Saturday, September 23 , 2017, 2:50 pm | Fair 70º


Local News

Kids Clamor to Get a Bounce at Cloud 10 Jump Club Classes

New Goleta trampoline park teaches martial arts-gymnastics blend

A crowd of parents and other well-meaning looky-loos silently stood behind tall, black mesh netting, gathered as a makeshift audience to observe a lesser-known sport none of them quite understood.

Urban gymnastics “tricking,” a relatively new sport to those who have even heard of it, has quickly become the fastest-growing and most popular class offered in the Air Academy at Cloud 10 Jump Club in Goleta’s Turnpike Center.

Professionally trained gymnasts describe it as a freestyle flip with a literal twist, with forward and backward versions allowing the more flexible among us to perform the aerial trick that’s less bound by the traditional gymnastics rules.

A blend of martial arts and gymnastics was the easy explanation offered by Cloud 10 aerial jump coach James Hunt, a fourth-year UC Santa Barbara student.

Hunt led the members-only two-hour class at the area’s first trampoline park on a recent evening, drawing that audience to the USA Gymnastics Air Academy serving those walking age up to 23.

Seven grade-school students — six boys and one girl — launched into deep lunges, cartwheels and butterfly stretches inside the netted Air Academy and its bouncy 7-inch spring floor before moving to the Top Flight trampoline court to try tricks.

The court features trampoline surfaces on the floors and walls, similar to those on the nearby open jump court, dodgeball and basketball courts and 40-foot half-pipe with a stunt airbag.

“Keep your body open,” Hunt said as kids took turns making the tricky jumps look easy. “Good flexibility, boys.”

Cloud 10 Jump Club general manager Suzanne Wolfe Jewell classes that offer a blend of martial arts and gymnastics have been very popular. (Gina Potthoff / Noozhawk photo)

Strong, clean tricks warranted a high-five or approving look from the young teacher.

Hunt likened “tricking” to parkour, which originated as a fluid way to use invasive moves to get from Point A to Point B, jumping or flipping off objects. Parkour enthusiasts next turned to free running and then tricking about 10 years ago.

“It’s really its own sport at this point,” said Hunt, a walking encyclopedia on the subject.

What kids can practically do with these skills matters less than getting them interested in exercise at all, said Suzanne Wolfe Jewell, vice president of operations and safety for Trampolines Unlimited Inc., the company that built Cloud 10 and soon-to-be 23 other parks across the country.

Gymnastics in particular has not been popular in this area, something Wolfe Jewell often hears from parents. She would know, having 23 years of teaching experience that includes operating Beach Stars Gymnastics in Carpinteria, where her family lives before opening Cloud 10.

Since the trampoline park opened in its high-ceilinged, 19,000-square-foot facility in February, nearly 19,000 people have come through the doors to jump — a third of them return visitors.

Maybe two percent of kids in gymnastics will do so competitively, Wolfe Jewell said.

“We teach the other 98 percent,” she said. “It’s fun. It’s such great exercise. We get cheerleaders in here all the time. It’s just a stress reliever.

“You can’t frown on a trampoline.”

Eight certified coaches taught six packed summer camps, offered to members who pay $50 a year. 

Wolfe Jewell was happy to report just two injuries since the park opened —in the open jump court — and that boys make up at least 60 percent of most classes.

“Is she wearing you out?” Wolfe Jewell asked a class.

“It’s fun!” said 12-year-old Santa Barbara resident Kylee Heather, who added an enthusiastic nod.

The tricking class is so sought-after, Wolfe Jewell said, that another section was added.

She can’t wait to see the response the Air Academy gets after another six months in business.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >