The G-Max Reverse Bungy Jump
When you think of a holiday in Singapore, the word ‘extreme’ is probably not the first adjective that comes to mind. Millions of visitors head to this island republic primarily for the shopping, burgeoning arts scene, food, five-star accommodation and what has to be the best zoo in the world.
But there is another side to this usually demure destination where the adrenaline rush rules and an array of extreme activities are available to make even the toughest nut crack. From the air to the water and beyond, all you have to do is suck it up, grow some and push yourself to the limit. And for those who love the idea of extreme but don’t want to break a sweat (or body part), watching can be just as exhilarating as participating.
It’s cool being a spectator
The Extreme Sailing Series is an international sailing competition where racing catamarans known as Extreme 40s compete for top honours in venues like Muscat, Istanbul, Nice, Rio de Janeiro with Singapore on the calendar this year. So what’s so extreme about this race? For starters, these boats have a top speed of 40 knots (that’s approximately 74 km/h for us landlubbers), which is pretty damn quick when you’re out at sea.
The unique aspect of this event is that it introduces Stadium Sailing to the public, which means that as a spectator, you can watch the racing as you would an F1 race sitting near the water. The Marina Bay Reservoir is the venue and with competitors who read like the who’s who of the Olympics, America’s Cup and World Championships, expect a thrilling performance.
Only the brave… or freaking crazy!
Who would have thought that tying a rope around your feet and jumping off a high ledge would become not only a rite of passage for hordes of gap year travellers traipsing through New Zealand, but become such a popular adrenaline-pumping activity? All this is passé compared to the G Max and GX-5!
Now you can attempt free fall and indulge that empty pit feeling in your gut by trying the GX5 Extreme Swing, which drops you from a height of 50 meters with speeds of up to 120 km/h. If that doesn’t get your blood going, there’s always the G-Max Reverse Bungy that catapults you up to 60 meters at 200 km/h. Vomiting and screaming like a little girl is obviously frowned upon.
Not on your first date
If you’re looking for a venue for a first date, stay away from iFly Singapore unless you’re cool with that flappy cheek, face blown backwards look. Apparently there is a sport called bodyflying and as the name suggests, you literally fly with the help of a very large wind tunnel—the world’s largest themed wind tunnel for indoor skydiving to be exact.
This tunnel is almost five storeys high and has a view of the sea so you really feel like you’re suspended in the air. There is a range of air speeds catering for all levels of fliers—from little daredevils (from the age of seven) to wannabe paratroopers. This is a great option for people who want to skydive but are too scared to jump out of a perfectly good plane.
Have car will drive
Not all of us have the luxury of owning a sports car, and certainly not a Lamborghini Gallardo Spyder or the Ferrari F430 F1 Spider! But if you’re willing to part with a tidy sum of money, Ultimate Drive gives you the opportunity to get behind the wheel of one of these beauties and make like you’re an overly tanned Italian playboy… or blinged out gangster rapper. Punters have the choice of driving or being driven by a professional and can either take a 15-minute street circuit tour or a street to freeway tour for 30 minutes. And if you’re feeling really flush, the Ultimate Tour sees you rev up on the F1 circuit and head out to the freeway for an hour of speed.
To put things into perspective, the Ferrari’s top speed is 310 km/h while the Lamborghini hits the limit at 315 km/h. A quick check reveals that the maximum speed limit on a Singaporean expressway is a blistering 90 km/h…
If there was one extreme sport I thought I would try one day, kitesurfing was it. That was until I saw what happens when a hearty wind blows and the aerial acrobatics began, and then I decided watching from the shore was as exciting as it was going to get for me. For the uninitiated, kitesurfing or kiteboarding combines surfing, windsurfing and wakeboarding, with the speed and power provided by a large power kite. Once you’ve mastered staying upright and harnessing the power of the wind, there are all sorts of fun things you can do like course racing, freestyle and going as fast as the wind will take you.
Lessons are readily available in Singapore but are usually held on Bintan Island, a short ferry ride away. Spending a weekend learning the basics is a good introduction to the sport. There are several companies that offer everything from 2-hour starter courses to a week’s worth of action and accreditation. Singaporean kitesurfers tend to strut their stuff at Changi beach, but being a tropical island, the winds are very dependent on the monsoon season.
If it’s a paintball battle you’re after, then the brilliantly named Red Dynasty Paintball Park is the place to be. This is the largest paintball facility in Singapore and offers several paintball game options like a shooting gallery, a speedball field and two scenario-based fields. For us amateurs, this means you can either practise shooting at targets or sign up for packages with names like James Bond, The Godfather, Rambo (my favourite) and Darth Vader; which gives a palpable hint that an affinity for violence and cunning is necessary to win.
The aim of playing paintball is to run around and shoot paint pellets at the ‘enemy’. It’s a great way to bond with friends and family, and also to vent your frustration on the same people in a safe environment. Families with teenage children will find this a great way to while away a couple of hours.
Singapore is not the first place to pop into your mind when considering a surfing holiday, but with the advent of the Wave House, you can easily catch some waves. This is an interesting concept and part of a chain with outlets in Durban, Mallorca, San Diego and Santiago. The highlight of the Wave House is what they call ‘The Wave’, a perfect perpetual surfing wave.
Located at Sentosa, this venue indulges city surfers and those looking for the beach life vibe. Surf competitions are held regularly and for those not looking for a wipeout, the night brings music and dancing with top DJs and musical acts keeping the crowds happy.
Cable skiing & wakeboarding
There are no boats involved here, just a cable system pulling water skiers and wakeboarders around a lagoon. The concept is the same as being pulled by a speedboat, just in a more controlled environment. Ski 360 is the first cable ski park in Singapore and up to eight skiers / boarders at a time can participate. There are instructors available for lessons of all levels. The great thing about water sports in Singapore is that the weather’s warm all year round, and there’s no need for a wetsuit.
Located on the East Coast, the centre of water sports and beach activities on the island, Cable 360 focuses on making water-skiing and wakeboarding accessible for everyone, and for those who aren’t ready to take the plunge, there’s knee boarding too. This is a fantastic day out and an easy escape from the frenzy of the city.
If you really need a challenge…
There has been an upsurge of destination racing over the past years with people training at home and heading somewhere else for a race. This year, try participating in the North Face 100, which takes place in October in Singapore. This is a trail race under the auspice of the North Face 100 Asian Series, with distances being competed at 15km, 25km, 50km and a whopping 100km! Even as I hear all you couch potatoes collectively groan, this is a popular race with enthusiastic runners preparing themselves even as we read this.
This race could even be the precursor to bigger and better things like the Marathon des Sables, which is an astounding 250km run across the Sahara desert. Get those running shoes on now! Start training slowly to prep your body to be fit enough to withstand the challenge: clean eating, ample water, plenty of sleep and a generally healthy lifestyle (no cigarettes!) will do loads to help in addition to your physical training.
And if all these activities fail to get your blood pumping, then spotting the elusive Malayan Tapir Singapore Zoo’s Night Safari should really blow your mind!
Try these places:
G -Max Reverse Bungy and GX5 Extreme Swing
Clark Quay, River Valley Road
43 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa
Marina Bay Sands, #01-03 Hotel Tower 3
Red Dynasty Paintball Park
Bottle Tree Park, 81 Lorong Chencharu
36 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa
1206A East Coast Parkway
North Face 100