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Tracks and trampolines: Testing out the new facilities at Capital Karts

PUBLISHED: 14:00 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 14:09 10 August 2018

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Capital Karts. All pictures: Ken Mears

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Capital Karts. All pictures: Ken Mears

Archant

I’ve got a confession to make: I’m a bit of a motorsport fan. So when I was invited to try out Capital Karts’ redesigned track, I jumped at the chance.

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Capital KartsChief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Capital Karts

The venue, located just off Ripple Road, Barking, has recently remodelled its track in order to accommodate its new trampolining facility, Jump London.

At 1,050m, the track - the longest indoor one in the UK - is full of twists, turns and, now that it goes across two storeys, up and down ramps as well.

Once we’d donned our racesuits, my fellow drivers and I were taken through a safety briefing before we were allowed out on track.

The event I took part in was split into two - a 15 minute practice and qualifying session followed by a 35 minute race - although the centre offers a variety of options, including junior karting for seven to 15-year-olds.

And while my group of co-drivers featured a couple in their late 20s and parents bringing their teenage children out for some school holiday fun, I noticed a diverse range of people using the track before and after me, including even a Scout group!

It took me a lap or two to familiarise myself with the track layout, but once I’d built up my confidence and speed, I was flying - even managing to get a few overtakes in.

To my surprise, I managed to qualify second on the grid for the race session, which was where I managed to stay throughout.

The length of the track means that every lap takes more than a minute to complete for even the fastest drivers, providing a real test of skill for any would-be Lewis Hamiltons whilst also catering for those less experienced behind the wheel.

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Capital KartsChief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Capital Karts

After removing my helmet and racesuit, and downing a much-needed bottle of water, I headed to the other side of the 100,000 sq ft complex to test out the trampolining facilities.

Known as Jump London and opening only last month, these are suitable for jumpers of all ages, from toddlers to fully grown adults.

Just like with the karting, participants have to go through a short safety briefing before they are allowed on.

They also have to wear special jump socks, which have a grip to the sole, and any non-participating adults have to remove their shoes as well.

Gabriel Asak, two, and Mckinley-Rose Asak, three, at Jump LondonGabriel Asak, two, and Mckinley-Rose Asak, three, at Jump London

After that, though, there’s only one question that needs answering: Where to start?

As well as plenty of conventional trampolines, there are slides, foam pits and an assault course, which should tire out even the most hyperactive children.

My bouncing began on the normal trampolines, where I familiarised myself with the bounciness before trying to spring off one of the side walls - and ending up flat on my back as a result.

Realising that I was perhaps too big or too untalented to try that again, I swapped the trampolines for an obstacle course through a foam pit.

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Jump LondonChief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Jump London

Then, in the interests of journalism, I decided I had better ensure an adult could safely fall into the pit. The result: They can.

Other activities include a group of trampolines set up as a dodgeball court, a reaction wall where jumpers have to leap up and hit flashing lights, and a rotor jump, where a padded rotating arm spins around and aims to knock people over if they don’t jump out of the way in time.

My destination, though, was the basketball area, where a hoop was installed at the top of a curved trampoline.

I was able to shoot the ball with relative success, but with enough bouncing beforehand even small children should be able to do so as well.

Chief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Jump LondonChief Reporter Sophie Morton getting into action at Jump London

Last on my list of activities to try was the assault course. It features hoops, balance beams, a cargo net and a ball pit, as well as other obstacles to climb up and over - all against the clock.

With activities to suit little ones as well as those a bit larger, Jump London offers fun for all the family.

To book, visit capitalkarts.com or jumplondon.com

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