In June 2015 something very special happened in Action Sports. Prior to this date portable kicker ramps for bikes and scooters simply didn’t exist, but a small start-up company in the UK were about to change this forever. They had created a ‘concept prototype’ of a kicker ramp that folded into a backpack for transportation by the rider and could be taken literally anywhere.
This technology was ground-breaking and was set to change how, and where people could ride. The UK company was Jumpack and in June 2015 they posted a video on YouTube of the world’s first Portable Kicker.
Jumpack Prototype Video: https://youtu.be/V6G7JXUw9oE
The video received over 100k views in just a few weeks, and we knew we were on to something special. It had already taken several years in development to reach this stage, but the extra time spent showed in the innovative design and function. This didn’t go unrecognised and the Jumpack ramp concept was successfully announced winner of the INVENT 2016 innovation competition in Ireland as the product ‘most likely to succeed’. It was later lead product in a BBC television program on innovation.
BBC Link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p048lm8g
The Jumpack portable ramp concept didn’t go unnoticed within action sports either as a number of other companies recognised the game changing potential and decided to also produce their own versions of our portable ramp.
The reason that it took several years to develop Jumpack is that we started with a ‘Wish List’ that would produce the ultimate kicker, with no compromises. After building hundreds of BMX and MTB ramps over 4 decades, we knew exactly what was needed.
The Jumpack Wish List
- It must be produced using the latest practices and materials available.
- It must be light enough to carry comfortably for long periods – Under 7kg is optimum.
- The material selection must be light, incredibly strong and impact resistant.
- It will have multiple height settings to accommodate all ages and rider skill sets.
- It must be impervious to all weather conditions including temperature variation.
- The ramp must not move or slide when in use (weight usually performs this function)
- You should be able to connect your GoPro to your ramp to capture content.
- The ramp must deploy quickly, easily and effortlessly, no ‘jigsaw’ pieces that require assembly every time and can be lost or left behind.
- It must have the perfect progressive curve for optimum boost and predictable balanced flight. A combination of multiple flat surfaces does not provide this.
- Jumpack will be a ramp ‘for life’. The ramp will be fully maintainable with every part being replaceable or upgradable.
- It will be modular to enable multiple Jumpacks to be connected to form larger ramps without additional hardware being required.
- It had to be affordable.
Designing a product to be perfect takes time, and it would be another 2 years before all our ‘points for perfection’ were finally achieved.
During this period several companies like MTB Hopper, Sender Ramps and Byclex started to produce wooden ‘Jigsaw’ style ramps that had to be taken apart and rebuilt every time before use, which is time consuming and becomes a genuine pain after just a few builds. They had many parts, a surface made up of multiple flat sections like the profile of a hexagon, and they were heavy, really heavy. All the reasons why we discounted this style of ramp during our initial R&D. This style was certainly quick and easy to produce, but it wouldn’t result in the ultimate portable kicker, and the ultimate experience for the end user.
While we had created the ultimate kicker, there was one compromise we had to make to tick all our boxes. We didn’t want to make Jumpack a ‘luxury’ product, reserved only for those that could afford it. We wanted Jumpack to be a kicker ramp for everyone.
For anyone that works in engineering or watches Formula One racing, you will be aware that it is very difficult to combine high levels of ingenuity and design with materials that are both super lightweight and super strong and do it cheaply.
Our ramp was the ultimate kicker for BMX, Mountain Bikes, and scooters, but based on standard manufacturing equations, it should have retail cost of over $500. This was a problem. Do we compromise on quality? materials or margin? When you have designed an award-winning product, a product that does everything you set out to achieve, do you really want to dilute how good it is? The answer is no. We compromised on margin and priced our ramp at the most affordable price possible. We’re riders first after all.
The result of our decision is Jumpack customers in over 70 countries, across multiple disciplines including BMX, MTB, Scooters, Skateboarding, Inline Skating, Snowboards and even Mountainboards. We have received 100% positive feedback from all customers worldwide, we have never had a ramp returned broken or damaged and Jumpack has been adopted by some of the worlds leading extreme Sports athletes including multiple world and European Champions.
We did, what we set out to do. To design and launch (quite literally) the best ramp for action sports on earth. We may have had to compromise on margin, so our customers didn’t have to compromise on their experience, but we changed the world, the portable ramp industry is now a living breathing thing.
Get Air Anywhere is now a way of life.