New personal best for hopping height.

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by billham, May 20, 2004.

  1. billham

    billham Guest

    Tonight I decided to work on my hopping. I still am a seat in hopper
    since I haven't gotten enough control with seat out yet. My best was
    13" and my goal was to get onto three pallets which came to 15". I
    warmed up on the single and double stacked pallets. After I got sweaty,
    I decided to go for the triple stack. Boy that stack looked high, even
    though it was only 2" above my best hop!

    On the first attempt I landed on the tire, but fell backwards. This
    boosted by hopes and helped grow my positive attitude. Following
    attempts would often land on the tire (about 60-70% of the time), but I
    was either falling backwards or had not committed my body enough to stay
    on the pallet and fell back towards the spot where I started my jump.

    I worked on it with and without a prehop, both worked and failed about
    the same. I worked on concentrating on compressing my body before the
    hop and extending my free hand/arm fully into the air before pulling the
    set up.

    I finally made it onto the pallets and managed a few hops before I fell
    off. The the magic moment... using a pre hop, I landed on top of that
    towering stack of pallets, stayed in control, hopped a few times to
    celebrate and then hopped back to the ground. The only bummer of the
    whole thing was that I no one with me to celebrate my success. I still
    gave a holler to celebrate, I have no idea who was supposed to hear it.
    Ah... the lonely life of a uni rider. :(

    As I think about the hopping technique I was wondering if anyone has
    worked on just body extension during a hop. I was thinking it might be
    useful to work on jumping onto an easily attainable height, but do it by
    extending upwards only. Really concentrating on achieving a full body
    extension. Doing the hop without recoiling the body (to help pull up
    the uni for more height).

    My theory here is that with better extension, you will get more height.
    By separating the moves, you can work on better extension, and thus get
    more height. You don't get much time to compress, extend, and recoil
    during a hop! I'm sure I wasn't geting the best compression, extension
    or recoil on my jumps.

    Well thanks for listening to my celebration post... or is it a mini brag
    fest? Either way, it feels good to be moving up. (moan...pun
    intended)

    Thanks to all the hopping posts and videos that have helped me to learn
    some techniques.

    Bill


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  2. tennisgh22

    tennisgh22 Guest

    congrats!

    im about where you are as far as hopping goes. i am also just seat in
    (at the moment), and i get about the same height. tell me when you get
    to 4 pallets :)

    btw, im thinking of switching my signature to your quote: "ah... the
    lonely life of a uni rider" hehe

    -grant


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  3. vivalargo

    vivalargo Guest

    Hey:

    I only started hopping about a month ago, and after a few weeks down at
    the Venice boardwalk, I could only go up and down stairs (8 inches) and
    lacked the experience and courage to tackle the bigger stuff. So last
    Friday I got some pallates and started practicing. I mention this to
    indicate that technique wise, I don't know what the hell I'm talking
    about . . .

    Anyhow, your question about going higher.

    I found, for me, a lot of it is psychological--that the pallates look
    high because it's all new. So at the beginning I just jumped up on them
    without the uni and realized three, even four pallates is not really so
    high as far as vertical jumping heigth goes.

    To the point, I found that snapping off the ground and staying relaxed
    in the "extension" phase of the jump was crucial. At first I was
    yanking up too hard on the seat which retarded my initial spring. Once
    I started relaxing and snapping off the ground, extending and then
    snapping the uni up at my apex, three pallates became very doable.
    Today I started working on the "coiling" phase, sucking my body up after
    the hop, and got up on four pallates (20") ten straight times.

    I'm jumping from a dead still position because I don't have the
    experience yet to prehop or even prebounce off the tire. I'll start
    fiddling with a prehop and all that jazz tomorrow, and I suspect and
    hope these might increase my heigth.

    Like many other things with the uni, what seemed impossible one minute
    becomes almost routine a day later. But I'm a beginner (4 months) and I
    suspect the learning curve will start to flatten out soon. My hunch is
    that you can add inches every day for the first few weeks, but after
    that it gets very tough to improve.

    But I don't know . . .

    Anyhow, good luck on going sky high.

    JL


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  4. elmer

    elmer Guest

    Hey billham, I think you're doing pretty great for your age!

    I'm 40 and guess we're really close in ability, which means you're
    really better than me, once corrected for age:D

    I jump about the same height seat out or in, but would encourage you to
    not be afraid of the seat out jump. The first day I tried it, it seemed
    totally awkward, but just a few days practice later, I'm pretty stable.
    I think with two or three weeks of consistent seat out practice, I would
    be going higher with it than seat in. Throwing in sideways jumps
    (gapping) is where the seat out gets wierd, feeling like I'll roll an
    ankle or something.

    Anyway, great job and keep it up!


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  5. billham

    billham Guest

    elmer wrote:
    > *Hey billham, I think you're doing pretty great for your age!
    >
    > *



    Elmer

    I am trying not to read your line as "Pretty good for an old man." ;)
    I was wondering if anyone would remember my age. I'm turning 48 next
    month. The way I figure it, you get old quicker when you don't keep on
    trying and doing things. When it comes to the body, it's USE IT OR LOSE
    IT.

    Thanks for the encouraging words for seat out hopping. I keep the seat
    fairly high on my KH24. I want to keep the seat at an all around
    height, both for riding and for trials. Due to the seat height, I think
    seat in will limit me pretty quickly. After I learn seat out hopping,
    I'll go for the 4 pallets!

    The neat thing about uni riding is the sense of accomplishment you get
    when you do what was once not possible. I enjoy (as do most uni riders)
    taking on a challenge and working it out until completion.

    It doesn't matter if you are hopping onto a 2" platform or onto a 36"
    platform, the joy of doing it the first time is always a rush!

    Bill
    A little older and a little better


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  6. vivalargo

    vivalargo Guest

    Hey, Billham:

    I'm 50, so count it a fact you'll be soaring over 4 pallates in a week
    or less.

    You're enthusiasm is fantastic and good luck on going up to 5 pallates,
    which I think is pretty much the limit for seat-in hopping for us
    seniors. But get the seat out and six or seven is doable I reckon.

    Keep us informed on your progress. It's inspiring.

    JL


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  7. chirokid

    chirokid Guest

    Congratulations Bill. That is some hopping. Now I'll really get behind
    on the trail. --chirokid--

    PS: I like your signature line :D


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  8. I'm a "spry" young 15 year-old, and I've come to the conclusion that
    just about anyone can, with the right equipment and enough practice,
    jump just as high on a unicycle as they can on their feet. After about
    6-8 months of serious trials developement, my record sidehop is about 4"
    short of my sidehop on my feet. My record pedalgrab is actually higher
    than my record sidehop onto something with a 1-foot landing. Just shows
    that despite the weight, the tire really helps when jumping.

    As for extension, it's something that'll come naturaly. One needn't
    practice specific parts of jumping except for mabey the prehop. I
    automatically lift the uni as high as it goes. On some hops I've
    actually scrubbed the rear part of my KH seat on the side of my right
    shoulder. I don't consciously think about tucking the uni up, it just
    happens. As for extension, I just think about that when doing really
    high jumps without a prehop. Then, I try to squat a bit lower than
    usual, and then immediately kick down, extend, and lift.

    Go for seat out, it's awkward at first, but eventually it'll be better.
    Especially for pedalgrabs.


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  9. billham

    billham Guest

    vivalargo

    Somehow 5 pallets with seat in seems like a bit much. But 4 I'm going
    to work on. Definitely time to work on seat out to get up to 5 or more
    pallets.

    Thanks for the encouraging words from all of you.

    Bill


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  10. elmer

    elmer Guest

    Well, billham, today I went out and bought some 2 x 4's and some
    plywood. I'm going to build a 2' square deck for me to hop up on to.
    When I can do that height well, I'll add a 1/2" layer of plywood, and
    repeat that process until I get it up to an impressive height!

    You and vivalargo must be pretty athletic, There are a lot of 50 yr.
    olds who can't jump 6" even without a unicycle. Americans are just
    getting so FAT these days. I guess the economy really is improving.


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  11. vivalargo

    vivalargo Guest

    Hey, Gerblefranklin:

    15 years old? Either that's an outright lie, or you have had wonderful
    teachers and spend a lot of time with your nose in a book. Your
    phrasing, diction and word choice indicate a writer, now, or in the near
    future. And thanks for the input per high hopping.

    And thanks for the kind words, Elmer.

    JL


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  12. elmer

    elmer Guest

    I thought gerblefranklin had to be a college student until I met him at
    Moab. He's a kid, albeit a rather focused and intelligent one.(Not to
    mention an excellent rider.)


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  13. onetrack

    onetrack Guest

    gerblefranklin wrote:
    > I've come to the conclusion that just about anyone can, with the right
    > equipment and enough practice, jump just as high on a unicycle as they
    > can on their feet. Just shows that despite the weight, the tire really
    > helps when jumping.




    gerble is right, I know one guy, who can jump onto anything with a
    unicycle under him, that he can with just his feet. he actually proved
    this to me. he won't try jumping onto something waist high untill he
    tries it from his feet. even if he just barely makes it, he knows he
    will be able to do it with a unicycle.

    I however, find that a tire hinders my hopping ability. think about when
    you push off. What happens? the tire will take some of your pushing
    force, as it squishes under your weight. a tire dosen't act like a
    trampoline, more like a shock absorber.

    the reason well seasoned riders can jump as high with a unicycle as they
    can on their feet, is because of the way your feet are posisioned during
    the hop. Also because no momentum is lost in a rolling hop, while you
    stop for a moment during a jump from your feet.

    For a visual watch Dan Heaton's big jump in U2.

    -mike


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  14. billham

    billham Guest

    elmer

    Go for it and enjoy your platform. May I suggest you not use the
    superman cape when you are working on your hopping? :D

    About being athletic... yes, God has blessed me with a body that has
    tried to stay young. I don't bounce as well as I used to, get sore
    quicker and heal slower. But I'm not going to sit back and just grow
    old.

    My father is 82 and has been a significant role model for me. He
    started to water ski and snow ski when he was 40. Started riding a quad
    with my youngest brother when he was in his early 50's. He tried rock
    climbing when he was 60. His friends thought he was crazy and asked him
    why he did it. He said, "My son asked me to go try it, so I did." He
    didn't it enjoy it much, but he gave it a try. My father is always
    willing to try. That's been a great role model for me.

    He still plays lots of golf and stays very active. Last year in August
    he slipped and fell on a railroad tie (while golfing) and tore his quad
    from his knee. He had surgery to repair it and was off his leg for 6
    weeks. Then he worked hard at rehab and was getting back to golf in
    December. A quick recovery because he worked at getting it back into
    shape. He's not one to sit around.

    So I've got a stay active life that has been given to me genetically and
    by example. It's been a great blessing that God has given me.

    Quite a few people think I'm a little crazy for doing the things I do at
    my age. But I am in better condition and health than a lot of those
    people. Partially because I am doing these physical activites. I often
    enjoy the attention I get doing these things as an "old" man. Right
    now, unicycling is giving me a good sport to keep me exercising and
    having fun. My daughter is riding a uni now and I hope uni riding will
    provide a good activity for the two of us to do together.

    So... back to the hopping. Tomorrow I work on getting more consistent
    on hopping onto the 3 pallets. And I think I need to work on seat out
    hopping onto a single pallet. Time to bust into the seat out action!

    Up, up and away!

    Bill


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  15. vivalargo wrote:
    > *Hey, Gerblefranklin:
    >
    > 15 years old? Either that's an outright lie, or you have had
    > wonderful teachers and spend a lot of time with your nose in a book.
    > Your phrasing, diction and word choice indicate a writer, now, or in
    > the near future. And thanks for the input per high hopping.
    >
    > And thanks for the kind words, Elmer.
    >
    > JL *



    Thanks for the complement, but my teachers suck. I rarely read more than
    3-5hours per week. It's just I come from a family of copy editors, and
    they've seemed to rub off on me.

    As for foot position, I think the tire helps more. The fact that both
    feet push at the same point helps focus my hopping, and also the snap of
    the tire seems to take some power away in the initial kick, but double
    it 1/100 of a second later...


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  16. billham

    billham Guest

    onetrack wrote:
    > *
    >
    > I however, find that a tire hinders my hopping ability. think about
    > when you push off. What happens? the tire will take some of your
    > pushing force, as it squishes under your weight. a tire dosen't act
    > like a trampoline, more like a shock absorber.
    >
    > -mike *



    Watch the pros in slow motion and you'll see how they compress the tire
    and hesitate until it rebounds and pushes back up. It does act like a
    trampoline, but a very quick one. Timing is very important here. Just
    a slight pause to keep the tire from acting like a shock and to allow it
    to give a push upwards.

    Pump up your tire with lots of air and try hopping. Then lower the
    pressure for a bouncy tire and try hopping again. I think that'll help
    you see how the tire can help you. a softer tire is easier for a less
    experienced rider to hop and take advantage of the compression.

    I went out again today and did some trials. Only missed my 13" hopp a
    couple times. it seemed pretty easy after working on a higher hop
    yesterday. I had on all my protective gear and got more aggressive on
    gaps. I had one that was from a 17" high platforn onto a 13" platform.
    I figured the height would give me more incentive to commit more to the
    gap. You know, higher risk, better make it! Gap was about 30" and I
    was trying to do it jumping forward, not to the side. I tried twice,
    almost made it twice. Almost doesn't work very well, especially when
    jumping forward. Tire rolls done the side of pallets very quickly.
    Wrist protectors were great to have on since I slapped both hands on the
    pallet on both falls. My back is getting a little tight now, probably
    from those falls. Overall everything seems okay. Nothing a little
    stretching a few Motrin can't fix.

    Didn't work on any extra height, but did do some other hopping that felt
    pretty solid. Tried a seat out hop....total failure and very awkward.
    Gonna take some work. This thread had encouraged me to be more
    aggressive on my trials effots today. Thanks to all.

    By the way, if I get hurt being more aggressive, I won't blame you!
    :p

    Later

    Bill


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  17. The Munieer

    The Munieer Guest

    Bill, you said you wanted to keep that seat up high. I did too. I kept
    it up to benefit the knee. I have recently figured out, lowering my
    seat 3/4" made a big difference in how I hopped and landed my drops.
    For trials, I run it this low.

    In the real world of MUni, I end up riding at the higher height and if
    I hit a spot in the trail, I want to work on, I lower the seat. I think
    most people would think this cumbersome and inefficient, but it works
    for me. I hop with seat in all the time, but started working on seat
    out, until I pulled too hard with bad timing and screwed up my back for
    a while. It's getting better though.

    Got a connect on some pallets at my school. Will pick up 6 next week to
    start this stuff in the back yard. Hope to follow suit.

    Keep up the good work gentlemen!


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    Rod Wylie


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  18. billham

    billham Guest

    Rod

    I don't have a quick release on my MUni so the change on the trail won't
    work with my present set up. I wish the seat was higher for overall
    trail riding, so I feel I've got a seat height to stick with for a
    compromise. Just for the fun of it, I may drop the seat a little
    sometime and try it.

    My lower back tends to tighten up and bother me. I sit at a desk a lot
    at work and that makes it even worse. I have found the uni riding very
    helpful in strengthening the back and keeping it stretched out. That is
    of course until I over do it or injure it riding. Only had one time
    that I hurt my back enough that it required some time away from riding
    to recover. Uni has been good to my back.

    Back to your back, glad to hear you are getting better.

    As soon as I get access to gallery on my account, I'll post some
    pictures of my trials set up. It's growing into a fair amount of
    stuff.

    Bill


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  19. The Munieer

    The Munieer Guest


    > I don't have a quick release on my MUni so the change on the trail
    > won't work with my present set up.




    Bill,

    I actually don't use a quick release. I just keep an alan wrench in my
    short's pocket. A quick grab in, pull it out, twirl it around like a
    gunfighter and then loosen and tighten. Then back into the pocket.
    Constant loosening and tightening may may eventually wear down the
    threads in the seatpost collar. So, I keep them greased and carry a
    spare in my hydration bag, should it cease to grip the seatpost.


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