After Googling ‘Things To do in Koh Tao’ and knowing that scuba diving wasn’t on the agenda for this particular trip, I was pleased to see there were quite a few dry options that would keep us busy and entertained whilst on Turtle Island.
One of the first search results took me to ‘Goodtime Adventures’. Featuring a range of heart pumping, adrenaline-fuelled fun, the one that particularly caught my attention was the flying trapeze. Keen to try something new, I managed to convince the Sailor that he would love it and after not really knowing what he’ll be letting himself in for, to my delight he agreed!
The session was arranged for 5pm where the sun was beginning to allow a little respite. We were greeted on arrival by Emily, the friendly Trapeze artist who arranged our session through e-mail. We paid 1’500 baht p/p (around £30) for a 2 hour lesson.
To begin, we joined the owner Gemma and 2 other trapeze enthusiasts. We headed straight for the practice bar to try out the routine and were given a fluid demo of what to do.
We needed to: hold onto the bar, swing the legs forwards and backwards a couple of times. This allowed us to gain enough momentum to tuck our knees behind the bar. We were then asked to release our arms and swing them behind, arching the back. The sequence was finished off by holding the bar once again and releasing the legs to jump down.
Even though Emily and Gemma made it look easy, it wasn’t difficult to replicate. Apparently it’s much harder on the ground, as in the air you experience weightlessness at certain points.
Afterwards we were taken to the rig and it was time for the real thing. Interestingly, when I first saw the height of the 10 metre bar I thought, ‘Nice, this isn’t so bad.’ But it’s not until you get halfway up the ladder that you start to get an idea of how high it is. (Big gulp!)
With my heart pumping faster, I put my feet on top of the metal plank. Gemma hooked me up to the harness whilst I chalked my hands, trying to absorb the instructions for my first jump.
I was asked to put my left hand onto the stationary pole whilst Gemma pulled-up the bar for me to grab with my right. That’s when I was warned that the bar will be quite heavy and not to fear its weight.
Although fearing the bar is exactly what I had done. I was a bit of a chicken for the first 5 minutes and full of doubt. I was so close to climbing back down the ladder and seriously didn’t think I could take the first jump. Even though I had a harness keeping me safe, I could’t help but think I was risking my life!
Fortunately, I took a few deep breaths and managed to take control of my nerves. I could do this! Gemma was also a master at talking me through the steps and making me feel at ease- she gets jitter bugs like me all the time.
As she pulled back on my harness, she convinced me to let go of the stationary bar and hold the trapeze with both hands. It was surprisingly heavy. With a little more gentle persuasion, I was more trusting of the bar, harness and of Gemma’s hands keeping me from letting go.
Then, with the words ‘3-2-1, hop’, I bent my knees, lifted my feet up and hopped off, forgetting all of my training and holding on for dear life. But I did it!
They have a saying at the Flying Trapeze adventures: first time for fear, second time for fun.
After the first swing, the rest was history. I couldn’t wait to get back up and complete the routine. It is incredible how fast you progress and after a few attempts, I was ready for the mid air catch.
Once the session had finished, I was left feeling thrilled and pumping with adrenaline for hours. The Sailor, who is not acrobatic at all, did a sterling job too and loved it as much as I did.
Although we both marginally missed the catch, the flying trapeze did not fail to catch our interest. It was definitely a highlight for us on Koh Tao, leaving us reminiscing about the fun for the rest of the evening.
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After this session, a seed was planted. I’ve since completed fly trapeze lessons in London and Phuket and love to try it out when an opportunity arises. Have you tried it before? What did you think? Comment below.