Catriona Thomson finds trampolining at Air Space with her daughter is low impact, high energy and most of all, fun
Witnessing the infectious joy of a friend’s baby boinging up and down in her jumperoo bouncer made me decide to investigate a trip to East Kilbride for a spot of trampolining. If baby Charlotte’s reaction was anything to go by, energetic leaping was clearly good for the soul. So I brought along my daughter Hope and her chum Robbie to see if we could channel our inner wallaby and have a bit of fun at Air Space trampoline park.
There are known physical benefits to trampolining, including better balance, co-ordination and spatial awareness. It can also lead to improved bone density – as repeated bouncing puts bones under small amounts of stress, helping them get stronger, and so reducing the risk of fractures and osteoporosis. It even helps the lymphatic circulation get rid of toxins from the body. A study by NASA in 1980 proved that 10 minutes on a trampoline is better than 33 minutes running. It also helps tone muscles, improves cardiovascular fitness, self confidence and stamina, and furthermore it’s low impact, worth bearing in mind when you get to my ripe old age of fortysomething.
The first thing you need to acquire is a pair of natty orange sports socks, which you can keep and use next time you come. Secondly you are given a colour coded wrist band, so you can be evicted once your allotted time is up. We were there for 60 minutes which was long enough to have our faces looking like burst tomatoes, but you can book an even longer session of 90 minutes or 120 minutes if you are keen.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that you can seriously injure yourself trampolining, so absolutely everyone has to take part in a group safety briefing. A video familiarises you with the equipment and tells you the do’s and don’ts. Essentially you must jump to your ability, not attempting any crazy stunt tricks you’ve seen on the internet, as it will probably end badly. Only one person should be jumping on a trampoline at a time unless you are taking part in a dodgeball game where two people are allowed on each one. You should be landing at all times on both feet, your bottom or on your back. If you need help, ask for advice from the staff, or aircrew as they are known. They are easy to spot as they are dressed in orange and black, like giant striped bees policing each of the separate spaces.
The main arena has over 100 interconnected trampolines. These include dodgeball arenas, basketball and volleyball areas – all on super-sprung pitches where you can practice your round off, flick flacks and tumbling routines. The main draw for my team was synchronised bouncing, bounding from one trampoline to another in the vast air hangar-like main area. We liked one zone, where you can practice your more technical moves; try a twist, vault or volley before crashing onto a giant squishy airbag that’s filled with foam. It’s not for the faint hearted, but Hope and Robbie seemed to be having a ball, chucking themselves around. I was sticking religiously to the safety advice and keeping strictly within my limits. However there were quite a few game adults throwing themselves into the activity with gusto. We visited at a peak holiday and weekend time and I would recommend going when it was quieter, for maximum bouncing space.
If you enjoy yourself and want to get fit as well, there are three daily, high intensity freestyle fitness sessions you can sign up to. Developed by Glasgow based parkour and aerial guru, Sam Mcfarlane, these hour long classes will really put you through your paces. Alternatively if you fancy recreating the trick moves you’ve seen on the briefing video you can up skill with a freestyle space academy session on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. There were a fair few Lycra clad youngsters who I’m sure would be back down on a Friday night for Club Space where you can jump around to your heart’s content to the latest club sounds. You will be relieved to hear that I’m not going to inflict my crop top exploits on the world any Friday soon, although we would all jump at the chance to go again.
General access sessions are suitable for 5 years and over although some areas of the park are not accessible to under 10s. Jump socks are required for your visit to Air Space, and cost £2 per pair. A 60 minute session costs £10.95 and 90 minutes costs £13.95, see air-space.co.uk