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The Up-and-Down Design Hurdles of Pogo
September 11, 2012 6:35 AM   Subscribe

For a few people, fascination with pogo sticks didn't end in childhood. The Smithsonian takes a look at the design challenges, and the sport, of modern pogo. They also provide a short video demonstrating these advances.

Yet unresolved: can any amount of engineering save the pogo ball from deserved obscurity?
posted by gilrain (20 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
Couldn't watch the video from behind my firewall, but I'm imagining this.
posted by DU at 6:44 AM on September 11, 2012


Yeesh. Really wanted one of this, unit:

He had bounced to heights of about five feet when the pressurized tube snapped. Its top half rocketed into his chin, pushing his four front teeth into his nose, shattering his jaw and almost completely severing his bottom lip.

ggaaaarepgfemsgpfsasdsaaaaaaaaargh get it away from me
posted by ominous_paws at 6:59 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


*until. gah.
posted by ominous_paws at 6:59 AM on September 11, 2012


T-rex trying...
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:07 AM on September 11, 2012


My fascination with pogo sticks lasted about 15 seconds.

At a department store with my parents, I wandered away into the toy aisle all alone and there it was, the first pogo stick I had ever seen outside of television. I jumped on it just once, bounced up, flipped backwards, bashed my head on the hard linoleum floor of the store, and ended up in the hospital with a concussion.

"Ooh! *sproing* *bang* Where am I?"
posted by pracowity at 7:31 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think it's cool. I guess if it takes off (hah), architects will have to start thinking about anti-pogoing street furniture design.
posted by carter at 8:02 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


Modern pogo sticks can jump pretty high, and folks do some really crazy tricks. Of course, while learning to do this, like any kind of stunt, they'll take a lot of spills. A whole lotta spills.
posted by egypturnash at 8:14 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


All that high-g acceleration has got to be super great for the internal organs.
posted by DU at 8:21 AM on September 11, 2012


I wonder how much overlap there is between this and the poweriser / powerstrider scene. (The latter gets bonus points for being able to pretend you're like one of those old woodcuts of the devil with goat legs.)
posted by Rhomboid at 8:45 AM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


He had bounced to heights of about five feet when the pressurized tube snapped. Its top half rocketed into his chin, pushing his four front teeth into his nose, shattering his jaw and almost completely severing his bottom lip.

So I got off easy with just 6 stitches under my chin? The version we had was an aluminum pipe with a rubber ball capping the end. The pipe worked it's way up through the rubber ball over time on that model.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:43 AM on September 11, 2012


The other day I was working in the garden and invented a thing that would take the world by storm if anybody wanted to turn it into a mass-produced product: The Pogo-Tiller! Basically it's a pitchfork attached to the bottom of a pogo stick (my prototype is just a pitchfork that I can stand on) but it could not be better timed; it is, to my knowledge, the very first invention that gamifies urban homesteading.
posted by contraption at 10:04 AM on September 11, 2012 [2 favorites]


The world record for furthest distance traveled on a pogo stick was recently broken. It is now 23.22 miles.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:37 AM on September 11, 2012


don't miss the AWESOME pogo stick Boylesque of Roky Roulette (NSFW, but not horribly so), particularly if Lucha Va Voom comes to your town...I've seen him fall off an 8-foot-high stage and keep going...all while stripping out of a ROCKET SHIP and SPACE SUIT! UH-mazing! (his Malboro Man number kicks ass as well...)
posted by sexyrobot at 12:19 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an app for that.
posted by togdon at 12:20 PM on September 11, 2012


it is, to my knowledge, the very first invention that gamifies urban homesteading.

Nonsense, the ridable chicken tractor came out months ago.
posted by sebastienbailard at 12:26 PM on September 11, 2012


I love the trend of taking something seemingly silly or ordinary or childish and turning it into an extreme/action sport/art. Although in retrospect, the pogo stick seems like an obvious candidate for this. (Or at least more obvious than something like, say, extreme wheelbarrowing.)

The lack of wheels makes it ideal for certain kinds of urban terrain that wouldn't be appropriate for skateboarding or BMX. Heck, as long as the ground isn't too soft, you could easily take this off-road...

I claim no responsibility if someone cracks their skull doing rock climbing with a pogo stick.
posted by ErWenn at 12:48 PM on September 11, 2012


Contraption, I was working on a shovel mounted pogo prototype myself this week. But, even without springs, I nearly killed* myself. Yours is basically combining the brilliance of lawn darts with the pogo, with home improvement and broken teeth. Awesome!

However! The Smithsonian video is really kind of great. I have memories of the old pogo sticks of yore which were way different and far more terrible – never again! But those guys look like they are having fun.


*maimed, more like.**
**okay, just seriously embarrassed myself.

posted by amanda at 3:58 PM on September 11, 2012


Yes, the lawn dart parallel was the main reason I abandoned open-sourced the idea.
posted by contraption at 4:05 PM on September 11, 2012


Cool. Had no idea. I loved my pogo stick as a kid and got a ton of mileage out of it. While working at a museum a few years ago I outfitted a period house with some period toys, pogo stick included. I got basically the same model I'd had as a kid (though come to think, manufactured in a different country and probably not as well made, but whatever), and of course I had to try it out with some co-workers. Turns out that, like a lot of things you do incessantly as a kid (see: jumproping, running), as an adult, pogoing is freaking exhausting. Nobody could keep it up very long.
posted by Miko at 7:07 PM on September 11, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was out for a walk in my neighborhood the other evening, when just over a rise, I heard what I thought was the unmistakable springy sound of a pogo stick. *poink* *poink* *poink*

I second-guessed myself, though, and thought "Kids today are too fat and lazy and they do not pogo. It's probably some household improvement machine that I've never heard before."

But as I trudged over the hill, I saw the kid, *poink* *poink* *poink* He was pretty good. I was never that good.

He stopped as I neared him, and I said, "How many?" He grinned widely. "A LOT!"

I'm glad the pogo stick still exists.
posted by RedEmma at 6:14 AM on September 12, 2012 [3 favorites]


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