Six Tips For Getting Started With Jumping Stilts

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Yep, it sounds like a great time. Jumping stilts that will get you six feet in the air and let you run faster than 20 miles per hour.

And it is. Until someone pokes an eye out.

OK, yes, that the standard phrase. But safety and proceeding carefully (don’t try to jump to the roof the first time out!) are important for getting the most fun out of your jumping stilts.

Protection is where to start, and yes, that means a helmet and pads. Look for a multi-sport helmet, the kind skateboarders wear, for the most comfort and consider pads for your wrists, elbows and knees.

Get a helper the first time you try to stand up and walk. Not a lot of people can do it by themselves the first time (and you know you’re special, but this is a good place to play it safe) and a friend can help as you adjust to how to balance on the jumping stilts. Use them as a crutch as you take those first few steps. It isn’t as easy as it looks!

Once you’ve got the hang of balancing, try walking on your own. (Keep your friend around as a spotter in case you haven’t actually got it!) Keep your feet as straight forward as possible to keep the springs from catching each other and avoid lifting those knees too high. Relax as you’re going so you can recover your balance more easily.

Now it’s time to run. Yeah! Practice is the key here because you want to keep your balance so your legs don’t hit each other. Start by walking faster and faster to ease into the running thing. (Ease into. As in, don’t try going 20 miles an hour the first time!) Relax your legs and let the springs do the work – that will make each leap just a little longer, which covers ground faster. Pick those legs up so you don’t catch them on anything! Falling at that speed, not so fun.

Jump, jump! After all, this is the coolest part of having jumping stilts. And now that you’ve gotten the running part down, you’re good to go with the next step. Two steps, actually as there are two ways to jump.

Start out jumping with just one foot – like you’re running only thrusting upward instead of forward. Stand in one place and jump from foot to foot to get the hang of finding the sweet spot to get the most bounce. This is easier than the two-footed jump, which can throw your balance off. But you’ll want to progress to two feet because that’s when you’ll get the most height. Stand still, press downwards as you bend your legs, then stop to regain your balance. Got that down? Try doing it several times in a row, working your way to progressively higher jumps.

OK – you’re going to fall somewhere in trying out these steps. Walking, running, jumping will also mean falling on occasion. (Thus the first step – protection!) The easiest way to get up after falling is to get your friend to help you. If you kept them around. Otherwise, you’ll need some kind of support to get yourself up. The added height of the jumping stilt makes it harder to get your feet under you for standing.

Follow those six steps to becoming a proficient stilt jumper and you’re on your way to some jumping good times!

write by Charity Hawk

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