Feeling unusually adventurous, I took my 6-year-old and 9-year-old to the Air Rider at 1 Utama. I am usually quite cautious and was initially skeptical about allowing my children to be swept away by winds reaching up to 250 km/hour!
However the staff assured me it was safe as the amount of airflow is precisely controlled to ensure it matches the experience level of the air rider. So I decided to join them and make it a family experience.
My husband was more than happy to offer his video services and cheer us on from the sidelines. We opted for the basic package, which includes 2 flights – each flight lasting approximately 50 seconds. For a small extra fee you also have the option being flown up 10 metres into the tunnel during your second flight. I nervously eyed the tunnel roof and secretly decided I would not be attempting that.
After registering we were provided full gear including a body suit, goggles, helmet and ear plugs. Then we watched a brief information video showing how to position yourself to fly as well as the hand signals that would be used by the instructor during the flight.
Then it was time to fly! Our instructor was friendly, encouraging and very professional. The strong winds scared my 6 year old on her initial flight, but the instructor was fabulous. Without pressuring her, he convinced her to try again and she even allowed him fly her to the top. Actually, we all ended up flying high into the tunnel. Yes, even me. It was scary and exhilarating at the same time!
At the end of our Air Rider flights, my 9-year-old was jumping around begging for more, the 6-year-old was proud of herself, and me…? Well, I don’t think I will be jumping out of airplanes any time soon, but the Air Rider experience ended up being a fun, out of the box adventure for everyone.
The cheapest package gives you two flights, and is priced at RM89/person. This may not be a suitable activity for those faint at heart – kids or adults – because it looks wild (it is kind of wild) and just the noise and wind can be quite intimidating.
The Air Rider can be a bit tricky to find. It is at 1Utama E between the old and new wings; you will find signposts and an entrance from the passageway connecting the two wings.
Text and images by Lisa Kaminsky