jumpsnap.jpgSorry, I don’t mean to turn this into the wacky world of inventions but these things keep nagging me from the edge of my consciousness. I’ll give you more on “The Scandal Of Skinny Water” later, but first let us look at the following statement. Bear in mind that when foreigners say “Jump Rope”, they mean Skipping Rope:

“JumpSnap founder, Brad LaTour, is a regular guy just like you, who struggled with his own weight for many years. He knew jumping rope was the best form of exercise to burn calories and lose inches, but tripping over the rope was incredibly frustrating. That’s why he invented JumpSnap. What started as the ropeless jumprope has grown to become so much more. “

You read correctly. JumpSnap is a skipping rope without that pesky rope to trip up on (watch out on that link, it has an auto informaercial on it made with THAT VOICE). Now I haven’t done any skipping for about fifteen years but I kind of thought that the rope was the key part of it. Without the rope, how would I know when to jump? What would be my incentive for jumping?

But then I hadn’t thought of getting two radio linked computerized handsets (complete with AAA batteries) with wobbly bobbles on them for a mere $49.95 (inc P&P). Indeed now I look at the JumpSnap it makes me wonder WHY OH WHY did we ever bother with that dangerous rope AT ALL? When all we needed was a simple computer linked pair of handsets. I bet there are schoolgirls all over the country looking at the four pound skipping ropes with the disdain it deserves.

There are a number of stages in innovation and product design where surely the JumpSnap should have faltered. The very first one springs to mind: “Need for the invention”. Is anyone really that pissed off by tripping up on a skipping rope? Surely the co-ordination part is part of the key. But OK, lets say people are. Stage Two of the product design “Finding a cost-effective alternative” must have sprung up. Because a tape which beeps when you are supposed to jump would have been a damn sight cheaper that waving a salt and pepper shaker in each hand. Luckily for the good people at JumpSnap they are working in the fitness industry, where any old tat can be sold for inflated prices via the means of daytime infomercial.

All of which misses what appears to be a key flaw in the JumpSnap (not including price-tag). If tripping up is a major issue with skipping, then co-ordination could be an issue with its users. Look at this testimony from Amazon:

“If you look at the picture of the JumpSnap, you’ll notice the ends of the handles have weighted blue balls attached to a short string to simulate the jumping rope action. They worked great as long as you are perfectly rotating the handles. If you break rhythm, change hand position, or stop, the balls will whack you in the hand. It stings!”

I think I’d rather get jiggy with a skipping rope than look like an idiot with a pair of blue balls cracking my knuckles like demented clackers.