Tips on hopping

Finally ordered my trial uni.

A little info: i have been riding for about 5 months i ride a 26 do about 5 miles per session atleast once a week if weather permits. Now that its getting warmer probally more.

Anyways im looking for saftey tips. Proper jumping landing etc. Any tips would be useful. Im not trying to be a an all out trial person, also not looking to hurt myself too severely as i have to work

I plan on , hops, 180 spin, backwards and different type of mounts. One leg, no, wheel walk. Real beginner stuff.

Looking forward to your insight.

I’m not sure if I understand correctly, you want tips on how not to injure yourself while trying these tricks? I have two for you:

  1. Depending on your fitness level, do some strength training, mainly for your core and your ankles. I might do a seperate threaad on this one day, as I think unicyclists tend to underrate this.

  2. Use your brain. Sounds obvious, but just make sure that you always have a good way to fall, so no stuff lying around to fall over etc. Anytime I look at a scary jump, the question I ask myself is not so much wether I can land it or not, but what happens if I don’t.

Welcome to the forum! There are some interesting forum threads where riders describe the order of tricks they learned. Also, the International Unicycle Federation publishes a skill level chart.


What exercises do you recommend for ankles? My right ankle is constantly getting sprained it’s so annoying. Thanks

Start with a few heel lifts and squats balancing on one foot/leg…

One leg standing heel lift -
Balance on one foot, raise the heel to full extension trying to stand on only your toes if possible, return heel to floor and repeat. Continue repeating until fatigued or balancing becomes an issue.

Switch to other foot…

To increase difficulty close your eyes for the first few repetitions or until your balance becomes unstable.

One leg squats -
Same as above only doing partial squats. The deeper you squat will increase the difficulty. The more you lift your heel the more you will strengthen your ankle for lateral stresses.

Don’t squat too deeply. Never go deeper than the point that your thighs are parallel to the ground. Deeper squats require more flexibility, but if you go beyond parallel with your thighs, you are putting a lot of unnecessary pressure on your knees.

These will also strengthen your knees for lateral stress movements while squats with both leg may increase leg strength until you might find yourself spraining your knee(s).

Try doing the first few with your eyes closed to increase your ability to balance.

Gradually increase repetitions.

Joe Myers

1 Like

“Trick” falling

When learning basic static tricks. Even just learning to freemount. Don’t worry about getting thrown(falling)…worry about falling down into the unicycle with your legs tangled up with bloody spiked pedals or a big bruise from a hard slap.

This can be minimized by working a small unicycle and seat low. Keep on.

These tips are useful.:slight_smile:

I agree with using a small unicycle, but there is a workaround to seat-height: Keep the seat high, then learn to do everything technical/scary with the seat in front. While SIF is normally considered a more advanced technique, it can be practiced by beginners. For example, free-mounting can be practiced starting with both hands on the seat in front of you. Think of it less of a free mount and more of a still stand. I learned to static mount SIF before I was able to do it with the seat under me. Many of the worst falls happen when we get caught on the seat and slide off the pedals. This doesn’t happen SIF. Also, there is the added benefit of using the hands to move the unicycle aside during a UPD.

Get a pogo stick.

What does SIF stand for again? Thanks

Seat In Front

Seat in front.

SIF haiku, anyone?

Whether performer
Or an audience member
Better seat in front


What’s funny to me about that is when beginners have posted videos of their early hopping efforts, a comment I’ve seen a few times is, “You’re riding a unicycle, not a pogo stick.” I.e., you shouldn’t be going boing-boing-boing on it. It’s better to pick a spot, hop over to it and land there, establish balance and still-stand for a moment, then choose your next spot and hop to there. But of course all of our first attempts were boing-boing-boing-ing in place because that’s how learning goes.

Other hopping tips: Start on the most level surface you’ve got, but when you get a little bit good try hopping up and down gentle grades. I found it easier to learn with long-ish cranks because I usually landed with the pedals not quite at 3 and 9 o’clock, and the extra leverage helped for getting them back even. Also, think about pulling your feet up when you hop. At first I was keeping a lot of weight on the pedals and lifting my legs via the frame and cranks using the grab handle, and my hand got really stiff and sore from that. Legs are heavy!

I haven’t tried doing it but thanks to this thread I found a reference. :smiley:

Surely one does not have to ride a pogo as a series of continuous boings either?

I bought a professional pogo at a garage sale on the weekend ($15). I will report back.

BTW. From many years ago I recall a two stroke petrol powered pogo that would surely be a fascinating device.

Thanks for that tip - I’ve been hopping for years, but never specifically thought about doing that (I must have missed the advice to do that in any tutorials I’ve watched - maybe it’s time to go back and watch some more as I’m still stuck not being able to hop very high).

Though I also just tried hopping on my giraffe for the first time last week - now there I am back to continuous pogo hopping, but then having tried pausing it seems my balance point isn’t quite in the right place so I’m continuously falling if I don’t hop. It also seems very, very heavy to hop and my arm gets tired quickly!

But I find it using pogo to practice hopping is much easier though.

Zig zag building

Who know how to build zig zag unicycle and what tyre do I need? I mean uni on this picture.