Extreme Pogo Stick

Image credit: 

My younger daughter wants a pogo stick for her birthday. I hadn't even thought about pogo sticks since I was her age, and I never owned one. Pogo sticks have been around almost a hundred years, but of course, there have been improvements made on the basic model of my childhood. A pogo stick gives a mechanical boost to your hopping motion via kinetic energy stored in the spring. The best pogo sticks lifted you an extra foot. Building a better spring means the newer pogo sticks can jump higher than ever: five, six, even seven feet straight up! That's extreme pogo.

There are several brands of "next generation" pogo sticks. The Vurtego has a patented air spring system instead of the traditional metal coil spring. The smallest size is recommended for people who weigh at least 75 pounds.

The BowGo uses a bowed spring instead of a coil. The same principle is used for prosthetic legs for amputee runners. The BowGo is not yet commercially available, but even if it were, it's recommended for people who weigh 120 pounds or more.

The Flybar uses multiple rubber bands.  Fred Grzybowski used a Flybar to set the world record for pogo stick height at seven and a half feet! You can see him do it in this video. But it's more fun to watch Grzybowski demonstrate what someone with skill can do with a Flybar. I'm glad he sets an example by wearing a helmet.

Flybar's smaller model is recommended for people from 80 to 180 pounds.

Powerboks are to pogo sticks as skates are to skateboards; i.e. springs attached to each foot. Kangoo Jumps are another type of jumping boot.

All these extreme pogo sticks look like a lot of fun, but they're probably not appropriate for a 48 pound ten-year-old. I'm afraid something horrible like this will happen to her. Maybe I can interest her in a skateboard instead.

More from mental_floss...

May 12, 2008 - 3:02am
webby
submit to reddit