- Issue Time
- Oct 24,2019
This article focuses on how the hook-and-loop jump game is one of the most popular activities in New Zealand bars.
Hook and Loop jumping is
a game where people wearing hook-covered suits take a running jump and hurl
themselves as high as possible at a loop-covered wall. The wall is inflated,
and looks similar to other inflatable structures. It is not necessarily
completely covered in the material—often there will be vertical strips of
hooks. Sometimes, instead of a running jump, people use a small trampoline.
Television show host
David Letterman immortalized this during the February 28, 1984 episode of Late
Night with David Letterman on NBC. Letterman proved that with enough of the
material a man could be hurled against a wall and stick, by performing this
feat during the television broadcast. This put the hook and loop fastener in
the national spotlight.
Jumping goes beyond
David Letterman, though. Amusement companies rent walls and jumpsuits for
$400-$500 a day. It was also done on a regular basis in pubs in both New York
and New Zealand, where it is a competition to see how high a person can get their
feet above the ground. Jeremy Bayliss
and Graeme Smith of the Cri Bar and Grill in Napier, New Zealand, started it
after seeing American astronauts sticking to walls during space flights. They
created their own equipment for the "human fly" contests, and sold it
to several others in New Zealand.
The game moved to the
U.S. after Sports Illustrated published a story on it in 1991. Adam Powers and
Stephen Wastell of the Perfect Tommy's bar in New York city read of the game,
and soon became the United States distributor of Human Bar Fly equipment.
Wall-jumping now exists in dozens of New Zealand bars and is said to be one of
the favorite bar activities there.