Like Tigger, Durango teens bounce on jumping stilts

Preston Haddow, left, and Henry Dorr use their jumping stilts to get around and to work on their skills. Enlarge photo

LUCAS HESS/Durango Herald

Preston Haddow, left, and Henry Dorr use their jumping stilts to get around and to work on their skills.

Two Durango teenagers apparently have the jump on everyone else in town.

Preston Haddow and Henry Dorr, both 14, both eighth-graders at Miller Middle School, were turning heads as they bounced down Main Avenue the other day on jumping stilts.

The stilts, which have 3-foot carbon fiber springs, allow the user to take giant strides and move at up to 20 mph.

“My cousin in Arkansas had a pair,” Henry said. “So I had to have them, too.”

The best buds found their stilts online for about $300.

“Our goal is to learn to do back flips,” Preston said. “We think we have the only jumping stilts in Durango.”

They want to practice at the Mason Center gym where there is padding. They were turned down at the Durango Community Recreation Center, they said.

“They told us: ‘Get off or get out,’” Henry said.

The pair, who bought their stilts three weeks ago, want to be adept enough on them to perform at the next school pep rally.

Constructed of fiberglass or carbon fiber, the stilt spring is equipped with a foot pad and snowboard-like bindings.

The stilts, which should not be confused with prosthetic devices, are used for exercise or extreme acrobatic competition.

Enthusiasts call competition power bocking or simply bocking after the inventor, Alexander Bock, of Germany.

Bock patented his invention in 2003.

The stilts were used in the closing ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

daler@durangoherald.com

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