Regular readers of this blog may recall that The Family T-T are pretty keen on trampolines. These (literally) breathless posts about North Point’s Ryze and DB’s Discoveryland had us building up a right old sweat on the springs and we’ve returned to both venues many times since our original visits. So when an email landed in my inbox inviting me to join “the free jumping revolution”, we were on the MTR down to Bounce Inc. at the KITEC EMAX in Kowloon Bay before you could say “trousers, not skirt”.
Now before I go any further, let’s get right down to it – safety concerns. There’s been A LOT of bad press around trampoline safety in HK over the past few months. Like any parent, I want my kid to have a great time, wear himself out, but also come out with all his limbs intact, so I was very keen to see what Bounce Inc. are doing to make sure that their visitors stay safe.
- As with Ryze, you are obliged to sign a waiver upon entry and comply with a strict set of safety rules which you can read about here. You’re reminded to abide by the rules and to only jump within your own limits, but also to be aware of others.
- Everyone is obliged to wear grip socks, which are available to buy at the front desk. We found that this makes it harder to slip over and gives better control on the trampolines.
- There are A LOT of staff around to supervise each area and I’m told that the team are rotated around every 15 minutes or so, ensuring that everyone is paying full attention.
- They VERY strictly adhere to a “one person per trampoline” rule. To be honest, I initially found this a bit irritating as I wanted to bounce hand-in-hand with my four-year-old, but no, it’s absolutely forbidden and, to be fair, after a while I was actually quite impressed by how rigidly this rule was applied. On the odd few times that my boy got a bit over-excited and ran onto someone else’s trampoline before I could grab him, he was immediately redirected, while the other person was instructed to stop moving. This ensures that there’s no opportunity for jumpers to collide, or for little ones to get flattened, either by older kids, or by STUPID ADULTS DOING BACKFLIPS WITHOUT PAYING BLOODY ATTENTION (yes, this happened to us a few months back and suffice to say the guy in question probably won’t be doing it again).
- The padding between each trampoline is quite a bit thicker than I’ve seen before, so you land softer if you mis-judge a jump.
- Each section is subject to strict maximum numbers, and once an area is full, it’s roped off and you’ll just have to wait your turn.
Of course, I’m in no way affiliated with either of the trampoline parks in Hong Kong, and as I already mentioned, we’ve enjoyed trampolining reasonably regularly while weighing up the potential risks. I will say that I found the team at Bounce Inc. to be very approachable, so if you have safety concerns I’d say it’s best to contact them yourself to make up your mind if it’s for you or not.
– Public safety broadcast ends –
On to the fun details: this brand new Aussie import opened its doors last Wednesday and at the time of our visit, there were a few areas still getting their last few finishing touches (mostly party rooms).
That said, the vast majority of facilities in this whopping 20,000 square foot space were already up and running, including:
- A free-jumping zone of interconnected trampolines, including a very cool extra-long “tumble track” that Master T-T thoroughly enjoyed zooming along.
- A wall-running section that we couldn’t visit as it’s strictly for bigger kids (over 1.25m tall) only.
- Two “slam dunk” hoops. The little dude showed great perseverance in trying to get the ball in, despite the fact that the hoops were probably twelve times taller than him.
- A performance trampoline area featuring five Olympic standard (i.e. extra-boingy) tramps. Again, this is strictly a 1.25m or over zone.
- A vast inflatable “big bag” – kind of a giant airbag equivalent of a foam pit. I’m told by the Bounce Inc. folks that this is actually safer than the foam alternative as your landing surface won’t shift from position over time.
- A large dodgeball court, complete with foam balls with which to pelt your loved ones.
There’s also a small “tuck shop” area that features a range of drinks and snacks by Classified, so thumbs up for the option of healthy salads, veg sticks and dips and sandwiches post-boing, along with some very drinkable coffee for the parents.Speaking of which, if your kids are a bit older and you’re not keen on bouncing yourself (and I honestly can’t imagine how this scenario would come about, but let’s just go with it for the moment), there’s a galleried seating area overlooking the entire space where spectators can come and watch the fun below. I’m told that this will soon also feature a small soft play area for babies – a thoughtful touch for those who are visiting with really little ones (and somewhere for Mr and Baby T-T to park themselves on our next visit… well, it’s not going to be me, is it?!).
If you’re looking for a birthday party venue, there are three interconnecting rooms that can be hired out together or separately with party packages, including cakes, catering and goody bags available. I also got a sneak preview of a huge conference/event room that was just being finished up and that offers a more adult-friendly space, with projectors and big-screen TVs, meaning you can waffle on about projected figures for Q.3 to your heart’s content while your entire team ignore you and daydream about mastering a half-pipe on the running wall instead.
Starting from August, you’ll be able to sign your 3-5 year-olds up for dedicated “MiniBounce” sessions, where instructors teach safe jumping techniques, get little ones trying new moves and generally supervise all the madness.
We had an awesome time and left tired but happy. (Actually, that’s not entirely true – Master T-T left under duress with the bribe of a wander around Troopers, the Lego store next door). But anyway, we definitely had fun and we’ll be back for more.
One last thing. If, like me, you’re currently a nursing mum then this is the single most important piece of advice I can offer you: wear two bras. You’ll thank me later…
Costs: $150 per hour. Sounds like a lot but you’d have to be totally hardcore to need more than an hour. Book online here (recommended).
Bounce Inc., G/F, EMAX, KITEC, 1 Trademart Drive, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong; 2556 9555
Please note that this visit was by invitation, I’ve already booked (and paid for) our next one as we had such a great time!