rolling hops

ok i feel really stupid asking this question but how do you line up your pedals for a rolling hop? do you just hop whenever your pedals are lined up right wen your close to the objec or do you learn to hop at whatever position your pedals are at when your close enuf to jump?


the EASIEST way to do it, though some consider it cheating, is this:
ride slowly towards the obstacle, start static hopping. do a stillstand from right where you want to take off. then, ride backwards about ten revolutions, and when you ride forwards, they’ll be set up. if you’re not good enough at riding backwards, then you can just roll the unicycle by hand back from the obstacle, then mount and ride it forwards.

That doesn’t always work, I’ve found (refering to just rolling it back by hand). When you roll it back by hand the tire isn’t compressed like it is when you ride it, so you end up starting a foot or so behind where you should. I just ride from my point of take off to where I want to start and put a mark there, as I never make it on the first try anyway and this gives me a chance to go again without riding back.

As for the actual hopping, I suck pretty bad, but what I’ve found is that you don’t necesarily have to jump high if you can fold your body well (which I can’t do, but I found that out anyway by some coincidence somewhere…)

But yes, you do jump with your feet in the position that you would on a static hop.

thats something else I do that works rather well too…remember where you start when you first try, and if you’re too far away from the obstacle when you approach, then just move your starting place forward a little.

if you can ride backwards just ride back to where you wanna start and do a static 180…

Honestly, I’ve found that jumping earlier works much easier than jumping later, even if it is earlier than you would think necessary.


If you watch anyone, especially Dan Heaton do them–frame-by-frame in a movie clip–right before the moment he springs for the hop, his back foot/pedal is close to the ground. Once he actually startes leaving the ground, then the pedals/cranks/feet go to the position of a static hop.

I could go into explaining why it is this way–But if you can already do them, then you know what I’m talking about.

Yea its what i do everytime. nice i forgot bout that.


So far no one has addressed the location of the “take off” point… the rule of thumb that I use is that you should measure the approximate height (you can just eyeball it) of the obstacle you want to jump onto and take off that same distance from the obstacle…

So if you want to jump onto a 30" high ledge, take off 30" from the base of the ledge. Take off a little earlier if you’re looking to jump over an obstacle instead of jumping onto it.

I agree that riding backwards from the take off point is the best way to measure. Not only does it account for the compression of the tire, it also accounts for any wobbliness in your approach to the takeoff ('cause not everyone rides in a straight line)… not to mention it’s good practice for riding backwards!

You only need to go back from the take off point enough to come up to speed for your hop. 10 revolutions, as James suggested, is twice as long as what I need. Remember that speed is just as important as body tuck in a rolling hop.

In other words, what everyone is saying, yes, you have a preferred hopping position that you mostly hop from. :slight_smile:

actually just a hair before. i really hammer that last 1/10th pedal stroke. but yes. for begining/learning purposes your pedals should be level with the ground, just like in a static hop, and unlike how i thought at first, the pedals don’t rotate whlist in the air, that’s a harder trick.

That can be fixed by just adding a wobble to the roll backwards. I roll it and it looks like a ghost drunkman riding it backwards away from the object. Then just attack. It might take you a few trys to get the wobble right but when you do its perfect and your ready to go. Riding backwards is alright but if you’re not good at it, it sucks. Also you might need time to syke yourself up to do it before you start rolling if its something nuts. Then its all the time you need and you know your all set.