Recently, my 9-year-old daughter had the supreme honour of being invited to a boy’s birthday party at Xero Gravity Rock Gym. As the mother of two girls, and having experienced all manner of KL parties, a predominantly boys only party was a whole new kettle of fish for me.
Having said that, we are not new to the world of climbing and we have had many a great afternoon and party at Camp 5. So when we rocked up (pardon the pun) to Xero Gravity, I was interested to see the dynamics of this alien world of boys and how Xero Gravity compared to Camp 5.
Xero Gravity Rock Gym sits on the top floor of PJX HM-SHAH Tower, right next to Amcorp Mall, home to the wonderful Book Xcess, and just up the road from Out of Africa. It isn’t as large as Camp 5, but what is there, works well.
The staff are friendly and capable of dealing with the demands of energetic kids and their parents. Between us all, we grappled with shoe sizes, indemnity forms – an absolute must before you start climbing – and photos of the children to accompany the various forms. The kids were then assembled and their harnesses were securely fitted by an instructor.
The idea is to make climbing as much fun as possible with a mix of games, ample space and of course a qualified instructor to lead the proceedings. It all helps to keep energetic kids interested and busy.
There were 13 kids with loads of space and wall-time. Large soft pads lie under the free climbing walls – for those who either can’t hang on, or those who enjoy the idea of the free fall without a rope. The instructor helps guide the children up the wall and offers advice on the best course to take. Another group was taken to an area where the instructor ties them to a rope and belays them; giving a helping hand on the more difficult parts and the awesome experience of abseiling back down.
The children had an hour and a half on the wall and they seemed to find enough to do in that time. They would occasionally pop out for a glass of water or to ride a fantastic new balancing bike, designed with the aim to help kids learn to balance their bodies. There’s also a slack-line for kids who have aspirations of tightrope walking, balls to bounce around and all manner of obstacles and paraphernalia to climb. There is also space for parents to watch and cheer their eager climbers on, and a modern café to sit in to enjoy a cuppa.
Lunch wasn’t too shabby either. The birthday boy selected a chicken burger and fries for all. It was heartening to see very little in the way of ‘glop’, as my eldest calls it, which equates to runny sauce-ridden food, and a healthy show of salad in the burgers.
Other offerings at Xero Gravity Rock Gym
After lunch the kids were free to play Futsal on the Futsal court, which sits on the roof of the building, just outside the climbing gym or to swim in the outdoor pool to cool down after all the activity. So, I asked my 9 year old what she thought of that for a party and she gave it the thumbs up.
What I liked:
It was structured enough to give the kids’ guidance and of course for safety, but it wasn’t too structured that there wasn’t room for exploration and free play.
The staff are super friendly, and happy to answer any questions. In fact, I got the run down on the whole ‘shebang ‘ without any hesitation or a blank look in sight.
The coffee maker wasn’t working properly to foam the milk, but apologies and alternative solutions were on offer. Fantastic, it was a Sunday morning after all, and I desperately needed a little something to get me through.
Other things on offer… now this tickled me: for all mums looking for a full body workout and who don’t fancy climbing, Xero Gravity offer a fitness studio for ‘women only’, where you can do Pole courses. I challenge you to find another one of those in KL.
As for climbing, there are courses for all ages and stages. Xero Gravity also offers classes in swimming and slack-lining. I can’t comment on that experience, but if you are looking for a new hobby, check it out. The owner has just been signed by the Malaysian Rock Climbing team and has had approx. 20 years of climbing experience, so I’m sure he knows something about the sport.
Weekdays 14:00 – 23:00
Weekends 10:00 – 20:00
Climbing available, with or without an instructor, gear for hire and a kids rock club. Do check the Facebook page for updates.