Home » Learn » The Roller Skate Dad Podcast » Getting Started Roller Skating – Part 14 – Doing the Bunny Hop – 031

Getting Started Roller Skating – Part 14 – Doing the Bunny Hop – 031

In today’s episode, I talk about the very first artistic roller skating jump that everyone learns – the Bunny Hop. This simple jump has no revolutions and is done going completely forwards.

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Episode 31 Transcript

[0:00] Hey everybody, Welcome to the roller skate Dad podcast.

[0:06] This is episode # 31.

[0:10] Let’s get started.

[0:14] Welcome to the Roller skate Dad podcast, the show that covers everything and anything in the wonderful world of roller skating.
Now, here’s your host, the roller skate dad himself, Jeff stone.
Hey everybody, Welcome to the roller skate Dad podcast. I’m so glad you all could join me today. Thanks for being here today. We’re going to continue the getting started roller skating series and we’re going to discuss doing the bunny hop.
This is the first of two beginner artistic skating jumps that I’m going to be teaching you in this series.
But before we get started, I want to do a quick recap on the whole getting started roller skating series for those of you who may be Just joining us here in episode 31.
We have a lot of other episodes before this one, if you have not heard them.
And so I wanted to just give a quick rundown of those.
So, first I talked about getting in the right skaters mindset, so you know, believing you can do this, that you got this.
The next episode was about picking out your first pair of roller skates. There actually were two episodes on that topic, then we went over making sure you have the right safety equipment.

[1:37] Then I went over things like roller skating basics, like falling down and how to properly get up from the ground.
The next episode then was about 10 different ways to stop on roller skates.
Then we discussed skating forwards without falling down.
Next, we went over balance, standing on one ft and doing crossovers.
Then we discussed skating backwards for the first time.
Next, we discussed doing backwards crossovers. Then we talked all about doing two ft turns, and last week we discussed how to do one ft turns.

[2:15] Man, that’s a lot. So today we’re going to talk about ratcheting it up A level and discussing how to do a bunny hop.
So this is the first jump that I ever learned how to do on my roller skates.
It’s also the first jump that we taught every skater in our advanced group lessons at my old skating rink back in Arlington texas.
Well, it was actually in Grand Prairie texas, but it was in Arlington texas named former Roller World, it’s actually still there.
And um so yeah, shout out to form roller World if anybody from there is listening, I haven’t been there in a long time. I need to actually head back up to the Dallas area and go check it out, say hi to say hi to folks up there.

[3:03] So when I skated there, in order to get out of the advanced group lessons and move into private lessons with the skating coaches there, you had to be able to do this jump,
and you had to be able to do a waltz jump And you had to be able to do a 2-foot spin to move into the private artistic lessons.
And that led to competition basically after you got into the private lessons, you learn more advanced jumps and spins and then you started competing against other skaters from other skating rings.
And we used to travel all over the place, you know Nebraska and,
Oklahoma and Arkansas and all kinds of places to compete in different skating meets, which was fun, lots of stories there, maybe I’ll do an episode on that at some point, so we’re gonna do,
the bunny hop in this week’s lesson, and then next week I’m going to cover the waltz jump.

[4:06] And then I’ll wrap up this whole series on getting started roller skating the following week,
with some two ft spins, then I’m going to add a few more episodes on the end of this, that will kind of be like an addendum to the, getting started roller skating series, some extra episodes,
and you know, have some on the different roller sports because once you really can skate and you can skate pretty well and you can do some kind of,
advanced things and balance isn’t really your thing anymore if you really want to progress any further and do more and that’s really where roller sports come in.
So we’ll talk some about that or you can just be a rink rat, like a lot of us and just skate every week. You know, you just go skating and have a good time. A lot of people do that.
A lot of people never get into a roller sport. No big deal if, if that’s not you, if you don’t want to do that, but there’s a lot of people out there listening to me who, who do, you know, play roller derby, roller hockey, do some artistic skating.
Speed skating is huge. Hopefully one day it’ll be in the olympics, jam skating, rhythm skating, there’s all kinds of different.

[5:15] Roller sports out there, so we’ll spend an episode or two talking about that and then I’m going to do a few episodes on just basic roller skate maintenance, rollerblade maintenance because that’s something that everyone should know how to do.
You know, just some basic stuff to take care of your skates.
So anyway, that’s what’s coming up in the next month or two month and a half, I guess, I’d say.
Um, so something to look forward to there. But alright, let’s get started.
Let’s talk about doing this two ft jump because that’s really what it is to get started.
I really, I’m going to jump into a bunny hop, but first I want you to just practice jumping on your skates.
I’m sure some of you out there have already tried this, even those beginners out there, but we just want to practice doing some two ft jumps. What’s a two ft jump.

[6:07] It means jumping on your skates and landing. That’s it. It’s pretty simple.
So to get started, you know, we’re going to practice some two ft jumps.
Oh yeah, you know, this is fun stuff. I mean this is where the fun comes in, right?
So, you know, these are pretty simple to do. What you’re gonna do is just spring up off both of your feet and land back safely on both feet.
And so we’re going to start with this jump, you know, before we get into the bunny hop, mainly because there’s some of you out there that have never probably jumped on your skates, jumped up and down before on your roller skates.
So you know, if that’s you then this first exercise I hope is going to be fun, you know, for for those of you who have never done this before, you know, to do this correctly, you want to make sure that you land on all eight wheels,
pretty solidly and that you don’t lean too far forward on your toe stops or God forbid, lean too far backwards, Right?
So you want to be upright, right, slight, lean forward, slight is the key word there.

[7:11] So more than anything, don’t lean backwards when you’re when you’re jumping that would be really bad.
Falling backwards is no fun. So don’t do that.
So everything with this jump just goes straight up and straight back down. It’s pretty easy.
So to do this start by rolling forward on both your skates have your feet a little less than shoulder width apart, make sure your knees are bent, right?
As always, put your arms out at the side, a little T formation, bend your knees until you’re in kind of like a half squat position, right?
Maybe a full squad if you really want to get some air and then what you’re going to do is just leap quickly, extend your knees and jump up off the ground, you know, try to jump up off the ground at least an inch, right, a couple of inches, right?
Make sure all your wheels come off the ground and then you want to land on both skates and just remember to bend your knees as you land.

[8:09] God don’t land straight legged, right, keep your knees a little bent when you come down to land and when you’re hot, remember not to push your chest forward or your hips forward, just keep everything nice and easy up and down, right?
You know, just practice this over and over again as you know, the other skills I’ve taught you, you know, focused first on getting just a small amount of height,
and then work mostly on balance, and then as you get better, try to get a little higher, right and go a little faster each time you practice.
So, you know, go a little faster as your skate a little faster before you jump right or try to bend down further and jump higher.
I know this may sound silly to some of you who probably like I can hop on my skates. That’s not a big deal. But there’s there actually are quite a lot of skaters out there, beginners who this series is really geared towards who have never.

[9:04] Really jumped on their skates before, and that can be quite frightening, especially when you’ve just learned how to balance.
So if you’re struggling, here’s a few things you know, first, make sure you can make sure you can jump without your skates on.
I think that goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway, so, you know, take the skates off, go to a nice carpet area and just practice right?
Almost every jump I ever did on roller skates, I first learned how to do on the carpet, Everyone, almost every single one, maybe the bunny hop was the only exception that I’m about to teach you here.
But even that you can practice on the carpet, waltz jump.
I probably didn’t learn on carpet first because these are all fairly simple jumps in comparison to the harder jumps that come.
But toe loops, South cows.

[9:58] Flips, axles, double axels, double flips, double loops, you know, I didn’t never got into triples, but doing doubles and things like that, we always practiced those without skates on because you’re practicing the technique,
you’re practicing the hand movement, the arm movement, how your legs wrapped.
This is for more advanced jumps I’m talking about.
So don’t feel bad ever about practicing something on the carpet or on the grass. Very advanced skaters.
Practice all the things I’m talking about on carpet or grass without skates on everyone.
Everyone that is any, it was ever any good anyway, has done this stuff without their skates on.
Now, granted it may be more advanced stuff than what we’re talking about here. But still that the.

[10:49] The series of steps is still the same. So anyway, don’t feel bad about that.
That’s the most important thing. I don’t want folks feeling bad because there not quite at the level that maybe somebody else is at. That’s the whole point of this podcast and the whole point of this blog quite honestly, is to try to push people past that.
I can’t do this mode and you can do this.
You know, you just maybe at a different level than others and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with that. We all start somewhere.
So, so yeah, don’t, don’t feel bad if you have to go practice this without your skates on, you know, and get good at being able to jump up and down without your skates on and keep your balance Right?
What does that mean? I can stand on my two ft, I can jump up in the air, I land back down and I don’t bobble right, I land firmly and that feels good and I feel confident in being able to do that.

[11:41] And then once you can do that, put your skates back on, go practice doing the two ft jump that we just talked about without rolling, right?
You can put your skates back on, get on the carpet or the grass again, and and just keep practicing doing that two ft jump with your skates on.
The other thing you can do is make sure you put your arms out to the side. I say this almost every episode, right.
Use your arms, they’re your friends use your arms for balance and put them out in like a T. Formation out to the side and it’s you know, a very common look for artistic skaters.
So again, don’t feel like you’re weird if you’re practicing this in a skating rink and you’re like oh I gotta put my arms out to my side, you should be putting your arms out to your side when you’re doing jumps and spins, that’s what artistic skaters do.
So if you want to look cool and look like an art skater and a figure skater,
put your arms out to the side right, plus it really helps with balance, so I’m not telling you to do this stuff because it looks cool, even though I think it does, I’m telling you to do it because it helps. So.
And you know, I know that feels weird at first because nobody else at the rink is probably doing that, you know, putting their arms out to the side, but you know, once you can do it without and with skates on, you know, you can do that two ft jump.

[12:56] You know, then you move to the skating surface, start rolling and do the jump there and you should be able to nail it, then you should be able to do that two ft jump up on to, you know, jump off two ft, land back down,
so now that you can, you know, safely do that two ft jump, we’re going to we’re going to jump into the bunny hop,
So this is the first jump that most figure skaters learn, it’s because it’s the easiest, there’s no revolutions, it’s all rolling forward.
Um some would actually argue, I probably should have done this episode before the one ft turn episode because it,
probably is going to be easier for most people to do than a one ft turn, but it’s, you know, this bunny hop, it’s taught to new skaters as their first jump and you know, after the two ft jump,
up in the air, this jump also, you know, like I said, it doesn’t require any revolutions in the air, so you don’t have to turn your body or anything like that,
that will be for next week when we talk about the waltz jump, so you do this jump, you know, completely going forwards, no backwards skating’s or turns are necessary,
and just like the last jump, the, you know, two ft jump, you’re going to start by rolling forward on both feet.

[14:09] And you’re gonna make sure your knees are bent, your feet are a little less than shoulder width apart, put your arms out to the side and that T formation that we just talked about now, what you’re gonna do is you’re going to lift your right foot up and stand skating forward on your left foot,
and you want the skate with the toes on of, you know, you want your right skate.

[14:31] You want it pointing up, So you want to skate with the toes of your right skate pointing up and your heel pointing down, right with your right leg outstretched in front of you,
and this is actually going to help you with skating forward on the left foot with some balance, alright?
So if you find that tough, you can have the inner part of your right thigh, rest a little on the inner part of your left thigh, so it’s just kind of like a rest in your leg there and you can bend your left knee.

[15:05] You know, you want to bend your left knee at this next step and jump up off the ground on.

[15:13] So you’re next going to land on your right toe stop, and then you’re going to quickly push off this toe, stop And back on to all four wheels of your left skate.

[15:24] So that’s what the bunny hop is.
So basically you’re skating forward on that left foot, you jump to the right toe stop, and then you push off the toe stop onto your left skate.

[15:39] And this is why it’s called a bunny hop, it’s a little hop from your left foot to your right and then back to your left.

[15:46] Now obviously if you don’t have toe stops or you’re wearing roller blades,
it’s gonna be hard to do this jump, but you can still you just have to do it without the toe stops, so it’s going to look a little more like you’re just jumping from your left leg to your right leg, back to your left leg.
But the idea here is is that when you go from your left.

[16:07] To your right to your left, that’s basically the jump.
So instead I practice just hopping right, if you don’t have toe stops, you can just practice hopping from your left foot then to your right and then quickly back to your left because that’s kind of what it looks like.
It’s like you’re skating on your left, you put your right leg out in front of you, you jump off the left, land on the toe, stop,
quickly push off to the left, so you’re on your right foot for less time than your on your left foot. And so it’s just a little hot.
So if you’re struggling with that jump, you know, no worries, it’s a you know, it’s a lot of feet shuffling for you know, for some people it can be easier to practice this without skates on again,
you know for others it really helps to just keep practicing. Honestly.
I know it’s a lot of I know it’s a lot of feet shuffling you know, but I know you can do it too,
so you know you take the skates off and you can always go practice on the carpet or grass, you know, stand on your left foot flat footed, have the right foot extended in front of you with the heel down and your toes pointing up,
put your arms out in that t position, jump off the left leg, so bend down, jump up off the left leg, land up on the toes of your right foot once you land push off the toes on your right foot,
and step or jump.

[17:25] To your left foot, that’s it, that’s really it.
That’s the whole jump, you know, And then you can put your skates back on and, you know, do the exact same sequence without rolling.
You know, you could practice doing that in the grass, for instance, without rolling, and then, you know, so do it without skates, do it without rolling, and then go to rolling.
That’s pretty much the tips of every jump, or every major thing that you’re trying to learn how to do.
If you’re trying to do it on skates, you can’t do it, take the skates off, go to the carpet or the grass.
Practice it without your skates on, then put your skates on, practice it in the grass without, you know, with your skates on, then move to the surface that allows you to roll and that’s.

[18:11] That’s pretty much how you can, you can practice a lot of things.
So anyway, why are bunny hops? Good to learn some of you out there might be like, yeah, you’re starting to get to some stuff, I’m not really that interested in learning and I get that and if that’s you, that’s okay, you know, you know, even if figure skating is not in your future,
I still think bunny hops are still super useful as I’ve discussed in previous episodes, you know, you can really use bunny hops as a way to dodge debris,
you know, cracks rocks, you know, when you’re skating outdoors, you know, there’s all this debris that’s around and I also, you know, have used a version of them to quickly pivot and change directions.

[18:54] So I think really any move that teaches you how to quickly change feet or move side to side is going to help you with avoiding obstacles or people that’s just been my experience as an art skater,
you know, so it’s a good skill to learn and one that most skaters can do with a little bit of practice, I feel.
So, you know, bunny hops primarily used in artistic skating as a way to gain speed. It’s also used to gain height and distance and it’s sometimes used as a start into a combination of jumps.
So, you know, you’ll do a little bunny hop and then go,
into an axle, for instance, an axle, just so you know, is where you jump off your left foot,
you spin counterclockwise, 1.5 revolutions in the air and you learn, and you land skating backwards on your right foot on the outside edge.

[19:51] So that’s what an axle is and it’s a,
super advanced jump, not planning on teaching anyone here in this, getting started roller skating series how to do an axel, but that’s,
that’s how you do an axle or an explanation of what an axle is,
you know, and then once you land that axle, you know, or I’m sorry, once you do that bunny hop, you may, you know, turn and like do a sow cow or a flip right, which are other jumps in artistic skating.
So anyway, that’s that’s kind of how the bunny hop is used in artistic skating, you know, and if you’re struggling with this, you know, just keep with it, you know, you can do it, you know, and once you’re good at it, you can do a lot of bunny hops over and over again, right?
You can just, you can do them in sequence just like we’ve done two ft turns in sequence to do around the world, or one ft turns to do around the world in previous episodes this past few weeks, you can do lots of bunny hops,
over and over again, and when you do multiple bunny hops all at once, you’ll find it easier if you swing your arms side to side,
as you do each bunny hop.
And this will also help you to get more height and speed.

[21:02] And so you know, why would you do multiple? You know, I think it really helps you nail the trick and feel comfortable on your skates.
It also helps you gain more speed and height.
You know each time you’re doing one you can really pick up your speed and your height.
So it’s just important to remember to like with everything I’ve been teaching you artistic skating really starts with balance and so does basic roller skating,
but you know by being able to do the trick over and over again correctly, you can work on balance and shifting from one ft to the other while rolling forwards,
and every jump after this one really gets harder. You know?
That’s just important to understand like this is the easiest jump there is well the two ft jump is the easiest jump there is but this is the next easiest jump there is and you know, we’ll have, mm hmm.

[21:58] Almost every other jump is going to have some form of turn in it.
You know where you’re going to jump, you’re going to start while you’re rolling forward and you’re going to land backward, right.
And that’s what we’re going to talk about next week, you know the waltz jump which we’re going to learn, it’s just a half revolution jump u turn ah you’re skating forwards on your left foot, you jump,
turn half a turn counter clockwise and you land on your right foot going backwards, you know?
But that’s for next week we’ll talk about that next week.
All the other jumps after that are just more and more complicated.
So you know, you go half a revolution with the walls, jump axel is 1.5 revolutions, toe loop, sow cow flip, Those are one revolution jumps, and then each of those toluca flip.
Sow cow can be doubled, you can do double revolution, triple revolution.

[22:54] Quadruple revolution. I actually had a skating coach who could do a quad toe loop, which blew me away.
I mean, I know there’s a lot of ice, not a lot, but there’s world class ice skaters, figure skaters who can do quads and the olympics.
I’m sure there’s some folks out there maybe who are listening to me who can do quads on their roller skates. If you can send me a video, I will totally put you up on the website.
I would love to, I would love to showcase that.
And those are really crazy, but you know, by being able to do several bunny hops in a row, you can really work on shifting your weight,
you know, from left back to your right skate back to your left skate and that, you know, requires some balance and all these things, especially in the artistic skating world, require good balance.
So, alright, everybody, I think that’s another episode in the books. I hope you enjoyed it.
As you can tell, we’re really building up to harder skills next week, As I’ve said before, we’re going to talk about the waltz jump, it’s my favorite jump, super easy, at least for me, it’s still super easy and you know, this is the first jump that you’re going to do,
going from forward skating on one ft to backward skating on the other foot.
But that’s for next week. So stay tuned.

[24:17] If you wanna see a transcript of today’s episode or you want to get some more information about some of the things I discussed today, then. Check out the show notes, You can get those at Roller skate dad dot com slash 31.
Alright, everybody, I think that’s a wrap until the next time. Get on out there and skate.

[24:38] Thank you for listening to the Roller skate Dad podcast at www dot roller skate dad dot com.
If you liked what you heard today, please be sure to subscribe, rate and review the podcast on Apple podcasts, Spotify, google or wherever you’re listening.

Wrapping Up

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Jeff Stone

Jeff Stone started the website RollerSkateDad.com back in 2015. The site specializes in roller skate reviews and advice about skates and all things roller skating. When Jeff isn't skating with his two daughters Lily and Violet, he enjoys writing code, cooking, watching movies and hanging out with his wife Claire and their german shepherd, Electra.

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