I need the idiots guide to rolling hops.

Yeah, yeah, I DID do a search but there’s all kinds of technical stuff, physics, references to having a background in gymnastics and skydiving…yada, yada…

I am happy to back on a 20 inch wheel. I’m dusting off some very elementary skills I learned a couple of years back like a static hop off a curb…no seriously, that’s my skill level.

I’d really like to learn a rolling hop and I was hoping for some very uncomplicated suggestions as to how to go about learning this skill.

I can’t hop high and I can’t hop seat out anywhere…front, back, whatever… and I dunno if I ever will… so, given that, is it even realistic to consider learning a rolling hop? Help a timid rider out here. Be honest but don’t be cruel.


well, since you can hop, just work on hopping while rolling, then work on doing it up things like little curbs at first.

you’ll want to have your pedals at the right position, which is however you usually have them when you hop static.

when you’re hopping up things you have to take off from the right point, which you more or less have to determine by trial and error, and then fold your legs up toward your body.

^^^What he said.

Also, it’s good to learn to time your hops by just placing little obstacles on the ground (sticks, rulers, etc.) and hopping over them. Me and my friend were doing this today while we were trying to learn to rolling hop.

I hope this doesn’t fall under the category of shameless self-promotion, but…

The first episode of Uniplex included some instruction on rolling hops in the “unicycle school” segment. I find video to be helpful in learning new skills. You might want to check it out:


or through iTunes:

i assume you can front hop well enough to say, jump over a dollar bill. the way i learned rolling hops is to ride, stop briefly, jump forward, and keep riding. eventually that little pause stops existing.

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thanks for the suggestions.

nbrazzi, I didn’t know about your podcasts and have now subscribed and am downloading them as I type this. Thanks for the link.:slight_smile:

Rolling hops

O.K. no technobabble. Just ride around hopping over the smallest of obstacles, such as cracks in the street, or hoses etc. You will soon learn that the cranks need to be in a certain position for your best hop. Just like learning to adjust your step while walking prior to a small jump up onto something, you will begin to learn to adjust your angle of approach to an obstacle so that your cranks are where you want them to be when you want them to be. If you do it over and over and over, it will begin to come, so have faith! The height will come as muscles strengthen and coordination begins to improve from the frequent practice.

Also, if you were to jump up onto say, a picnic table bench, would you leap from one foot or two? Most people will begin to step up with one foot and jump off of the other, landing on both feet at more or less the same time. That’s sort of what happens with a good rolling hop. With the forward momentum of a moving wheel, you may launch yourself off of the rearmost pedal. That momentum helps lift and propel you, which is why a good rolling hop will take you higher than a static one. Hope this helps!

someone should put out an “idiot’s guide to unicycling”
-how to
-perhaps a dvd…

Erin, it sounds like you and I are about the same level and I’ve been trying to get this skill down as well. I’ve been working at it in an empty parking lot (a church near my house, empty any day but Sunday), by trying to hop over the painted parking stripes. I’m trying to stop with my pedals in the right position (anywhere near horizontal) as close to the stripe as I can and then hop over it and continue riding. I’m trying to make the pause as short as possible. As markf suggested, I’m hoping the little pause will eventually cease to exist. Good luck.

Elmer, that is very useful advice and probably the most practical for my level and inclinations. I like the idea of just incorperating the rolling hop practice into riding. That way there will be lots of opportunities to get familiar with the skills and yet not too much pressure to get it right immediately. Thanks for your suggestions!

Underdog, hey great to have a pal working on the same skill at the same time and same age! Your ideas jive nicely with Elmer’s. Lets stay in touch and cheer each other one as we progress!

Hey … There are more of us working on the rolling-hops. In Norway at winter there are not too many other skills to revise other than “falling backwards on ice” and the more advanced “falling backwards on ice and breaking arm” and rolling hops. I’m getting it. I think that a good place to practise once you start to get it, is in short stairs.

Another thing that helped me, try to touch the wheel in the air. That way, you will get the wheel higher and better controll of the hops!

well there’s no shortages of idiots on this forum… i’m surprised it hasn’t been done already! i guess the idiots here are lazy.

Ignore trying to learn the body tuck that is used for higher hops for now and keep it simple.

  1. Ride at a “fast cruising” pace
  2. Stop with your crankarms parallel to the ground (normal hop stance) by using hard stopping force to launch yourself off the stopping foot.
  3. Pull up
  4. Land
  5. $$$