From a distance, you may confuse them for kangaroos hopping about. But get closer to the arena, and you will notice it’s just a bunch of enthusiasts jumping on trampolines at Airborne, Chennai’s first trampoline park. Spread across 2,500 sq ft, this space features 15 different trampolines, a foam pit and basketball. Leap from one trampoline to another or just dive straight into the foam pit and get buried under soft colourful blocks.
It feels a lot like being part of Takeshi’s Castle, as one of the boys does a perfect somersault. This is where tuck jumps seem more fun than a challenge, and this is also where almost everyone can bounce high and slam dunk like Michael Jordan.
A three-year-old gingerly treads onto a trampoline, accompanied by his father. Five minutes later, they are both laughing and jumping around with gay abandon. On the neighbouring trampoline, a family comprising a mother, father and son are having a jumping competition of sorts. Nearby, a group of youngsters play a game of dodgeball.
The space is filled with different age groups. Mohammed Wasif, owner of Airborne – The Trampoline Park, sits just outside with a huge grin plastered across his face.
“It’s fun to watch them. This is where a 60-year-old can have as much fun as a five-year-old. We need more places like this in the city,” says the 25-year-old.
He says that with most people glued to their phones, computers and X Boxes, he wanted to introduce something that required people to get out of their couches and do something physical. “When you look at physical venues here, there’s football, tennis, badminton, and these require specialisation. But an activity such as this requires no training or skill,” says Wasif, adding, “This is quite popular around the world. My fiancée had gone to Hong Kong and saw something like this there. And, she suggested we should start it here in Chennai.” The entire set-up is imported from China and can hold up to 15 adults or 20 kids at a time.”
“It’s for anybody aged three years and above. It can handle up to 150 kilogrammes at a time,” he says.
By the end of 10 minutes, I am panting a fair bit. “It’s a good workout and you can burn around 200 calories in half an hour. To get balance, you have to use all the core muscles. There is a study by NASA that says jumping on a trampoline is 68% more effective than jogging,” says Wasif. He advises me to bend the knees slightly to control the jump and bend them backwards to jump higher. “The max that anyone can jump is 15 feet. According to safety measures, we have made the ceiling 20 feet high,” adds Wasif.