Sentosa – which is already very much The District of Fun – just got a lot more exciting.
Adding to its array of adrenalin-pumping activities is jet blading, which uses a water powered device (jet blades) to propel you as high as 15m above water. The more experienced can plunge through the water to 2.5m, like diving dolphins!
Introduced at the Hawaiian-themed Ola Beach Club when it opened in November 2016, jet blading – also known as fly boarding – is getting more popular among beach lovers and thrill seekers. You don’t need to be a swimmer, but being water confident is a must.
How it works
You’ll first step into jet blades, which are boots secured to a board and water jets. A jet ski pumps water into the hose to push you forward and upwards.
Beginners usually hover at 1m to 2m above water at best. The idea is to transit from swimming to standing position in the water, and eventually rise. When you do, the excitement is unbeatable. The more stable you are, the higher you can go.
Start off in swimming position, face down with head above the water. Arms and legs are extended and activated behind you. Your upper chest needs to be lifted, as though you’re in a locust yoga pose.
Your instructor will be on a jet ski to adjust the water pressure for your jet blades, and at the same time give instructions via a walkie talkie. You’ll hear that guidance via a helmet with built-in earphones.
During the lesson, you’ll be up to 20m away from the jet ski, so it’s best to ask any questions you have before starting. You may use hand signals to communicate while on the jet blades.
Like acrobatics, jet blading is a major test of balance, as you’re thrust into the air with only water for support. I was super-wobbly initially (which is to be expected) and spent the bulk of my 45-minute lesson trying to get into an upright position. That involved lots of falling into the water. The good thing was, my balance improved markedly after each fall.
Because I’m so used to doing squats, I instinctively bent my knees and sat back whenever I felt unsteady, causing me to fall backwards. Actually, it’s a better idea to fall forward. Falling backwards – and landing face up – means I’d have to flip my body (and the 10kg jet blades) to get into the starting position, which became quite tiring after the nth time.
After I managed to stand with the water at waist level, the next goal was to stay balanced and let the water pressure drive me into the air. That was when my instructor, Grace, reminded me to relax my upper body and straighten my legs. Doing so helped to align my centre of gravity.
As I rose, Grace instructed me to lift my toes (imagine standing on the ground without your toes touching), which helped me shoot even higher. I later found out that my feet were pointing downwards in the jet blades, something I did not have the luxury to see in the middle of the sea.
I guess jet blading is similar to balancing on stilts, where the tiniest shift in weight matters. As you advance, you can learn various impressive stunts such as swivels and back flips!
Other than the balancing acts, my first jet blading lesson felt pretty effortless. Or so I thought. The next day, my lower back, glutes, thighs and ankles ached.
What to wear
Since falling into the water repeatedly is the norm, a one-piece swimsuit or rash guard (preferably long-sleeved) with board shorts and swimwear underneath is a good idea. A rash guard will prevent abrasions and protect you from stinging sea creatures like jellyfish.
How much it costs
First-timers can choose between a 30-minute lesson ($228) and a 45-minute session ($298). Before hitting the water, you’ll be fitted with a helmet and life jacket, and briefed on the proper techniques to adopt.Return customers are charged $80 per 15 minutes.
The watersports centre at Ola Beach Club opens from 10am to 7pm daily. The last booking for jet blading is at 5pm. Visit olabeachclub.com
for more information.
WET AND WONDERFUL
OTHER WATER ACTIVITIES WORTH CHECKING OUT
AQUA FITNESS CLASSES
Water-based training is great for rehabilitating injuries and strength training. The Sports Hub organises a range of aqua fitness classes at the OCBC Aquatic Centre, from Aqua Bike to Aqua Tabata and even Aqua Groove (a water-based dance and aerobics workout). Register for one full programme, or pay per session. You can even sign up for Aqua Personal Training. Visit www.sportshub.com.sg
STAND-UP PADDLE YOGA
If you love yoga and wish to challenge yourself further, try standup paddle (SUP) yoga. Instead of the usual, you will practise yoga on a paddle board while at sea. It’s a great full-body workout. A Personal Flotation Device will be provided if you wish. Classes are reservation-based, so grab your friends and sign up for a refreshing yet therapeutic experience.
Reservoir while enjoying the view of the city’s skyline. The Singapore Canoe Federation runs kayak expeditions that cover a distance of 4km to 5km. No prior paddling experience is required, as there will be professional coaches to guide you along the way. This is a great bonding activity for family and friends! Prior booking is required, and a minimum of 10 persons is needed for a group booking.