Plopping one's rear down on a big rubber ball sounds like a Suzanne Somers-endorsed fitness shtick. But countless youth and adults have revelled in doing just that—haphazardly bouncing along on Hippity-Hops.
In that spirit, Boise Hippity-Hop fans Eric Stevens and Mark Hutchinson organize annual Hippity-Hop races on Father's Day, Sunday, June 17, in Julia Davis Park.
"Ashrita Furman started with setting the World Record on the Great Wall of China," said Stevens. "We broke that record, then he re-broke our record, then in 2011 we destroyed his."
The ball-bound sport has become a legitimate athletic pursuit, one that's a great workout for the abdomen and back, according to Stevens. As a transit option, a Hippity-Hop ain't the quickest means of travel. But if it's meandering fun you seek, the Julia Davis party will have you hopped up with excitement. This year's event features kids' events, a relay and one- and five-mile races, so all skill levels can partake in the fun.
"It's fun and it's original," said Stevens. "We just come up with weird things to do. We have a guy considering doing a half marathon on a Hippity-Hop."
Children's games are free, entrance fees for adults are $20 if you have your own Hippity-Hop. For an extra $15, you can buy one on the day of the race. The person taking home the fastest five-mile time will claim the $500 prize, and the rest of proceeds will benefit a local charity.
Stevens cautions that form is key when on a Hippity-Hop. He suggests pulling up on the ball's handle while hopping "like a bunny" to achieve maximum speed. But he stresses that participants need not be world-class athletes.
"Anybody can hop a mile on a Hippity-Hop," he said. "My 59-year-old mother did it. It takes her about 40 minutes."