By: Cassie Cope –
COLUMBIA, SC — Gone are the days when recreational activities for children did not require a waiver.
At least that’s what the builder of Columbia’s new indoor trampoline park says.
The enjoyment that a skating rink or bowling alley once could offer now is provided by places like HiWire Trampoline Park, located inside Plex Indoor Sports at the Village at Sandhill, said Case Lawrence, owner of the park.
To get children out of their room playing video games and getting the gaming skins true effects you need to offer them an extreme physical activity, Lawrence said.
“You have to offer them an adrenaline rush,” he added.
That’s what his trampoline park, which will open Friday, was built to do.
The park has an open jumping field with punching bags hanging from the ceiling waiting to be grabbed or punched by jumpers.
Hoops players can get extra air after bouncing on the trampoline basketball courts before dunking a ball.
Trampolines line a foam pit where people can back-flip into a soft landing. Once a month the foam pit containing 45,000 cubes of foam is cleaned out to remove a layer of “foam crumbs” and a few lost belongings left behind, Lawrence said.
A separate court provides a space for a dodge ball game where jumpers can peg each other with balls that are not the hard rubber kind that caused many tears in gym class.
“You can throw them full speed and they’re not even going to make a mark on your face,” Lawrence said.
An addition coming soon includes an aerial obstacle course with a spider wall and activities like those on popular TV shows like “American Ninja Warrior,” Lawrence said.
A few couches line the perimeter of the trampolines for spectators to watch or jumpers for to take a break.
HiWire has no minimum or maximum age, and Thursday evening parents were having just as much fun as their kids.
From 9 p.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday nights, the lights in Club HiWire will be turned out and lasers will be turned on for teenagers ages 15 and up.
Local artist McClellan Douglas painted the walls with Columbia’s skyline adding an urban theme to the area, and fast-paced popular music blasts across the park, which is in the same building where after-school students and athletes play indoor sports.
HiWire is an “amazing” addition to what Plex Indoor Sports already does, which is to fill recreational voids in the county, said Dr. Mike Harris, who owns Plex.
“This is a game changer for us,” Harris said.
Lawrence said there is a five-year contract between the trampoline park and Plex with two five-year renewal options.
Dawn Mahoney drove from Aiken to bring her 10-year-old son Michael Wade Mahoney to the park for a preview Thursday night.
“I didn’t know that he would know what to do, but he is figuring it out perfectly,” Dawn Mahoney said as Michael Wade bounced across the courts.
She said HiWire is a great option to be active when it is cold and her kids don’t want to go outside.
In the dodge ball court, stenciled letters from the Socrates say: “Man must rise above earth.”
HiWire’s jumpers certainly do.