WHAT do you reckon to the prospect of being set loose on a 35,000-sq. ft. network of interconnected trampolines for an hour or so?
Sounds like fun, right?
If heading to East Kilbride for a bit of a jump around sounds a little extreme, check out the video clip for a sense of how Air Space differs from, say, that rusting trampoline out in your back garden or the ultra-safe, ground-level versions still found in some play parks.
Air Space claims to be Europe’s largest indoor trampoline park, and when you see it, you’ll understand why.
East Kilbride, outside Glasgow, was Scotland’s first new town back in 1947. If you’re new to the now not-so-new new town, one of the first signs you’ll see directs you towards Centre 1 Tax Office. Cue an involuntary shiver down the spine.
Persevere though and you’ll find yourself outside the biggest network of hangar-like buildings this side of a very large airport.
That’ll be Playsport on Stewartfield Way, home to an impressive selection of weather-proof facilities ranging from golf, climbing, football and to a skate and scooter park – and Air Space.
The blurb describes it as a “huge spring-loaded urban playground” and that’s just about right. The first word that comes to mind when first glimpse the “jumpsters” – that’s the hip terminology used for those taking part – milling around the water cooler near the reception is “glowing”. Everyone appears to have gone through a bit of workout and there are lots of smiles.
The importance of the ice cold water – refreshingly available free of charge – becomes all too apparent later…
Jumpsters are issued with a funky little pair of socks they’re required to wear before being ushered in for a safety briefing. Now let’s just say you’re left in no doubt whatsoever that clowning around or attempting feats beyond your skills range could result in serious injury or even death.
Reassuringly, the staff to jumpster ratio seems pretty high - and all of them appear capable of jaw-dropping antics which they’re delighted to show off given a little encouragement.
If you’ve ever fancied learning how to walk up a wall, here’s your chance. A giant airbag allows relative newbies to try out some freestyle moves safely – and the set-up is perfect for perfecting those parkour moves you’ve been itching to try out.
The size of the facility allows space for a football pitch with a difference, a basketball court where anyone can slam dunk like a pro and a spring-loaded area for dodgeball with a difference.
For families, it’s important to remember that jumpsters need to be aged 10 or over. There doesn’t appear to be an upper age limit and if, like us, you have a nine year old or under on your hands, it’s worth steering them towards one of several other attractions nearby, such as the indoor skate and scooter park, where it’s possible to hire all the gear you’ll need.
It is a lot of fun. After all, once you’ve sorted out the safety issues, what’s not to like about trampolines? The fact that it’s weather-proof is, here in Scotland, a pretty hot selling point too, And talking of heat, be prepared to sweat buckets.
Regular attendees have clearly clocked this fact and wear the minimum possible. Iced water – available free – never tasted so good.
Air Space have also launched a trampoline-based freestyle workout designed by YouTube acrobatics and parkour sensation Sam McFarlane. Promising “the ultimate full-body workout”, Sam says: "There's no denying it's hard work, but by using the full repertoire of equipment available at Air Space, it will be good fun too – one of the most important elements of retaining fitness.
"It's a full-body workout with a real focus on core strength, balance and cardiovascular. There will be some sore tums and bums afterwards, but the toning will be worth it!"
Since opening in December last year, the revolutionary £2 million leisure destination has been well received by jumpsters looking for something fresh and fun. A rapid Air Space expansion in the coming months is predicted.
Until we get one of these a little closer to the Highlands, Air Space is surely the best reason you'll find for a wee trip down the road to East Kilbride.
The price is £13 per session at Air Space.
Find out more at http://www.playsportscotland.com/airspace