Let's journey to the West Side, at the end of Line 10, where the air smells of industry, Ayis drive moto-taxis, Transformers statues stand fifteen feet tall, and the planes fly so low you could almost peg them with a rock. This is Minhang District's Qibao Town, a colorful land with history dating back to the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period (~907-960 AD).
Now they have a giant trampoline park that plays the dirty versions of rap songs from 2000-2015.
Yeah man, Air Jump Trampoline Park
. They have like 30 trampolines, a dodgeball court, a "ninja warrior" course, trampoline basketball (taking some serious cues from Slamball here), a slack rope, a kids zone, and most importantly, "The Pit". You can jump around until you break your fibula or your neck and really test the limits of that expat health care. But before that, let's review "The Safety Video Of Air Jump Park.mv4" (actual title).
Adults -- don't hurl kids at other kids in the pit.
Also, don't smash children in the head with balls.
Because they might get brain damage.
The film continues with a bunch of pro-trampoline bros who all seem pretty blazed.
But we can sum up the whole safety video -- and life itself -- with this crucial gem of wisdom.
After watching the safety video, you sign this impossibly long waiver and recieve a pair of non-slip socks with catpads on the bottom. Yes, you get to keep the socks. Slam dunk.
How big is Airjump Shanghai? Big enough to get hurt. For real, you could easily break an ankle or worse here. Protect yo' neck! We asked Latoya, the receptionist, what was the all-time coolest injury at Airjump, and she said once a kid did a flip and knocked out his front teeth on his knee. OOF...
No really, it's not that big, or busy. We came at 4pm on a Thursday and the place was dead except for one poorly attended child (moms was on WeChat the whole time while her kid just ran around to the sounds of "Rack City Bitch!"). So we made friends with the ladies working there. Latoya's skill level is so so, but Sheila pretty much runs the trampoline game in Qibao.
Really, Sheila was just killing it, probably because she's only like 40kg and works at the trampoline park. Somehow she busted a 360 over the ninja warrior barrier. I couldn't even mount that thing.
Then she threw down some nasty dunks while Drake's "Back To Back" played in the background. Oh Sheila
Some will draw comparisons between Airjump Shanghai and the Slamball court we visited
(also in Minhang). While the Slamball trampolines definitely feel springier and more professional, that place is a bit intimidating for casual visitors. But one truth remains at both venues -- you don't want to land on the area between the tramps. That's the bone snapper.
But Slamball doesn't have The Pit, and that's what you came here for, right?
Well, it's not as good as that Pit. Somehow the tramp isn't springy enough, and the foam, while definitely sufficient, is only like half a meter deep. Still, enough to bust some nasty flips like my man Kano.
Then they have this slackline area, which is where all those Burning Man hippies practice.
And here's the Dodgeball zone, which looks quite tame now, but Latoyta said this place gets packed on weekend afternoons.
So is it worth it? Yes, definitely. They charge 90rmb an hour for adults and offer discounts for groups and birthday parties. Will your kid die or get horribly injured? Probably not. Didn't see any sharp corners or dodgy construction, and the poorly attended child we saw there couldn't even jump high enough to get hurt. As for adults, Airjump would make a fine spot for a date, and it's a hell of a workout. Would definitely come back, and not just for this place -- the whole neighborhood seems like a trip.
Like this arcade next door, which smells like mahjong and dying dreams. In classic dodgy arcade form, none of the actual arcade games were turned on except for Sketchy Fishing and one lonely Rambo game.
The mall also has a professional badminton court, some busted-ass English schools, a movie theater straight outta '82, and a ping-pong school, where you can get one-on-one instruction from a master for 200rmb an hour.
You could easily spend half a day in this hood, just peeping the architecture, eating in cheap little restaurants, wandering around Qibao Laojie, and watching planes approach landing at Hongqiao Airport. Lots of adventure to find out here -- the spirit of '08 is strong in Qibao.
Air Jump Shanghai is on the third floor of Building C, 289 Huxing Lu, near Shunheng Jie. It's a five minute cab ride from Line 10, Hangzhong Lu (the terminal station), or a quick ride from Line 9, Qibao Station.