On Sunday J and I went to Richmond with two friends to try out the Extreme Air Park. This is a giant trampoline facility that features a football-field sized area of interlinked trampolines (including the walls), a trampoline half-pipe, and a foam pit for practicing tricks.
It was insanely, ridiculously fun. On the big trampoline field I understood immediately why trampolines are used for aerials training. Doing easy grabs reminded me of days in the terrain park before I blew my knee, when I was first gaining confidence in the air.
The half pipe was a bit of a letdown, since it didn’t have enough tension for high bouncing. This didn’t stop one of our friends from turning a very springy cartwheel on it, but I sort of lurched off the sides before falling off the end into the foam pit. That was all I needed to realise that the foam pit was going to be one of the best things ever.
It really was. There was a double trampoline leading up to it, and if you timed it right this meant you could really maximize both air and forward momentum on the second bounce. It took me a few tries to figure the double bounce out, including one ungainly sprawl on the floor, and then I got it and suddenly full front flips (and even a couple of 540s) were no problem at all.
I could have stayed there all day. It’s that thing about being in the air, that moment where you suddenly feel the promise of flight before gravity grabs you and hauls you back down to earth. It’s hard to put into words, this pull that the air has on me even though it cost me so much on that day when it all went wrong in the terrain park. On a bike, on skis, on a trampoline: it doesn’t matter. I’m never going to stop wanting to be there, in that perfect weightless moment.
In spite of the hordes of uncontrolled children, we all had a great time. I want to go back, and soon.