You’d think that in a world flush with gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and an occasional Kindle, simple traditional toys such as pogo sticks would be all but forgotten, right? This couldn’t be further from the truth, especially when it comes to very young and school-age children. Ever since its inception in 1918, the humble pogo stick has been one of the most popular toys (next to Red Wagons, for example), seeing its ups and downs, and apparently a new revival in recent years, despite (or because of?) the rise of computer gaming. To be honest, if we let them, kids would probably still have a blast baking mud pies, so getting a pogo stick can only be a step up.
All jokes aside, though, pogo sticks definitely hold a distinctive edge over any device – it stimulates physical activity, working the kids’ leg muscles (especially calves and quads) and buttocks. On the flipside, hard bounces can be tough on the knees and ankles, so start off slowly and build up your bounce steadily. Similarly, even adults can benefit from pogoing, as it will slow down the aging process. Plus, did we mention it helps shape the buttocks? Moreover, hopping on a pogo stick, however silly it may look, goes a long way to making sure you have a strong and healthy back, as well as toned core. As for how it helps the back – basically, as you’re trying to maintain the balance bouncing around, your back is put under an impressive amount of duress, which is a great workout. You might not notice this while on the stick, but you will feel it after the first session.
On a similar note, your core muscles work together with your back ones on maintain the balance, so pogoing actually helps getting that beach bod you’ve always wanted. You may enhance this particular exercise even more if you tense your abs while bouncing. Not only this, but about an hour spent on a pogo stick will burn approximately 600 calories (think one large milkshake or a couple of chocolate muffins), so it’s also great for slimming down or staying ship-shape. Of course, the aesthetic approach is addressed at adults and teens, but the benefits for kids should be more than obvious. Besides, just like with any toy that brings the child outside and in contact with other kids, a pogo stick is a great way for your kid to develop emotionally and socially, as he or she takes turns on the stick, not to mention the benefits of soaking in the big wide world instead of staring at a monitor.
5 – Razor Gogo Pogo Stick
We’ll kick off this list of top five rate pogo sticks with the number five, as per usual – the Razor Gogo Pogo (rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it?). This is a nice option for those wishing to get a quality pogo stick without breaking the bank. As a matter of fact, it’s one of the two cheapest sticks on our list, and should suit any kid older than the age of six (though not many six-year-olds will have the means to afford it, so you’ll have to buy it for them). On a more serious note, as we noted above, the lower age limit for this puppy is 6 years, while the upper weight limit is 140 pounds (this should make some inner kids happy, as well). You could probably stretch it beyond that, but then the stick (or, the spring, rather) becomes too unresponsive and the stick too short. On that same note, there’s no lower limit for weight, but going by users’ experiences and common sense, we recommend at least 60 pounds.
On the plus side, Razor Gogo is very well built, with aluminum frame and foldable handlebars that sport nice and soft foam grips each. Speaking of foldable handlebars, these are coupled with matching footsteps, and go a long way to making this pupster portable and efficient for storage. On that note, you should keep in mind that the stick doesn’t fold in half, but the overall length/height (39.5 inches) is not all that overwhelming. The spring system is fully enclosed within the aluminum casing, and features low-friction bushing (a type of cylindrical bearing, for those of you not in the know). While we’re on the subject, it should be noted that a decent number of shoppers reported the spring to be quite stiff, so much so that their kids could barely compress it. It does get better with time, as it softens up with use, so it might be a good idea to use it yourself before giving it to your kids. It’s a thankless job, but someone’s got to do it.
Bottom line – here you’ve got a nice and inexpensive pogo stick for both adults and kids, though the stiff spring really swings it more to the former.
4 – Fisher-Price Grow-to-Pro Pogo
The Fisher-Price Grow-to-Pro Pogo is pretty much what it reads on the tin – a pogo stick designed for growing kids and those who feel like that. On a more serious note, though, the manufacturer does recommend it for children aged between 5 and 9, and even includes a sizable round base (made of durable plastic) to get them on their feet, as it were. Think of it as training wheels on your little tyke’s first bike. Unlike the previous item on our list, the Grow-to-Pro has a maximum weight limit of 60 pounds, though, again, you can stretch this a bit (just make sure to check it for wear and tear before and after each use). This is a great way of tricking… erm, teaching your kids to be physically active, as it will help them activate and exercise several important groups of muscles – back and core in the torso, calves and quads in the legs. Not only is the Grow-to-Pro (and pogo sticks in general, for that matter) great for promoting muscle coordination and balance, but it does a great job of boosting your child’s self-confidence, as well as self-esteem as they go about bouncing around and showing off their skills.
As far as the build goes, you have the already mentioned wide base (completely removable) to help your kid get started, as well as other child-friendly features. For a start, there are the sure-grip handles, which pretty much live up to the name, as well as a pair of extra-wide footsteps (or pedals), which work great for building up the confidence to start bouncing. The spring system launches the stick (with the kid attached) up to two feet in the air, depending on the kid’s weight (speaking of which, the lower limit is 35 pounds). It measures 37.5 inches in height, and neither the handlebars nor foot pedals are foldable, so take that into account. Granted, the Grow-to-Pro stick is just a wee bit on the noisy side, but you’ll barely notice it over the kids’ screams of joy.
Bottom line – this is a great pogo stick designed specifically as a starter stick for kids, with the single most important gripe being the relatively low weight limit.
3 – Flybar Foam Master Pogo Stick
Coming from the very company that introduced pogo sticks in 1918, the Flybar Foam Master Pogo Stick features pretty much the best balance of quality and cost you’ll find out there. It’s designed mainly with older kids and beginners in mind, but even seasoned veterans (teens) should find it appealing. With the maximum bearing weight of 160 pounds, this puppy will handle any kid or teen, and even some adults. While we’re on the subject, it’s worth noting that the lower weight limit is 80 pounds, and as far as height goes, it’s really not that much of a key issue. The important thing is that you fall within the weight range; weigh more, and the stick will bottom on each jump, weigh less, and you’ll hardly be able to compress the spring.
The major selling point of the Foam Master is that it features easily replaceable parts (no spares included, sadly), so you can keep punishing it for years on end. The whole thing is plenty durable thanks to its rugged metal frame, but you should keep in mind that the life expectancy on any part is severely diminished if you use it for extreme maneuvers. On that note, the stick features a wider bounce tip, which is great not only for novices, but also performing tricks. Moreover, not only the grips, but the entire frame is covered in foam (hence the name)¸ which makes the stick both comfy and good-looking (though it’s just a matter of personal preference). We should also mention that it comes in several distinct flavors (seven, to be exact) – Black & Silver, Black & Yellow, Green & Black, Red & Black, Red, White & Blue (no stars or eagle, though), Silver & Blue and Yellow & Black (it’s not a typo). It launches about a feet or two in the air depending on the weight and skill level.
Bottom line – the Foam Master is one of the best bangs for the buck you’ll find on the market.
2 – Flybar Foam Maverick Pogo Stick
Similar to the Foam Master, the Foam Maverick from Flybar features a frame fully covered in foam, making it not only look great (again, just a personal preference), but also comfy throughout and well protected from scratches and dents. On that note, make sure you always wear protection when bouncing around – helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, the whole shebang. The Foam Maverick is available in seven color variants, so you can match the outfit – Black & Silver, Blue & White, Green & Black, Red & Black, Red & Blue, (a different shade of) Red, White & Blue, and, finally, a nice combo of Yellow & Black.
The manufacturer recommends the weight range to be from 40 pounds minimum to 80 pounds maximum, which roughly translates to kids between the age of 5 and 9 (with exceptions, obviously). The dominating criterion here is neither the age nor height, but weight. As far as jumping potential goes, you can get up to two feet, depending on the weight and skill level, of course. The way the 36-inch tall Foam Maverick is built instills confidence – for a start, there’s the foam-covered frame that we already mentioned, as well as matching handlebars. These are joined by the non-slip foot pedals (or pegs, or steps, whichever term floats your boat), which are textured in such a way as to give the maximum amount of friction. The steel spring is fully enclosed, and does feel a little stiff out of the box. However, after a bit of warm-up, it should soften up and become more responsive.
Bottom line – the Foam Maverick a nice entry-level pogo stick, great for kids ages 5–9. It’s available in many colors, and at a very approachable price, at that.
1 – Vurtego V4 Pro Pogo Stick
If you’re in the more for shelling out some serious amount of money, then the Vurtego V4 might be just the right thing for you. It’s ridiculously expensive, but rest assured you’ll feel where each and every penny went. If you don’t believe us, feel free to check out what other users say about it. It packs the most powerful punch out of all the pogo sticks currently on the market, being well able to launch you up to ten feet in the air. If you thought this means the V4 is not suitable for beginners, you’re in for a treat.
The stick comes in three sizes – small, medium and large, and the manufacturer recommends the following heights – 5’5″ and under, 5’6″–5’11”, 6′ and over (respectively). Here’s, however, what makes this puppy the king of pogo stick – rather than packing the traditional steel spring, the V4 relies on air pressure. The best thing about air pressure is that it’s fully adjustable, so the same stick can be used by either a 200-pound adult or an 80-pound child – it’s only a matter of adjusting the pressure.
Bottom line – whether you’re a seasoned pro or an absolute novice, the Vurtego V4 can be your best friend. Provided you have the will to splash out, that is.
See our full review here.
With the exception of the Vurtego, all of the pogo sticks on our list are more than affordable. There are some variations between them, obviously, but it’s less a matter of quality than it’s a matter of target audience. With this in mind, a few recommendations are in order. If you’re looking for something that would be good for both kids and adults, go with either the Vurtego or Razor. The Fisher-Price is great for kids, especially young ones (5–9), which puts it more or less on the same level with the Flybar Foam Maverick. On that note, the Flybar Foam Master makes for a nice midway between a kids’ pogo stick and an adults’ pogo stick, though still very forgiving and great for beginners.