HOPPING ADVICE REQUEST from pros and the like (24+ inch hoppers)

Background info:

basically, i worked on seat out yesterday and got from 4" to about 16" over something

i figured that today i’d try ledges, and that 17" shouldn’t be too bad considering i can land on top, rather than have to clear over.

i was wrong
i took some videos of myself doing a 13.5 inch ledge i set up, and i was getting about 2" higher than the ledge, but no more.
i think today my hopping wasn’t as good, but i don’t know what’s wrong w/ my technique

i see videos of Zack Baldwin and others doing sidehops, and they get at least 1.5 feet before they tuck their uni, then another foot or so before they tuck their legs and have the wheel come up under their butt

they also seem to straighten their back up right after they hop, and hold that position for the first 12-16 inches

here is the link to my 2 videos: http://gallery.unicyclist.com/free4all?page=10

they are entitled 133_3312.avi and 133_3313.avi

can anyone please give me advice on how to increase my hop height? :smiley:
my goal for before the end of the year, or even longer, is 2 feet (on my 24" muni) i think that’s high enough to be extremely useful for riding and for some showing off, and i know i’ll probably never get to the pro levels of 3+ feet, especially w/o a trials uni (by the way, if you watch the vids in slow-mo, you can see better my technique and how high i get)

another thing, the camera kinda distorts heights or sumthin, cus i’m over 6 feet tall and i look like a shrimp on the videos

thanks! :smiley:

I’m not that great at seat out hopping, but this is what I thought about your movies…

  1. not so much bouncing…just hop.
    B. it appears that you’re holding the seat with both hands…use one hand out for balance, and also to throw your weight around where you want it to go.
    III. concentrate on bending your knees more.

OK, i’ll have to try the 1-hand

I’ve tried in the past and since my seat is too fat, and i’m not practiced at it, my balance is thrown off tremendously

and, the reason i’m hopping so much beforehand is i’m a cautious rider, and am always a bit hesitant to try new things, hence the long time thinking about it before doing :wink:

and, yeah, my knees
i think it’ll just take practice, it’s a weird feeling bending and uncompressing with more bending.

ya you vbarelly tuck the wheel under you and you berly tuck you self there and ya 1 handed would be better too and dont hop too much before hoping

just hop then tuck. its all timing, Once you figure out the timing there easy.

Colin, you saw Jess and me jump at Tahoe, you know what you have to do. Practice, timing, and tuck, those are all you need. Hopping as little as possible would help, aswell. Seriously, there’s nothing to replace practice. Always push your limits (once you have a hop down, raise the height, don’t waste time), and you’ll improve to 2’ in no time. Past about 32" it becomes a strength issue, so there your improvement will slow. Don’t bother going over a bar, jump ONTO something. Also, don’t waste time doing things wrong. If you don’t land something, think about it and fix it on the next hop. Don’t do repetitive hops where you don’t improve technique. If it takes you more than 20 tries to land a hop (they go by fast), you are doing something wrong and should step back on the height.

I’ve seen Zack get near 36" on his muni, if not break it. I’ve landed rocks close to 3’ aswell (on my brick of a muni), it’s just about believing you’ll make it. You’re bigger and stronger than me, so you could definitely do 3’ on a muni with practice.

Listen to these guys. They know what they’re talking about.

I try to ‘zen-out’ when i try something new. I keep telling myself just to make my legs weightless. Lift your legs up to your chest via their own muscles, and lift your uni up with your hand. Of course this is probably more easily shown without a pre-hop. There is also some pushing off from the ground/tire compression involved as well.

What I also meant about ‘zen-out’ is that you should practice still-stands, and seat-out riding both forwards and back. You talk of being a cautious man. The most cautious and accurate way to prepare for a hop is via still stands. It gives you time to rest your mind and think about the physics involved in successfully getting onto an object. It keeps you level headed when you can concentrate on a larger up, and not worry about having to keep balance and control of the uni while you’re stationary and preparing. Did I explain it okay?

Note: this is advice from a fellow who rides a trials uni. I also rarely pre-hop, being that I can get beyond 30" without one. I’m getting to the point now, where I too must practice the timing and tuck involved in a pre-hop side up…because I want to go higher and higher for the sake of broader and better personal trials skill.

When you get better, things that were once hard get more easier…generally. There are some rules to the exception…because I’m sure, say, going to rubber from a pedal grab onto a rail is one of those things that’s always harder to do.

But once you get into the 30’s for ups, things below that come quite easily.

Unicycling has a lot to do with getting past mental blocks. when you can convince yourself you can do something, it makes a difference.

thanks for your advice all, i’ll have to try all this stuff when i get home from school and on the weekend

TrialsUni: I used to not use prehops, and would still stand before any hop, and I still do still stand before long side-gaps. I’ll try stillstanding before hops for height, it just seems a little more intimidating. Prehops just seem to give you a bit more height and confidence, but apparently height can be pretty high before prehops make a difference!

it seems like i’ll just have to keep practicing until my timing clicks better and my strength increases a little (mainly in my legs)

thanks again!


just make sure the spring of your take off pre-hop/no pre-hop is a quick snap… It conserves energy, too. just a short burst.

about a month and a half ago people were telling me i could jump about the height of my waist nearly every time…yet I had this mental block where I couldn’t hop onto anything taller than my tire. Weird!! I know! I finally took their word for it, and put my fear in the back of my mind, and sure enough I landed an up over the height of my tire.

My next block is a picnic table!! I know that physically I can do it no pre-hop. I know I can. I perceive it different, than a ledge, mentally, because of the open space under a picnic table. I’ve watched video clips of me doing jumps on flat. Last week I finally tried something that’s about an inch away from it. I had my mental block…but at least made it a couple of times. When I go home, I’ll have to try it out on a picnic table in my city park.

later, and good luck…you’ll get there if you want it bad enough,

ps. i’m on your myspace group

I’m not super great at hopping, but i did notice a few things when I was practicing:

Concentrate on pulling your knees upwards. don’t just lightly lift your feet; concentrate on getting your knees to hit your chest.


Remember, hops are more like kicks. You don’t courch and jump, that kills your timing. You are essentially giving a hard kick to the ground and tucking.

Strength is irrelevant until around 32-36", IMO. I’m super weak, as you know, but can get pretty good height.

Trialsuni: Picnic tables are weird. A 28" hop onto a ledge just feels smaller than a 28" hop onto a picnic table. It’s weird.

It’s important to mention that anything ~4-5" less than your max height becomes VERY easy when you get past about 18" hops. Once you can do 34", there’s barely any difference in difficult between a 24" and a 28" jump onto a ledge, post, or other object, in my experience.

Prehops are useful, esepcially if you learn them precisely. However, you will use no prehop jumps far more. Generally you should try and keep them somewhat even. I can do ~2-4" more w/ a prehop than without, which is what I’ve noticed of other riders.

Worthless no-help post:

This is of no help to you, but, I was gonna start a thread about prehopping, but while its on the subject, I might as well threadjack a bit.

I cant prehop at all. Sure, I can do 16-17 inches, but I cant get any “real” height with prehop. From a still stand, I can probally hop 20" or so, (never measured exactly) SIF side hop. Rolling hop is another story, I can do 24" easy. But I decided I need to improve my SIF hop for trials. I just cant prehop at all, it messes my whole hop up. It feels choppy and unstable, like im trying to pogo stick myself onto the ledge, and I cant get anywere. Its like prehop screws my whole ‘form’ up. Without prehop, I usually have the seat brush my chest on the hop, sometimes even touching my colarbone/neck. If the seat is going up that high, how can I jump higher? Im confident I have the form, I just dont think I use it properly. I think with prehop it would help me more?

Hopefully somebody can help Colin and me at the same time.

I’m really enjoying this thread…someday I’m going to come back to it and see how much it helped me.

Trialsuni–is that park Bronson? I heard that they’re tearing up the open space between Miller Auditorium and Sprau Tower. That would’ve been a great place to do trials.

i think that prehops add height to your hop, discounting how much you can tuck
so if you’re tuckign all the way to your chest w/o a prehop, you’ll tuck the same amount w/ a prehop, but probably gain a few inches of pure hop height before the tuck

i just worked on no-prehop today on my 13.5 inch ledge, and i made it up w/ not too much to spare
w/ prehop i have 1-2 inches to spare
i just hafta KEEP PRACTICING!!! until it clicks
cus my technique still doesn’t feel that great

it looks like in movies of both zack and bevan (and probably others too) that their backs completely straigten out after they hop and are 6" into the air, they are tugging on their unis quite strongly, and get pretty high, adding about 1-1.5 feet of quick height at the end w/ their tuck (maybe even more)

it seems like my jumps are around 5" of jump, and the rest is tuck


Re: Worthless no-help post:

Keep hoping the way you are now. Improve the height.
From what I gather, any wildly used technique (seat in, sif, prehop, no prehop, etc.) is good up to 30".
Even then, it’s possible to pedal grab the low 30s".

Another thing I have learned is that it simply takes “faith.”
“Believe in your technique and you will be rewarded,
my beat is ever boomin’ and you know I get it started!”

  • Drew (with borrowed lyrics from MC Hammer)

If you ask me, Its almost all a srength issue. I can do about 7 pallets in height but have trouble standing up, normaly i can do 6. But all you need to do is take about 2 hours a day and practice with some pallets. Just try stuff, like tucking, prehops…The trick that got me alot more height was the second you have leaft the ground pull your legs up as far as they will go, including bending your knees. if you look at this pic, itl kinda give you an idea of what to do, i like munis for trials…i duno why but i like em better. Youl see that in the pic my knees arnt tooo bent so is to aloow good form of my feet on the pedals, if oyu tucck too much youl slide off them and be foot planted.

Edit: I suppose if you played with it you could get the tire out infront of you and up by your stomach, but that would be crazy.