Get off the couch and get going, because Bangalore has a host of adventure and sporty activities that will give you a kick, challenge you to new heights, and help you bond over them with friends and family
Yes, you could trek, you could go camping, or just take off on a holiday. But if you have some time on hand and loads of energy and don’t know what do with yourself over short weekends, adventure sports might be the thing for you.
And if you’re done targeting your boss and splotching him with red paint in a game of paintball, it’s time to get your balancing act in place and try something that tests your own strengths, limits, and teaches you a new skill. “The whole idea is to get out of office, be in the open, get a kick out of doing something adventurous…something which gives you a high,” says Punith M, a techie in the city who loves to go chimney climbing in Ramnagara.
While it’s now part of life for most corporates and companies to take their teams on ‘day out’s and team bonding exercises in a new and fun environment, informal groups of friends and families are not far behind — they also like to try new and adventurous antics to get away from the grind and enjoy doing something together.
Atish Udayashankar, digital marketing strategist at Thrillophilia, one of the companies in Bangalore that organises such activities, says, “We have people coming to us for different reasons, be it corporates looking for team building activities, young people looking for some adventure, or hardcore adventure enthusiasts looking to master the sport. The majority of our customers are corporate clients, who are looking for adventure activities that can be undertaken without any prior training. Some of the popular activities include wall climbing, archery and zorbing. Apart from breaking the monotony and giving a sense of thrill, these activities work on a deeper level as well. Wall climbing inspires you to overcome obstacles and reach new heights despite difficulties involved and archery teaches you to focus on one particular target. These adventure sports push both your mental and physical boundaries.”
Sudhindra Subbarao, co-founder of WildWanderers, which organises such activities as near as Ramnagara or as far off as Chitradurga, says the range of people wanting to indulge in these activities is wide. “The average age of the people who come for these activities is about 30 to 35. Small groups of friends tend to come together, as well as families, on a day out. Increasingly, groups of moms and kids have started to come together. Of course, more than 75 per cent of the clients are corporates.”
Aalok Bharadwaj, who started the slacklining community in Bangalore through an all-India Facebook group says there are about 12 to 14 slackliners who meet every week at Cubbon Park. Curious passers-by always want to give it a shot. The first attempt is usually just to stand on one foot and balance on the line. The bigger challenge is to walk on the line.
Raj, co-founder of Dirtmania, on Kanakpura Road has seen Bangalore evolve over the last five years from when he had to explain what quadbiking was to now, when most youngsters have tried it on beaches abroad or in offroading experiences within the country. “We get corporates, families out to have fun, as well as groups of college students who want to celebrate a friend’s birthday. When entire families come, we even take senior citizens on a buggy ride so they can see what their family is enjoying.”
Here’s a quick look at just some of these activities:
Wall climbing: You climb up an artificially constructed wall with the grip of your hand and feet. The grips give you the feel of the surface of the mountains or boulders. The activity is said to be “slightly strenuous” and physically challenging.
Archery: Based on the age old sport of hunting and combat, archery challenges you to hit the target. This sport requires a lot of focus.
Zorbing: Have a ball! Zorbing is an activity in which a person rolls on an inclined landscape or in water, in a wobbly globe that is usually made out of plastic. It’s not as easy as it sounds, and your sense of balance and stability is surely challenged!
Jumaring: It’s a professional rock climbing technique that makes climbing up rocks easier. You don’t have to climb. You take the help of ‘jumars’ or clamps and a foothold to haul yourself up using ropes. It makes big steep climbs faster and easier. It’s practised on trees!
Bouldring: This is done to help prep for professional rock climbing. You are taught to traverse a rock, chart out various ‘moves’ that can get you up, and figure out how you can get a grip of things while climbing with hands and feet. It requires immense strength in the arms and fingers, and some problem solving ability as you decide which moves will get you on top.
Rope traversing: Use your hands to pull yourself across a rope tied between two points, parallel to the ground. If it’s done over water, it becomes river crossing. You are harnessed for safety but there’s no pulley to help you get across.
Chimney climbing: Well, we’re not talking about playing Santa Claus here, but you will learn to climb up small gaps and crevices between rocks and boulders. Using your feet and palms, you shimmy up the ‘chimney’
without the support of any rope to haul yourself up (only safety ropes are used).
Slacklining: Is walking on a flat piece of nylon webbing, one or two inches wide, tied between two anchors about a feet-and-a-half of the ground. It’s a balance sport where no prop is used to help balancing. The slack comes in from the nylon stretching; therefore it’s more like a trampoline, than like tightrope walking. It’s considered a wholesome wellness sport because you use the body’s core to sense balance. It gives you a perception of your own body, helps in concentrating. It also strengthens smaller muscles of the legs.
Quadbiking: Driving a bike that has four wheels! This all terrain vehicle (ATV) offers you an opportunity for adventure, where you can experience different natural terrains. Ride over stones, up and down slopes and steep climbs and in water, engaging in a four-wheel drive mode. Or if you prefer speed to adventure, race on dedicated racing tracks. The challenge is to get the steering and manoeuvring right, considering it’s a bike with a handlebar — only this one is with four wheels.