Pogo sticks take an extreme leap into the future
By Rachel Weaver
Published: Monday, May 6, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
Pogo sticks are no longer just child's play.
The sport of extreme pogo has been gaining popularity in recent years, and this week, Pittsburgh plays host to an organization dedicated to helping it grow even more.
XPogo Films, an independent film production company that creates and distributes films showcasing the sport, is shooting their next short in Braddock with the world's top seven Xpogo athletes.
“I was really taken by the spirit of the town,” says CEO Nick Ryan, who studied at Carnegie Mellon University.
“I love the character of the town. There are a lot of parallels between the town and what we're doing — trying to command an audience and convince them the thing we're doing is viable for growth.”
Xpogo serves as the global governing body for the sport, managing multiple brands, talent, content, retail, online platforms and international events. They have shot short films around the world, including in Rio de Janiero, Hong Kong, New York, Rome and London. You can view them on the Xpogo website.
Their work locally will include a free community day May 8, featuring stunt exhibitions, clinics, donated pogo sticks for the town from Flybar, barbecue from Union Pig and Chicken, drinks and music.
“We wanted to give back to the town as well,” Ryan says.
The athletes don't use your average Toys ‘R Us pogo sticks. They perform on next generation versions, with enhanced durability and upgrades that let them fly as high as 10 feet in the air.
Perched atop these advanced pogos, athletes flip and twist, sometimes kicking off buildings or riding the side of the stick down a railing. It's all about the adrenaline rush, says Dalton Smith, 16, an Xpogo athlete from Franklin, Tenn.
“You always want to land new tricks,” Smith says. “It can be dangerous, but you try to take precautions. It is an extreme sport, so it gets kind of crazy.”
Smith practices at least two hours a day and says the group comes up with new tricks at least once a week. Many have signature moves — Smith's is the “slingshot flip,” when he jumps backward, does a front flip and lands facing forward.
“We like to get pretty creative,” he says.
Rachel Weaver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-320-7948 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Key to maintaining balance is to just keep on moving
- Mt. Lebanon native Brian Cuban tackles male eating disorders through ‘Image’