Jumpack is the brainchild of Phillip McIntosh, an entrepreneur from just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland. Phil was born in 1970 in Farnborough in the South of England and by the age of four was already jumping bicycles. A child of the Evel Kneivel generation, Phil spent all of his younger years building, jumping and inevitably breaking bicycles. If a bicycle wasn’t available, then he would simply replace the bicycle with either a skateboard or roller skates and continued hitting the jumps.
A LIFETIME OF JUMPING
In 1978 the BMX craze reached the UK and Phil was fortunate enough to be one of the first kids in the country to own this new style of stunt bike. His fascination with ramps and jumping continued through the years, and evolved through Motocross and Downhill Mountain Biking with a certain amount of success, becoming a Northern Ireland BMX Champion, a Northern Ireland Downhill Mountain Bike ‘Sport’ Champion and at the age of thirty-two, became All-Ireland Downhill MTB ‘Master’ Champion.
Although no longer competing, Phil still rides and jumps BMX and mountain bikes to this day and is a popular personality on the Irish Mountain Bike scene.
THERE HAS TO BE AN EASIER WAY
In 2005 while on holiday with his family, Phil watched three young BMX riders struggle to move a sheet of ply board and a collection of concrete blocks a few hundred yards from a garden to a nearby park. Phil remembered doing this over two decades earlier. As two of the kids carried the wood with the bricks balanced on top, the third tried to wheel the three bikes alongside. Every few yards the burden would be set down as the young guys shook the strain out of their arms. Every ten yards the young guy pushing the bikes would drop one and the setting down, shaking out of arms process would begin once more.
Phil remembered how difficult it had been back in the 70’s and early 80’s to build ramps. If you were planning to build in a public place it had to be a creation that could be taken home again as the elements of the ramp would simply be removed or go missing overnight. If it was going to be a permanent ramp of the dirt variety, it would have to built in an area hidden from the public, normally wasteland or forest. This normally involved travelling some distance to, and from the location as build spots were not usually close to home.
JUMPACK IS BORN
But as Phil watched the young BMXers continue to struggle with their make-shift ramp components, he couldn’t help but think, “it’s now 2005, surely someone has designed a portable jump ramp by now”? Phil decided that he would investigate what portable ramp products were currently available. After a thorough search of the world wide-web he drew a blank. As a qualified engineer, Phil could not believe such a product did not exist.
A ten year design process was about to begin...