Taichung Extreme Games Park
By Frida Translated by Ann Lee
93, ChongDe 8th Rd, Sec 1
Hour: Tue-Fri 3-9 pm; Sat & Sun 1-9 pm
Admission: Weekdays NT$50, Weekends NT$60.
Closed on rainy days.
Since its first appearance on ESPN in 1995, the X Games have generated a huge following among admirers, daredevils, wannabes and new pros. The demand for local skate parks and BMX arenas has grown all over the world and is even apparent in Taiwan.
Extreme sports require not only physical endurance, stamina and strength, but also excellent techniques and creativity, which is why sports like BMX biking, in-line skating and skateboarding appeal to a broad range of people. Extreme sport participants have one thing in common, though: they are adrenaline seekers who tend to go for adventure and excitement.
Luckily, Taichungers who feel the need for speed can try their hand at ollies and kickflips at the Taichung Extreme Games Park. Located right next to the Beitun District Office, the Taichung Extreme Games Park is the best equipped extreme games venue in Taiwan; this place allows BMX bikers, in-line skaters, skateboarders and rock climbers a nice place to show off their talents.
Different areas of the park cater to different skill levels. The 'A' field is set up for races and professional athletes only. The 'B' field is ideal for amateurs to practice before they become familiar with their sport. The entire arena is divided by a 3.6-meter half-pipe. You'll also find a rock climbing area with a 14-meter wall for speed racers and a seven-meter wall for more advanced climbers, with a steeper incline and challenging holds. There is also a practice hill made from soil that is a rare find in Taiwan.
Here, the pros also offer one-on-one or small group lessons if you're a bit shaky on your wheels. For a lesson, contact any staff member in the management office and they will find a coach for you. Before entering the park, make sure you have all the equipment and protection gear you need. Though you're only required to wear a helmet, it isn't a bad idea to bring along some extra safety gear as well, especially if you are new at the sport.
For a fun group event, you can schedule rock climbing lessons in advance; besides enjoying the sport, you will also learn how to belay and release yourself, so you can avoid any life-threatening situations. The best time to come to the park is in the early evening--the crowd has thinned out by then and the weather is a bit cooler.