Jumping stilts might seem like a new invention, but in fact they have been in the making for nearly two centuries. An urban legend from the 1830’s left an impression in the minds of men that has finally been realized in a modern day sport called power bocking.
Spring-heeled Jack, a character from 1837 folklore, was said to jump inhuman lengths around the streets of England. Controversy arose whether this was true or not. The final verdict, if it was true surely it was made possible by a spring loaded contraption strapped to the feet. While one would think that the story ends here it would only be the beginning.
Toys to Soldiers to Doctors
Evidently the desire to jump high and far was widespread. Over the next 150 years everyone from toy makers to soldiers would try to develop a Spring-heeled Jack contraption. In the 1950’s toy makers would create moon shoes that were supposed to let children bounce about carefree. The result would become an ankle breaking disaster and they were quickly taken off the market. Twenty years later the Russian army would take a stab at it with rocket boots. They abandoned their attempts nearly as quickly as the toy makers.
Doctors were also smitten by the idea. They realized this was a great invention for those recovering from an injury. Athletes with foot, ankle, and knee injuries have rehabilitated injuries on shoes inspired by the same spring-loaded fable.
Finally, in the new millenia, engineers and inventors have finally gotten it right. Today there are jumping stilts, a combination of painters stilts and high performance foot prosthetic. It has allowed a person the stability and mechanism to jump and leap the fabled inhuman lengths of Spring-heeled Jack himself.
The sport of power bocking is a creation of today’s Extreme Jumping Stilts. The athletes involved in the sport are able to jump, leap, twist, and flip several feet in the air. The sport and the equipment is fairly new and is developing rapidly. While there are only a few competitions held around the world the number is steadily growing. The number of manufacturers that create jumping stilts is also increasing. It is sure to become one of the most dynamic of extreme sports.
Luckily, you do not have to be an extreme athlete to use jumping stilts. With a little balance and a little practice almost anyone can have a lot of fun bouncing about. It is a great cardiovascular activity that is also kind on the joints.