On Sunday November 29, 2009, in Hungary, 1,000 people partook in a Kangoo Jumps class in attempt to break a previous Guinness World Record, set in 2007: the most people Kangoo Jumping at one time. Dorina Rigo was part of the group that broke the record. She fell in love with the activity and became so passionate that she began teaching. “It is very popular in Hungary, Spain, Italy…It’s really spreading. Almost every gym offers a Kangoo class, and it has been that way for 10 years,” she told me. She moved to Canada, started teaching, and became the Canadian distributor for Kangoo Jumps. In 2011, she became a certified instructor, teaching others to be Kangoo instructors themselves. Alejandra Leyra took one of Dorina’s classes and knew that Kangoo was what she wanted to do with her life. It was in the fall of 2012, that the two began working together. This past January, Alejandra was hired full-time.
Kangoo Jumps look much like a pair of ski boots, but instead of skis, there are two spring arcs made from “space age” material, tied together with a T-spring that assists in the rebound. The bottoms are fitted with a rugged, non-slip tread suitable for all surfaces. These Swiss boots were invented in 1994, and didn’t take long to catch on in Europe because they burn 25% more fat when compared with doing aerobics while wearing regular shoes. Impact on the knees and back are cut by 80% when wearing Kangoo Jumps. This means longer workouts with less knee and back pain.
I stood up expecting to fall, but didn’t. It was a strange feeling, to float around the room with the six-inch shock absorbers attached to my feet. I thought falling sideways would be a problem (It wasn’t.) Once I got up, I forgot about falling sideways and took care simply not to tip forward. Dorina reassured me that she has not yet seen an adult fall. “Kids fall, but they fall without the shoes too. It’s more like [a] slow motion fall.” What did catch me off-guard was the rocking motion instigated by the arches. But Dorina and Alejandra gave me a few words of encouragement, and soon enough, I was off – running and jumping, with extended legs. Wearing the boots felt like running on a mattress or a trampoline, but without the bounce.
Kangoo Jumps classes are offered by Dorina and Alejandra every evening during the week, and afternoon classes are offered on the weekends. The one-hour workout is split between jumping and muscle conditioning. “You can take as many breaks as you want,” said Dorina, who prefers to take the classes outside. Classes are also available for kids aged 6-14. “With the kids, we play games, not like the adult classes. It’s more fun,” Dorina says. The first class is free. If you don’t have $290 to purchase a pair of boots, you can rent them for $5. If the kids can do it, so can you.