Extreme Pogo or Xpogo is an action sport with its origins in the United States. Athletes perform tricks and ride on especially designed pogo sticks that has the potential for jumping over three metres of height. Pogo sticks have been a part of families for decades, providing entertainment for their young children. It was George H. Herrington who first patented a design of spring-driven stilts in 1891 in Kansas. Nearly thirty years later German inventors Max Pohlig and Ernst Gottschall patented the closest element to what is the modern-day pogo stick. The name also comes from the first two letters of their surnames. In 1957 George Hansburg patented the dual handle pogo stick that has become the key feature and innovation of today’s risk free pogo jumping and paved the way for a massive acceptance.
However, the origin of the extreme version is not that clear. It is believed that Dave Armstrong of Provo, Utah, was the first individual to perform and execute tricks on a steel spring pogo stick, beginning in 1999. He was also the founder of the website Xpogo.com. This initiated several other individuals to form the idea of creating an extreme sport around pogo, each believing they were the founders. The website eventually brought these collective names together sharing their tricks, photos and videos, laying the foundation for what the sport is today. Over the course of the next five years several groups emerged across the States, including overseas nations like the Netherlands. These groups were all inspired by Xpogo.com, creating a series of core tricks that became the cornerstone for all trick innovation in the following years.
At that point social media giants like YouTube and Facebook were still not in existence, which meant most of the communication and media sharing was done via forums. As a result of the continued growth and popularity, the event Pogopalooza was created by Dan Brown. The idea was to bring some of the top individuals together in a competitive format. The first event was in a church carpark in the summer of 2004 in Nebraska attended by seven members of the Xpogo community and friends and family. This was the beginnings of an annual event held around the US and in other countries. After Pogopalooza 6 the mainstream media began to take note of extreme pogo, further adding to growth and popularity. In June 2010, three of the sport’s founders created Xpogo LLC with the mission to develop the sport through the management of competitions, partnerships, merchandising and retail. The organisation also oversees the recognition of pro- and semi-pro athletes, and the creation of media and commercials, all adding to the claim that the sport of Xpogo is growing in global popularity.