Newsspot – Defying Gravity With Creativity

Better late then never, they say! For once, I’m gonna believe this statement, seeing how long it’s taken me to get this up, but it was a wait that had to be permitted. I’ve been all over the place today, and something’s been niggling in the back of my head, although I have no idea what that thing is. Today’s post is about that new sport which I’m sad to admit I’ve never heard about myself. It’s a freakishly awesome concept for trampoline and adrenaline junkies such as myself, si I’m hoping to try it out when it hits the UK in around five years time. Yes it really does take that long to get stuff over here. Anyway, I have to say, this sport really jumped out at me, seeing as I’m a parkour and trampoline fan myself, but I haven’t done either in a long, long time. See for yourself, and tell me what you think of this crazy new blend of sport below!

Video: NY Times Videos – Defying Gravity With Creativity

Defying Gravity With Creativity

Mathieu Belanger for The New York Times

Trampoline’s New Frontier: Professional trampolinist Julien Roberge is hoping to make the wall trampoline an extreme sport.

Published: January 29, 2012

QUEBEC — One by one, five athletes hurl themselves off a wall beneath the sweeping arches of what once was the St.-Esprit church. Sixteen feet below, they land on a trampoline, snap back toward the wall and send themselves outward again.

The vertigo-inducing activity, performed here at Quebec Circus School, a training program for the circus arts, is known as wall trampoline. Part gymnastics, part parkour, it is a nascent sport that has few participants — they call themselves bouncers — and a rule book that is still being written. But the inventors of wall trampoline, toiling in the chamber of the repurposed church, have big plans for it.

“The ultimate goal is to have wall trampoline be in the X Games,” said Julien Roberge, 23, a computer science student and professional trampolinist.

The hope, he said, is to hold the first competitions in conjunction with skateboarding contests, events brimming with the kind of freestyle energy that Roberge wants to bring to wall trampoline.

“Maybe we could recruit people like that to start training on it,” he said.

To demonstrate, Roberge hurled himself off the top of the wall, executing one and a half flips and a full twist before bouncing off the trampoline below and using the wall to propel himself upward into a double flip with a triple twist. Each bounce brought its own percussive whoomp that echoed through the building.

“Using the wall is very different; you have to be aware at all times of exactly where it is, and your timing has to be perfect,” he said.

Building an extreme sport from scratch is no easy task. First, there are the rules. The fewer the better, Roberge says. He and his fellow bouncers say that traditional trampoline, as practiced in the Summer Olympics, is constrained by specific moves and guidelines. They want to create a competition that is looser and open to innovation.

“In traditional trampoline, it’s almost like you need to be in the army to perform because it’s so strict,” said Oli Lemieux, a professional trampolinist who lives near Montreal. “This is much more freestyle. That’s why I like it.”

But Roberge, who trains with members of Canada’s Olympic trampoline team and is considered one of the country’s top bouncers, acknowledges that there must be an organized way to judge an event. He and his fellow trampolinist Ignacio Adarve have written criteria for judges to use to assign points to moves and tricks. In a typical contest, bouncers will perform a series of 10 consecutive tricks, each following a bounce on the trampoline. The highest marks will go to those who perform the most difficult acrobatics.

“It’s actually very subjective for the judge,” Roberge said. “If you do something that looks cool and people like it, then that’s awesome. You can win with a great new move.”

Roberge proposes having three judges, one each for difficulty, style and height, with the style judge giving out the highest number of points. Roberge says that will encourage innovation.

“We’re just kind of writing the book on wall trampoline now, so we have a lot more creativity and a lot more freedom of movement,” said Geneviève Coutu, 24, a former gymnast from Ottawa who trains at the circus school five days a week.

Anticipating a growing interest in wall trampoline, Quebec Circus School began teaching the discipline three years ago and brought in three coaches. The school’s general director, Yves Neveu, said it was at the forefront of the sport in Canada, a country with a well-established circus culture.

“I believe wall trampoline is important and is something, more and more, you will find almost everywhere,” he said. “There’s a good future for it.”


Well, there you have it! The full post can be found here, and I’m looking forward to see what you have to say on this! I don’t know about you guys, but I’m excited! I’m off now for a while myself, but I’ll be back for more quote, photo, tweet, and news business tomorrow morning! Sorry for now posting about my day, too, it’s just been rather dry and complicated lately, so I’ll leave it be for now…


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