thoughts on hopping


I’ve been working quite a bit lately on precision hopping (“pecking”)in unicycle
trials and have some thoughts I thought I’d share for input/feedback. Delete if
you’re not interested!

One of the hardest challenges I’ve found is trying to land a larger hop in
balance, and then precisly hop again. This I think is one of the most valuable
skills for unicycle trials because harder terrain often requires multiple
precision hops to get to the top of the obstacle. Examples might include getting
up several boulders, or a rockslope, or a steep rooty trail.

Of course, the best hopping technique would be to time every hop perfectly so
that you land in a stillstand each time, relax, and then hop again. Since this
doesn’t often work out, I’ve been thinking about alternative possibilities.

The best I’ve found is to 1) think of each hop as essentially a correction to
a stillstand, where you are just adjusting your balance instead of bouncing
like a pogostick, and 2)with each hop up something, aim to arc through
vertical (ie the perfect stillstand position), instead of trying to land each
jump perfectly in balance. The second point is the most important. The better
your timing, the slower you arc through vertical (ie through the stillstand
position). As you land from the first jump, and arc through vertical, you jump
again the instant you feel you have “arced” over to the appropriate launching
angle for the next jump.

The advantage of this (which I’ve been calling ‘arcing’ for lack of a better
word), is that it gives you more leeway when trying to precision hop up
something. It is especially good if you are trying to hop on narrow things, such
as from park bench backrests to fences. It definately works best for
seat-out-in-front hopping rather than seat-between-legs hopping.

Any thoughts?


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