yesterday i finally got the nerve to try and do some drops that are higher than the usual 6inches i can do with ease. by the time i got to about 1.5-2 ft, i was gaining some confidence in myself. so i go for the 2 ft drop and then land very awkwardly, all my weight went to my right ankle as i hit the ground.
now i’m not sure if it’s the ‘wrong’ way to do a drop, but i usually just ride off the ledge of whatever i’m on, and kinda brace for the impact of landing. i’ve seen people in clips doing drops by basically setting up for a hop and hopping off the edge, thus landing with both feet parallel and steady. i had tried this and just found it kind of difficult to do as a rolling hop.
perhaps i’m getting slightly ahead of myself to be trying this as a rolling hop off the ledge? [basically riding on the ledge and going straight into the drop, rather than pausing to hop off of it] how do you guys do it, and any tips on future drop attempts?
I wouldn’t say rolling hops off of ledges are persay easier, but they are easier on the body, gravity is going to create momentem out of the two masses it is coliding, in this case, you and the earth, the faster the velocity, the more energy is disipated when you to hit eachother, (I parkour ^^) don’t think of it as you hitting the earth, but the earth hitting you, at x miles per hour. Don’t belive me study special reletivity.
Anyhow, when you have forward momentum, more of that energy is directed forward, so there is less of an impact between you and the earth, since you impact the earth at an angle, its a pretty simple concept, the only thing is that rolling hops are harder for most unicyclist then still hops, I actually find rolling hops more controled personaly. I’d rather be in control of my energy then have the earth in control of it.
Just practice your rolling hops more, you’ll get the hang of it, and do be afraid to go fast before you hop.
thanks cyberpunk! btw i so envy people who can parkour. if only my body were a little younger and healthier [i’m 21 yrs old and about 5’10" 167 lbs, just in case you want to try and convince me to give it a shot haha]
they key really seems to be where you place your feet on the pedals. i always like the center of my foot on the pedals; this way, the tendancy to twist my ankles forwards/backwards is less. Some people use the balls of there feet; i think that’s bad. just my 2 cents from experience.
ps: 21 is young! i’m 27 and that’s still pretty darn young. i’m 5’6" and 130lbs.
maybe put your foot more forward on the pedal
Hey i’m almost 20, and weight 150lb’s, and am 5’11, my older brother does it, ‘albeit’ not very good, and he’s 23, 6’3, and weigths 200lb. Everyone has parkoured, at on time or another, its really just urban gymnastics, you should learn to do rolls, at first standing still, then turn them into dive rolls
Go to the bottom of this page for animation.
What you do, is jog slowly, then hop forward, making sure your feet leave the ground before your hands make contact, then. place the hand oposite of the shoulder you plan to roll on on the ground, so if your right handed, place your left hand on the ground, this will be most comfterblue, place the back of your right hand on the ground, and roll you body forwrd, try and tuck your knees into your chest, and pull your hips inward, and tuck your head in, you will roll forward realy quickly and the momentum will take you back up onto your feet, it feels really cool the first tiem you do it.
here is another link with moves.
There’s video tutorial at www.unicycle.2ya.com to back up what “cyberpunk” said. I think the technique in the video has worked really well for me, it feels really comfortable and the actions involved are quite intuitive.
Rolling hops is actually how I learned to do drops, it just made intuitive sence, and felt more comfturble, probably considering my parkour background. Drops without forward momentum, and no rollout are just rough on my body, and I don’t feel like I have control, I just don’t like it.
I advise you do it from a static hop, and try to hop outwards as far as you can…right as you hit the ground, roll out of it, to transfer some of the momentum. also, stand with the arches of your foot on the pedals, not the ball of your foot, it provides more support.
i learned the “correct” way to do drops, by front hopping and putting my weight on my forward foot. thus creating the correct rollout.
When I do a drop I try to land with my weight favoring my front foot. You want more of your weight over your front foot than your back foot. Then when you land pedal forward a half revolution and let the upper body collapse to absorb the impact.
It’s similar to if you jumped off of a ledge and immediately wanted to start running as soon as you landed. You’d land with your weight on the front foot and immediately start running. If you landed with both feet at the same time you’d land like a lawn dart (just sticking it) and wouldn’t be able to run it out immediately. Same thing when landing a drop with the unicycle. Land with your weight over the front pedal and let it roll out as soon as you land.
to help with learning to do rolling hops off of ledges, I started riding backwards and forwards. Say, ride 6 reveloutions forward and stop with your right foot forward, then ride backward three revolutions and stop with your right foot forward. Vary the amount of revolutions and which foot you stop with. What, I believe this does, is build your sense of where your legs are in relation to your body. Concentrate on which foot is forward when you stop and move in the other direction.
I did this for a while and then found a two foot ledge to drop off of . I took the chance and started moving the unicycle back a little or forward a little trying to find the optimum position for starting my run at to the edge of the ledge and then just riding off off the ledge while trying to land with one of my feet just coming over the top of the rotation. It worked, one day. Once I got a few consecutive smooth drops in, I got the timing.
I was lucky, the landing was some semisoft mud, so it helped with the impact.
I hate dropping dead down, it hurts my ankles. I would rather launch higher on a rolling hop off a ledge and land moving.
For me it was wierd. dropping off curbs was harder on the body than dropping off things over 18" high. I guess it forced me to cushion with my entire body rather than with just my knees and ankles.
Practice practice - find some grass to land on - its softer.
i got a chronic ankle problem from that bloody guiness drop i did off the 3m platform. if you want my 2 cents its best if you keep your foot placement as centred on your foot as possible, not near your toes…
this way no hyper extension on your ankle upwards. this hurts my ankle every time i relax it and do something with it.
I have that same damn hyper extension (well, actually, it’s more of a compression, but whatever) problem with my back ankle. I think that my problem is that when i jump sets, i swing the uni forward, and then land with my weight behind the uni. To prevent me from shooting the uni out in front, i put all of my weight on the back pedal and my ankle to stop the wheel from rolling. Then it forces my back toes up towards my shin, even though my foot is centered on the pedal. It sucks so bad, and it happens so often. I think that the solution is to land with my weight directly above the axle, and thus land with pressure distributed equally on both pedals. Here’s hoping i can actually learn this technique. Arghhh!
thank you all for sharing your experiences and advice
oh and thanks for the parkour tips/links, cyberpunk. i may just try it out when this ankle isn’t feeling weaksauce any longer
I personaly recomend serious unicyclist, or athletes for that matter, to spend a little time practicing parkour, its a very good suplement, activity, just as football players take ballet. And I guarentee you it’ll strengthen up that ankle a little ^^
Strenght, and balance are the key to survival,
…and downhill skiers and moutain bikers take up unicycling.
Unicycling, and parkour should be standard activities for all athletic types. I’ve done few if any activites that have incresed my balance, cordination, and self confidence more.