How You Can Leap Over Pick-Up Trucks in a Single Bound (and Live to Tell About It):
The New Vurtego and Flybar Turbo Pogo Stick

My first and only pogo stick was a rattling orange gadget about twice the size of a bicycle pump. And I may as well have been trying to bounce on a bicycle pump, because I was lucky if I could pull off three successive jumps in a row with the thing, and I was luckier still if any of those jumps took me higher than two inches above the earth’s surface.

I used it twice, I believe, and then it became an excellent rack in the garage for other twice-used toys. (You used a toy like that once in the hope of fun, the second time because your parents made you feel guilty for not using it.)

But now, with the new turbo pogo stick on the market, I’m supposed to be able to bounce over pick-up trucks, do front flips several feet in the air, and still keep my head and limbs (if not my dinner) intact … and with little effort and practice, you are to. Just be sure to wear a helmet.

The Vurtego, created by Brian Spencer from Mission Viejo, California, has been available since January of last year, is about the size of a jackhammer and weighs just 11 pounds, but produces up to 1800 pounds-force of thrust.

That means you can bounce on it 6 feet off the ground (hitting head-heights of 11-12 feet in the air.) And you can leap over cars. And up into trees where you try to grab onto large branches like some of Vurtego’s aficionados do (typically the young and agile ones whose parents still pay their health insurance bills.)

The Vurtego relies on air compression, a piston, slider shaft and shock absorber to push its rider to high heights and relatively soft landings.

Meanwhile its main competitor, the Flybar, which takes jumpers to similar heights, relies on a system of about a dozen large rubber bands inside the casing of the stick. This gives it more of a unique trampoline feel compared to the air pressurized stick.

Both types of turbo pogo sticks have their devotees – and both types get good reviews for their high quality – but many opt for the Flybar simply because it is somewhat more economical.

In 1919 Illinois toy designer George Hansburg patented the first pogo stick. Though as a child I just didn’t have the right stuff to make mine go – or maybe my Mom got my model on clearance and it was there for a reason – the sticks have been entertaining young and young-at-heart for generations.

With these new turbo versions – emblematic of our jump-higher go-faster world – looks like that will continue to be the case.

-- Brian Vaszily

Check Out this Video Demo of the Flybar Pogo Stick ...