The Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been such an emotional run — here’s how you can stretch out that stoke 🤙🏼
From getting delayed in 2020 due to the pandemic to the debut of six brand new sports, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride.
Photo credit: Unsplash
Speaking of rollercoasters, there’s nothing quite as exciting as trying something new for the first time.
Remember your first-time bungy jumping, or finally catching your first wave? These are easily the most memorable memories to look back fondly on.
Now that travel is out of the question, it’s time to channel your inner adventurer and explore what Singapore has to offer. For ideas, here are nine sports (inspired by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics) to check out:
Photo credit: Marco Kost via Getty Images
Sport climbing made its Olympic debut in summer 2021! This unique sport requires a combination of strength, flexibility and problem solving. To clinch the title, athletes have to show their finesse across three disciplines — speed, bouldering, and lead.
Don’t worry if those three disciplines sound absolutely foreign to you. There are many gyms in Singapore that cater to beginners — we all start somewhere right?
Photo credit: SAFRA
If you have a love for heights (or looking to get over that fear), Climb Central‘s high walls are a great place to start. There are three outlets, all within shopping malls, and don’t require prior climbing experience.
While most climbing gyms in Singapore require an SNSC (Singapore National Climbing Standards) certification, Climb Central’s unique belay system allows total beginners to use the equipment safely. If it’s your first time, let the counter staff know and you’ll undergo a quick 10-minute introduction so you can belay with confidence.
Just rent a pair of climbing shoes, a harness and you’re good to go!
Bouldering is another great sport for beginners. A harness isn’t required as you’ll only be climbing to a height of 2–5m before jumping off into a crash mat. Beginners can check out gyms like Fit.Bloc, Lighthouse or Boulder+. Routes are graded by difficulty with plenty of beginner-friendly routes that are perfect for gaining more confidence on the walls.
Photo credit: Chris Hyde by Getty Images
Another new Olympic sport on the block is surfing — where athletes will be riding the waves on Japan’s Pacific coastline.
Fun fact: It’s tradition that the winner’s feet should not touch the sand at the end of their run so they’re usually greeted at the beach by teammates who carry them on their shoulders.
Photo credit: Surf Cove by Wave House Sentosa
Unlike the big, crashing waves you see on TV, the waves in Singapore are too small to ride on. But that hasn’t stopped us from surfing.
With the closing of Wave House Sentosa, Surf Cove is opening at a new venue later this year. Be prepared to have an adrenaline-pumping time as you surf a never-ending wave on the FlowRider.
Another alternative to surfing is wakesurfing. Similar to wakeboarding, you get tugged by a boat, only this time, your feet aren’t attached to the board (similar to surfing). The goal is to eventually let go of the rope as you ride the endless waves generated by the boat.
Wakesurfing is also a fun way to overcome your fear of open waters:
Boat rentals for wakesurfing range from $105–220/hour, depending on the boat. Some boats produce more defined waves which make it easier for beginners to find the pocket to ride. Some wakesurfing companies to check out are Wake Pirates, Ryders and Wake Musters.
Photo credit: Sean M. Haffey via Getty Images
Skateboarding is another Olympic sport making its appearance for the first time in history. With two disciplines — park and street skating, athletes compete to impress the judges with their execution of jaw-dropping tricks like mid-air flips and spins.
Fun fact: Skateboarding started because surfers wanted to find a way to ride when the waves were flat.
Photo credit: The Ride Side
Another board sport that’s gaining popularity lately is Surfskating. Surskates may look similar to a skateboard but have special front mechanics (its front trucks) that allow it to make more dynamic movements — similar to surfing.
Whether or not you’ve had skateboard experience, now’s a great time to pick up the sport! The Ride Side offers a range of surf skate lessons (from S$28/class) catered to beginners with no prior board experience, to those looking to perfect more advanced tricks on the board.
4) Trampoline Gymnastics
Photo credit: Cameron Spencer by Getty Images
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s a… trampoline gymnast?
Catch the athletes in action this summer, as they enthrall us with their impressive routines. Trampolining involves gymnasts springing 8m into the air while executing various skills like twists and somersaults.
Fun fact: One component of the athlete’s score is ‘time of flight’. Hence, sensors are installed beneath the trampoline to accurately measure their airborne duration.
Photo credit: BOUNCEinc
If you’re looking for a fun way to get fit, have a go at this gravity-defying sport at trampoline parks across Singapore.
Bounce Singapore has around 28 interconnected trampolines and other fun zones — from a ninja course to slam dunk zones, be prepared to have a flippin’ good time.
*Pro-tip: Ask the staff to teach you a couple of tricks!
Attempting to recreate flips and somersaults on TV can be dangerous for beginners. If you wish to learn proper techniques, check out GYMKRAFT for beginner classes.
5) Mountain Biking
Photo credit: Julian Finney by Getty Images
This year’s Olympics will see cyclists racing through dirt trails in Izu (a city 120km away from Tokyo), where they will enjoy sweeping views of the iconic Mt. Fuji along certain parts of the course.
We may not have sweeping views of Mt. Fuji but here’s where you can get your dose of adrenaline in Singapore: Chestnut Nature Park is home to one of the largest mountain bike (MTB) trails in Singapore. This is a popular spot among bikers as there are 11 different trails to choose from. With varying difficulty levels, beginners can go off-road starting with the easiest trail. The introductory trail, consisting of gentle climbs and no sharp drops, will help you gain confidence before tackling the more challenging ones.
Bike are available for rent from AIRE MTB rental shop located at Chestnut Point. Rental starts from S$15/hr on weekdays and S$18/hr on weekends and public holidays.
Chestnut Nature Park
Opening hours: 7AM – 7PM
Address: Chestnut Ave, Singapore 679514
Photo credit: Ryan Pierse by Getty Images
Canoeing at the Games consists of two events: slalom and sprint. The former involves manoeuvering through tricky obstacles in rapid waters while the latter, as its name suggests, requires speed.
An alternative to canoeing is kayaking — I never knew the difference between both sports until this point. To me, both are streamlined vessels propelled by paddles. So for the uninitiated (like me): Canoers assume a kneeling position and use a single-bladed paddle. On the other hand, paddlers sit in a kayak, propelling the boat with a double-bladed paddle.
Photo credit: Singapore Sports Hub
With much calmer waters, the conditions along Kallang Basin are ideal for first-timers who wish to try the sport.
Head over to the Water Sports Centre at Singapore Sports Hub, conveniently located along the basin. Here, you can choose a variety of kayaks and canoes to rent, from single to double sitter kayaks and canoes that sit two to three. There are even more options for those with a one-star or equivalent certificate (which you can get by taking their course).
Paddle your way through Kallang Basin as you enjoy a panoramic view of Singapore’s skyline. If you’re lucky, you might even catch otters basking in the sun!
Opening hours: 7AM – 8PM (Mon – Sun), 7AM – 10PM (PH)
Address: 8 Stadium Walk, Singapore 397699
Classes: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday (class timing varies according to skill level)
Address: 1 Ubi View, #03-14 Focus One Building, Singapore 408555
Photo credit: Alex Livesey by Getty Images
I think it’s safe to say that watching the noble art will keep you at the edge of your seat.
An Olympic boxing match has three rounds lasting three minutes each. Watch as the boxers exchange kicks and throw heavy punches at each other. Points are awarded for successful hits determined by the judges. There are three ways a match can end under three minutes — if the referee or doctor calls for the match to stop, if a boxer receives three penalties, or if there’s a knockout.
Photo credit: The Ring
Not only is this high-intensity sport a fun way to keep fit, it’s also useful for self-defense.
So if you’re looking to learn a move or two, pick up lessons from studios like The Ring. They offer beginner-friendly lessons that consist of a combination of different exercises — from shadowboxing to opposition games with a partner.
Their Flagship branch at Kim Yam Road even has a competition-sized boxing ring!
Opening hours: 7:15AM – 8:30PM (Mon – Fri), 8AM – 1:45PM (Sat), 8AM – 11:45AM (Sun)
Outlets: 58 Kim Yam Rd, #01-01, and TR Orchard 1 Claymore Drive #01-01A
8) Figure Skating
*UPDATE AUGUST 2023 — The Rink and JCube has permanently closed as of 7 August 2023
Photo credit: Jed Leicester by YIS/IOC
The perfect mix of art and sport — figure skating is hands down my favourite winter Olympic (happening next year in Beijing) sport to watch. I’m always mesmerised by the skaters, and how they manage to make complex moves on ice look so effortless.
Photo credit: The Rink
For an escape from Singapore’s hot climate, head on over to The Rink, Singapore’s first and only Olympic-sized skating rink.
You may not nail the graceful moves of an Olympic athlete on your first try but with adorable skating aids to rent, at least you don’t have to worry about falling over.
Lessons are offered as well ranging from level one to level six — from foundational skating skills to figure or even speed skating.
*Pro-tip: Bring your own socks and gloves so you don’t have to purchase them. Also, opt for longer socks to prevent blisters.
Address: 2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-11 JCube, Singapore 609731
Photo credit: Clive Mason via Getty Images
Did you know that we have four Singaporean Sailors competing in the Olympics this year? Watch as they race against other fleets while battling the ever-changing conditions out at sea.
There are six classes from this year’s competition featuring different boats from dinghies to windsurfers.
Photo credit: Constant Wind Sea Sports Centre
If you would like to have a go at sailing but have no experience, Constant Wind Sea Sports Centre is a sailing school that offers courses for sea sports enthusiasts. Learn useful skills like rope techniques and steering, from a team of passionate individuals with years of experience. I mean, who better to learn from, than the people who love the sport?
Basic sailing courses here are $420 for three sessions (four hours each).
Opening hours: 9:30AM – 6PM
Address: 11 Changi Coast Walk, Singapore 499740
When was the last time you tried a new sport?
Watching these world-class athletes excel at their sport, we can’t help feeling like they’re some kind of superhuman.
But the fact is, they’re just like any of us. They had to try the sport for the first time, way before they were great at it.
“The most important thing in the Olympic Games is not to win but to take part, just as most important things in life — it’s not the triumph but the struggle.” — Baron de Coubertin
We hope the Olympics and this list inspires you to try something you’ve never done before and who knows, it might be your new favourite hobby 🙂