The few times I tried to pilot a pogo stick, I failed miserably- untill I learned to hop on a Uni. I spied a 'stick in the toy store, and just had to jump on- stuck it the first try, thank-you-very-much. I’m not sure if it works the other way around (ya, ya- riding a pogo stick upside down- I know, I know) but I susspect it does.
Just like on a stick, first you compress, then spring out while keeping a firm grip. Fight the inclination to leap OFF the pedals and pull the uni AFTER you; rather, bounce-springing with a firm but slightly flexable link with the seat hand- this will allow the uni to be pulled along with you. You’ll find that a significant portion of your height comes from folding at the waist and drawing the cycle up under you after the spring (this also naturaly puts it closer to where you want it for the landing).
Hopping from a still stand did not feel natural to me largly because I was trying to pull the cycle up after jumping off it- kinda like trying to teater-totter by yourself!.
Check out Steven’s great instructions and short vid here:
Leen into the direction of the hop before starting the spring to vault in the desired direction.
Skill progression for me started with still stands and rolling hops.
Still stands grow naturaly out of learning to iddle or roll back. Practice coming to a stop, then continue riding. Eventualy, you will be able to come to a complete stop and hold it for an extended period. Actively controlling foot pressure in the still stand is key.
I used this skill as a base for rolling hops; once I could come to a stop, I simple did it at speed, bringing the cranks to a dead stop right as the back pedal was slightly high of horizontal. The back pedal will naturaly try to shove you off- just help it out by springing against the pedals and providing a gental tug on the seat. Now you can try jumping over lines in a parking lot, or seams in sidewalk- a pain free way to develope controll and height. Unlike learning to hop from a still stand (where you can fall in any direction), balancing chalanges are less because you have inertia and direction.
Tackling curbs with a rolling hop ultimately requires more skill than hopping from a still stand- but looks and feels great. It requires you to judge where your foot position will be several revelutions ahead, and make adjustments under pressure.
Transitioning from rolling hops to hopping from a still stand allows you to build a bridge to new skills on existing skills.
Persavier and the uni will feel like an extension of you in no time, reaching out and sticking landings for you.