When I made the decision to use some of my precious fading time in Southeast Asia to return to Koh Tao for oh, I don’t know, the billionth time, I made a promise to myself that I would try at least one new thing on the island.
And I knew exactly what that one thing would be.
Flying Trapeze Adventures is somewhat of an unlikely venture for a tropical Thai island. Snorkeling trips, diving courses, Muay Thai boxing lessons — sure, those fit. But aerial acrobatics? Not exactly the first thing that comes to mind. Still, I couldn’t resist trying a new activity at enticing Southeast Asia prices.
Trapezing is becoming increasingly popular in the US, though trying it Stateside will set you back. Here, a single one-hour lesson is 950 baht ($33), whereas with three lessons the price drops to 750 baht ($26), at five lessons 700 baht ($24) and for a 10 pack classes go down to just 600 baht ($20) each.
Arriving at the school for my afternoon lesson, I watched the employees and long-term students sail from bar to bar with the ease and comfort of gibbons passing through the palm trees. I immediately knew I was in trouble. If I happen to think something looks effortless, it’s a practical guarantee that I will suffer.
After watching a few short demonstrations and doing one attempt of the “knee hang catch” on a practice bar, I was shocked to find that we were already heading up to try our first round on the real big-girl trapeze. The sweet owner and main instructor Gemma shouted out directions from the ground while a spotter clipped on all the safety harnesses.
Though I don’t have a fear of heights, I did hesitate before taking that first little hop off a platform 30 feet in the air. While my arms strained to hold the bar, I used the force of my body’s swing through the air to propel my legs up and over the bar. In this position, I dropped my hands and swung with my knees hooked over the bar before a final dramatic drop to the safety net.
In between attempts we again watched the more experienced flyers go, and I wished that I had tried trapezing earlier. How did I spend a year of my life on Koh Tao without trying this?! It was challenging yet exhilarating and I was enjoying it more than I had anticipated. While many people warned me about sore arms and legs I actually found the most painful part to be my hands — by the end of the lesson I felt sure they were either going to burst into flames or start oozing blood.
After a few attempts at the simple knee hang swing, it was time to try the “catch trap.” Here, we would swing across the same as before, but instead of dropping down after performing the trick, a catcher would grab our hands and swing us on through the second trapeze. It took me several attempts but finally I was able to do it — what a high! It felt truly amazing.
I often get emails from readers who are looking for things to do on Koh Tao other than go diving. Look no further! Flying Trapeze Adventures is a fun and unique activity with the bonus of being a great work out and a way to procure a jealousy-inducing new Facebook cover photo. Fly away!
Have you ever tried trapezing? What did you think?
Flying Trapeze Adventures did not pay or perk me for this post. In fact, they didn’t know about either my profession or my horrible history of klutziness.