Nostalgic toy that launches people into air is still popular 100 years later

Decades ago, the term “bounce” wasn’t urban slang for announcing your departure.

Instead, it meant you were going to spring off on a jumping-powered vehicle that now serves as the inspiration for competitive sport across the world.

Keep reading to learn about this nostalgic toy that’s as much fun today as it was 100 years ago!

Pogo sticks are a classic piece of childhood fun that makes the user feel like they are defying gravity in the most exhilarating way.

It’s amazing how such a simple concept – a spring-loaded stick with handles – can provide so much entertainment and even a bit of exercise.

These toys, enjoyed by both children and adults, have been around for decades, yet they never seem to lose their charm.

Springy toys

The pogo stick, as we know it today, was invented in 1919 by George Hansburg, who added the two-stick handle to a spring stilt that was designed in 1821.

After Hansburg developed the blueprint for the springy toy, the pogo stick then experienced several improvements and modifications. One notable improvement was the addition of rubber tips on the bottom to provide better traction and control.

Through the 1950s and 1960s, the human powered toy gained popularity as a children’s toy and became a staple of outdoor play.

And over the next few decades, it wasn’t uncommon to see people using the pogo stick as a method of transportation, bouncing from one destination to the next.

Simple design

A pogo stick has a pole with footrests near the bottom, a handle at the top for balance, and a spring, which connects two sections of the pole.

While using the handles for balance, the jumper places their feet on the footpads then jumps up or down to fire up the energy in the spring.

When the spring is at full compression or extension, the jumper is lifted by the recoil of the spring and launched several inches or feet into the air.

The springy stick is steered by the user shifting their weight in the direction the jumper wants to travel.


Over the years, pogo sticks have continued to evolve with advancements in materials and technology. Today, you can find a variety of pogo sticks designed for different age groups and skill levels, including models for extreme sports enthusiasts.

There’s also a pogo ball, which instead of a stick has an inflated ball with a wraparound footrest.

Extreme Pogoing

In the 1970s, pogo sticking evolved into a competitive sport. People started performing tricks and stunts on pogo sticks, leading to the formation of organized competitions and even the establishment of Extreme Pogo, an action sport similar to BMX racing or skateboarding.

Pogopalooza, held each year by XPogo, is an annual event that attracts thousands of pogo enthusiasts to the Olympics of pogo jumping.

Competitors bounce for titles in categories like most consecutive no-hand, highest backflip or longest jump.

Overall, pogo sticks have remained a beloved childhood toy and a symbol of fun and adventure for generations. They continue to capture the imaginations of people young and old, providing hours of bouncing entertainment!

Plus, they’re a great way to work on balance and coordination. Have you ever tried one?


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