Take the plunge: Bring in the new year with new adventure sports
Be a daredevil or a (very low-slung) rope, try bubble soccer, or take a ride on a swoop swing.
Slacklining lets you be a daredevil on a tightrope, with far fewer risks. With the line just a foot or so off the ground, you can walk, prance, jump and perform tricks.
This sport, traced to 1976 and attributed to American rock climber Adam Grosowsky, has been getting increasingly popular worldwide in recent years, and came to Mumbai in 2016.
Slacklining also has several variants, including waterlining (slacklining over water), windlining (slacklining in windy conditions) and and tricklining (performing jumps, splits, handstands, and flips).
“The Indian slacklining community is growing faster in Delhi and Bangalore because those cities have no paucity of open spaces,” says Samar Farooqui, founder of Slacklife Inc, which conducts sessions across the country and organised a Slack Festival in Lonavala that ends today.
In Mumbai, you can give slacklining a shot at Narli Baug in Dadar, where a 30-minute introductory lesson costs Rs 100 — after which you can set up your own line and go nuts. You can reach Farooqui, currently the only pro in the field in India, on 9768976885 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bubble Soccer lets you be the player and the ball, in a way. Each player’s torso is encased in an inflated zorb. The usual rules of football apply, with the additional fun of players bouncing into one another as they fight to get the football into their goalpost.
Bubble Football took off in 2011 after Norwegian TV presenters Johan Golden Henrik Elvestad played it on their show, Golden Goal.
“It’s like a combination of football, rugby, and wrestling,” says Kamlesh Sharma, who owns and runs Goregaon-based Bubble Soccer India, launched a year ago. Sharma has big plans for the game.
“We want to organise a National Bubble Soccer Championship by 2017-end and have India participate in the inaugural Bubble Soccer World Cup, which will be held in January 2018 between about 28 countries,” he says.
Wanna just head over and kick the ball around? The Goregaon facility costs Rs 800 per person for 1.5 hours, with discounted rates offered for extra-large groups. You can reach BSI at 2876-9859 / 9160.
Four-wheeled ATVs (short for all-terrain vehicles) have been around since 1982, with adventure quad biking taking off in India over the past three years. But Powai-based Headrush offers a twist to ATV riding, with ‘blind ATV’.
As the name suggests, riders are blindfolded before setting off down dirt tracks.
“It’s more difficult and has an element of danger. But a ‘sighted’ guide is always close by to ensure safety,” says Harshit Desai, senior manager at the company’s Outbound Experiences division. “Blind ATV is especially good for team-building, which is why several corporates approach us.”
Groups of 20 or more can seek prices on request. Call 7303490007 or email email@example.com
If you’re done with bungee-jumping and parasailing, give the swoop swing a shot and be swung like a pendulum after free-falling from a height of 100 ft.
Lonavala-based Della Adventure is home to India’s only Swoop Swing.
“Unlike in bungee jumping, your whole body except the hands is bound in a harness, which limits movement and therefore enhances the thrill,” says Della marketing executive Rohan Sawant.
There’s more. The swoop swing is self-controlled, meaning you release the ripcord that sends you plummeting down, then prepare to be swung wildly five or six times, just a metre or so above the ground.
A ride on the swoop swing is available for Rs 1,000 if you have a Della Day Pass (which costs Rs 1,750). For details, go to dellaadventure.com.