Really Good Tip for Learning the Kickup Mount

In the past I had only tried the kickup mount sparingly, partly because it can be a little intimidating thinking about the possible injuries and maybe even damage to the uni. Then I saw a Japanese unicyclist video:

The video isn’t all that extroadinary, but notice how she has a false start to her kickup mount at the beginning of the routine . She lifts up the seat halfway, then puts it back down – all in a very controlled manner. This gave me the idea that you don’t really have to “kick up” with the kicking foot at all; rather, you simply lift up and guide the seat with your kicking foot, while letting your weight on the pedal do most of the work in lifting up the unicycle. Perhaps some people really do have a more violent kicking motion, but I find that pulling/guiding up the saddle results in a much more controlled seat motion, and is great for learning the mount. No more worries about the saddle flying out of control. I’m guessing that there are probably people who can do this mount almost in slow motion, with the saddle rising quite slowly.

I practiced doing what she did, lifting the saddle up halfway then down in a slow controlled motion. Up and down repeatedly. This also helped me coordinate my weight shift with the leg lifting action. And when I did try the mount, I found that I was acquiring the seat much more frequently than before. My attempts were successful only about 20 percent of the time though, because even if I got the seat in the right place, often my weight was off, causing me to fall. However I felt like I was definitely making progress.

That was last weekend, but unfortunately I had no time to practice until today. This time I focused on where my weight should be after stepping onto the pedal and also making sure I lift the saddle up to the correct position, not too far forward or back. Before too long, I was making about half of my tries. Then at the end I tested myself on 20 attempts and made 14. Needless to say, I got quite excited!

So my advice is to practice “lifting” rather than “kicking up” the seat. Also, there’s no need to jump, simply shift your weight to the pedal. Perhaps a little more force than a slow lazy weight shift is necessary to get the saddle up quickly, but I don’t think jumping is required. Read somewhere that a normal walking motion is about the right amount of momentum required – found this to be good advice too. Hope this helps anyone learning the mount. Would be interested in hearing whether people find this as helpful as I did.


I don’t know about that, I thought it was a fantastic freestyle performance. Her transition out of crank idling, as well as the backwards seat in front riding into a standup wheel walk was really cool. I found it an inspiring video :slight_smile:

Balancing on the tire with the seat extended like that is definitely something I’ll attempt…

Another good thing to keep in mind is to lean back a bit. When I do a kickup, I find that if I lean just past what is comfortable, the rolling back motion of the tire brings it under me when I’m finally up there. Good for making sure you’re in control and don’t have to flail all over the place ungracefully to keep your balance.

  1. Jump in the direction of the green arrow in this clip.
    Otherwise you will hardly will be able to correct your sideways jump.

  2. try to jump “too far” sideways.

  3. Think (or shout) “UP!”

  4. in case you hesitate all the time; count 3-2-1-up!

I learned it by doing 100 atempts in row each practise. And counted the succesfull ones.

That method of practice is actually something I should apply more often. The kickup mount is totally worth it, it’s one of the things you can do on a uni that’s not too hard and still impresses people a lot.

Oh, and one thing I did to:
buy the a soft mouse-pad; cut it in 4 (round the corners); stick them in your

Thanks, Tony, good tip.
Something I found helpful was first getting very comfortable with side mount, and particularly the ‘extreme’ side mount, where the unicycle starts lying on the ground, and you pick it up with your hand as you side mount it. So it’s sort of like the kick-up except using your hand instead of your foot. This helps especially in getting the last part of the kickup mount, after the seat has come up and you need to put your weight on the seat, get your other foot on the pedal, find your balance and ride away.

oh yes, that was an awesome video (perhaps not so “extraordinary” only by the stratospheric standards of Japanese championship freestyle). Hey, she did more than half of her routine without a mistake, with near-perfect timing for every move in sync with the music … I can’t even imagine how much practice went into that routine alone (aside from mastering all the skills that went into it)…

must go practice more…


Hey Tony is there any more of those japan competition videos? I enjoyed that one… if you have a link to the site that would be great…


-Tony (my name also)

I feel inspired to try this mount after reading this thread. I only recently learned to do a side mount and I found that doing it really slowly and focusing on balance and control was the secret. I think I’ll try the extreme side mount that was mentioned here first and then try the kick up. You guys make it seem not that hard.

Sometimes carving off some of the end of the link will do the trick. This is one of those occasions!
It’s mostly in japanese, just mash buttons methodically and you’ll find the videos.
It’s this kind of unicycling skill that impresses this beginner, more than the jumping up of things and falling down from things. Humbling and encouraging!

It isn’t.
The bit of advice on getting some padding for your ankles is a good one. I find that I often skin my pedalfoot-ankle on the crank.

I’m still very much a kick-and-hope practitioner of this mount. Despite that, I still manage to land at least 70% of my attempts and I use it in uni-gigs quite often.
The first post in this thread strikes me as wonderfull advice in the ‘why-didn’t-I-think-of-that?!?’ mold.
Can’t wait to get to the uni…