Jumping stilts or powerskips were invented by the aerospace engineer Alexander Böck. The stilts are used in the extreme sport of Powerbocking which is named in tribute to Böck.
The stilts, also known as fly jumpers and power risers, allow you to leap 7 feet (2.1 meters) in the air over a 9 foot (2.7 meters) distance in just a single bound - and run at speeds in excess of 28 miles per hour (46.6 km/h).
This amazing feat is why this sport is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon.
Böck studied aerospace technology at the Technical University of Munich and graduated with a Master’s degree in Engineering.
He became a turbojet engine designer but explored creative methods of human propulsion by studying the achilles tendons in animals like kangaroos.
He developed a prototype that was a bionic-like calf extension. This device allows a human to jump and leap like a kangaroo.
A harness consisting of a boot, footplate, bindings, 3 ft. leaf spring and rubber hoof pad, fastens to your leg just below the knee.
How It Works
The leaf spring compresses when you push your leg down and converts this into jumping energy at a dead weight.
This basically means that during the stepping action the spring undergoes an elastic deformation while energy is accumulated in the spring.
The accumulated energy is then released in the rebound enabling the runner to move with a running style similar to bouncing on a trampoline.
There are currently various brands of stilts that have licensing agreements with Alexander Böck and his company ALAN Sportartikel GmbH.