Harley Denham is GTW's Advertising Client Manager. She recently visited the indoor thrillseeker's paradise, with a range of daring and exhilarating activities.
Following on from the corporate benefits article which appeared in the June edition of GTW, we visited Bodyflight Bedford, an indoor activity centre ideal for team building and corporate events.
Arriving at Bodyflight Bedford, it was clear there is plenty of room for coach parking. Located deep within a business park, it doesn’t seem like the obvious location to jump off a 120ft building. We entered and made our way up to the second floor where the first activity was scheduled for 1130hrs. We were booked in for a two-person virtual driving experience which lasted around 20 minutes. The room was fairly dark and cool to help you concentrate on the track. We were given a quick briefing on how to use the controls and what to expect. Groups can experience an hour’s private booking hire of the Racehouse Room, where up to 12 people can race. Also available are three person race experiences, where you race with friends to the finish line. Unfortunately, if you suffer from motion sickness this will be something you may want to skip.
The next activity, Vertigo Jump, was scheduled for 1200hrs. Located 125ft above ground, the Vertigo Jump is a great way to face your fear of heights.
We were in a small group of four, who were taken into the room where the safety equipment is located and given a briefing on safety by our instructor. The jump is located at the top of the building, so we had to take an old style lift up to a floor where we then climbed a small ladder to the roof. Once on the roof and attached to the safety clips, we walked around the top of the building to the jump spot. A harness was then attached and I was told to position myself close to the line and get ready to jump, either by leaning forward or by stepping over the edge. After 10 minutes of talking myself into it and realising I probably would be more scared going back the way I came, I finally took the plunge. Freefalling for around four seconds felt fantastic, but soon brought back to reality when the harness kicked in and brought me safely back to ground level. There was a member of staff located at the bottom of the jump to ensure I landed correctly. Once standing underneath the jump (still shaking from the adrenaline) you are able to enjoy watching friends take their turn.
With a small break until the next activity we decided to head up to the restaurant and bar area. There was plenty of room for groups, with spacious seating and tables looking on to the indoor surfing and rock climbing, which is very entertaining to watch. The restaurant serves a selection of traditional hot and cold food such as sandwiches, paninis, chips and jacket potatoes. The bar serves a selection of juices, spirits and beers to quench your thirst after an adrenaline filled morning. We also browsed the shop, full of branded merchandise, clothes, bikinis, a fantastic selection of flip flops and a bracelet collection.
The instructor handed us some safety equipment to put on and advised us on the colour coded rocks to climb. Yellow is the easiest route, then green, with red being the hardest. After a few test runs climbing to the top of the wall, our group became competitive, using the clock to time each other. The Climbing Wall has four different stations which we were able to explore in the half hour session.
The instructor took the group to a quiet room where we were shown a video presentation. He then explained the health and safety rules when surfing. We were all given a wet suit and directed to the changing rooms, where we found lockers for our personal belongings. We then gathered at the Flowrider to meet the instructor, who gave us a fantastic demonstration of tricks and surfing skills. Two people are allowed on the flowboard at one time, with two types of boards to use, one of which allowed us to experience surfing standing up, while the other was a body board. This session lasted around one hour. For larger groups (maximum 24 people per group) you can privately hire the wave for an hour. This costs just £300 per hour at peak times and £225 during off peak times. For small groups (12 people or less) you can pay per person using the normal adult or kids packages and join a public session.
The indoor skydiving was located on the top floor of the building. We were greeted by a large reception area and friendly instructor David, who handed us protective clothing, goggles and a helmet to wear. This floor offers fantastic facilities for groups, with an outdoor top seating area called The Creeper Room and two team rooms used for strategic planning, for when the Indoor Skydiving Championships are held there. The next championships are being held in April 2015, which will be their 10th anniversary. Visit www.worldchallenge.info for further date information.While the tunnel was switched off, we were taken into the flying area and given instructions on how to position your body when flying, signals used to communicate while in the tunnel, how to enter or exit and additional safety details. Each member of the group had an individual session, though fly with a friend packages are also available. A photograph and video is taken for each person, which is available for purchase following the flight, from reception on a USB stick. Our instructor David was fantastic, very patient and went the extra mile at the end of the day by really giving positive feedback and information on further visits to Bodyflight.