MANILA, Philippines — Deciding to jump off a 25-foot-high platform to “fly” may sound crazy, but that’s what happens every day (except Mondays) at the Flying Trapeze Philippines in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig.
The first flying trapeze rig in the country started operations in August and has been attracting adventure-seekers since. For those less than convinced to take flight, the trainers give their assurances that the rig was set up with utmost consideration for safety. Students just need to keep in mind to trust the equipment and listen to the instructors.
Flying Trapeze steps
Wear the belt. If you can breathe, then it’s not tight enough. Have one of the trainers wring you until you can’t be wrung anymore. You will squeal, growl and gasp from losing your breath. It happens. It’s essential that there’s little to no space between the belt and your skin/clothing so it keeps you from slipping from the trainers’ grasp when you’re all the way up the platform, 25 feet from the ground.
Listen carefully. The trainers will walk you through what you have to do once you’re standing on the platform. Do everything they say because they know what they’re talking about. You will have practice runs on the ground and you will try hanging from the static bar. If you have a hard time doing it, don’t worry, it could get easier with the momentum from when you’re already actually swinging.
Safety first. You will be given several safety measures. You will be warned that you should never walk under the net. And you should always clip yourself to the pulley before going up the ladder.
It is a long way down. If going up the ladder makes your stomach churn, don’t look down. You will not be able to escape this once you’re up on the platform, though. You will see how high up you are, or rather how far down everything else is. Trust the crew. Trust the equipment.
Follow the instructions. The trainers will be helping you every step of the way. So even if once you’re up on the platform, your mind suddenly goes blank, don’t fear. The trainers will be there to coach you. Upon stepping onto the platform, hold fast to the A-pole. That’s the pole shaped like the letter A from which the platform is suspended. There will be two trainers with you up there. You will have to switch places with the one standing nearer you. Do it slowly, and don’t let go of the A-pole.
Chalk up. There is bag of chalk hanging from the A-pole. Cover both hands with chalk to make sure your grip doesn’t slip.
Move to the middle of the platform with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes hanging over the edge. Reach for the pole with your right hand while your left remains latched onto the A-pole. When the trainers tell you, release the A-pole and hold onto the bar with both hands.
Lean in. Make sure your butt is not sticking out. Push your hips forward but keep your shoulders back. Keep your arms straight.
When the trainers call out “Ready,” slightly bend your knees. When they call out “Hop,” bring your feet together and do a little hop forward. Imagine you’re hopping into a small hole just in front of you.
Scream if you must, but keep your eyes open.
Keep an ear out for the trainer’s instructions and do what you are told when you are told. It’s all about timing, so as soon as the trainer gives the instruction, you should go ahead and do it without skipping a beat.
When doing the knee hang, the momentum will help you get your legs up and over the bar, even if you are not able to do it on the ground. So listen to the trainer’s instructions. He will tell you the best time to lift your legs up and put it over the bar.
Point your toes.
Upon the trainer’s instructions, release the bar from your grip, arch your back and extend your arms. The trainer will let you know when it’s best to grip the bar again.
To do a back flip, follow the trainer’s instructions on when to swing your legs. You’d want to swing them as hard as you can. Keep your feet together, swing forward, backward, forward, then let go of the bar and back-flip safely onto the net.
Make your way to the corner of the net near the ladder. Unclip the karabiners from your belt, taking care not to lose hold of them. Clip them together. Hold the rope taut and wait for the trainer on the platform to hook the rope. Once hooked, “walk” your hand through the rope until the trainer on the platform gets a hold of the karabiners. He or she will shout out “Got it,” and then you can proceed to dismount.
Go to the dismount area (above the mat). Lie on your stomach, with the belt making direct contact with the edge of the net. Hold the hoops with your palms out, thumbs out. Keep your legs together. Let yourself fall over, head first and land safely on the mat. Good job. Now you can proceed to the next trick, which is the catch!