Xtreme fun

FREE FALLING from a cage suspended 120 ft. in the air may seem totally insane, but it's a great way to liven up an evening. Bungee jumping is rather unnatural — one assumes human beings were not meant to jump into the air with just a bungee cord tied to one's legs — but the thrill is incredible. Apart from getting to soar off a tiny metal box suspended from a crane, there's the dizzyingly exciting feeling of watching the world rush up to greet you, seeing everything upside down, the swinging sensation when the cord pulls you up — there is no jerk, the entire experience is completely sublime, expect for the second before you actually let yourself fall off the cage. And from up there, Chennai looks like a lovely city, with the sea in the distance.

Xtreme Zone Sports and Services and Mountain Dew have rigged up the YMCA grounds in Royapettah to look like a mini adventure zone. For an adrenaline rush, try the bungee jumping, trampoline catapulting, rock climbing or crawling through an obstacle course at the venue till November 30. The artificial rock-climbing wall is a little strange looking — it's a bright yellow air-filled fibre structure with foot and hand holds jutting out at convenient intervals. For Rs. 100, participants are harnessed by Sherpa-looking assistants and allowed to scale the yellow mountain.

Trampoline catapulting, say Xtreme Zone officials, is being launched for the first time in India. The participant is connected to elastic cords and gets to bounce, somersault, cartwheel and flip on the trampoline. The obstacle course, at Rs. 70, is designed along the lines of an army obstacle course. All the activities have professional supervisors and an ambulance standing by.

Xtreme fun

Safety measures seem adequate — for bungee jumping, on the ground, Dharmender from Nainital straps participants into arm, waist, foot and body harnesses, and jumpmaster Arun, who has trained in Germany, goes up with you and tells you everything you need to know about plunging into nothingness. A six-mm. cord or an eight-mm. cord is used depending on the weight of the person and the maximum weight allowed is 120 kg. At Rs. 700 a jump, it's a little steep, but the kick of the jump pretty much compensates the cost.

So if life seems a little tame at present, head to the YMCA grounds, any time over the next 25 days — but make sure you don't tell your mother till after you've launched yourself off that cage.


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