Enthusiasts at all levels can focus on their sport with products that assure a safe environment for competition or recreation.
By Holly O’Dell
Four years ago, “adventuretainment” company Sans Gear NZ, with locations in Los Angeles, Calif., and Orlando, Fla., introduced a safety technology to the United States called Krush KushioNZ®, a landing system that allows thrill-seekers to fall 30 feet through the air without the use of harnesses or belay systems. New Zealand flying trapeze artist Freddy Osler developed the technology in 2003 after suffering multiple broken bones throughout his career from falling on safety nets. He wanted to find a landing alternative that was safe for professionals and would allow the general public to experience the joys of the trapeze.
Krush KushioNZ patented systems are made from double paste-coated, TUV-certified vinyl (comprising a top sheet that conforms to the human body), a series of tubes of varying shapes and sizes, special valves and baffle systems that work off a constant airflow system. Unlike alternatives such as inflatables or stunt bags, Krush KushioNZ absorbs virtually all the kinetic energy from a fall or impact, rather than reflecting it. “It doesn’t bounce,” explains Jan Shaw, principal and president of Sans Gear NZ. “Rather, it’s like falling into soft pillowy clouds of air. It stops you in .2 to .4 seconds and envelops you like a catcher’s mitt.”
Krush KushioNZ has allowed the company to redefine the adventure and amusement market with applications such as harness-free climbing walls, 12-foot-high jousting and half- and full-sized trapeze swings. One of Sans Gear NZ’s newest applications, Short StopZ™, serves as impact protection for snow sports, including tubing, skiing and snowboarding when users arrive at the bottom of the hill or may impact hard objects or trouble spots along the run. “Things like impact snow fences, willy bags, hay bales and pole-vaulting bags do have some effect on impact, but it’s not very much,” says Jim King. “People still end up receiving significant injuries and, of course, injuries mean medical and insurance payouts. Short StopZ not only protects participants, but bottom line profits, as well, for the industry.”