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'Ingenious farmers': Trampoline company highlights industry's deep roots in Saskatchewan

The production team at Regina's Crazy Ape Extreme Entertainment. (Hallee Mandryk/CTV News) The production team at Regina's Crazy Ape Extreme Entertainment. (Hallee Mandryk/CTV News)
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Trampolines are produced and used across the globe. However, few people know Saskatchewan's contribution to the global phenomenon and how it all started with a collection of ingenious farmers from a small town west of Regina.

From professional gymnastics to backyard pastimes, most people are familiar with with trampolines and how they’re used.

As trampolines have evolved since their inception in the 1930’s – it’s a little known secret that Saskatchewan has played a key role in their evolution.

“We’ve been trying to scrape up as much history as we can because it goes back to 1977 in Herbert, Saskatchewan,” Luke Shaheen explained. “Farmers keeping busy in the winter making trampolines for their families and neighbours and it snowballed from there.”

Shaheen and Armand Konescsni-Luzny are the co-owners of Crazy Ape, a trampoline manufacturing company that operates out of Regina and builds trampolines to send all across the world.

“We’re happy to continue seeing those trampolines that are still out there from the 1970’s – so we both make parts for them and continue to provide brand new trampolines just like that,” Shaheen said.

“There’s a lot of ingenious farmers out there and it was born from farmers that figured it out back in the day,” Konecsni-Luzny added.

Herbert Industries can be seen in this archival photo. (Courtesy: Luke Shaheen)

Herbert Industries was one such Saskatchewan trailblazer established in the late 1970s.

Farmers would build trampolines in-between growing seasons. The methods they used, which allowed the products to last outside during harsh Saskatchewan winters, quickly became the industry standard.

An early trampoline model at Herbert Industries. (Courtesy: Luke Shaheen)

“No one does it like [they did]. You can’t find a high quality product very easily anymore and that’s how these guys make them,” Shaheen said.

“They’re rock solid and they just last forever.”

Much like the pioneers of trampolines before them, Shaheen and Konecsni-Luzny also started out manufacturing on a farm and then moved into the city to keep up with the demand.

“That’s just the Saskatchewan way,” Konecsni-Luzny said. “We had to get our roots that all the other guys did and we’re kinda just been carrying the torch down from those guys that started in 1977 and it’s been passed around a couple times and we’re the guys running this league of the relay.”

As their business continues to grow, the duo want to ensure that they continue highlighting the history of their industry.

“Most people … don’t realize that this is in Saskatchewan and has been here for 30, 40, 50 years,” Shaheen said. “It’s an eye opening experience.”

Konecsni-Luzny agreed that the history of the industry drives their efforts going forward.

“It feels really special and sentimental knowing that so much of this is started in Saskatchewan,” he said.

“Swimming with the big dogs in the big cities, we can do is just as good here. We can do it better here.”

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