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The bravest visitors at House of Air can try the 21-foot freefall into stuntman airbags. Courtesy photo
Columns Hit the Road

Hit the Road: Flying, flipping and fun at Carlsbad adrenaline park

They call it an adrenaline park because — well, it’ll get your adrenaline going for sure.

Free fall 21 feet into stuntman airbags below, or race a friend (or just ascend at your leisure) the 30-foot-high climbing wall. Play hoops and dunk LeBron-James-style in the basketball-trampoline booth, then challenge friends to a jousting match. Losers fall into surrounding airbags, which makes losing a lot of fun.

And if you get really hooked on trampolines, persuade a few friends to come along, form a team and play fast-paced dodgeball games weekly.    

Where does all this happen?

Visitors can participate in mock combat with padded pugil sticks that send players into air bags on both sides of the platform. Photo by E’Louise Ondash

At the House of Air Adrenaline Park in Carlsbad, 32,000 square feet of flying, flipping and fun. It’s the fourth such facility co-owned by Dave Schaeffer, 42, a lifelong snowboarder who loves catching air.

“I’m an avid snowboarder and I ended up teaching classes for adults in the San Francisco Bay Area,” Schaeffer explained. “People wanted to learn skiing and snowboarding flips and other stunts.”

But to do that safely, he and longtime surfing buddy Paul McGeehan rented time at a circus gym. The classes were so popular, this part-time arrangement morphed into the Bay Area House of Air, a permanent facility that the duo could call their own.

At the time, there were only three or four trampoline parks in the country, Schaeffer said, but the trend has grown. He and McGeehan chose Carlsbad as the site for the next park because “Southern California is the center of action sports, and Carlsbad seemed to fit our demographic — families, the beach culture, plus there were no trampoline parks here.”

Schaeffer likes the Carlsbad location for another reason.

“I grew up just north of L.A. and am glad to get back to my Southern California roots,” he said.

House of Air Carlsbad opened in early October. In addition to the Bay Area, there are similar facilities in Fort Worth, Texas, and Gliwice, Poland (yes, that Poland). Visit, or call (760)  201-1313. Cost: $16 an hour. All participants must sign a waiver, and parents or legal guardians must sign for those under 18. Waivers can be signed online before visiting and are good for future visits.

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