Back in the halcyon days of my youth, skateboarding was the radical, edgy sport that had the old men shaking their fists and talking about “kids these days”, and then also sired even edgier programming like Jackass. I never got into it. Even then I was too stodgy for such extreme sports.
Put your wheels away, the new up-and-coming street activity is extreme pogoing.
Awesome, dude. I think I’ll pass on the hobby, but more power to all the xpogoers out there. Except, well, I do have a few reservations…
But as rubbery as they may be, they aren’t immune to injury. To that end, when Smith was 13, he went to his first world championship in Salt Lake City. “I qualified for the finals, which I was shocked to make at such a young age,” he tells me. As a result of that shock and excitement, he decided to attempt a double backflip dismount at the end of his final run. “It all built up to that moment; the hype got me buzzed up, and I was ready to fly. I sent the double!” Smith recalls. But he opened up his body too early. “I basically belly-flopped, knees first, into the concrete,” he says.
He would spend the next four months in a wheelchair after shattering both of his kneecaps, all the toes on each of his feet and his nose. (He suffered a major concussion, too.) It hasn’t exactly paid either — at least in terms of dollars and cents. “Most jumpers have another job to supplement like Uber or Grubhub, odd jobs or other service industry stuff,” says Smith. “I make roughly 25-30k a year and live in a converted sprinter van.”
I’m not going to tell anyone not to do it, though — after all, I went into academia, which likewise isn’t going to get you rich, and while you’re probably not going to break bones at it, your mental health won’t be sheltered well. Boing boing away!