WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- That flimsy, rickety, rusty metal pole filled with springs has been replaced, and, now, the Pogo Stick as we know it has been kicked up a few notches. The pogo stick of the future recently landed at the Big E fair where the team from "Xpogo" soared in the air performing high-flying stunts like the under leg bar spin and the Superman grab.
Crowds quickly congregated to watch a quartet of four twenty somethings bounce in a way they had never seen before. Bryan Pognant is one of the few people in the country who can say that he "pogos" professionally, he's part of the Xpogo team that travels the world short hop by short hop.
"We took a lot of influence from BMX, motocross, and skateboarding," Pognant said. "We can do back flips, why not do them on a pogo stick?"
The altitude and attitude the Xpogo sticks provide are made possible by modern mechanics; new engineering techniques that have jettisoned the springs for pressurized air that creates forces able to launch the athletes eight feet or nine feet in the air (the current record is ten feet, six inches) . The sticks are also constructed with high tech thermo plastics and aerospace aluminum.
Pogo stars like team member Michael Mena say the sport has taken him all over the globe playing fairs, festivals, and halftime shows. "I've been to Hong Kong, Beijing, Sao Paulo, Rio, I went to Sweden and Denmark all because of this."
While the extreme pogo stick provides the same thrills as other sports in the action segment, showmen like Pognant are trying to spread the word and hoping to find a cadre of followers who will jump on board.
"We have such a passion for the pogo stick, its unbelievable," he said. "It's a new sport and we're pushing the envelope... the best part of this is spreading the love."
To learn more about Xpogo click here.