Somewhere among the cargo net, licorice bridge and climbing wall, I was thoroughly humbled.
My foot slipped into the net and I found myself stuck like some enormous fly in an oversized spiderweb. After somehow untangling myself and rolling down the net, I hopped onto the licorice bridge and was quickly inverted before falling to the mat below.
At that point, the sideways climbing wall seemed impossible. I made it about halfway across before falling yet again.
Yes, the new Woodward WreckTangle in Bend’s Old Mill District quite literally brought me to my knees.
The WreckTangle is billed as an obstacle challenge for kids and “adventurous” adults, and I guess I reached the limits of my adventurousness on this one.
Participants attempt to pass through 10 different obstacles in the shortest time possible. They can also track their time, measure individual progression, and compete against other WreckTangle participants from around the country using the Woodward WreckTangle app on their mobile devices. Seven Woodward WreckTangles are located across the country and one in Mexico. The name WreckTangle comes from the rectangular shape of the rig and the fact that falling is OK, according to campwoodward.com.
Woodward is an experiential action sports company owned by Powdr Corp., which also owns Mt. Bachelor ski area.
“The whole point of Woodward is to empower and inspire the next generation of action sports,” said Anelise Bergin, marketing manager for Bachelor. “And a huge focus on that is giving youth the opportunity to progress with new and innovative experiences.”
The Bend WreckTangle opened on June 14 and will remain open daily through Sept. 2 and then Fridays through Sundays until Sept. 29. Cost is $20 for a one-hour session.
“I would expect that a lot of our customers will be kids,” Bergin said. “But time and time again we see teenagers to young adults in there having a great time. With the location of ours, we expect lots of families who are just wandering around and want to try it, and why wouldn’t you want to try it even if you’re an adult?”
Well, maybe to avoid complete and utter embarrassment. But no matter. It was still a good time trying to survive all the obstacles. Sadly, though, I never made it through without falling, which means I was disqualified and did not post a time. Some youngsters, meanwhile, were going through the course over and over again with ease.
Participants receive a bracelet that records their times. The first half-hour of an hourlong session is free play to allow time to figure out the obstacles. The second half-hour includes timed runs.
“We definitely have had some kids below the three-minute mark,” Bergin said. “I swear they have an advantage because they have a lower level of balance and they have no fear.”
Obstacles in the Bend WreckTangle include side steps, cargo net, licorice bridge, suspended rings, climbing wall, balance beam, Swiss-cheese doors, trampoline jump, zip line, and warped wall. After climbing the warped wall, participants press a red button to complete their timed run.
The licorice bridge includes suspended, swinging tire strips that must be navigated using hands and feet. The Swiss-cheese doors are hanging doors with cut out holes and handholds that the participant must swing across.
I thought the zip line was the most entertaining — and easiest — of all the obstacles.
Other WreckTangle locations include Killington, Vermont; Copper Mountain, Colorado; Snowbird, Utah; Ocean City, Maryland; Woodward, Pennsylvania; Tehachapi, California; and the Riviera Maya in Mexico.
According to campwoodward.com, the WreckTangle app uses a cloud-based timing and video system paired with the bracelet worn by participants that measures individual progression and tracks timing and top performers across all the U.S. WreckTangle locations.
The Bend WreckTangle will remain in its Old Mill location for the next few summers, according to Bergin.
In addition to daily sessions throughout the summer, the WreckTangle in Bend will host weekly competitive events and end-of-season WreckTangle championships.
I have a hunch I will not qualify for those championships.