Jumping stilts, bounce stilts or spring stilts are special stilts that allow the user to run, jump and perform various acrobatics. Spring stilts using fiberglass leaf springs were patented in the United States in 2004 under the trademark "PowerSkip", marketed for recreational and extreme sports use. Spring stilts are often mostly made of aluminium. Using these stilts is also called "bocking" or "powerbocking", a corrupted version of the name of the stilts' inventor, Alexander Böck.
The act of "bocking" or "powerbocking" includes jumping, running, and performing acrobatics with elastic-like spring-loaded stilts. They can be used to jump great distances and allow the user to bounce over people and cars and to perform backflips. For some, it is an extreme sport; for others, it is a form of exercise, artistic expression and a form of entertainment.
The stilts are often referred to generically as bocks or powerbocks; as power stilts, jumping stilts, bounce stilts or spring stilts; or by their brand name.
Each boot consists of a foot-plate with snowboard type locking straps, rubber foot pad which is also commonly called a hoof, and a fibreglass leaf spring. Using only their weight, and few movements, the user is generally able to jump 3–5 ft (1–1.5 metres) off the ground and run up to 20 mph (32 km/h). They also give the ability to take up to 9-foot (2.7 metres) strides.
They were originally patented by Alexander Böck, from Germany (European Patent EP 1 196 220 B1 on 2 July 2003, US Patent No. 6,719,671 B1 on 13 April 2004, both with a priority date of 20 July 1999), as "Powerskip". Many people also use common brand names to refer to them generically. Common brand names are 7 League Boots, Air-Trekkers, Powerizers, Pro-Jump, and Powerskips.
On 4 December 2010 Samuel Koch was heavily injured during the show Wetten, dass..? during a stunt where he attempted to jump over multiple moving cars in succession. He failed to clear one of the moving vehicles and was left tetraplegic after suffering severe injuries to his neck and spine.
Moon shoes and PyonPyon jumpers are earlier attempts at jumping shoes using a different technique. Some are still popular today. There is a Swiss product 'Kangoo Jumps', with cantilever springs under the shoes, which is promoted more for fitness than large leaps. Rocket boots were designed in the 1970s for the Russian Army, and use combustion pistons rather than springs for a similar effect.
An English folklore figure, spring-heeled Jack, has been conjectured by some investigators to have been a prankster using spring-loaded leaping aids as early as 1837.
- Alexander Böck (13 April 2004) U.S. Patent 6,719,671 "Device for helping a person to walk".
- "A Giant Step for Mankind". The Washington Post. 30 October 2007. Retrieved 22 May 2010.
- Patterson, Alice. "Everything You Need To Know About Jumping Stilts". Oddle Entertainment Agency. Retrieved 17 March 2020.
- "Beijing 2008 Olympic Video". Archived from the original on 22 December 2021.
- See introduction on the forum: PoweriserPages.com
- Kim, Peter. "History of Jumping Stilts". Jumping Toys. Retrieved 22 June 2020.
- "NANCY-POWER-DAYS-2016". Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "Riser Winter Cup 2017 Trailer". Archived from the original on 22 December 2021. Retrieved 10 February 2017.
- "What was the original? The history of jumpers or rebound shoes". aerower.com. Retrieved 6 May 2020.
- N. Miller; Jack Taunton; Sarah Fraser; E. Rhodes; B. Zumbo. "Kangoo Jumps: An innovative training device". bcmj.org. British Columbia Medical Journal. Retrieved 8 February 2021.
it appears that Kangoo Jumps provide an effective means of aerobic training and a reduced risk of injury when compared with conventional running shoes
- George H. Heerington (22 February 1881) U.S. Patent 238,042 "Spring-stilt"
- Nicholas Yagn (21 October 1890) U.S. Patent 438,830 "Apparatus for facilitating walking"
- Jumping stilts at Curlie
- Description of the PowerBockingdevice
- DoesWhat Powerizers Pro Jump video
- Google Patent for the original PowerSkip, by Alexander Boeck
- Image of man powerbocking on BBC
- w3BBO Bockipedia - The Bocking Encyclopedia[permanent dead link]
- Welsh Bockers - jumping stilts club based in Cardiff, UK