Friday, June 28, 2013

Water sports enthusiasts can drop by Puchong for a fun day out

MOST people think beach getaways mean long drives to Port Dickson, with very few who are aware that they can get the same experience right in the heart of the city. For example, the Asian Water Sports Village (AWSV) in Puchong offers a fun-filled lakeside experience, from exciting water sports to beautiful sunsets. Nestled in a corner of the lake in Taman Puchong Tekali, it is a five-minute boat ride from a pick-up point by the main road. Upon arrival, visitors are greeted by floats and boats on a man-made beach, complete with wooden shacks and gazebos. Colourful kayaks and oars are propped against a corner of the huts. A staff member skilfully manoeuvred a speedboat so that a tube trailing behind bumps up and down in the water as visitors riding it screamed in excitement. Just next to the shore is a large red and yellow structure. This is AWSV’s lakeside water theme park, with a range of floats, trampolines and tube-boats imported from South Korea. It is a favourite among the children. A kiosk with atap roofing is where visitors can buy snacks and drinks, rent fishing equipment or take a break in between the rides. Lounging on a wooden bench in the shade, it feels like one is away from the bustling city, although the nearest convenience store is only 10 minutes away.
AWSV is run and managed by a group of water sports enthusiasts. It officially opened its doors to the public in April last year. “We enjoy water sports but we had to travel far from the Klang Valley in search of adventure. So, we decided to set up a water sports centre in town,” said sales manager Acid Yong. The main aim is to bring exciting water sport activities that can be enjoyed with friends and family. Adopting a concept of “play all you can” and a village style, facilities are fashioned after a beach resort. “Unlike other places which usually charge per ride, our concept is based on unlimited play. You can go on as many rides as you want within the time slot,” said Yong.
The lake, one of the largest in the Klang Valley, was chosen as the spot to start their business venture. Stretching across 80.9ha, it is equivalent to 163 Olympic-sized swimming pools. Yong explained that visitors would get to experience the latest rides sourced from the US and Canada, which they would not be able to get elsewhere. “Since we are the sole distributor for BRP Seadoo Towable Tubes in Malaysia and Singapore, visitors can expect rides such as the GX4, Evo Pro 3, Kahuna 4 and Thermo 2,” he said. A crowd favourite is the Flying Fish, the most extreme ride at the centre. It involves three people propelled up into the air in a giant stingray-shaped tube pulled by a speedboat. Yong, a water sports enthusiast, prefers the jet ski as she can control the ride and do all kinds of stunts. For those who prefer something less extreme, there are activities such as kayaking, fishing, fish feeding and swimming, to choose from.
“The visitors consist of locals and foreigners, families, friends and corporate staff,” said Yong.
Visitors can choose to stay overnight for an outdoor camping experience, complete with barbecue pits and campfire. Sleeping bags and camping gear are provided. AWSV sales co-ordinator and staff Joseph Lim said visitors were given a safety briefing before they were allowed into the water.
“We ensure they always have their lifejackets on. No jackets, no rides,” he emphasised to a group of visitors eagerly waiting to get down to the action. Lim stressed that while they were there to have fun and games, safety was a topmost priority. “Our trained staff have certificates in first aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation and aquatic rescue, so they know what to do in case of an emergency,” said Lim. The centre can accommodate up to 200 visitors at any time, with five boats and three jet skis to pull the rides. Even on weekdays, a number of visitors can be seen enjoying themselves at the place. “We were here last year and the children loved it, so we decided to come again,” said Mont Kiara International School teacher Taso Notaraz. He was there with 15 students as part of their summer school programme. Daniel Ortiz and his brother Nicholas were both excited to try out the different rides after experiencing the banana boat. “The water gets into our hands so we have to hold on tight,” said Daniel, 12. Meanwhile, Nurul Hidayah Osman and her friends were seen thoroughly enjoying their Evo-Pro 3 ride. “It is tiring to hold on,” said the 19-year old student from Subang.
Her friend Khairul Affendy, 23, said it was his first time on a banana boat and the experience was a little scary yet fun. The centre operates from 10am to 7pm. Bookings are required.
AWSV is located at Jalan TPT 1, Taman Puchong Tekali, Puchong. For details, call 016–229 1030 /262 1030 (9.30am to 7pm).


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