The Human Slingshot
October 21, 2011 1:02 PM   Subscribe

This is THE original human slingshot developed by the Pope family in Hobble Creek Canyon, UT. Just a couple posts and some bungee cords. Filmed with Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 7D.
posted by Surfin' Bird (63 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
I see that sort of thing and always wonder who was crazy enough to try it first. Looks like some fun, though.
posted by jquinby at 1:04 PM on October 21, 2011


Awesome and scary as hell.
posted by oddman at 1:05 PM on October 21, 2011


Wile E. Coyote at it's finest.

I bet there is an ACME sticker somewhere on that thing.
posted by stormpooper at 1:06 PM on October 21, 2011


All fun and games until the neighbors across the back fence had the same idea.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 1:07 PM on October 21, 2011


I'll take 2 please
posted by photoslob at 1:07 PM on October 21, 2011


I'm somewhat disappointed that it doesn't actually launch its victims -- they bounce back and forth. I'm not saying that's not great, just that it would be even more amazing if it were launching them into a lake. Even better, launching them off a cliff for some truly spectacular BASE jumping.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:09 PM on October 21, 2011


Humans... Still monkeys at heart.
posted by monospace at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


There's a safer approach to filming those sort of facial expressions.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Someone's gonna get hurt!
posted by ericb at 1:11 PM on October 21, 2011


"Developed by the Pope family"

How many family members did they have to go through before it was "just right".
posted by greenhornet at 1:12 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


They're using multiple bungee cords, so if one fails, you have others for redundancy. That said, it looks like they're stringing cords from one pole to the other, and they have a locking carabiner around all the cords, and then that's attached to a harness.

This has an advantage of being self equalizing. The "sling-ee" will stay centered on the cords (provided that the 4-wheeler doesn't veer too far off course. A downside of this method is that once a cord fails, it's totally out of the equation. If they ran cords from the poles and fixed them at the carabiner rather than just running them through, that would add redundancy (but at the cost of equalization).

Also, I'd appreciate a second locking carabiner on the harness. The way this thing is getting flung around makes it kinda easy for the carabiner to rotate on the harness and then it can become cross loaded (with the forces acting perpendicular to the gate rather than axially along the spine of the carabiner. Looking at this carabiner, for example, you see that the strength is 25kN (about 5600 pounds) axially with the gate closed, but that strength is reduced to 7 kN (about 1,500 pounds) when it's cross loaded. That's not enough margin of safety for me to feel super comfy about this setup.

There's also issues with the cords coming in contact with the trees. That's not a problem really for just one contact, but repeated contact is going to wear down that cord. Frequent inspection is necessary (and I've seen videos of this same setup at this location for years, so I'm sure they've gone through more than one set of cords), or just trim the trees back.

That said, where do I sign up?
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:15 PM on October 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


What could possibly go wrong?
posted by dabug at 1:18 PM on October 21, 2011


I'm somewhat disappointed that it doesn't actually launch its victims -- they bounce back and forth. I'm not saying that's not great, just that it would be even more amazing if it were launching them into a lake. Even better, launching them off a cliff for some truly spectacular BASE jumping.

Human paddle ball, anyone?
posted by fijiwriter at 1:24 PM on October 21, 2011


I. Need. To. Do. This.
posted by dazed_one at 1:25 PM on October 21, 2011


I see this in a certain subset of the posts here on MeFi and elswhere, and it always makes me wonder, "Filmes with camera XYZ" -- why could it possibly matter? Whould the properties of The Original Human Slingshot change somehow if it was filmed with some other camera? Or are we missing something vital if we do not know what brand of underwear the photografer was wearing while operating said camera?
Just seems so random...
posted by c13 at 1:28 PM on October 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


FilmeD, damn it...


Written on my iPad.
posted by c13 at 1:29 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Absolutely not. But I'll watch you go. Let me hold onto your wallet, k?
posted by sacrifix at 1:32 PM on October 21, 2011


It's all fun and games until somebody gets impaled on a tree. But it sure looks like there's a lot of fun to be had until then!
posted by EvaDestruction at 1:37 PM on October 21, 2011


It's all fun and games until somebody gets impaled on a tree.

In fairness, this is also true of money knifefights.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:37 PM on October 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Filmes with camera XYZ" -- why could it possibly matter?
..because someone might as well try to re-create that; and, YES, it will look different if recorded with, let's say, iphone 3gs.
posted by Surfin' Bird at 1:38 PM on October 21, 2011


"I see this in a certain subset of the posts here on MeFi and elswhere, and it always makes me wonder, "Filmes with camera XYZ" -- why could it possibly matter? Whould the properties of The Original Human Slingshot change somehow if it was filmed with some other camera? Or are we missing something vital if we do not know what brand of underwear the photografer was wearing while operating said camera?
Just seems so random..."

I, too, hate it when extra information is provided without my demanding it.

In all seriousness, I thought the camera work was quite good in that video and knowing what kind of camera made that possible is interesting. At least to me.
posted by dazed_one at 1:38 PM on October 21, 2011


why could it possibly matter?

Some of us are photographers and curious about this kind of thing. More often than not it doesn't matter, but occasionally the camera's abilities are a part of what makes it cool (underwater stuff, motion control images, camera mounted to unusual places like bumpers and skateboards, cameras being stolen by animals, etc). Specifically, it becomes a question of "Could I do that with what I've got?"

posted by quin at 1:38 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Looking at this carabiner, for example, you see that the strength is 25kN (about 5600 pounds) axially with the gate closed, but that strength is reduced to 7 kN (about 1,500 pounds) when it's cross loaded. That's not enough margin of safety for me to feel super comfy about this setup.

1,500lb rating/250lb max rider gives you a safety factor of 6, on top of whatever safety factor they used in publishing the cross load on the carabiner (probably 2-3, minimum?).

In other words LETS DO THIS THING.
posted by pjaust at 1:43 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some of us are photographers and curious about this kind of thing.

I gues.. To me it's like congratulating a chef for a great meal and inquiring what brand of skillet he used. To each his own, I suppose.
posted by c13 at 1:47 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


THIS! This is what they've gotta put on those big billboards that say, "I'm a MORMON"

And, Joseph Smith help me how I loathe anything that has anything to do with ATV's. Vile, horrible, ridiculous invention.
posted by alex_skazat at 1:50 PM on October 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Aww snap.
posted by Mister Fabulous at 1:50 PM on October 21, 2011


i went from 'holy shit that looks scary' to 'holy shit that looks fun' to 'holy shit, i wish i had a backyard like that (mountains/greenery)'.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 1:52 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


also, that video is already making me miss summer.
posted by fuzzypantalones at 1:52 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cool idea, but this stinks of virality.
posted by pyrex at 1:52 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tip 1: pretty good chance any random good-looking-but-not-crazy-high-end-professional-thing-intended-for-web will have been shot on either a Canon 5D or 7D.

Tip 2: the shots in slow mo are the 7D shots.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:53 PM on October 21, 2011


The 60D works pretty good as well...
posted by quin at 1:56 PM on October 21, 2011


The quick intercuts of a lion sitting on what appears to be the same lawn are strange. I guess this family also own a lion?

Also, of all those quick shots of people, one immediately jumped out. I thought, "I like this person. I trust him." Which seemed odd. Then I realized he looks exactly like Chief Tyrol.
posted by gilrain at 2:00 PM on October 21, 2011


"To me it's like congratulating a chef for a great meal and inquiring what brand of skillet he used."

Why wouldn't you? I mean, asking about a skillet (cast iron or non-stick?) is only likely to produce mildly interesting answers, but asking whether unusual tools were used is interesting (it's also interesting to found out that a common tool was used in an unusual way).
posted by oddman at 2:03 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


pyrex: Cool idea, but this stinks of virality.

Which would be bad because... it might get too popular? Too many people will watch it? Or are you saying you think it might be an ad for... Canon? A theme park? The Circus and Fair Kinetic Entertainment Guild of Operators?
posted by gilrain at 2:05 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is THE original human slingshot

Yeah, yeah, every town claims they have the "original" human slingshot. Nobody really knows for sure these days.
posted by Spatch at 2:08 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


> but this stinks of virality.

For what? Canon?

More likely, it's for this creator for self promotion. You know, which is why he plugs his camera gear and editing skills in the video as well. I'm guessing he does promo sports / action videography, and was able to get some of those friends he's worked with in Utah together to shoot something over an afternoon this summer.
posted by mrzarquon at 2:16 PM on October 21, 2011


Danger Country.

Do you know how long it takes a rescue helicopter to get up a canyon like that to pick up someone with a broken back? I've lived in Utah, so I do.
posted by The World Famous at 2:25 PM on October 21, 2011


I want to go to there.
posted by genekelly'srollerskates at 2:26 PM on October 21, 2011


Needs one unedited shot start to finish. Could be POV or not, but just a shot to see the process from sprung to sprang.
posted by Sailormom at 2:27 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is THE original human slingshot...

Also, this bit makes it sound like part of the Hammacher & Schlemmer section of Skymall, which is precisely where I'd expect to see it, next to the ion generators and hot dog toaster thing.
posted by jquinby at 2:32 PM on October 21, 2011


Does anybody know what brand of capes they were wearing?
posted by mannequito at 2:35 PM on October 21, 2011


Sailormom: Needs one unedited shot start to finish.

Here's a video from 2007 of the slingshot in action. Far less polished, though!
posted by zsazsa at 2:48 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Zowie. Not what I was expecting at all -- and it is awesome.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:51 PM on October 21, 2011


Totally meets my personal number one rule about non-airplane related flight which is 'never fly higher than you're willing to fall.'
posted by Standeck at 3:03 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


"The quick intercuts of a lion sitting on what appears to be the same lawn are strange."

Thank you for that, I've never been able to say that I knew someone that couldn't tell a lion from a dog, now I can! :)
posted by HuronBob at 3:45 PM on October 21, 2011


Also, this bit makes it sound like part of the Hammacher & Schlemmer section of Skymall

All of skymall does this. It's kind Of brilliant because it suggests you've heard of these ridiculous products before and have finally located where to buy them. "Oh this is THE fake boulder survailence camera I've been hearing so much about."
posted by nathancaswell at 3:47 PM on October 21, 2011


Does anybody know what brand of capes they were wearing?

A+.
posted by nathancaswell at 3:48 PM on October 21, 2011


Are we sure this isn't an ad for Levis or something? Who cares what camera they used?, it looks like all the other stuff shot on digital cameras.
posted by ReeMonster at 3:52 PM on October 21, 2011


That's a beautiful yard and slingshot. I would have a watermelon and pumpkin patch and use the slingshot to fire them at the nice rock face.
posted by Frank Grimes at 3:58 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who cares what camera they used?, it looks like all the other stuff shot on digital cameras.

Virtually everything on youtube was shot with a digital video camera. It does not all look the same.
posted by The World Famous at 4:00 PM on October 21, 2011


Enough with the camera derail, I demand a pedantic derail.

Is it really a slingshot if it's all sling and no shot?
posted by auto-correct at 4:05 PM on October 21, 2011


Is it really a slingshot if it's all sling and no shot?

Excellent point. It's not actually a slingshot. This is a human slingshot.
posted by The World Famous at 4:22 PM on October 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


To all the questions about why the cameras are mentioned...

These are still cameras that shoot cinema-esque footage at a fraction of the price. When the 5D Mark II entered the market, its seemingly gimmicky video feature brought about one of the most tantalizing revolutions in quite a while. (Especially for struggling retailers.)

So anyway, as people shot and edited footage with these cameras, they began touting their ability to shoot breathtaking footage on a budget. It's sorta the photography world's equivalent of starting a tech company out of a garage.

At this point, that little stamp doesn't mean a heckuva lot. Anyone who cares already knows it's possible to get that kind of footage for less than 3-grand (or 2-grand in the case of the 7D). But a lot of people are still getting into models like this for the first time, so it remains a ubiquitous thing.

It's worked out really well for Canon, but they're not some kind of shadowy force behind the call-out. They even got a reputation for doing a shit job of embracing these call-outs early on.

Alright. I think that wraps it up. Carry on, thread.
posted by pokermonk at 4:25 PM on October 21, 2011


Anyone who cares already knows it's possible to get that kind of footage for less than 3-grand (or 2-grand in the case of the 7D)

Wrong. The 7D is a cropped sensor. The 5D M2 is still the only 35mm sensor for the buck. The next step up is the RED system, but then you looking at over $10,000.

There are those among us that feel Canon's reluctance to release an update to the 5DM2 is actually a conspiracy because they know the price will plummet the day after they make its successor public.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 6:39 PM on October 21, 2011


Wrong. The 7D is a cropped sensor.

That doesn't make him wrong.
posted by nathancaswell at 6:50 PM on October 21, 2011


There are those among us that feel Canon's reluctance to release an update to the 5DM2 is actually a conspiracy because they know the price will plummet the day after they make its successor public.

That's not what "conspiracy" means.
posted by The World Famous at 6:52 PM on October 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


AHHHH I WANT NOTHING TO DO WITH THAT SLINGSHOT AND I WANT TO RIDE IT AT THE SAME TIME HELP
posted by Turkey Glue at 9:00 PM on October 21, 2011


Love their stone cottage.

justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow, I too clicked on the link expecting launching.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:29 PM on October 21, 2011


Oh my gosh. How can I get on that. Now.
posted by bendy at 9:31 PM on October 21, 2011


This brings memories flooding back! There was a book I read as a kid, where this family of orphans are living by themselves, impersonating family members to be able to still live together as a family, instead of being split up and adopted out. They build a contraption which is a board, a track and bungee cord to launch kids out over the lake.

The first time they try it the victim gets splinters all up his chest! Ouch. They then sand down the board really well and make it smooth, and charge the neighbouring kids to ride (to earn cash to stay alive), and it's going really well until some kid lands funny and breaks his arm.
posted by titanium_geek at 11:03 PM on October 21, 2011


Oh that looks fun! Took a ride on a zip-line a few years ago, zigzagging back and forth across a river. It was a blast, and this goes even faster!
posted by dorey_oh at 11:11 PM on October 21, 2011


I'm somewhat disappointed that it doesn't actually launch its victims -- they bounce back and forth. I'm not saying that's not great, just that it would be even more amazing if it were launching them into a lake.

Kinda like this?

[...apologies for the overly slick, heavily commercialized vibe]
posted by marsha56 at 5:51 AM on October 22, 2011


That looks unsafe. Typed with an Apple® MacBook™ Pro.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 12:35 PM on October 22, 2011


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