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Yet another snow sport

Local inventor Dick Slaybie has created yet another way to travel the Methow Valley’s ski trails—on a pogo stick. “I call it ‘fatsticking’”, said a pleased Slaybie.

The snow pogo stick has a large shaft and a four-foot-wide bladder at the bottom. Slaybie first tried filling the bladder with air, then small super balls. The breakthrough came when Slaybie tried Jello mixed with antifreeze.

“The stuff is amazing,” said Slaybie. “It’s like a big blobby spring that takes all you can give it and then gives it back.” With a little practice, snow pogoers can cover 25 feet with each lunge, sailing over other trail users.

“It’s also a greenie’s dream,” said Slaybie. “I mean, Jello on snow - where’s the impact in that? When asked about the five-foot craters left in the ski-skating platform Slaybie replied, “trifle.”

The airborne quivering Jello does create a learning curve for the new sport, creating an effect many say is like having a badly bent wheel on a bike.

“Yes, it’s a challenge,” said Dick Slaybie, “but the payoff is big. Fatsticks can smack down any number of arrogant athletes.“

Slaybie is now working on a second generation device that will challenge the nation’s finest, once it’s complete. It will add compressed air to the bladder, but Slaybie is struggling to figure out how to attach the scuba tanks to supply it.

“The g-forces experienced by fatstickers on my new model could be similar to those in a fighter jet,” Slaybie said, so he’s working on a lycra g-suit. He’s also talking with Naval Air Station Whidbey Island about using fatsticks in training.

“Rather than pilots sitting in comfy cockpits while they experience those forces,” he said, “they could develop balance and strength and learn to tough the winter cold at the same time.”
Local reaction to the new sport has been mixed.

“Good name, ‘fat-sticking’”, said Amos Elderson. “It’s so stupid and so hard, everybody really just sits around eating and talking about it. And, yup, the fat sticks.”


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