Friday, July 31, 2009

4th of July, Bix7 Streetfest, and more

Hello sirs and madams!

XDvandalDJ here yet again. With an exciting, yet long over due. Bock report! How did invading Red, White, Boom of Davenport, Iowa go? What about this Bix 7 Streetfest thing? Or what else have I and my fellow XD Bockers been up to? Well continue reading for full details.

The invasion on the 4th previously planned Here and mentioned in this very blog. Went fairly well. I along with JosieFailed, and XDbockerChris(As ground crew) had a blast. Excitement was high, we gathered on friday evening. Grilled out, and showed hundreds what Jumping Stilts were really like, with a marvelous backdrop of fireworks to boot! However, I regret to inform you that we had no pictures or videos taken for this event.

Onward to the Bix 7 Streetfest! This was a couple weekends ago. The Streetfest is in celebration of a massive 7 mile uphill, downhill, crazy marathon ran in honor of an old jazz musician. In downtown Davenport several streets were closed for this to happen. Many tents erected, many venders to sell, and a few concerts here and there. In the midsts of the thousands that gathered. I personally set forth into the crowds. Enjoying the ease of moving through them at a full head and shoulders taller than the rest.

I spent my time walking through the crowds, and jumping like a madman in available clearings. I really took advantage of the closed streets and really loved the intersections. I was invited to perform at a concert, and even walked past a newsreporter on bocks which briefly captured me.

JosieFailed later joined me for another go the final day of the festival. We bocked in front of even larger crowds, and were actually given free toy light sabers by some other attendees. Overall we had a very great time at this second "Invasion" event. Next year will be another planned event for sure.

Other than those two larger events. On this last Wednesday Josiefailed and I traveled to Burlington, Iowa to meet with XDbockerChris, and XDvandalJake. Myself, Josiefailed, and XDbockerChris all put on a short demo for a local camp for the mentally disabled that XDvandalJake helped run. We wowed many young kids that afternoon, and were just completely jazzed by the interest and energy these kids put out. We conducted this demo at Dankwart park, and later moved it to the skatepark there. When some local skaters expressed great interests. We were also photographed for the local paper. Check back at this blog for an updated entry, if and when those photos are published.

When XDvandalJake got off work from the camp, we all rounded the evening off with personal practice, and all around having fun on our jumping stilts.

For any one local looking to meet for a try out. Or to just have fun with us. Visit our group page, email me. Or check out this thread for short announcements of our day to day meetings. here

What are the replaceable parts?

How frequently do they need replacement?
Wear vs Usage really depends on a lot of factors. Note that the Poweriser warranty doesn't cover damages due to normal (or improper) use.

Poweriser Hooves are the most common part in need of replacement. If you are using your stilts on soft surfaces such as dirt or grass, the hooves will last years and years. If you are using them primarily to jump, they will last a while, but running and moving on pavement wears them down more quickly. In my experience, hooves last about one and a half season with occasional usage on pavement. This can be mitigated by the use of "tire socks", a tire or something rubber wrapped around the hooves.

Poweriser Springs are designed not to catastrophically fail, but over time it will wear more and more. The appropriate time to replace the spring is when you find the stilts "bottoming out" during regular usage. Again there's no established range on these because it depends greatly on the weight of the user, the kinds of usage, and any damage. My first pair of stilts have been used a few hours each week, and the spring is still fine after a year and a half... But I'm at the low end of the spring weight range.

The bearings will wear out if they are not occasionally maintained. Because of the bearings, exposure to water sand and grit should be avoided.

The rest of the parts should last for most of the lifetime of the stilts, but may need replacements from heavy usage or incidents that cause specific damage.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Capital Bocking USA Report

There were nine participants that showed up (that found us) and we came from impressive swath of the country. US States represented were: TX, VT, WV, MA, PA, MD, NY. Also represented was the UK. Most importantly, everyone had fun and no one got hurt.

From the DC Power Stilts Youtube Channel

The DC Power Stilts Challenge Format
Basically the format consists series of mostly easy/ intermediate "challenges" which participants could opt to participate in for points. Some challenges were harder and worth more points, and some were team or head-to-head competitions. Bonus points were awarded to the farthest traveled, the youngest, the oldest, the most feminine, knowledge of congressional procedures, and even for coming to the pizza party. The "secret point swap" made it partly a survivor-style, team strategy game as well. With a variety of skill levels represented and an emphasis on participation, all those in attendance were energized throughout each of the activities.

The first part of the competition was structured challenges on DC's great bocking terrain. Some people tried the terrain challenges for the first time.

DC Power Stilts threw down a good pizza party to start the weekend, and hopefully we indoctrinated everyone with our business philosophy and commitment to powerbocking.

From the DC Power Stilts Youtube Channel

The afternoon consisted of walking/touring in a popular and historic area of town with ice-cream treat. Points were awarded for crossing the bridge from VA into DC. It was hot, but weather stayed dry.

Sunday was a relaxed format where we had breakfast together and hung out in a park near a big farmers/craft market. We got breakfast, played with the camera a bit, and relaxed. Then we did the secret point swap followed by a somber awards ceremony. With obstacle courses, races, group challenges, quizzes, bonus awards, and point swapping, the winners really earned their prizes. I'll profile the event winners in a future blog.

One thing that stands out is that the DC event was a huge success in terms of publicity and local awareness. We were prominently featured with a full color photo and listing on the first page of the Washington Post Weekend Section. I'm estimating that at least 50 people came to spectate the various challenge events, and there were also about 50 that attended the Free try-out lessons after the competition event, which quickly reached capacity. (Thanks to Dominion for pitching in to help teach and organize the crowd!). It seems that about half of those taking lessons were youths, so it was very nice to see that level of interest in our sport.

Powerbocking was extremely visible throughout the city this weekend, as evidenced by a number of local acquaintances who contacted me after seeing people on stilts. I was even riding up the elevator when I overheard two people talking about "people jumping on stilts... in the park".

It was some work to organize and host everyone but I wish I had you all in town every weekend! Be sure and attend next year.

Poweriser Authorised USA Dealership PowerStrider Authorised USA Dealership
jumping stilts and spring stilts