What The Heck Is Powerbocking?????
Photo credit: xtremesport4u.com
In the world of extreme sports it is not uncommon to come across some of the weirder inventions that people come up with. The field of innovative, creative sports is wide reaching and often gives people full liberty to come up with whatever bizarre activity their heart desires to try.
Powerbocking is the quintessential example of this. With spring loaded shoes attached to the bocker’s feet, riders seem to catapult through the air. This sport is most similarly equated to riding a pogo stick, with a few crucial differences. These stilt-like shoes are strapped onto the bocker and raise them about two feet off the ground.
In what looks like a dinosaur’s extended lower leg, the rider can attempt to walk normally even while all suited up for powerbocking. However, as the rider begins to jump, the shoes act as large-scale springs underneath the person, giving them up to six feet of height in a jump. Not only does this new sport allow the rider to reach new heights as they move, but they can skim along the surface of the earth with increased speed.
Although it may all sound like fun and games, power bocking can lead to some serious injuries. At the bottom of the spring-loaded legs, riders only have a small surface area on which to land gracefully. If they don’t land completely flat on the earth, they can very easily fall from the shoes entirely. If a powerbocker hits a stone in the road or crack on the pavement that throws them off balance, legs can be broken or worse.
There is no official gear required to powerbock, apart from the shoes themselves, but smart bocking enthusiasts know to gear up with knee pads, helmets, and protective clothing. The sport may look innocuous at first glance, but if one considers the height and speed attained by riders while powerbocking, the danger in the sport becomes more evident.
As if simply riding on these spring-loaded stilts weren’t enough, bockers often attempt insane tricks while in the air.
A common trick is called the ‘grab’. In this daredevilish feat, riders attempt to grab the bottom of their stilts with their hands as they soar through the air. Wilder tricks have been completed before, although sometimes with tragic consequences. In a powerbocking display in 2010, Samuel Koch was terribly injured after failing to complete an intense trick. Atop his powerful stilts he attempted to jump over a series of moving cars. He was unsuccessful in clearing the last car and was left permanently paralyzed. Although this extreme sport may look innocent enough, it’s important to always play to your skill level and use protective gear.