Friday, August 28, 2009

Faster Than A Road Runner

DJ Bothwell, 23 of Davenport; His Brother Christopher 17. of Oquawka, IL and their friend Josie Grant, 18 use power stilts to jump around Wednesday in Dankwardt Park. DJ Bothwell was in town giving a Demostration, and stayed to play with his brother and friend. Most users can Balance and walk in 10 minutes, and advanced users can leap 6 feet and run 25mph.

Taken from the Burlington Hawkeye on July 31st 2009. This article features nearly all of the XD Bockers. That afternoon, we put on a short demo for a camp, and then bocked for a couple hours for some skaters, and our own fun.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Tricking: Split Kick

Want to show off just how much air you're really getting? Try a split kick, it really helps people realize just how high you actually go. Put on those safety pads and give this one a go!

Split Kick

Basically, As you jump in the air, pull one leg behind you, and kick the other infront as far as you can. The further you can stretch the better it is. Flexibility and timing is key.

This is actually one of my favorite tricks. It looks great in photos, and is easy to do once you've mastered the basics, and can maintain balance in air. To get the best split kicks, I've found that varying what you do with your arms in air helps a lot. Bring one arm up, one back, ect. Variety is key in making the entire trick nice.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Join DC Power Stilts on Facebook!

You can now join DC Power Stilts on Facebook! When you do, you'll get tips and updates from this blog automatically delivered right to you. As a subscriber, you'll also be the first to learn about new products, sales, and community events since they will pop up on your feed. Anyone may comment or post, so we hope that you'll also participate.

Another great idea for keeping in touch with us is to sign up for our newsletter. Oh yeah... wouldn't you like to see more people powerbocking around? Tell your friends about us!

River Roots Live/Ribfest 2009

This last weekend, this local affiliate from Davenport Iowa. Spent a short time bocking for the crowds at River Roots Live, and Ribfest. A local street festival which has combined with previous years paid concerts, and a crazy rib eating event. To create some super finger licking, and tapping goodness for free.

On August 22nd, I went out during a spare hour and bocked around the closed streets. Taking in the sights, and sounds of the free concert.

I just so happened to be captured by a photographer taking in pictures of the event.

D. J. Bothwell of Davenport bounces along second street in downtown Davenport wearing his jumping stilts while taking in the music and food Saturday afternoon at the River Roots Live Music Fest and Ribfest.

You can view the original article Here

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tricking: Spring Grab

Time to pull off one of my favorite basic tricks! Strap on those pads and keep reading to learn about spring grabs!

Spring Grab

This trick can be pulled off in dozens of varieties, each a different trick. But at the base, is the spring grab. In mid-air bend back and grab one of your springs. Bring your leg back closer to your hand to help out. Takes practice, but looks cool. You can see XDvandalJake and myself both pulling these off in the photo.

Another more advanced version of this trick is called the Double Spring Grab. Essentially instead of just grabbing one spring with one hand. You take both hands back and grab both springs. As always, don't forget to give yourself time to land with any variation of the spring grab trick.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tricking: Star

Read to learn how to trick? Let's get our safety gear on, and get to it. Today we'll be covering a very simple trick to do. That looks great on camera.

The Star!

The star is a very simple trick to pull off. It's basically a modified trampoline trick fitted for powerbocking. At the height of your jump. You bring out you legs angled from you, and raise your arms up at an angle. The point is so that you resemble a star in mid-air. Don't forget to give yourself time to land!

This ones fairly easy to pull off. Theres no special tricks, only just timing and practice.

Go give it a try!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Tips for Newbies: Start Tricking - Tucks

Tricking is usually what everyone wants to do straight away. When we first find out about these crazy things called Jumping Stilts. A lot of us end up searching the web, and stumble upon countless videos of other people, flipping, jumping off crazy things, and performing many different tricks on them.

It's no wonder when we finally get a set of our own. That we'd want to jump straight into pulling off all sorts of wild powerbocking tricks. Well, once you've mastered how to stand, walk, run, jump, and do it all well. Without thinking about performing each of the steps. I'd say you're ready to hop from stage 1 of learning, and go into the beginning stages of tricking. Be sure to wear your pads and helmet though! At this point it's even more vital then ever! BE SAFE.

What kind of tricks are there? Well there is countless named tricks, and there is always new ones being created. Our sport of powerbocking is still very young and accordingly, we're still learning more and more insane things to do.

A short list of basic ones would go like so:
  • Tuck
  • Star
  • Spring Grab
  • Double Spring Grab
  • Pike
  • Split Kick

Among many other variations and more advanced tricks. But let's take it slow shall we? I personally started learning the very basic trick the tuck first. Let me explain what exactly it is, and how I do it.

A tuck is basically where when you're at the top of your jump. You bring your knees towards your chest, hold them there in air as if you're "tucked" in a ball of sorts.

Tucking takes a certain amount of timing, flexibility, and technique to get down right. The longer you're able to hold one in the air the better the trick looks. Just never forget to give yourself enough time to land. At first, you'll find your tucks only being split second long. But eventually you'll master the timing and get enough height to do it right.

Be sure to keep a clear head, be calm and always just calmly grab your knees as you bring them up. Hold them towards your chest, and let go. Practice this over and over until you get it down without thinking about it. In the included photo, you can see I'm starting to come down from a tuck. As a proper one would of had very little air space in between my legs and body.

Go get practicing, and I'll explain another trick next time!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Bock Spot: LeClaire Park, Davenport, Iowa.

Taking a short break from my tip series of articles. I am taking this chance to share with you. Some of the XD Bockers favorite local powerbocking spots of the Midwest. Starting close to home in the Quad Cities very own LeClaire Park.

LeClaire Park is located right on the banks of the Mississippi River as it is also located near Modern Woodmen Park. LeClaire Park hosts many summer events including River Roots Live and Ribfest

This park is situated along the "Great River Trail" a several mile bike path the stretches all along the banks of the river, across a bridge and along the Illinois side and back again. Because of this, it is excellent for long range running sessions on Jumping Stilts. I've found myself many a afternoon running from one part of the bike path to another. It's very scenic for Iowa, and offers several interesting stops along the way. (More on those spots another article!)

At the front of the park is a massive sound stage. Which at my rough guess is at least 5 and half feet tall. I find much enjoyment in running towards the stage, leaping upon it on my knees, pushing off, going out a couple feet. Jumping, and continue out a few feet, rotate in air and come back to the stage. Only to leap back up, push off and repeat in the same constant jump. It's great fun, and a super work out.

In front of the stage is a rather large flat clear area great for jumping around. I personally practice most of my in air rotations here.

Please take a moment and watch these videos of the area. Videos explain better than written words ever could! Right? Right?!

Overall I consider this spot a personal favorite, as it offers more than one type of powerbocking activity, and is close to home. It's usually not over crowded. It also offers huge grassy areas for practice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tips for Newbies: Gaining serious height

Have you had a chance to work on your "Kangas", and "Pogos"? Can you get up from the ground alone? Have your proper safety gear strapped on? Well, let's move forward and work on getting what everyone really wants with their Powerstilts. Serious Height.

Gaining serious height
Gaining serious height takes confidence and guts. You have to commit yourself completely to it, you have to throw all your weight and not second guess yourself. I've found that utilizing a chain of all jumping techniques works best. Start with a pogo jump, go to a kanga jump, use your whole body. For best results I've always started from a run, then leaped into a kanga jump and continue leaping in a forward motion. It can be done in place, but takes practice to get the same height.
The best method I found starting out. I like to call the "Set up " which takes a series of steps.

  • 1st-You pick your spot to jump.

  • 2nd- You take a moment and breath.
  • 3rd- After you have sized up your jump. Get ready to take several steps. Act as if you're going into a run.

  • 4th, use the same technique you learned with pogoing to launch yourself in the air. As you go upward bring your arms up with you. Because you started this with a run, you'll be going up and forward, keep this in mind.

  • 5th- As you go down into a land. You'll be several feet from your "launching point" Put both feet down, into a "Kanga Land". As you land, bring your arms down hard. This will help give you an extra boost. As you get propelled back up. Bring your arms back up again. You'll end up still being propelled forward.

  • Finally- As you're up in result to your first "Kanga Jump" prepare for another land. Utilize the same techniques as before. As you come down bring your arms with you at the right moment to keep yourself going. Continue this steps for as long as you can, or as long as you'd like. To stop quickly, I found that at just learning. Instead of Kanga Landing, I could use a one footed land, or a "pogo land" to kill my jump by bottoming on one foot.

Keep in mind that those steps are going to have you jumping forward in a straight line. This is what I found to be the best method starting out. Once you get the feel of gaining big air this way. It's a lot easier to do jumps say, stationary or in other variations.

Just go at your own pace, be safe, and you'll have tons of fun. Thanks for reading these tips from you local Davenport, Iowa Affiliate.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Tips for Newbies: Kangas

So you can walk, you can pogo, you can run, and most importantly you can get up without help? Great, now do you have all your proper safety gear? Elbow Pads, Knee Pads, Wrist Guards, and a helmet? Alright, perfect. Read on and I'll teach you what we like to call "Kangas" in the powerbocking community.

Kanga Jumping

Kanga Jumping is really just like Pogo Jumping. Except it uses BOTH stilts to get the max power out of them. This personally took me sometime to get down. As using both stilts will at first unbalance you in the air, and on your landings. Due to it using more power, and requires the timing of using both legs as one.

In my experience I started by just jumping in place. I would launch with both feet first, and just practice on jumping once. Until I became confident in my landings. I recommend doing it near a wall, or something to incase you need to fall forward.

I learned by jumping from one point to a safety aid. As I became more confident I eventually went further and further away until I stopped using aids altogether. To get the best jumps, launch yourself from a pogo jump into a kanga jump. Essentially, you jump with one leg. Land on that leg, propel upwards and land on both legs, which launches you for high air.

Kanga Bouncing

Kanga Bouncing like pogo bouncing is just the continued Kanga Jump. Once comfortable launching yourself in the air once. Begin to learn to do it over and over. Doing this is great fun, and really helps you learn to throw your weight into the stilts and get higher and higher air.

I find that when you launch yourself once. The best method to keep going is to throw your whole body into each landing. Throw your arms down as you land. It really helps get good results.

Here is a short video someone shot of me at an Anime Convention. It demostrates the basic principles of two footed jumping.

Thanks for reading, now get to bocking!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Tips for Newbies: Learning to run


It's time to strap on those powerstilts, stand up and take off running. Careful, you'll be moving fast in no time. (Some of us can reach 20mph!) Don't forget to wear your safety gear as you try this!

Learning to run

Now that you've gotten down pogo bouncing from one leg to another. Utilize those basic skills and learn to run. Or in bockings case more learn to bound. Running with bocks is unlike running without them. So prepare to unlearn what you know, and relearn how to on stilts.

Essentially you put weight down on one leg, launch yourself forward and land with the other. Repeat this process by quickening the pace, and lengthening your stride. It takes a while to learn, but eventually you will learn how to let the stilts propel you forward. Just remember, put your weight in your heel and talk wider and wider steps.

Want to stop? At first just stick to slowly taking closer and closer steps. But eventually start utilizing pogo bouncing to stop your momentum. The best method to stop quickly is to exert all your forward force into upward momentum in a kanga jump. But get that down as time goes on.

Well there you have yet another small tip from your local Davenport, Iowa affiliate.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Tips for Newbies: Boing - boing

Let's get straight to it today. You ready for to get that bounce in your step? Have you already learned to walk? Well let's start into those one footed jumps, and bounces I like to call "Pogos". Continue reading to find out just what exactly "Pogo Jumping, and Bouncing" really is! Strap on those pads, helmets, and get to reading, then get up and go!

Pogo Jumping

Pogo Jumping is just what I like to call one legged jumps. It's a vital skill to learn to get yourself started in the bocking world. Now that you've learned to walk you'll want to learn to jump. But let's start with just one leg. Trust me, it's better to get this down first. Essentially a pogo jump is you putting weight down on one leg, launch yourself up, then landing on that leg and letting the spring propel you in the air and finally landing again. Shazam! pogo jump. Remember to center your weight in your heel. It really helps in balance and getting the most bounce.

Pogo Bouncing

Pogo Bouncing is really just a continued Pogo Jump. You launch yourself into a jump, land, go up, land again and continue. You do this all with one leg, you can switch legs to spice things up and help keep your balance. It's good to learn how to do it every which way. Getting this down is really great for your confidence, the fun factor and is a great way to wow your friends as you learn.

Thanks for reading these tips from your local Davenport, Iowa Affiliate.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Tips for Newbies: Getting up Unaided

It's time for yet another small tip. Direct from XDvandalDJ your Midwest local affiliate. Please read and learn from my personal experience. It helped me, and maybe just maybe it might help you. Be safe and be careful though! Now, let's try and get off the ground... without help!

Getting up Unaided

This is one of the most important skills to learn and get down. Seriously consider practicing this early on. Just picture this, you're out on your new stilts. You've attracted a crowd, then WHOAH! you fall. There goes your dignity. But WAIT! You can somewhat regain it back by getting up WITHOUT the help of your laughing friends.

This took me a few tries to learn. Plan to fall while doing this. Please, please wear proper safety gear, helmet, wrist guards, elbow, and knee pads.

Basically, you get on both knees leaning forward. Put your strongest leg up front, with the hoof on the ground and your knee bent. Pull it close to you, and lean your weight over it. Use a hand to grip it if needed. Push up from that leg, as you do pop your other leg around and then land on both feet.

Sounds and looks easier than it is. But eventually you'll get it down. Practice, practice, practice and eventually you'll pop up from the ground without even thinking about it.

Need more visual help? I personally learned from watching this video by BalthezarArith

Good luck!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Tips for Newbies: First Steps

Hello sirs and madams!

Below is the first edition in a series of articles written based upon my own personal experience. Keep reading and it might benefit you. Or at the very least entertain you! Let us begin this several part article with.... the first steps!

First Steps
It's really difficult to explain how to walk in these. You basically have to learn on your own. All I can basically tell you is ways I found to be easiest. First find something tall to sit on. Many people stress that you need to learn to get up from a fall right away. But I found that I needed to learn to stand and hold my balance before popping up to my feet from the ground. So I found something tall to sit on, put my bocks on and then stand. First it was difficult just to stand, so I held myself up on a nearby wall. What you need to do is just hold yourself there and get the feel of the stilts. Basically with these it's impossible to stay completely still. You need to stay constantly moving to keep balance. You'll learn in time to hold yourself without even thinking and remaining still longer and longer. But right off you're going to be all over the place. Just move one foot and then the other back and forth. Slowly getting to where you can take your hands from the wall. As you find you can do this longer and longer. Start slowly walking up and down the wall. DO NOT try and jump at this point. Just focus on staying upright. As you progress either get a friend to walk out with you. Or stay with the wall until you feel comfortable. Personally it took me a good 20 minutes to learn to stay up, and then half an hour to get to the point of walking unaided. Everybody differs though, don't worry about it and be safe.

Please take a moment and observe the video below of me aiding my friend Jeff in his first steps on stilts. Please keep in mind that this video is not a reflection of the lessons DCPowerStilts offer. DCPowerStilts offer much gentler steps and require the proper safety gear. Falling rarely, if ever occurs.

Ouch right? Well there you have my first tips for newbies. Keep checking back here often for more!

Why do you only sell certain brands of stilts?

This broken hoof is a result of a few hours of normal usage of a pair of the Chinese knock-off brand Powerizer Pro stilts. They may have changed their name to Air-Trekker, Power Strider, Flying Locust, or whatever, but design flaws and low manufacturing quality from this brand is well known and documented by numerous users. You might save a few dollars to buy a pair of these, but you'll get poor quality. Luckily, my customer was able to retrofit a pair of good Poweriser hooves in its place.

As a stilts dealer that represents bockers, I feel that stilts should be made such that they are suitable for regular usage. Because your safety rides on your stilts, only well-tested, quality products should be used.

DC Power Stilts is a small business, independent dealership, and we are able to represent any brands of stilts that we want to. Right now the best quality vs value for most users is going to be a pair of stilts from the Poweriser brand. For advanced users and professional performers, please ask me about the other alternatives. I can steer you away from bad brands and towards the good, proven products.

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