David DePalo‘s invention is in the top 10 competing for the Small Business Salute Pitch Off of Inc. Magazine and The UPS Store; if he wins, he won’t have to start jumping for joy–he’ll already be jumping, because his invention is called JumpDrum, a new form of fitness that combines low impact platform jumping and tribal drumming.
DePalo’s brainchild is a drumming platform that he handcrafts in a Wilton Studio. Located in a space directly next door to the wood shop where they are built, is a studio where JumpDrum classes will be taught. The workout is low impact, high intensity cardio exercise that DePalo created with Ridgefield artist Jenny Carr. Users stand on top of a leg-activated drumming platform; in front of them is a stand with three wooden drums that both sound great and provide a tremendous workout for the upper body.
As DePalo explains, it’s a unique, exhilarating workout–think Stomp meets JoyRide.
“I designed JumpDrum to give even non-musicians access to an easy way to get into rhythms, find the beat, and get a workout before you even realize it. We guide each class step by step until you’re deep into it.”
DePalo is a Peabody Conservatory-trained composer, who worked in California as a composer/orchestrator for the film industry. He is also a longtime drummer, and had picked up African drumming, becoming an avid Djembe player by taking classes with Senegalese master drummer Malik Sow.
After moving east to Ridgefield, he missed those classes.
“I wondered how I was going to get my fix of polyrhythms (a main feature of African Drumming). It occurred to me that if I could play a steady beat with my feat—like when I was walking—I could work on polyrhythms with my hands. A sit down drum kit was out of the question because I didn’t want to think about making the beat, but just have it happen,” he says.
When he met Carr, their first date was at a drum circle. She helped him get to a solution, suggesting that DePalo put the striker inside the Thumper, which would be activated by the rhythm of steps on the platform. He tested prototypes in a local drum circle and quickly saw they were a hit.
He also saw the potential for it becoming the next workout craze.
“Since inventing the JumpDrum, I’ve gone from a size 34” waist to a size 30” and it’s the only exercise I do,” DePalo says.
He offers group classes in the Wilton studio ($25/class), Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at 6:05 p.m., and will add classes as demand grows. He’s thinking bigger, too. DePalo says Wilton will always be the home of the very first JumpDrum fit studio, but he’s hoping to expand, with an eye toward locations in Greenwich, New Canaan, Manhattan, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Seattle. After opening more studios, there’s also a plan to take classes viral, streaming them for anyone who buys a jump drum for home, like Peloton does for cycling.
The dual beauty of JumpDrums, however, is that whether you use it for fitness or not, there’s still a benefit.
“We hope to sell them not only as exercise devices, but also as wonderful new percussion instruments!
For more information, and to sign up for classes, visit the JumpDrum website or call 475.215.1215.