain tricks impossible.  Even if you don't have the perfect shoes just bring your best option.  Especially for your first day, we can make it work!  :)

How hard is it?

No problem, you got this!  One really cool thing about German wheel is its gradual learning curve.  You can take things at your own pace.  If you don’t feel ready to do a certain trick, no worries, there are hundreds more you can work on.  I’m not going to force you to do anything you don’t want to. 

Where can I buy one?

First, I do not recommend buying a wheel until you have a significant amount of experience with a trained coach.  If, however, you are determined to purchase a wheel, your best options are: 

  1. Purchase a new wheel from Zimmerman.  He is the main wheel manufacturer for all Competitive German wheels.  Click here for a link to his site.  Just a heads up it is in German.  :)

  2. Wolfgang Bientzle will often make a bulk wheel purchase before his "Wheel Jam" Wheel Weekends, which happen twice a year.  The 2nd week of October and March, to be exact.  For more information about buying a wheel from Wolfgang or to learn more about Wheel Jam, click here.

I don't live in NYC, where can I Wheel?

  1. If you live in the NY area, come visit me!  I teach weekly classes across NYC.  Click here for more info

  2. Otherwise there is a "Wheel Jam" that happens twice a year in Chicago.  It is the second weekend in every March and October.  This is also when/where the USA regional competitions happen.  

  3. Here is a listing of every circus school I know of in the USA that has trained German wheel Instruction.  For international Wheelers, check out the IRV link.