A Jump in the Park

Jumping is a youthful enterprise, but when we grow into bigger shoes we need a little more room. Take a wall to wall look at Dongguan’s newest attraction.

1015_play1Ever dream of flying? We can’t help you fulfill that dream quite yet. However, HERE! may have stumbled upon the next best thing; an entirely new form of entertainment that has made its Dongguan debut.

In a grand attempt to satisfy the child within us all, local businessman Dong Kai Wei has opened China’s largest indoor trampoline park. Spanning the entire floor space of an empty warehouse, the park features over 3,200 sq. meters of interconnected trampolines, a giant foam pit with an overhanging rock wall, a two-story obstacle course, basketball hoops and much more.

Located in the softly opened 769 Creative Park near Nancheng Pedestrian Street, it’s a massive playground for kids and adults alike.

Fitted with Olympic trampolines, local instructors will hold daily training sessions for newcomers and the park will hold monthly competitions for spectators to come and enjoy. If you’re not the thrill seeking type, a Western style restaurant serving sandwiches and coffee is set to open on the second floor of the facility in October along with an English training center for children, centered on fun.

Simply staring across a room filled with wall-to-wall trampolines and foam pits is, in itself, awesome! There is an enormous amount of anxiety you should expect to feel upon entering the park. Not the bad kind, either. More like the kind a child gets from walking into an oversized candy store – the feeling of intense urgency and infinite possibility. The most difficult question you will have to ask yourself is “Where do I begin?”

Most likely, you’ll have to pay before you can play (easier said than done). All for about the price of a movie ticket, you’ll be granted an hour of unobstructed fun. Monday through Friday, ticket prices are RMB88 and weekends will cost you an extra 20. For those thinking, “One hour isn’t enough time to experience all that fun?” Unless you’re a tri-athlete, five minutes might just do you in. The experience is a sobering reminder that age does have its effects on the body. Be prepared to leave the park in a bit of physical discomfort from all your hard landings.

Despite this, there is a lot of fun to be had. Whether you prefer the easy-going recreational trampolines or their competition-style counterparts that can send you sky-high, the park offers both. This, combined with a variety of games and bonus features throughout the park, makes for a little bit of something for everybody.

If you’re into basketball, there are half a dozen hoops. Feel free to launch yourself up to any one of them for a slam-dunk or two. When you get bored with that, you can try out a game of dodgeball with your friends in a designated area loaded with soft balls to hurl at your friends. If that brings back too many bad memories from middle school gym class, have a go at something a little less daring.

Built for more extreme purposes, the real fun lies in two areas of the park. With the intention of letting patrons blast themselves as high as they can without fear of death, the park provides a giant inflatable air-bladder and an even larger foam pit – sure to cushion any sort of bad landing you can pull-off. At the foot of these areas are several longer, runway-like trampolines designed to give you enough room to build up your momentum for optimal height and stunt execution.

1015_play2SAFETY FIRST
Even with foam pits, pads lining the trampolines and massive air bags to protect you from injury; accidents can still happen. Statistically, trampolining is not the safest recreational activity. In fact, before hitting the trampolines, all patrons must sign a waiver which states that the park is not responsible for injuries. Special socks designed for grip and hygiene will also be given to you at this time. Although all of this may seem a little over the top, a healthy respect for the trampoline is important to maintain throughout your experience.

Within a few minutes of jumping, you will begin to discover your abilities. It’s important not to push those limits too far. We know you want to impress your friends with some more advanced moves, but this is typically how things go wrong.

Regardless, don’t let this scare you into believing that the sport is a dangerous one. There are plenty of helpful staff members who are ready and willing to give you pointers and possibly show you a trick or two.

Number one rule for beginners: the center of the trampoline is your best friend. Any bounces outside the center of the mat are likely to send you in a direction you didn’t intend on going in. Try to maintain a completely vertical lift without moving in any horizontal direction. This requires a bit of muscle memory and practice, but once you’ve mastered this, you’re ready for just about anything.

It’s also important to remember to bring water. Air circulation throughout the park is confined to small areas and things can get hot and sweaty, fast. We’re not talking the brisk walk on a hot day kind of sweat, either. If you’re having fun and enjoying yourself properly, you’ll most likely have sweat pouring out of every corner. Dreams of cold showers will soon start appearing in your thoughts. With that in mind, try not to schedule any important business meetings after your workout; things might be a bit damp.

HERE! asked owner and operator Dong Kai Wei, “Why trampolines?” Similar to our own feelings after having a try, Mr. Dong stated that “trampolines are a great way to exercise. It’s fun regardless of age and experience.” Adding, “it’s typically a sport in which very few people have ever tried and it’s always enjoyable to see people face their fears and overcome them in a safe and fun environment.”