The UK’s very first 360 degree swing has been constructed by Colin Furze, a self-taught engineer and father to two young children. The gigantic mechanism sits in their back garden in Stamford, Lincolnshire, towering above the rest of the neighbourhood. It looks like plenty of fun – but Colin has warned that the adults-only thrill ride is not for the faint-hearted. It can go even higher than the house when in action, and takes the person riding it upside down.
The spectacular frame sits at a whopping 18 feet in height, and the axle that spins Colin around is 16ft 5ins, taking the 36 year old father even higher than the roof of his property when he uses the contraption. As you can imagine, the swing has provided endless entertainment for visitors to the family home, and his neighbours have all had the chance to peak out of their windows to see Lincolnshire’s very own thrill ride in action.
Colin says that he initially built the giant home-made structure to impress his oldest child, Jake. The three year old absolutely loves going to the swings. Since Colin’s contraption is far too big and too dangerous to be used by children at the moment, we can’t help but wonder whether the toy was in fact intended for Dad. Colin says that Jake and his one year old daughter will have to wait a few years before they’re both big enough to try out the swing.
Full rotation is made possible through Colin attaching a 25 kilo drum of water to the top end of the axle, which off-sets the weight of the person using the swing. To use the swing, Colin clings onto the bottom end of the swing, securing his feet between two pegs and holding onto the chest-height handle bars. He then swings himself ‘in the normal way’, eventually getting high enough to go horizontal. Then, he leans his body forward to propel himself over the top of the frame, making the full 360 degree revolution again and again.
Colin says that he was a bit nervous at first, especially because the swing does not have any sort of safety belt or fastening. All that holds him in place is the grip of his own hands and arms! He said that getting the swing to go high is quite a physically demanding task and it can make him feel sick if he goes round too many times. Luckily the counter-weight works well, making it easy for him to swing.
Furze used to be a plumber and he’s renowned for the wacky inventions that he makes in his garage at home. He has a popular engineering invention channel online, and some of his other inventions include a hover bike and a jet bike. He’s also broken Guinness World Records for creating the fastest pram and the longest motorbike, and one of his favourite inventions is his magnetic shoes which help him to hang upside down from the ceiling!
You can watch the 360 degree swing in action here, on Colin’s YouTube channel: