RICHARD ORD: A brave new world of bouncing babies

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In the future there will be no need of pavements. Our children will travel on a carpet of trampolines.

And at Infinite Air, the UK’s largest indoor trampoline and free-running park, they can get in plenty of practice.

The venue, which has just opened in Durham, features some 16,000 square feet of some 80 interconnecting trampolines. Yes, a carpet of trampolines.

That boast of being the largest indoor trampoline park is impressive. But then I wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s the UK’s only trampoline park.

Trampoline parks weren’t around when I was a lad. We used our beds.

Proper trampolines were rarely seen.

You saw them occasionally on TV or leaning, folded up, at the back of the school sports cupboard.

Our school had one, but it was hardly ever put out in the gymnasium – and for good reason. After careful analysis, catapulting soft-headed children 30ft above hard gymnasium floors every three seconds was, in the opinion of experts of the day, just asking for trouble.

These days, children don’t just ask for trouble, they demand it.

Hence the rise and rise of the trampoline.

We have one in our back garden. On the estate where we used to live, it seemed everyone had a trampoline in their back garden.

If you timed it right, you could probably bounce over the back fences from trampoline to trampoline and visit every house on the estate without ever touching the ground. And at every house party, someone tried to do just that … with predictable results. Rather than being a fun children’s toy, I suspected the government of flooding the market with cheap trampolines as a kind covert population control policy. It failed.

The dangerous element has not put anyone off, it’s only fuelled interest. The result? Purpose-built trampoline parks!

At Infinite Air last weekend, the room was filled with laughter and cheering. And that was just when watching the safety video.

A cartoon highlighting the dangers of running and crashing into people on trampolines was shown to all the children before they were let loose. Huge roars of approval erupted from the kids every time the characters featured broke a body part.

Women averted their eyes as the cartoon trampolinists were snapped in two; the kids however whooped with delight. For the next hour our Isaac, 11, and his pals bounced around the park like it was the most natural thing in the world. Which it isn’t.

“It’s the best way to get around,” our Isaac told me. “There should be more trampolines.”

Who knows, maybe he’s right? Ten years ago, few would have believed we’d be watching the world through our mobile phones. Perhaps in the future, trampoline pavements will be the only way to travel. If nothing else, it should put a spring in your step.