Innovator Spotlight
Innovator Spotlight

Tumbl Trak’s product development team features leading innovators of training equipment for gymnastics, cheer, martial arts, and more.

Learn more about some of the people and products they helped bring to market.
Learn more about some of the people and products they helped bring to market.

SPOTLIGHT ON : Brett Wargo

Coach, US National Team
Coach, Ascend Gymnastics (2022 USA Gymnastics National Program of the Year)

Brett Wargo likes to tinker and with over 20 + years coaching experience, it’s no wonder he’s innovated two products that so effectively help athletes to improve their technique and shapes. The Porcupine Pad was first on the scene making tap swings and giants a safe, tactile experience while the Mountain Bar System was not far behind.

It’s been hard for Brett Wargo to keep the Mountain Bar System “under the radar” as it has been in development for several years now. This innovative concept started as a massive, 500 pound wooden structure but has since transformed into a sleek, safe and sturdy product. Coaches instantly recognized its value for beginners through advanced bar skill progressions.

More about Brett Wargo >

Learn with confidence

SPOTLIGHT ON : Leonard Isaacs

A coach since 1967, Leonard Isaacs has developed numerous national team athletes, mentored other coaches and club owners, and was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Region 5 Hall of Fame.

One of the sport’s most celebrated innovators, Leonard pioneered the concept of teaching gymnastics with progressions rather than spotting. This idea, revolutionary for its time, was enormously influential on Doug Davis, Tumbl Trak founder and one of Leonard’s mentees. Through their close relationship Leonard helped develop some of Tumbl Trak’s most important products, including the Laser Balance Beam and Pit Pillow.

More about Leonard Isaacs >

A new way of teaching gymnastics

SPOTLIGHT ON : Tom Forster

Owner of Aerials Gymnastics
Coached in three World Championships ('95,'96,'01), the Olympic Trials ('96), and numerous international competitions.

Tom Forster is more than an acclaimed elite coach and former gymnast. He’s also a gifted tinkerer and problem-solver who’s partnered with Tumbl Trak to create some of our most well-loved products.

A mainstay of gyms since 2011, the Forster Bar revolutionized how gymnasts learn wrist-shifting bar skills. Tom followed this with Fun Sticks and Carpet Wall Overlays – two versatile tools with countless training applications. Finally, the Handstand Homework Mat has been a game-changer in helping gymnasts practice handstands at home.

More about Tom Forster >

Revolutionizing bar and handstand training

SPOTLIGHT ON : Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark

Patrick Clark had strong mentors who taught him the techniques of teaching tumbling skills using mats and shapes as obstacles and visual cues.   Over the years he became frustrated that most commonly used mats for drills were too big and cumbersome for what he was aiming for. He envisioned a series of small mats that would allow him to quickly adapt stations that would be helpful for a range of skill levels so he set off to solve the problem.
Patrick engineered the first rendition of the Hurdle Helper from foam and duct tape! He worked to refine the shapes and combinations until he felt it was what he was looking for. In 2015 he had a boost of confidence while watching the show Shark Tank and approached Tumbl Trak with his idea. Now, the Hurdle Helper is used in gyms across the country and world!

Teaching skills, running drills

SPOTLIGHT ON : Paula Sloan Davis

Paula Sloan Davis

Paula Sloan Davis spent years in her early cheer coaching career analyzing her daughter’s stunts with the mindset of safety being her number one concern. As cheer stunts became more and more complex so did the need for better strength training and safe progressions before a flyer was up in the air.

She and her handy farmer husband designed the first prototype from a tractor spring and three years later her innovative design was ready for market. Her mom was the inspiration for the name as she used to tell Paula to “Straighten up and fly right”. It was good advice and an even better name for her new product, The Fly Right.

Paula debuted her design at a contest for entrepreneurs in Tulsa, OK called the “Startup Cup” and took 3rd place! With her prize money, she tried putting The Fly Right on the market and made sure to patent the design. She quickly realized that she was elbow-deep in packing peanuts and bubble wrap and overwhelmed with shipping and handling logistics. She tried her luck on Shark Tank but the sharks passed on the idea, and we’re glad!!

The Fly Right is one of the most popular cheerleading skill training tools on the market for helping flyers understand air awareness and body control in a safe way thanks to Paula’s innovative idea and her mom’s great advice!

Straighten up and Fly Right!

“Bases were getting injured because flyers didn’t understand what to do in the air. My daughter practiced in the kitchen standing on soup cans. I knew there must be a better way.”

- Paula Sloan Davis

SPOTLIGHT ON : Jason Mason

Jason Mason

Jason Mason’s 20 years experience as an Athletic Trainer and Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist contributed to his insight that the cheer industry needed a safe way to build strength in cheer stunting - especially for bases!

His innovation of the Stunt Double started with a homemade design - a cheer sneaker that Jason attached some nuts and bolts to with tubing that stretched down to the feet. While this was a practical solution and proof of concept, there was more work to be done! Jason tried plaster, wood, metal and plastic composite models with a mix of angles and lengths for the bar above the head.

Now, bases can practice their lifts while keeping great form and producing the power production needed for lifting humans.

Practice lifts safely!

“As a coach it allows us to see where an athlete may have weaknesses. The Stunt Double will help correct those without having to hold another athlete overhead-adding additional risk factors for all involved.”

- Jason Mason

SPOTLIGHT ON : Dave Tilley

Dave Tilley

Dr. Dave Tilley is a former collegiate gymnast, experienced gymnastics coach and founder of Shift Movement Science, a company dedicated to providing athletes and professionals the tools, ideas and latest science that supports the care of body, mind and soul. He is Board Certified in Sports Physical Therapy, internationally recognized as an expert in gymnastics sports medicine, and has treated thousands of gymnasts in the last ten years.

In 2019, Dave developed the Athlete Wellness Kit and Journal to help elevate the level of self-reflection, goal setting and positive mindset an athlete experiences. These useful tools have been selected for their ability to support the condition of the athlete both physically and mentally.

Putting athlete care first

SPOTLIGHT ON : Spencer Peterson

Spencer Peterson

Meet Spencer, the youngest innovator on our team who at 9 years old pitched us an idea that we knew was perfectly suited for Tumbl Trak.  

Every great invention starts with a problem that needs to be fixed. Spencer and his friends loved to play stick it games on the Tumbl Trak but they grew tired of drawing dusty circles with chalk every day.   He saw our booth at an Invitational Gymnasatics Meet, walked right up to us and said, “Hey, Tumbl Trak!! I have an idea...”

The Spencer Spot Landing Dot is bound to make its way into gyms and programs who are looking for a neat way to play in the gym. It’s engineered to be compatible with floors and mats for all types of games where making the mark is your goal!


Spot On, Spencer!

SPOTLIGHT ON : Jenifer Dodson

Jenifer Dodson

Jen Dodson has taken the long road in her gymnastics career as athlete, coach, parent of an aspiring gymnast and now, a Tumbl Trak Innovator!

Jen noticed that in every vault rotation she spent a great deal of time talking with athletes about running technique. When week after week her verbal cues and demonstrations were not working she found a creative solution for helping her kinesthetically natured athletes to understand the mechanics of efficient running technique - the Running Arms!

Jen shared her idea with Tumbl Trak Founder, Doug Davis, and the rest is history! The Running Arms are a great example of simple design with big results!

Running technique made easy

SPOTLIGHT ON : Eileen Richter

Eileen Richter

Eileen Richter has spent decades exploring movement with infants and children in her work as an Occupational Therapist.  

Eileen developed the “Baby Boundex” to satisfy her need to provide a safe place for children to stretch, push, pull and engage their whole body in tiny homes, rooms or spaces.  

Her innovation led to the lycra layers and portable frame that is reveled by Pediatric Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Special Needs Educators and families alike.

Soft, safe, and portable

SPOTLIGHT ON : Chris Calvert

Chris Calvert

Innovator Chris Calvert dedicated years of her career as a National Safety Educator for USA Gymnastics. Her eye for safety certainly played a part in designing a product that Velcros securely to the floor and replaces products that can slip or slide in a drill.

In 2015, Tumbl Trak Staff spent a weekend at the Atlanta Gymnastics Center, the place where Chris first shared her idea. Chris’ robust gymnastics program had plenty of poly spots and rubber markers they used for classroom management but Chris recognized the need for class instructors to have place markers that Velcro directly to the floor.

The first prototypes were hand sewn by Chris. She considered size, shape, weight and even colour in her concept. “Right for Red and Left is Lemon” makes it easy for teachers to help students learn which foot and hand goes where with a double foot “stick it” marker as well.

Hands and Feet where you want them!

Doug Davis, Tumbl Trak founder

Doug Davis is our company’s founder and original innovator. In the 1980s he invented the Tumbl Trak – the iconic extra-long, open-ended trampoline that revolutionized the sport.

Doug embraced the vision of gymnastic coaches like Leonard Isaacs and Fred Roethlisberger who were inventing a new type of training that emphasized progressions and minimized spotting. Doug knew that for this approach to take root a new type of equipment would be needed – equipment that was soft and forgiving in order to build athletes’ skills and confidence.

Starting with the Original Tumbl Trak, our company has invented numerous products that combine technological advances with innovations in training. As a customer once said, “Tumbl Trak has changed the way the country teaches gymnastics.”

How many wrists, ankles, and knees have been saved by training on soft surfaces like the Tumbl Trak and Air Floor? How many elite athletes have gone on to international competition healthier and stronger because they’ve used our products?

We’re proud to celebrate Doug Davis and how he revolutionized the sport, helping countless athletes train smarter and safer.

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