Extreme pogo stick competition leaps into downtown Jacksonville

Morgan Purvis

The special pogo sticks used in Xpogo can launch these athletes up to 10 feet in the air.  Photo by Morgan Purvis
The special pogo sticks used in Xpogo can launch these athletes up to 10 feet in the air.
Photo by Morgan Purvis

Flying, flipping and bouncing; welcome to the world of extreme pogo.

Hemming Park in downtown Jacksonville was taken over by Xpogo’s 2015 Pogopalooza US Open on June 5- 6. Xpogo athletes from across the world came to compete in the competition for cash, prizes, and the chance to move on to the World Finals in Philadelphia on July 3-4.

Nick Ryan, CEO and co-founder of Xpogo, explained that extreme pogo began about 15 years ago when he and couple of friends started playing with the toy pogo sticks that most are familiar with and began to try to do tricks with them.

“From there we started working with manufacturers to make sticks that go 9 or 10 feet in the air,” Ryan said, “which opens the door to an extreme sport.”

Two world records were set at this year’s Pogopalooza US Open here in Jacksonville. Biff Hutchison set the new high jump record at 10 feet and one half inch. Casie Merza set the record for most consecutive bounces on a pogo stick with 75,068 bounces.

When asked about the future of Xpogo, Ryan said he aims to make it self-sustaining so he can leave behind something that will carry on.

“I think that it will grow and grow as people pick it up all over the world and it becomes just another option for extreme sports enthusiasts.”

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Photos by Morgan Purvis

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