First look: Inside Barking’s new trampoline park
PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 November 2015 | UPDATED: 13:35 10 November 2015
Normally an urge to throw myself off a tall object would be a cause for concern.
Extreme Trampoline Park
Reporter Sebastian Murphy-Bates jumps into a foam pit
Bouncing of the walls of Extreme Trampoline Park
Reporter Sebastian Murphy-Bates is defeated by Elena Cruikshank
Reporter Sebastian Murphy-Bates springs from a bouncy platform into a pit of foam
Tightrope walking at the trampoline park
Extreme Trampoline Park's grapple ladder
Elena Cruikshank beats Sebastian Murphy-Bates on the dodgeball court
But at the 18,000 sq ft of fun that is Barking Sporthouse’s new trampoline park, it’s totally logical.
And anyway, launching myself off a two-metre high platform into a pit filled with foam cubes bigger than my head was far safer than what duty manager Elena Cruickshank had in store.
First she beat me at bouncy dodgeball, somehow managing to knock me out of the air and onto a trampoline with a light, spongey ball.
Then she battled me off a balancing beam with a large, cylindrical weapon with a gladiator’s proficiency.
But the 22-year-old assured me there was a point to all of this falling over.
“It’s a really good workout, you can burn up to 1,000 calories an hour trampolining,” she said. “I’ve been trampolining for 10 years and, coming from a competition background, I’ve never had as much freedom as I have here.
“Anyone can come and try this, it’s for everyone.”
This definitely seemed to be the case as I bounded across the room, the floor of which consists almost entirely of 125 trampolines.
Newcomers and professionals alike can slam-dunk basketballs from a bouncy base and leap across the park with the might of a mutant kangaroo, launching themselves at trampoline-layered walls and platforms.
For experts, there are three performance trampolines, enabling bouncers to reach greater heights.
Jamie Ross, overseer of the gym’s exploration of non-traditional sports, says Extreme Trampoline Park prioritises enjoyment.
“The fitness side is a consequence of having fun rather than being the main reason to do it,” he said. “It’s giving more options to more people outside traditional sports.”
The park opens on Saturday at noon.
Prices and booking vary, for details go to http://extreme.better.org.uk/
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