It’s obvious that the new Spider Jump in Sun Valley is big fun even before you see it. Shrieks of joy and “woo hoo” can be heard from quite a distance. When you do see the apparatus, located on the field next to the Recreation Center at the Sun Valley Village, the enthusiastic yelling makes sense.
The bungee spider jump consists of four large individual trampolines on which participants launch into the air wearing a harness that is attached to strong, springy bungee cords. A few big jumps in the middle of the trampolines and up you go, high above the Village. The next four minutes are yours to spend however you set fit. Back flips and front flips are a popular option as is just bouncing in the ether.
Last week I took three children, one nine-year-old and two thirteen-year-olds, over the Spider Jump to try it out. Immediately, they were greeted by the two boys who just finished their turn. “It’s awesome!” they advertised.
We were in line behind a family visiting from Washington, D.C. Their two boys, ages 12 and 14 were channeling their best freestyle tricks on the bungees, smiling from ear-to-ear.
After signing a release for each, the very helpful attendant Elilel weighed each child (important information in determining how many bungees to hook up to each jumper) and got them set up. The nine-year-old went first, happily stepping into the harness and connecting to the bounce lines. With a thumb’s up, Elilel told him to start jumping and up he went, laughing all the way.
The girls were next and once they overcame a bit of self-consciousness that comes with the age, they were up in the air flipping and flying and laughing.
Nine dollars buys four minutes on the Spider Jump which may not sound like much, but this is a very active activity. Even my two competitive figure skaters and athletic fourth grader needed to rest during their turn (which means hanging in the air taking a few breaths). Jumpers use their arms, core and legs to keep the momentum going and to perform tricks. After four minutes, all three jumpers were breathing pretty hard.
The Spider Jump is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you weigh more than 30 pounds and less than 200 pounds, you’re in! Elilel said adults seem to like jumping nearly as much as the children. It is, however, not recommended for those with back or neck problems, heart problems, high blood pressure or other conditions that might limit robust activity. Another tip – loose t-shirts may fly up and longer pants and shorts look more comfortable than shorter ones because of the harness. Dress appropriately!
In between all the other wonderful ways to spend a Sun Valley Summer, from swimming and tennis, to golf and kids’ camps, hiking, biking and skating, make sure you try the Spider Jump. It is something new, it is really fun and it’s a kid magnet.
As Van Halen so eloquently sang, “might as well jump!” This is definitely true at the new four-armed, super springy, bungee-driven Spider in Sun Valley.