How the Pogo Stick Leapt From Classic Toy to Extreme Sport

Three lone inventors took the gadget that had changed little since it was invented more than 80 years ago and transformed it into a gnarly, big air machine

The pogo stick remained essentially unchanged for 80 years. Recently, three inventors have created powerful new gravity-defying machines that can leap over (small) buildings in a single bound. (Illustration by Martin Ansin)
Smithsonian Magazine | Subscribe

(Continued from page 8)

Transposing skateboard tricks to a pogo made him feel as if he were “creating something new,” he told me. But it wasn’t until he saw previews of the Flybar and Vurtego on the Xpogo website that he grasped how far his eccentric hobby might take him.

“I don’t think we would be where we are without the technology,” Grzybowski, regarded for a time as the best pogoer in the world, told me. “The technology pushed us forward and made us see new tricks were possible.” In an action sports culture that prized “big air,” he said, “the bigger sticks added legitimacy.”

They were also just a lot of fun. “It’s a weightless feeling,” Staubs told me, as he massaged a sore knee after the parade. “It puts this feeling inside your head that you can go high, you can do anything, you’re invincible.”


Comment on this Story

comments powered by Disqus