When I was a kid, jumping on a trampoline was a rare activity I got to do when my older brothers let me tag along to the home of friends who had one. I would bounce a little, but mainly watched in awe as the older kids performed flip after flip without breaking a sweat.
As I grew older, I heard of indoor trampoline parks where I, too, might master that perfect front flip. But I was worried I would be the only one there over five feet tall.
Madison now has two indoor trampoline parks. Madison's Rockin’ Jump, located at 2700 Novation Parkway, is one of 36 franchise locations to open nationwide since 2010. Sky Zone has catapulted to more than 165 locations across North America, Australia and New Zealand since its start in 2004, according to Franchise Times. Skyzone opened a new park a few weeks ago on the West Beltline Highway.
I checked out Sky Zone on a Thursday afternoon, expecting it to be pretty empty, but I was immediately bombarded with popular, upbeat music and a crowd of kids, parents and young adults.
I could see a long line of trampolines to my left and trampolines with basketball hoops in front of me. Behind those, I could make out an American Ninja Warrior-like obstacle course.
General manager Herb Coulthurst, who describes Sky Zone as “healthy fitness disguised as fun,” showed me around. Here’s what Sky Zone has to offer:
Free Style Jump
In this area, kids bounce off 360-degrees-worth of trampolines, including ones angled along the walls. This is the place to do flips, jump from square to square or just bounce to get one's bearings.
The idea here is for friends to to joust while balancing on BOSU balls. The gladiators who lose their balance fall into a foam pit, ensuring they can get up and do battle once again.
Here's where attendees let their inner Michael Jordan soar. Slam dunking a basketball doesn't get any easier than when aided by a trampoline.
As if dodgeball wasn’t intense enough, Sky Zone created a trampoline version. Balls fly free on two courts enclosed by walls. For safety reasons, players are separated here by age and size.
According to Coulthurst, this is the “meat and potatoes of the park.” The obstacle course is a test of speed, strength and agility.
The idea here is to jump as high as one can, strike a pose mid-air and land on a big air bag.
Sky Ladder and Free Climb Wall
No harness is needed here. It's a free climb up the suspended ladder or wall above another foam pit.
If those activities aren’t enough, there's the challenge of reaching the top of the curved incline of the warped wall, a staple Ninja Warrior obstacle. To attempt it, attendees get a running start at walls of different heights.
Danae Luetkehans is web editor for Madison Magazine.