Correct way to flail your arms

I’ve been riding for about a year now, and have always had my right foot foward when jumping, I jump more confidently TO the right and I hold on to my seat with my right hand and I have my left arm sorta, out…flailing etc. Now, my brother also rides and has recently told me that I’m doing it wrong! Apparently I should have my RIGHT arm out for balance, so I’m reaching out toward where i’m jumping to…and hold on with my left hand.

Breaking this habit will be annoying >.< But…please tell- AM I doing it wrong?


Your brother is right.

You’ll be a lot happier in the long run if you make the switch now and either change which direction you hop or change which hand you hold with.

It’s a lot better to hop toward your free hand. The feet don’t matter very much. Different people hop pretty much equally well toward their front foot or their back foot. But hopping towards or away from your free hand makes a big difference.

Whichever you decide to change, you’ll take a little while getting used to it. But after that I bet you’ll be amazed at how much it helps.

IMO there’s no right or wrong way to do something like hopping. it’s whatever you feel most comfortable with and whatever’s easiest for you. don’t worry about what your brother thinks is the right way to do it. hell, do your best to prove him wrong by being able to jump higher and farther than he can. i think you’re method’s fine(although i jump left foot forward, hold the seat with my left hand and am more comfortable jumping to the right.) but like i said, it’s all personal preference

you really need to switch arms. it’d be cool if he could outhop his brother eventually by hopping that way, but chances are he wouldn’t because his brother will have a much bigger advantage. regardless, if he could outhop his brother doing it the wrong way, then he would be doing even better if using the correct arm.

it makes a huge difference.

The first thing to recognize is that there is no unqualified universal right or wrong. You are presumably riding for fun, so depending on your own goals and abilities you may or may want to or need to switch techniques.

Everybody is different, and I tend to believe that there are subtitles which may well differentiate what works for individuals. That said there are sound reasons for why jumping away from the side holding the saddle has the potential for increased performance. The arch of the free hand is better situated to add momentum, and the grasping hand is in a better position to pull the unicycle up and across the body allowing the tire to tilt over the ledge.

It is somewhat true that it is easier to learn properly than correct an established habit, though I believe this is variable depending on the ability to direct mental focus, so I recommend that you try the varying techniques for a few days to see if perhaps they hold promise for you. It will probably be much easier to change the side you hop to rather than the hand you hold on with. There is no advantage to using one hand over the other generally so there is no reason to work on changing that.

It may well be possible that even after significant trial you still do not find the different technique appealing or helpful. In this case I would recommend you continue riding the way you currently do. There may be a unique biomechanical reason you prefer the technique you are using and as long as it does not cause injury there is no necessity to change it. Chances are that if you keep riding (which is more likely if you enjoy it) that you will eventually find yourself receptive to learning things which seemed too foreign before. At this point you may or may not decide to switch techniques.

The most important thing is that you consider all of the possibilities open to you and choose the one that best meets your needs. Being mindful of your body during riding will make you better equipped to do so.

I dont know Its really up to you. You can either prove your brother wrong and shame him out and beat him at trials or whatever or change how you hop.

I hop left foot forward and right hand on and jump to my left. My mate is right foot forward and right hand on and jumps to the left. which I find really funny.

see i completely disagree. although to a certain extent, some things work for others, but proper form is the most important thing in all sports…from swimming to unicycling. there is a right and a wrong way to do things. improper form causes injury. on a different note, when i first started learning static sif, most of my power from hopping was coming from my upper body, and not my legs. i was throwing my entire upper body forward for momentum. i saw other peoples videos and noticed they were relying more on their legs…and i told myself “this is just my way of hopping, i will eventually get high this way”.

i wound up with a strain in my oblique for 2 months. i basically discontinued practicing hopping. my strain is now healed, i’m back to hopping, and my form is much better, and now the same height i had is now more consistent. i don’t throw myself forward.

if you look at that dude colby thomas’s vids, when he started hopping at the beginning he hopped like you. holding the saddle with the hand you jump in the direction of. his hops sucked. people told him “you’re hopping wrong” and he changed it…and future vids he was getting like 75cm static sif hops…in a short amount of time. that’s pretty good.

like i say some things work for others. but there IS a proper form for things. and with my experience with hopping(i’ve done thousands upon thousands, right form and wrong from), form is very important. hopping uses so many muscles, so much stamina. you damn better have the right form unless you want injury.

do you ever see people gapping 8ft, or hopping 120cm holding their saddles with the hand they’re jumping in the direction of? no…because its wrong!

I just want to add something to DSchmitt’s post. When you do your sidehops in the direction of the hand which holds the saddle you are more prone to injuries because of falls where you don’t have a free hand for protection - it is more likely that you will fall to the ground or on the edge of something with your head.

I guess I was taking things a little too abstractly. What I meant to say is not that one can just go hopping a certain way and through effort alone increase jump height. I also warned about injury. I too have had a sports related injury from chronic poor form. However, there is form is which is superior from a health standpoint and there is form which is superior for sport specific performance. Staying healthy is important for performance, but these are not definitionally the same, and “proper form” is often a compromise.

Specifically, the direction in which one hops is a skill not a matter of form. Towards the holding hand is one a skill, away from is another skill. Both can be done without significant risk of chronic injury. One has the potential for higher jump heights, but that does not make it wrong to train in the opposite direction as well. Some bike trials riders will specifically train their weak side for hops because it can be a problem to turn around on a bike. My point was that I think it is fine to practice hopping towards one’s holding hand if that is preferred. Progress will be made and with mindful practice it shouldn’t overly inhibit learning the skills to hop away from the holding hand.

The benefit to doing it “wrong” is that the rider will potentially have more fun and progress faster, though not as measured by jump height but by subtile control and skill usage. Such that they may eventually find switching sides comes more naturally and with less concerted effort, much like when someone discovers that they can idle with the left foot down even though they only ever practiced right foot down.

Though people would probably have more practical success following DSchmitt’s advice. I guess my words are just here to add context.

alright, thanks alot guys. I gave the other way a go and it’s not so hard. If i practice enough, I’m sure I’ll be fine with it and hopefully get better! :smiley:

Sorry for the late reply, I’ve been out and about and unfortunately not riding enough! damn year 12 -shakes fist-