Are Pogo Sticks the New SkateBoard?
Our guest blogger, Emily Swan, graduated with highest honors from Butler University in Indianapolis. After school, she worked in public relations for Borders Group Inc, the book, music, and movie retailer. She's since jumped the PR fence and now works as a freelance writer. An avid science junkie, we hope you'll enjoy her quirky (and sometimes philosophical) takes on modern gadgets. Emily introduces us to next generation of pogo sticks.
Here's Emily's article for AmericanInventorSpot.com:
What happens when you cross an eight time World Cup skateboard champion with an inventor who has a degree in physics from MIT? Just ask Andy MacDonald, a.k.a. Andy Mac, and Bruce Middleton.
For the past few years, the two unlikely cohorts collaborated on the most extreme pogo stick ever invented. In 2004, they released the Flybar 1200, a pogo capable of propelling humans five to eight feet in the air, and late this summer they released a nimbler version, the Flybar 800.
What can the Flybar 800 do for you? If your weight lies between 80 and 180 pounds, it springs you four to six feet in the air for about $200.00. No, it doesn't do much to improve the earth or the lives of other people, but it sure is cool. And the price tag makes it a viable holiday gift option for kids ages 12 and up.
Since the pogo stick was patented in 1919, it's operated on a system of steel coil springs. The springs create elastic potential energy and then convert that energy into kinetic energy, blasting the jumper a few inches into the air. In other words, the coils condense with the weight of the jumper and expand in a burst of energy.
Flybar technology changed the whole pogo mechanical foundation. Instead of condensing springs, the Flybar stretches thick rubber bands, called thrusters, when gravity and the weight of the jumper beckon them downwards. The thrusters then release so that the jumper shoots upwards, like rubber bands being shot toward the ceiling. The Flybar uses multiple thrusters, with a recommended ratio of one thruster per 20 pounds. Flybar 800 has eight thrusters; Flybar 1200 has 12.
Extreme sports fanatics have embraced the enhanced pogo stick, to the point of organizing an annual Pogopalooza where jumpers compete in various events. It's more mature than Tigger, more contemporary (and realistic) than Flubber, and a hundred times more fun than the pogo ball I cherished in the 1980s.
For Harry Potter fans, it's no Nimbus 2000, but it's as close as we come to solo flying for under $250.00. See Flybar here.