Rings in the News

The New York Times • July 25, 2014
Tarzan and Jane’s Manhattan

by Keith Mulvihill

On a recent sunny afternoon, Lucas Capra, a student at Columbia, traded in his usual earthbound fitness routine and took to the skies, Tarzan style. But no vines were required. Mr. Capra was at the traveling rings, a contraption that sits in a giant sandbox known as Hudson Beach in Riverside Park, Manhattan. Of all the fitness equipment scattered across the city, the rings offer a distinctively uplifting exercise experience....Click HERE to read complete article.

Our Town and West Side Spirit • October 15, 2009
Best of Manhattan 09: Best Place to Hang—Literally: Swing-a-Ring

by Nancy J. Brandwein

On a huge expanse of sand in Riverside Park, known as Hudson Beach, stands the only set of traveling rings east of Muscle Beach in Santa Monica, California. In place for three years now, the rings are by far the coolest place to literally hang out in Riverside Park or, if you’re so inclined, to swing. There are two “Swing-a-Rings” now, one for adults and one for kids, with each metal support post holding eight to 10 hanging rings spaced seven to eight feet apart. Volunteers Ira Gershenhorn and David Scott, among others, are often on hand to help children, who stand on an upended trashcan to reach the rings. While the swingaring website talks a lot about the fitness value of traveling rings, one senses that people are drawn here because it’s just plain fun—for the neighborhood yentas who sit gabbing on the stone amphitheaters to toddlers pawing in the sand and kids flying through the air “with the greatest of ease” (sometimes). The annual “Swing-a-Ring” day on the first Saturday of May draws thousands to swing, juggle, sand sculpt, ride unicycles and try other circus arts.

Not For Tourists Guide™ to New York City
Swing a Ring

Located at Riverside Park's Hudson Beach (W 105th St), Swing a Ring is unique fitness apparatus that exists only in New York City (lucky us) and Santa Monica. There's a set for adults and a set for ankle biters. It's free, permanent, open year-round, and virtually indestructible (read: won't be destroyed by wayward youth with too much spare time on their hands). Each May there's a "Swing a Ring Day" celebration featuring expert instruction for adults and youngsters. For more information about the rings and special events, visit www.swingaring.com. Once you try it, you'll never stop swinging! (Well, not until the big guy with the lycra bicycle shorts wants a turn.)

The Wall Street Journal Online • September 1, 2006
Outdoor Recreation Is Getting Easier in the Heart of the City

by Annelena Lobb

Smaller-scale fitness innovations to parks leave their marks as well: New York's Riverside Park installed a set of gymnastics traveling rings for people to swing on, which around 30 to 50 people use regularly. Ira Gershenhorn, 54, a computer programmer, says the Riverside Park rings have him and his 11-year-old daughter Marisa exercising outdoors more often. "I'm not a fitness freak," he says. "We rollerblade too, but basically we're computer junkies. The rings get us outside."

Columbia Spectator • October 4, 2005
The Rings Are the Thing at Riverside

by Risheen Maheswaran

Students who want to swing through the air with the greatest of ease but are turned off by the cost of the flying trapeze now have a free alternative: the travelling rings in Riverside Park.

The set of ten metal hoops, a cross between the ring apparatus in male gymnastics and monkey bars, are located at 104th St. and Riverside. Built two years ago, they were designed to give park visitors an opportunity to unleash their inner Tarzan. ... Click HERE to read complete article

Los Angeles Times Magazine • August 28, 2005
Hang Time

by Nicole LaPorte

"Filchyboy" is in the zone. He reaches up, grabs the first ring and solemnly lowers his head, then begins running back and forth to build momentum. He takes off and kicks his feet, toes pointed, out to one side. His face tilts back to greet the sun. He grabs the second ring with his free hand and pushes himself higher by cranking downward with his ropy arms. For a split-moment he makes contact with a supporting pole and alights there, Spider-Man style. Then he swooshes down, chest forward, arm outstretched for the next ring, and the next, down to the 10th ring and back, along the way completing a series of twirls, flips, dislocates and then, finally, a daredevil dismount into the sand. ...Click HERE to read complete article

Time Out New York • August 12-19, 2004
Ring leaders: The new traveling rings set at Riverside Park is turning everyday exercise buffs into swingers.
by Jennifer Romolini

In his job as administrator of Riverside Park, KC Sahl spends his workweek exhaustively trolling the 323 acres along the Hudson that are under his charge. Come the weekend, however, Sahl doesn't venture into the urban jungle or even escape to a cabin upstate. Instead, the 36-year-old parks employee returns to his office, so to speak, to engage in the latest trend in outdoor workouts: the traveling rings. "You feel like Tarzan," says Sahl of exercising Pitfall-video-game-style on the 75-foot course of ten seven-foot-high metal hoops. "It's not just about brawn, but finesse." ...Click HERE to read complete article

The West Side Spirit • May 6, 2004
Lord of the Rings Find a Manhattan Home
by Melanie Capiccioni

Near the Santa Monica Pier in California, toned beach-goers called "ring swingers" glide through the air like monkeys sailing between jungle branches. Until this year, their "traveling rings" were the only set in the country. But City of New York Parks and Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe welcomed the country's second ring tower to Riverside Park May 2, just in time for New Yorkers to catch a summer breeze and tone up for the beach.

Looking like an elaborate version of monkey bars, the structure consists of 10 metal rings that are 7 feet above the ground and several feet apart. They hang from a frame that spans a 75-foot stretch, facing the Hudson Cafe in the active sports and recreation area at 105th Street, west of Riverside Drive... Click HERE to read complete article.

The New York Times • September 9, 2002
Santa Monica Journal; On the Beach, a Subculture of Lords of the Rings
by Neil Strauss

"Look at this," Lawrence Kolb, known by the nickname Indian, said, slipping a finger into the loose waistband of his jeans."My waist size has gone down from 32 to 28 inches in six months." "And look," he said, fanning the lateral muscles of his bare back like wings. "I never even worked out my upper body before this."

Mr. Kolb was not talking about a miracle diet or celebrity trainer. He was discussing a row of metal rings that was built two years ago on the beach near the Santa Monica Pier as part of a public fitness and recreation area. The rings are 10 dangling hoops, about seven feet off the ground, and the idea is for people to swing Tarzan-style from the first ring to the last and back, a feat harder than it sounds.... Click HERE to read complete article.