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Stay active and cool at Sports Monster

In the stifling midsummer heat in Korea, even walking five minutes outdoors can be a sweaty, sticky, endeavor.

Seeking refuge from the sun, but restless with unconsumed energy, The Korea Herald’s five summer interns visited Sports Monster at Starfield Goyang for amusement.

Sports Monster, located in the Starfield Goyang shopping mall, is a sports experience center with 30 different activities that are divided into four zones: Basic Zone, Exciting Zone, Adventure Zone and Digital Zone. 

Sports Monster at Starfield Goyang (Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
Sports Monster at Starfield Goyang (Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
(Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
(Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
(Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
(Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
(Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)
(Nadine Lee/The Korea Herald)

Whether one chooses to indulge in a clay shooting game, participate in an exhilarating high rope course, or ride a 64-meter zip line, there is something for everyone -- not to mention an 8-meter slide that is both exciting and terrifying.

A standard 2-hour ticket costs 24,000 won ($21) for an adult and 19,000 won for a child. Sports Monster also offers a yearlong membership. The sports amusement facility now has two locations in Gyeonggi Province, with one located in Goyang and the other in the Starfield Hanam mall.

The following are excerpts of how the interns felt about their visit to Sports Monster. 

Bang In-sung, 17, a senior at Seoul Foreign High School

“Sports Monster was a mixed bunch for me. I’ve previously visited the Sports Monster in Hanam and I had certain expectations for the Goyang Sports Monster during our visit. I must say that the basic expectations I had were met, however, I was slightly disappointed by the digital corner/VR experience that left much to be desired.

The overall diversity and variety that offered an individualized experience for everyone did prove to be a huge benefit as it catered to all age groups. The customizable activities are without a doubt Sports Monster’s greatest benefit, as it allows for couples, friends, and families of all ages to indulge in their respective preferred activities.” 

Serena Soh, 18, studies communications and mathematical computational science at Stanford University.

“Visiting Sports Monster in Goyang was the first time I had ever visited an indoor, sports-centered recreational center. Although it was a bit smaller than I imagined, it was still an entertaining and exciting experience.

My personal favorites were the twisty monster slide and the jumping nest, which was essentially a room of trampolines. I also enjoyed the digital games like the running steps simulation and shooting games. Especially because it was so hot outside, I could have spent hours trying the different activities in the air-conditioned facilities. If I went again, I would definitely try the ropes course and participate in a VR experience.” 

Kim Soo-bin, 22, majors in English language and literature at Ewha Womans University in Korea.

“This was my second time visiting Sports Monster. I went to the place in Hanam for my first experience. The theme was almost the same but the rides were totally different. Even though the size of the place is bigger in Hanam, rides of the adventure zone in Goyang were more fun for me.

I could have a thrilling experience without going out in this super-hot summer. It is not as thrilling as a real rollercoaster outside, but at least we don’t have to wait in line for a long time and still can stay under the cool air conditioning. I really want to revisit Goyang and try the zip line, rope courses, monster slide and drop slide again for sure.” 

Aaron Shi, 20, majors in government at Harvard University.

“My favorite part of Sports Monster was the rope course. It was truly exhilarating (not to mention frightening) to walk across a balance beam with only the rope strapped to my harness. I feel like it truly tested my ability to balance and steel my nerves, so I felt a huge sense of accomplishment after I completed the course. I’ve done obstacle courses in America before, but none as high up or as ‘real’ as the rope course in Sports Monster.

Despite the variety, I felt like some of the other activities were a bit repetitive and easy to master. Clay shooting simply involved pointing a gun at a screen and squeezing a trigger at digital clay pigeons. The gun didn’t look or feel real, and it wasn’t really satisfying to play after a while. But Sports Monster did have a few activities that I found truly enjoyable to take part in. Along with the rope course I would also include the zip line and the trampoline.”

Nadine Lee, 18, studies pre-med and neuroscience at Harvard University.

“I had previously been to Sports Monster at the Hanam location one year ago, and recall having a blast. However, coming to the Goyang location proved to be even better. In the beginning, I was a bit overwhelmed with all of the options available to me. Although I was aware of the different zones, inside was very crowded and not as organized as I expected it to be. However, once I started doing activities such as darts, snookball, clay shooting, and the trampolines, I began to ignore the clutter and tightness of the space and have fun.

The activities are all very well-executed, with staff members at each station making sure to ensure the safety and well-being of the visitors. Personally, the most exciting activity would undoubtedly be the rope course. Even though the wait was a bit tedious, having done many obstacle courses at military camps, the rope course at Sports Monster was comparable to the thrill and suspense I felt before. With six different types of spine-chilling, high, and exhilarating obstacles, it was a blast. I will most definitely be coming back with friends and family to enjoy this air-conditioned and exciting facility.”

By Korea Herald intern reporters (