Tag Archives: Segway

A shout out to adventurous Dads

Go Ape Gift Vouchers this Christmas
It’ll soon be that time of the year again. The day where silverbacks all over the UK get to put their feet up, unwrap a thoughtful pressie, and legitimately put off mowing the lawn until another day. Yep, Father’s Day is THIS Sunday, 18th June.

Here at Banana HQ, we’ve compiled a list of five things we can thank our dads, step-dads, grandads and uncles for. We bet at least one of these rings a bell…

1. Thanks for… being our personal taxi drivers

Shelley’s house, then Priya’s house, then Jen’s Nanna’s. Then to the cinema on the High Street, please. Oh, there’s a new one-way system, by the way. Yeah, probably should have mentioned that earlier. Can you reverse?

Gift inspo: why not get him a bottle of something smooth and aged, with a posh label. Or perhaps just his trusted favourite. Someone else can be designated driver for a change.

2. Thanks for… letting us climb the tall trees

Looking back, we’re sure there were many hours of anxious curtain-twitching and phone-checking while we were out exploring our local jungles. Thanks for resisting wrapping us in cotton wool. We learnt something from every single bump and scrape, and we’ve got the precious lifelong memories to prove it.

Gift inspo: why not relive childhood summers by treating your silverback to a Tree Top Adventure? Swing-side-by-side through the forest canopy and see who can Tarzan call the loudest.

3. Thanks for… being the Easter Bunny, Father Christmas, and the Tooth Fairy

OK, so although it was technically a decade-long deception, thanks for hiding those eggs under the geraniums, nibbling Rudolph’s carrot, and sneaking those pound coins under the pillow. We know it was you, and we love you for it.

Gift inspo: let Dad be himself this Father’s Day by buying him a smart shirt from his favourite store. He deserves it after all those Christmases in the Santa costume…

4. Thanks for… letting us listen to our terrible teenage music

Slaves to the charts, we’re fairly sure we made you endure more than anyone’s fair share of white-suited boy bands, neon-haired pop princesses, and novelty one-hit wonders (Crazy Frog, anyone?).

Sound familiar? Gift inspo: make Dad a playlist of stuff he actually enjoys listening to. Maybe he was right, after all. We’d much rather listen to Blur than Blazin’ Squad these days.

5. Thanks for… the epic BBQs

Although it was pretty clear the kitchen wasn’t your natural habitat, you were always first out with the lighter fluid on a clear day. Bravely risking burnt eyebrows, backseat chefs, and an incinerated shed, you made sure we all enjoyed the sunshine with full bellies. Thanks for your commitment to the marinades – they were awesome.

Gift inspo: why not coax your culinary hero indoors with a good cookbook? It might just persuade him that not all food has to be prepared over hot coals.

Whatever you have to thank Dad for, why not treat him to some family tree-time? We’re sure he’ll love the Tarzan swings and zip lines, but we’re willing to bet his favourite bit will be spending quality time with you.

Dads – looking for a (not so) subtle way to hint at an adventurous gift? Maybe a cheeky retweet might do the trick…

Gift adventure

Segway polo? What you need to know

UK Segway Polo

You’ve heard of polo, right?

No not the refreshing white mint! We’re talking about the team sport played on horseback, where riders try and score by driving a small white ball into their opponents’ net using long-handled mallets. Know the one?

Well, there have been many variations of the sport over the years. The US invented auto polo, where (as you can probably guess) four wheels take the place of four legs, as players buckle-up and ride around in cars. Then there’s cycle polo, motorbike polo, elephant polo (played in South Asia), and yak polo (played in Mongolia)!

But there’s one more take on traditional polo that we’ve so far failed to mention and this one definitely gets our vote: Segway polo!

We scoured the web (thanks a lot, Wiki!) and found some facts and stats on the sport…

  • Origin: The US
  • Rules: Adapted from a mix of bicycle and horse polo
  • Regulation field size: 61 metres x 39 metres
  • Goal size: 2.4 metres wide x 1.5 metres high
  • Match duration: 4 x 8-minute quarters, known in polo as “chukkers”
  • Countries played: Inc. US, UK, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Austria, Barbados, Lebanon
  • Established in the UK: 2014
  • Official governing body: The International Segway Polo Association (ISPA)
  • World championship: The Woz Challenge Cup
  • Our fave fact: The 2017 Woz Cup will be played in London this year, from 27 July to 30 July!

We bet you’re hoping that Segway polo comes up as a category in the next pub quiz, right? We sure are! In the meantime, how would you like to have a go on a Segway yourself?

Forest Segway Wood

In many of our locations across the UK, you can choose to embark on a Forest Segway Experience! You won’t be able to play any polo (sorry), but you will be able to get off the beaten track for an hour’s worth of exploration with your tribe.

Actually, thinking about it, you could always invent your own game of forest polo if you like pick up a long stick to use as a mallet, and a pine cone as your ball. But Segway-ing does require your undivided attention, and we wouldn’t want any passers-by to be struck be an airborne pine cone – ouch!

Segways are a great alternative to walking, running or biking the trails. They’re a chance to put your feet up and enjoy a leisurely cruise weaving in and out of the trees as you go!

A Forest Segway Experience costs just for 60 minutes and includes a safety demo, practice session (so you can master the art of balance), and a truly unforgettable experience in the heart of the forest. When your adventure is over and you roll back to base, you’ll receive a certificate as a memento that you can stick on the fridge.

Who knows, you might enjoy a Forest Segway Experience so much, you’ll want to find out if there are any local Segway polo teams in your area!

If you plan on rolling with us, make sure you book in advance to avoid disappointment. We hope to see you in the forest very soon!

Meet our Tribe: Area Manager, James Winter.

Forest Segway

So, we’ve heard of these things called Segways and we’ve heard they’re really rather fun. But what makes Go Ape’s Segway Experience so unique? We spoke to James Winter – Area Manager and responsible for all things Segways – to gather some more information about what an hour on one of these all-terrain, two-wheeled, electric machines is really like.

James has been part of the Segway team since day one, so he knows a thing or two about them. The beauty of Segways is that they appeal to everyone – from families and corporate days out to hen/stag dos and birthday parties. At an hour long, it’s a less intense session than the Tree Top Adventure, but many choose to do one followed by the other.

Unlike the Tree Top Adventure, which involves training followed by a few hours finding your own way around the forest without an instructor, the Segway experience is slightly more structured. A Segway instructor will lead you around the forest – but this is no bad thing. James says they’ll often get to know you well during your experience, and will adjust and tailor each session to suit you. They know exactly which areas are best to take you, depending on weather conditions and on the ability of the group.

First up, you’ll have your helmet fitted. This is followed by a training session, during which your Segway will be in ‘training mode’, set at 7.5mph. Around half way through your Segway experience, and when everyone in your group is happy and the conditions are right, the speed setting is changed, meaning you can travel at up to 10.5mph.

If you’ve never stepped on a Segway before, you might be worried about balance and co-ordination. But you certainly don’t need to be an expert unicyclist to master the art of the Segway. In fact, it couldn’t be easier; simply step on to it and enjoy the unique experience of this “clever piece of kit”. It magically keeps itself upright, allowing you to move effortlessly and glide through the forest at your own pace. However, James stresses the importance of paying attention for the duration of the session. The Segway Experience is certainly not without its risks; it is still possible to hurt yourself and fall off if you’re not concentrating. So make sure you stay switched on and “keep your wits about you”, James warns.

Another great thing about Segways is that you get to see parts of the forest you may not necessarily venture out to if you were just going for a walk. It takes you away from the main trail, allowing you to see areas you’ve never seen before, even if you have been “coming to the woods to walk your dog for years”.

So can anyone go on a Segway? Not quite. Just like the Tree Top Adventure, you have to be over ten years old. You also have to be over seven and a half stone and under 19.5 stone – this is so the Segway gyroscopes can keep their balance.

The Segway Experience is an all-weather activity, so it’s equally as exhilarating come rain or shine. Just make sure you wrap up warm in the winter, James says, as you’re standing still so don’t generate a huge amount of body heat.

Once you’ve tried the unique Segway Experience, you’re likely to want to feel the sensation again. This is why James sees the same familiar groups coming back regularly. Segways are available at ten of the Go Ape locations, so find the one closest to you and get a taste for living life adventurously.