how to jump?

Hi everyone,
as i mention in nearly all my posts so far, I am pretty much a newbie, riding a Torker CX [yes, go ahead and laugh], but in the month or so that i’ve been unicycling, I have been able to pick up freemounting, riding in a fairly straight line, riding off curbs/steps [the ones with a lot of area, not your standard flight of steps]. watching a few unicycling clips though, makes me really want to begin learning how to do hops on the uni. I’m sure clips I’ve seen are of very professional riders with many years under their belts, but could anyone provide perhaps some tips on getting started? i think a good place to start would be to hop back up onto a curb [correct me if i am being overambitious]. I notice in clips that a few of the riders are not actually sitting on their seats when performing a hop/jump, instead they have their seat out in front of them. Is this something required for jumping, or just a technique which helps in jumping but is usually just exercised by the pros?

Looking forward to any sort of advice [besides getting a new uni :p] anyone out there can provide, thanks in advance!

Hopping, like everything else, just takes a little practice. Holding your seat in front of you(Often referred to as SIF or Seat-Out, hopping) isn’t nessesary, but it helps you get height when you hop because you can tuck your wheel into your butt, like so:

To learn to hop, however, you wont need to pull your seat-out yet. Instead, find a wall, mount next to it, and make sure your crank-arms are parallel to the ground, WIth one hand on the saddle(your preference), hop and lift up on the saddle to keep the uni under you. At first you might be a bit wobbly, but with a little practice you’ll get it down in no time, and you can start trying to hop up small objects, like curbs, and progess to larger ones. Later on, you’ll learn to hop seat out, it’s not hard, once you leanr normal hopping and can add inches(or feet) o you height.

Hope that helps.

P.S. My first unicycle was a Torker CX, don’t be ashamed.

I, as well, learned on a Torker CX… and by ‘learned on’ I mean ‘destroyed’.

Find which foot you prefer to lead with - when your pedals are parallel to the ground, either your right or left foot will be forward. Find which is more comfortable and stick with it. Same thing goes for which hand grabs the seat.

What I did, was just roll up along side a curb, stop when my pedals were how I want them, and try to jump up the steps. Your legs will get reaaaaaally tired, but that’ll go away after a few days. When your pedals are where they should be, stop into (what will be a very short, at this point) stillstand, stand up on the pedals, jump and pull the uni with you. Chances are you’ll fall flat on your face. Get back up, keep trying until your legs give out.

You’ll be tempted to do a bunch of little hops, instead of stillstanding. This is what most consider bad technique (myself included). To paraphrase Kris Holm, try to think of hopping only as a way of correcting your stillstand. Even if your stillstand is only a fraction of a second, you still want to think of it as a stillstand, because over time you’ll get better and better at them.

So just find a relatively low curb, even just two inches high will do, and try jumping up it (what I just described is called a side hop). You’ll figure out what you have to do after a few attempts.

For jumping with the seat in front of you, it’s a good idea to learn how to ride seat in front. There are tons of threads about this, as well as web sites. Do a little searching for tips on this trick.


you don’t just want it to be the most comfortable, but you want to have the back pedal to be the one in the back/down position when you freemount. this way you’ll be able to mount into a stillstand or into hopping, which is very very useful in the future.

Yea, I forgot about that. Unfortunately for me, the foot I lead with is the one I freemount the most with. I should fix that.

yeah, my friend does the same thing…he mounts with his left foot, does a rollback mount so his left foot is in front then starts hopping. doesn’t work as good as mounting with your back foot.

I figure rather than starting a new thread Id use this one to get my question in. I have a hard time standing directly on the cranks while hopping like some people do and so I stand on the pedals. I cant seem to keep the pedal in the horizontal position though. Is it something that will come with time, or what?

Re: how to jump?

On Sat, 3 Dec 2005 22:38:38 -0600, unicycle2280 wrote:

>I cant seem
>to keep the pedal in the horizontal position though. Is it something
>that will come with time, or what?

I remember having had that initially, too. You tend to correct
imbalance by rolling the wheel, as you do during riding. Wrong!
Concentrate on keeping the cranks horizontal, and correct imbalance by
relocating the wheel under your ‘new’ position. Practice. And of
course, practice some more.

Oh, and it’s perfectly OK to stand on just the pedals (as opposed to
on the cranks, or on both) . If you combine hopping with riding (which
you’ll want right?) you won’t have to shift your feet laterally.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

“erectile function trumps public image - David Stone, commenting on the importance of seat comfort”

I found that you have less problems with the wheel moving if you lock your knees, and try to spring up with your ankles only.
Hope that helps!