Seat out drops: Why? How?

I have noticed beautiful seat out drops by “the skilled ones.”

Some are hard (i.e. gapping 5 feet while dropping 2 feet to land on top of a narrow wall) and others are hard (like dropping 5-6 feet to flat.

Barring the obvious answer, (“practice.”) my first question is:
1. What technique does one use to reliably land seat out drops?
2. At what point does the unicycle willingly stay upright rather than painfully flopping over to one side or the other?

My other question is Why? (or When?)
Why use a seat out drop? When is is best?
Recently, I was on a downhill section that was clearly “beyond my ability” and I was thinking that it would be nice to use a seat out drop (just down 2 feet) because there was limited space to land in and perhaps I could land “on a dime.” I didn’t attempt it because the “floppy landing syndrome” would have either flung me to intense pain (or even death, in this case). The final question is for those that actually use the seat out drop:
3. When (or Why) do you use a seat out drop?

I don’t think I’ve seen many if any people do just normal drops to flat seat out. But if it’s part of a big trials line, like a five foot gap and three feet down, then they need to do seat out to get more distance.
doing seat out drops to flat probably wouldn’t work very well, because it would be pretty tough to roll out. And doing any drop more than about 5 feet to flat without rolling out puts some intense stress on the cranks.

I do seat out drops for 3 main reasons.

  1. I feel like doing them, which is kinda rare. Sometimes they just feel good.
  2. Precise drops where I don’t have space for a roll out, and don’t want to shock my knees. In those cases, the ability to crunch down is really nice.
  3. During the aforementioned large gap/drops where one is at an angle where they can’t roll out. Again, there must be some shock absorbtioon going on, which has to be int he form of a crunch, or else much pain will eunsue.

As for the technique of them, if you do enough seat out trials they come naturally, at least that’s the case for me.

You forgot to mention the rare occasions where you want to throw in a 540 unispin on your way down.

I just learned seat out dropping, and I would have to say pretty much what everyone else said. I haven’t really used them on a trials line yet, but I know I could. that’s a good thing to have, if you fall and wanna just keep going rather than bailing. Also, you are more able to shock your landing with your knees, I think… maybe not, I’m not too sure.

EDIT: Oh yeah, on the technique- first, try it on easy stuff, and be good at seat out hopping. That’s what I did.

For Muniing–big drops onto angled terrain with jagged rocks on either side. Go seat out and you can bail if all goes wrong. Seat out is also a lot easier on your back, as you’re shock-loading onto your legs, not your spine.

Practice on stairs, gapping one step, two steps, and so on. Once you can gap 4 stairs (precision required), you’re ready to bust it out on the trail.


I sometimes do it for distance, but i can get basically the same disance seat in. it feels better occasionally, and it adds some flair to the whatever it is youre doing. if i was unsure about landing a big drop and doing the rollout, i would just do it seat out so i could absorb all of the shock with my legs.