Miscellaneous Questions about Skills


We need your comments on some questions that come up during our discussions on the USA, Inc. Skills Development Committee.

Here’s the first one:

In talking about hops or jumps, how often do riders want to know whether the hop or jump was done seat-in versus seat-out?

Riders often refer to “hops” as seat-in and “jumps” as seat-out. But this isn’t always true. Sometimes they use the terms interchangeably, or they specify “hop, seat-out.”

So, if a rider says to you, “I hopped up 10 inches to a platform,” do you immediately want to know whether that was done seat-in or seat-out? Or do you not really care most of the time how it was done?

This same question applies to drops and gaps, too. Do riders generally want to know whether these are done seat-in or seat-out?

Thanks for your help.


I think that at ten inches, seat in or seat out doesn’t make much difference. At about twenty inches, it starts to matter, because 20 inches is pretty high for seat in hopping.

But for the skill levels, you should specify if the unicyclist should hop seat in or out.

I think whenever someone says that they’ve done a hop or jump that’s their personal best I’ll want to know whether it’s in or out. When it’s above 60cm I just assume that they’ve done it seat out. Likewise for drops and gaps, however with them I don’t assume it was seat out so I’m always pretty curious. Actually I’m particularly interested whether it’s seat in or out for gaps.

I always refer to ‘ups’ as hops and never say jumps. If someone says they’ve done a ‘jump’ I don’t assume that they’ve done it seat out. Actually, come to think of it, I do say jumps but only when I’m referring to dirt jumps as in on a BMX (or UMX :)) track.


I agree. Or if not specified, put something that tells the reader what is meant if it is not specified.

Example: If not listed otherwise, all hops/jumps/ups can be done with seat in or out.

Thanks for the comments.

Andrew, that was exactly what I wanted to know.


Why specify seat in or out for skill levels at all?

If a rider can hop jump whatever 10", 20, 30" high seat in or seat out does it really matter how they did it? the skill itself is being able to move your unicycle vertically. Seat out is simply a technique that some people use to jump higher.

If someone is jumping 20" or any height, seat in is that any less as a feat than if he did it seat out?

for hops i dont think it matters. most likely if its more than 20 inches its seat out. i think it would be better to say prehop and no prehop instead of seat in and seat out. but for drops and gaps i think it would be good to say. for drops especially its completely different whether its seat in or seat out.


Is it not assumed that you have a prehop before a high jump jump? High Jump is usually for personal bests and the prehop always helps to get higher.


Re: prehops?

sometimes when riding trials you wont have room for a prehop so being able to hop high without a prehop is just as important as with a prehop.

Here’s a list of 47 freemounts from the Standard Skill rules. The descriptions of these are in the Rulebook.

The mounts are listed here in order of difficulty. The numbers after them are the points given during Standard Skill routines.

What other freemounts exist that aren’t listed here?
How would you rate them for difficulty?


  1. standard (forward or rollback) 1.3

  2. rolling 1.8

  3. side 1.8

  4. side reverse 1.8

  5. back 1.9

  6. standard to one-foot idle 2.0

  7. jump 2.2

  8. spin 360 degrees 2.4

  9. standard to one-foot idle extended 2.5

  10. floor 2.5

  11. floor reverse 2.5

  12. jump seat in front 2.5

  13. side jump 2.5

  14. rolling to one-foot 2.5

  15. back to one-foot idle 2.6

  16. 180 degree spin uni jump 2.6

  17. 360 degree spin uni jump 2.7

  18. rolling to one-foot extended 2.7

  19. free jump 2.7

  20. jump seat in back 2.7

  21. kick up, one hand on seat 2.8

  22. jump wheel walk 2.9

  23. jump from on wheel 2.9

  24. kick up 3.0

  25. free side jump 3.0

  26. turn around jump 3.0

  27. back to one-foot idle extended 3.1

  28. side jump wheel walk 3.2

  29. kick up wheel walk 3.2

  30. pick up 3.2

  31. side leg around 3.4

  32. side reverse leg around 3.4

  33. side jump wheel walk one-foot 3.4

  34. kick up wheel walk one-foot 3.4

  35. spin 720 degrees 3.4

  36. rolling to gliding 3.4

  37. swing up 3.4

  38. side jump wheel walk one-foot extended 3.6

  39. kick up wheel walk one-foot ext 3.6

  40. 180 degree spin uni side jump 3.8

  41. push up 3.8

  42. rolling to coasting 4.0

  43. floor leg around 4.1

  44. floor reverse leg around 4.1

  45. side leg around twice 4.9

  46. side reverse leg around twice 4.9

  47. 360 degree spin uni side jump 5.2

The transitions from seat drag can be used as mounts. In particular #159, pick up seat in front/back with free foot.
If you are allowed to catch the seat with your hand i’d give it a score of 2.8 (the same as kick up mount). Freehanded I think it is a good deal harder than a kick up mount.

new skills

can anyone do a 540? I learned how to two weeks ago:p

answer to the ?

Some tricks are better seat in, but most are done better seat out.
A 540 for instance is a very hard trick to accomplish, I pulled on of two weeks ago and now can do them easier than before.

For freemounts, I’ve also added side jump seat in front.

I’m guessing the difficulty rating would be about 2.8?

Any others?

My friend invented a mount that’s pretty darned cool. It’s sort of like a backwards jump mount, but it’s really easy.
What you do is put the seat under you, and the wheel behind you. Then you jump, and the wheel rolls forwards and your feet land on the pedals.
The easiest way to get the pedals in the right position is start hopping before the mount, then jump forwards off of the unicycle, so the tire rolls backwards. That way, when it comes forwards again, the pedals will be in hopping position.

Hope that made sense…

Re: new skills

I think the record is 720. But I’ve only seen one person do that, and very few do a 540. Be proud!

In getting on top of an obstacle, no. In skill levels, yes. Someone who can do the 20" both seat out and seat in is showing a higher level of skill.

Not everyone cares about levels. But others, who like to be methodical and explore as many options as possible, do.

Is there a term in BMX or somewhere that means “hop up and land on a raised surface”?

“Hop” can mean just the up and down motion. But hopping to a platform is a little different, since it means hopping up and a bit sideways to reach the new surface, such as a platform.

Is there a common way to refer to this kind of hop or jump that is both up and sideways to a new surface?

Hopping onto things is a Trials skill. BMX is primarily rolling, around a relatively small track.

For jumping/hopping onto things, the only other word I hear is “up.” But it might be better just to keep things specified, so people don’t need to check a glossary to know what the skill levels are saying. There is jump to a certain height, jump over a bar, and jump onto something, all of which require different levels of skill.

The difference between hop and jump is not clear either. To me a hop is something small and a jump is big, but there is no hard definition in any “official” unicycling lexicon. We have our High Jump competition event, which is obviously jumping as high as you can (big jump). In that one you have to clear a bar, in case anyone was wondering.

I hear “sidehop” used all the time, but not “sidejump.” So if you’re trying to clear some distance, it’s either a sidehop or a long jump (as in the Long Jump competition). A long jump is generally done going forward, while a sidehop is obviously done to the side.

i can hop 24" but i can only hop seat in, cos i dont ride seat out, i can make the wheel get about 6" higher up by pulling the seat forward AFTER the initial hop and tucking the wheel upwards (before pulling the seat back in to land), but theres no way i could land on anything in that position.

as for bmx…
you “jump” out of or off something, like using a ramp to kick you up. you (bunny) hop onto things. but you cant really apply the same principals… cos you cant freewheel on a unicycle… yet!