SIF Hopping help

I can’t seem to hop any higher than 50cm! which is really low! I don’t understand! any help would be appreciated! I have tried prebouncing… Static hopping… everything.

It sounds like you need to learn to tuck. Tucking is when you bring the unicycle right up to your bottom as you hop. It will allow you to hop much higher. To start learning to tuck you could try SIF squats on your unicycle. An SIF squat is the same as a tuck but you lower yourself instead of pulling the unicycle up, the tire never leaves the ground. After this you just have to practise. One thing that helped me was focusing on keeping my back straight as I hop. If you keep your back straight you will be forced to learn to tuck. Good luck and keep practicing!

+1 Unihopper.

I’m basically in the same boat. I just recently started learning to hop higher, since I was mainly doing freestyle and muni, I didn’t really do much high hopping. But now I’m getting into street and trials and I completely agree. Learn to tuck. Practicing the tuck-squat works very well. It helps you know where the uni is going to go once you tuck. My first couple of attempts at higher SIF hops ended with me raising the back of the saddle right into my groin. Doesn’t feel good. Then I learned of the tuck-squat trick to learning and my SIF hops are now just as high or higher than my seat-in hops. I’m still stuck at 50-55cm, though. Practice, Practice, Practice.

how old, how tall, and how much do you weigh??

I am 19 6’4" tall, 180lbs.


Can you please explain tucking and the squats for me a little bit more?

Of course!

Watch this video of a huge hop and check out the technique;

Notice how he crouches and pulls the tire right up to his butt. This is tucking. When you first learn to tuck it obviously won’t be as good as this, but with practice you’ll get there. A squat is basically when you hop on the spot with the seat in front of you, and then bend your knees and sit down on the tire so that you end in the tucked position.

Like I said above, a great piece of advice is to keep your back straight as you hop. Start on a small object about 30cm high, and hop onto it without leaning over the unicycle at all. Instead, pull the unicycle up in front by bending your knees.

All of this being said, tucking isn’t necessary until you can hop about 50cm SIF and are very comfortable with SIF.

Woah! I wouldn’t give him Mikes vid quite yet! This is something to look at in a while. First off check out videos of riders who are getting at or just above as high as you. (I think Murray Denis is up to 75cm now? 80? anyway look him up and see what he is doing different than you, then work on that. Progress at your level and don’t quite worry about that HUGE pre hop like Taylor is doing because you don’t need it yet. :stuck_out_tongue: I’m putting together a hj tutorial video soon that will explain all that you need to know. (Is there even one out there besides Ryans??) Good luck and remember, PRACTICE is the only way to learn this stuff! -Shaffer Nickel

Edit: Foot stance makes a difference too! Make sure you learn from videos that use your foot stance! I will also cover this in my video. :wink: Cheers!

You’re right, it might be a little excessive, but I was trying to show him what tucking is. If I had showed him another video it wouldn’t have been as clear what tucking is. I forgot to mention about the prehop, you definitely don’t want to do that while learning to tuck.

Ohh gotcha. That’s real for sure. Still Onza don’t worry about getting THAT much tuck. Mike has one of the best ones out there. Joe Hodges got 142cm. without a tuck like that. I’d practice static jumps more even if they arn’t bigger than what you can do. It will help with tuck a lot. I do some static jumping before every hj sesh. Also spend some time on gaps. When you can do a pretty big gap every time with out any problems then take that gap distance and shorten it by a few inches and that should be a good pre hop distance for you. Oh yeah! Another BIG factor is your hands! MAKE SURE you are only holding the seat with ONE HAND! The free hand should be the one you’re jumping toward. You can use that hand to swing yourself up. If you havn’t done this yet, it is the most important factor of high jump! Get your holding hand STRONG! When I was learning I switched stances to jump like Joe. (I don’t recomend switching stances) As a result I had to work on getting my left hand really strong. I know how long it takes because I’ve done it twice, but it’s WELL worth it!

I’m 12 and I can almost jump 30 cm si. DO you think I should start sif jumping?

If you’re comfortable riding and hopping SIF then sure. Don’t worry about tucking or prehops, just get comfortable until you can hop higher.

Why do you like SIF jumping better?
So when I can “hop higher” without tucking then I should start tucking?

SIF is better because you can tuck, and tucking allows you to get a lot more height. The reason I say to learn to hop higher before learning to tuck is because you have to be very comfortable with SIF in order to be able to tuck. Learning to hop about 50cm SIF should help you develop that comfort, then you can learn to tuck and see the true benefits of SIF hopping. At first SIF will be harder than SI and will actually make hopping high more difficult, but as you get comfortable it will start to be a lot better than SI.

Okay thanks a bunch for all the info! Practice is one of the key things in this right? I see what you’re saying about SIF making hopping more difficult…

Yup, practice is always key. Good luck with your hopping!

Unihopper, nice web site and good advice. Also, thanks for introducing me to the band “Abandon.” Good stuff.

Anyway, so I can only hop about 25-30 cm if that and I just started SIF hopping. You can see my vid at the link below. I am still trying to get comfortable with SIF hopping, so I’m not even thinking about a tuck yet. However, I might try the “squat” trick to help develop my lateral stability.

Are there any other tips (other than practice) on how to increase my jump height? I was thinking about building a “limbo” bar setup so I could try increasing my height slowly. I also wonder if my foot position is correct. Should you be on the balls of your feet like when riding or more on your toes to bring the calf muscles into the spring?

Thanks guys!

As I progress to getting to 50 cm, do you think I should use a prehop?

I really hate to disagree, but take it from someone who has learned this twice and two different ways. Start SIF now! Do not wait till you get a certain height! SIF is harder for sure, but it helps your SI jumping! SI jumping does not help SIF verry much at all! Learn to ride SIF first then start jumping! It actually does NOT take long to start getting small tucks into your jumps, but they won’t be huge. You don’t need huge though when you start! Once again, I don’t like having two ways of learning in one forum, but you will progress with height SO much faster in the long run and will learn to have SIF as a dominant jumping style overall. Trust me! Start now and in a months time you will see what I mean.

Sorry if my post wasn’t clear, I was actually suggesting learning to hop 50cm SIF without worrying about tucking, and then focusing on tucking. I totally agree with what you are saying.

As far as prehops, I’d recommend hopping static. It allows you to focus on technique when you are starting out.