Aerial yoga, flowriding, HIIT and Zumba are so 2012. Stay ahead of the fitness curve with this list of the latest super-cool alternative sports — all available in Singapore — and get behind what may well become the next big buzzwords.
Disc golf enthusiasts at WoodleighPark
It’s just like golf — you start from tee-off points and try to get through a series of metal basket targets with as little throwing as possible — except you use discs, not cast iron clubs. Of course, these aren’t your regular Frisbees — they come in a variety of moulds (drivers, mid-rangers and putters) and have more strategic dynamics (you can get them here from US$5.99). Disc golfers get an excellent upper body workout as they make their way through an entire outdoor course, which in less dedicated countries like Singapore, are mostly makeshift. One example is the 18-hole Bidadari Disc Golf Course set up in 2009 by American Luke Johnson. It’s not the type of sanitary golfing environment we’re used to — mostly jungle and you’re bound to come across more critters than well-manicured hedges — but it’s a welcome respite in a massively urbanised city.
A game of quidditch can get pretty serious, just like in the books
Don’t laugh yet — hear us out on this one. Anyone can run across a field, block each other and shoot hoops, but how many are fit enough to do it all with a broomstick in between their legs? Not everyone, and definitely not in every country. First made popular in colleges across the UK (we have an unofficial club here in NUS), human Quidditch incorporates all the rules and stylings of the fantastical game (except for the flying bit, of course), which means you’ll need a goalkeeper, chasers and a seeker in your team. There’s even a golden snitch involved, but you’ll need to paint one of your members (the fastest one, preferably) yellow for that. Surprisingly, there’s a Quidditch platform in imagination-averse Singapore, and it’s located at local team building and games specialist Playlor’s clubhouse.
Playlor | Address: Block 200 Pandan Gardens | Tel: 92226565 | www.playlor.com
Rollerderby girls at practice
One of the world’s favourite contact and spectator sports is getting some serious visibility here thanks to the first Southeast Asian flat-track roller derby league, the Chili Padi Derby Grrrls. It may not be a new thing, but you have to admit, a bunch of no-nonsense ladies skating in a pack across concrete and preparing to attack each other is a sure sight for tired eyes. If you’re in need of some heavy duty action or make it your business to shatter stereotypes, you’ll be a perfect addition to the numbers, which right now stands at 30 participants. Men take a back seat this time — a Chili Padi has to be a woman aged 18 years and above — but no one’s going to stop you from watching.
Stand Up Paddling, like surfing but with paddles
Stand up paddling
This sport, which simply requires you to stand upright on a board while you paddle across the water surface, may look easy but it’s by far one of the most effective methods for strength and resistance training. The paddle’s heavy, the water takes more than a little effort to manoeuvre in and you’ve got to maintain a certain level of inertia the whole time if you want to stay on that board. The SUP Stand Up Paddling School in Singapore founded by Isabelle-Malique Park is the first in Asia to be accredited by the Academy of Surfing Instructors (ASI) and offers introductory and advanced classes, as well as a host of specialised sessions involving yoga, Pilates and even tai chi.
SUP Stand Up Paddling School | Address: Singapore Paddle Club, Tanjong Beach, Sentosa | Tel: 96385565 | Lessons start from $70/hour (inclusive of SUP boards)
A game of octopush. Photo: John Heng
Think swimming is a boring way to keep fit? That’s probably because you haven’t tried Octopush, or underwater hockey as it’s easily known. To say that it’s a mere alternative water sport is underwhelming — adrenaline rush starts from when you put on your snorkel right to the moment you take it off to hit the showers. In between, you’ll be engaging in masterly dives to the bottom of the pool, holding your breath for long periods of time and banging the lead puck around with a hockey stick while wrestling your opponents underwater. And the fact that it’s all still quite hush-hush in Singapore — right now only the Stirling Underwater Hockey Club (SUHC) is actively training new and experienced players — makes it even more exciting.
Stirling Underwater Hockey Club | Address: 473 Stirling Road | Game days every Tue & Fri, 7-9pm | Email [email protected] for more information
Diana Tan recommends the best places to go and things to do in Singapore for various platforms, including inSing.com. When she’s not attending concerts, plays and wine dinners, the pop culture nut can be found in bed reading self-help books and admiring her K-pop album collection.