History of Don Gordon's Products
Gordon's involvement in the arena of sports and recreation dates back many years. A former championship gymnast and coach at Brigham Young University, he later became a high school biology teacher and gymnastic coach in Southern California. Don Gordon has always had an inventive mind and great concern for making sports safer and more fun. He has been granted about 40 patents and has created around 300 products. His first major innovation over 4 decades ago was the design and development of the first foam landing pits that replaced sawdust pits. His Port-a-Pit or some version of it is now standard equipment for track meets throughout the world.
After selling his rights to Port-a-Pit, Gordon focused his energies into his own sport - gymnastics. He devised numerous pieces of equipment for the sport, i.e. landing crash pads and training shapes that are still standard in the industry today. He developed many products for Special Needs people which are still utilized today. He also served for years as the Orange County, CA coordinator for the Special Olympics. He co-authored two books with Dr. Jack Cratty, former head of the Graduate Studies School for Special Needs at UCLA.
Along with famous stuntman, Dar Robinson (now deceased) Gordon held a patent on a fast recovering air bag which was developed for use for rescuing people from tall burning buildings. Other products include children's toys, recreational furniture, soft edged indoor discus and shot put etc. In the last decade or so he has created many exciting closed air water activities, a line of Bungee air gymnastic equipment and a soft play maze system which was utilized in some Burger Kings and McDonalds and among others.
THE BIRTH AND DEVELOPMENT OF Aeroball®.
Gordon's HiBall™ and its offspring - *Gordon's Aeroball ®- were created out of Gordon's efforts to make trampolining safe and more fun. George Nissen developed the original trampoline in the 1930's. George invented a product called SpaceBall. As a consultant Gordon for the Nissen company Gordon created walls and a special basket goal for this product. Before completing this product the Nissen company was sold and Gordon's development was eliminated. At that time Gordon paid for the right to continue further development of the product now called HiBall™/Aeroball®. His ingenious approach was to add fabric walls and a roof to combine the best aspects of three popular forms of recreation - basketball, volley ball and trampolining, into a unique new game that quickly received enthusiastic acceptance. The original version - Gordon's HiBall™- utilized a single trampoline with an inner divider net to keep participants from falling into one another. Safety walls on backyard trampolines were originally invented by Don Gordon.
Gordon's Aeroball® was developed later. Its design modifications allowed for improvements in the commercial operation as well as the playing of the game using a single trampoline bed for each participant, with a double inner divider net for safety.
Briefly stated, Gordon's Aeroball® is an exciting fun-filled, action packed game that challenges participants to outscore opponents by making points with a soft fabric foam filled ball. Points are scored when the ball is thrown into the opponent's vertical basket goal. Players are separated by a double inner net and containing walls are there to prevent anyone from falling off the trampoline playing surface. Like tennis, Aeroball® can be played with two or four people. Aeroball® is much more than just another form of aerobic exercise, it provides fun and fitness!
Gordon continues to create new products and industries. His new line of Bungee inflatable gymnastic mats are being tested and marketed by Doug Davis and his Tumbl Trak company. (www.tumbltrak.com)
Some of his exciting large water slide type products have been designed for Aquaglide's (www.aquaglide.com) Platinum water sports line, which are also marketed by Ron Romen's Commercial Recreation Specialists (http://crs4rec.com/).
We never know what Don will come up with next, but we are sure that his imaginative mind will continue to create exciting products in thefuture.
*2 Patents issued, one pending