Struggling up curbs

Is it normal to not be able to jump forwards to save my life? I’m talking bout just going from hopping on the spot to a forwards horizontal leap.

With sideways hops I can ride away from 1.5+ metre horizontal jumps (that’s about 5 ft for all you quater pounder lovers) easy enough but when it comes to jumping forwards I can barely hit half a metre (1ft 8").

I can’t figure out why I seem to have this mental block of jumping forwards, does anyone else find forwards to be a lot harder than sideways? Anyone got any tips?

On a new topic, I went for my first “proper” mUNI ride today, it was so fun! It was just after a bit of rain. I was on a narrow downhill track, which is probably why it felt so fast, taking corners and ducking branches, skidding down steps, ruts, rocks & treeroots… it was great, the 24x3" Duro seemed to love everything I threw at it.

And Tony, if you read this, you’re officially “the guy on tv”, I passed an old man walking his dog just as I was setting out and he said something like “Are you gonna be bouncin down those stairs like the guy on tv?”. :slight_smile:


I guess it is easyer to jump to the side than to the front. Because I can jump 1,5 meter to the side and also something like 0,5 meter to the front.


Hopping forward is harder, but it’s all the same…jsut a little more practice.

Ease into it…start getting up the curbs at a 45 degree angle instead of sideways.

Just how tall are curbs in New Zealand? Here the highest curbs might be a foot. If I could jump forward and up 1.5 feet I would conquer any curb I might encounter.

All curbs in NZ are at least 1.5’ tall. But I don’t know where you got that information in the above posts… :roll_eyes:

Side hops are easier, apparently because the body has better musculature for hopping that way than to the front. Long forward hops are much better done with some forward momentum than from a standing start. The challenge of course is to get your pedals where you want them before jumping. This can also be learned with practice.

Re: Struggling up curbs

This is were I got the question. I figured if he could jump 1 foot 8 inches, you should have no problem jumping curbs, at least not here. I have been practicing jumping forwards on a box here at work. I think it is about 6 inches high, and about 15 inches across. I try to roll up to it and jump on. I then attempt to roll across. I have done it about 10 out of 100 times so far. I have troble getting up in the air unless my cranks are at 9 and 3. I don’t epect w/o hopping around beforehand that you will have the option of were your cranks are just riding along unless you do that.

sorry I should have made it clearer, I can jump about 1ft 8" forward horizontally, not vertically. I can jump up curbs with a rolling forwards jump but I often miss. It just feels like I’m putting so much effort into the jump and I only just make it up curbs.

I have managed to jump down 3 stairs with a rolling hop but still not much sign of any height to my jumps.

We use air cushion cars here and so it’s illegal to cross the road without anti-static boots on. That’s why the smallest curbs you find round NZ are about 2 metres.

jumping forward is tough to get…try at first by setting sticks on the ground. jump at the first stick and see how far away you can put the next stick and clear it.

On my one unicycling video, it shows a guy jumping over stuff, he rides up to it where he’ll probably be jumping, hops up and down just to get his pedals at 3 and 9, then pedals backwards, then forwards and jumps. Seems like a good way to get your pedals where you want them, i’d try it if I could pedal backwards, someday : )


Wow! I admire anyone who can sidehop 5’ easily, I can barely make 4’ in a sidehop, although I’ve gotten 5.5’ rolling.

Now, as for the question of rolling hops, just practice, that and measure, for an opening trials move, always measure. When you say that you can only make the hop when your pedals are at 3 & 9, you’re describing proper hopping technique, don’t bother practicing any other way, you’d be better off learning crankflips. When ever I go for 18" or more with a rolling hop, I measure, ethier by hopping and riding backwards or getting off and pushing the wheel against the ground as I walk backwards. I’ve also seen Ryan Atkins do this on some massive (>30") rolling hops.

As for doing rolling hops up curbs or small stuff, when learning I reccomend measuring, and slowly getting to the point where you don’t measure and just hope everything will line up. Eventually you’ll get to the point where you can tell about 10’ in advance if your pedals will be right and then you can prepare. You may sometimes find yourself riding alongside the curb before the hop, but that’s fine too. I can usually tell pretty accurately if I need to adjust for a hop within about 15’ of the actual hop. If I’m not in a rush I will adjust and make it so it’s in a better pedal position, but if I’m hauling a** I’ll just go for the gap, occasionally having to do >3’ gaps to get up the curb, rather than stopping. I reccomend learning to rolling hop up curbs on a 20" or smaller, as the smaller wheel has a smaller rollout, so you can use less space and get to positions where you can get up the curb more often. That is part of why I prefer my trials uni for the commute to school, because my rolling gap is equal to about 75% of the tire rollout, so I almost never need to adjust for pedal position.

Hope this helps.

Edit: As for forward hops, I seem to remember having the problem that it felt like my wheel was hitting the ground prematurely, so I had to shorten my hops to compensate. Practice remedied this. Oh yeah, when it comes to rolling hops off stairs, my record for a rolling hop over a set is only a 6 set, so I’m not the best source. All I can say is it’s suicidal to try it without correct pedal position, and you need to roll out, crunch down, and get your tire ahead of you for the landing, not neccesarily in that order.

Gerblefranklin- Thanks for the tips. I was doing the rollout thing originally when I was practicing, then I thought “What good is that, I won’t be rolling out when I come to a curb crossing a street.”. What you said makes a lot of sense, and I will practice my hopes from the 3 and 9 from now on with a roll out to measure my first jump. Glad I didn’t waste to much time befor this topic came up.

Re: Struggling up curbs

On Tue, 6 Jan 2004 03:39:16 -0600, pete66
<> wrote:

>does anyone else find forwards to be a lot harder than

I think forwards is harder than sideways, at least from a standing (or
hopping) start.

If you jump sideways there is no rotational force on the wheel from
the jumping action, so it is as if you jump from a fixed surface.

Conversely, jumping forwards will tend to roll the wheel backwards and
you have to counteract that tendency or the force goes into rolling
the wheel backwards as opposed to propelling you forward. But you have
the ratio of crank length over wheel radius, a.k.a. ‘leverage factor’,
to work with. This will decrease the forward impetus you can apply.

Klaas Bil - Newsgroup Addict

You have to keep in mind that those of us who post on RSU are not normal. - John Childs

re:forward vs. sideways hops

I too sympathize. And yet I’m watching my son who is eight and just learned to hop at all after Christmas. He is now clearing 9"vertical with ease, a 60lb.(27Kilo)boy lugging a 13lb. unicycle like it’s nothing. He jumps forward and sideways with seemingly equal facility. His rolling hops are already as natural as skipping is to me. He just rolls down the road jumping every little spot or rivulet that he sees and doesn’t seem to have a “chocolate” foot at all; either pedal forward is OK. With his 20" wheel there doesn’t ever seem to be anything that he is not lined up to jump up no matter where it is. I’m sure others with young sprites will be able to testify of this same phenomenon. And I am just SO jealous. I’ve decided to buy a 20" trials of my own just to see if that helps, though I rather have my doubts. Oh, and just for kicks I tried the standing broad jump in normal position with feet together and again with the feet spread as if standing on the uni. Big difference. And again with the feet together but jumping sideways and feet spread fore and aft. Not so much difference. And I wonder why? Is it just practice? And I’ve determined I will start a vertical leap exercise program like the basketball players use to see if that helps. Good luck!:slight_smile:

Re: re:forward vs. sideways hops

dig a 6" inch deep hole in the backyard and practise jumping out of it 100 times a day
once a week deepen it by 1 "

that kinda thing?
and then one day u’ll be able to carry the cow up the stairs?

vertical leap

Maybe. Then I can use the hole to practice my gapping technique, with more incentive to make it across.

Re: vertical leap

“But that’s not all!!! If u dig now u can also use your hole to practise drops!!! Send no money now but make that call and u too can have your very own…HOLE IN THE GROUND!!!”

(sorry, i’m a frustrated infomercial presenter :wink: )

don’t worry i can’t jump up curbs either…in fact i can’t jump at all :frowning: