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UK-Bounce : The Bouncy Castle Directory

Glossary Of Bouncy Castles And Giant Inflatables

If you think back to when you were a child, you'll probably remember parties that had a bouncy castle. It was the highlight of the day and gave you hours of fun and enjoyment. You may even feel the same way towards bouncy castles today. They represent our childhoods and can still give us carefree hours that are no longer available to us in everyday life.

The great news is that we're no longer limited to the traditional bouncy castle, although for many, they do still hold a certain appeal! It is possible to rent out inflatable games, slides, mazes and much more! UK-Bounce have complied an A-Z of inflatables that should give you plenty of ideas for fun-filled hours and is an excellent guide for the various inflatables that are available to hire.

Adult Castles

Adult Bouncy CastleAdult castles are inflatables that can accommodate the bouncing needs of anyone, regardless of age. They are heavy duty and come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. You can jump on and bounce to your heart’s content.  Not all inflatables are designed for adult use, so please check with your operator to ensure that you hire an 'adult friendly' castle. The range of designs available is huge so you should fully investigate your options before hiring.

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Ball Pond

Ball PoolThis is an inflatable pond / pool filled with plastic balls. The pond itself is availiable in a variety of shapes, sizes and colours so you can always find one to suit your needs, and adults are able to enjoy them too. Children enjoy the freedom of movement in the pool with balls alone, but for an added element hide some prizes below the balls to turn your event into a giant treasure hunt.

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Bar Fly

This is an inflatable wall with ‘Velcro’ attached to it. Contestants wear a ‘Velcro’ suit and then jump at the wall.  Some Bar Fly inflatables have a spring board or mini trampoline to aid flight. You can somersault, jump backwards, forwards, up-side down or chest first at the wall and you will usually stick to it, and then be peeled or pulled off! This game usually comes with a variety of suit sizes, so most people can play!

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Bouncy Boxing

Bouncy BoxingBouncy boxing has two main components – an inflatable boxing ring and over-sized inflatable boxing gloves! The name of the game is to bounce around in the ring wearing the gloves, and try to knock your opponent over! The ring and gloves usually come in a variety of sizes so that both children and adults can take part.

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Bungee Run

Bungee RunOne of the more challenging and fun inflatables, the Bungee Run is certainly something different! The inflatable base is split into two (or more) lanes with an inflatable wall separating them. Players are attached to one end of the run with a harness and bungee cord, and have to run as far down their lane as they can before being hauled back by the bungee. The Bungee Run can be used as a competition per pair of players, each placing a coloured marker on the wall as far as they are able to run, or just run and rebound for fun.

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Children's Castles

Children's Bouncy CastleChildren’s castles are similar to adult castles but are specifically for children only. There are themed children’s castles available for hire, including popular cartoon and film characters, fairy princess and many other designs, and some incorporate an additional play area. These are great for children’s parties as well as fetes and activity days, and are available in a range of sizes and styles to suit your venue and event.

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Giant Slides

Giant SlideGiant slides are versatile inflatables that can be used on their own or as part of an assault course. Some of the larger slides are able to accommodate two or more people at the same time, unlike some of the smaller ones.  Giant slides are available in all shapes and sizes, it is best to check with the hirer to ensure that you get the slide to suit your event.

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Gladiator Duel

Gladiator DuelThe gladiator duel has two podiums in the middle of an inflatable base. The podiums may be raised off the base for individuals to stand on to duel. Contestants try to keep their balance and use their jousting stick to knock their opponent off their podium. You are provided with jousting sticks and helmets for safety.

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Human Roulette

The centrepiece of the inflatable is usually dome shaped and spins on the spot once someone has settled on it. The rider must hold on as long as possible whilst spinning. There can be a time limit to try to reach or a target / number / colour on the inflatable base to fall onto – requiring the rider to let go at the correct moment. This tends to be a dizzy inflatable game, but also a lot of fun!

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Human Table Football

Human Table FootballThis is a large inflatable table football, with four walls and several poles running from side to side. Players are split into two teams, and position their players at various points along the poles on the 'table'. Players hold on to the poles throughout the game, but can move sideways along the poles to kick the ball. Teams try to score in the opposition’s goal. Just like a normal table football game… except you do not control the players, you are the players!

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It's a Knockout

Inflatable It’s A Knockout (similar to the TV show) incorporates several of the other inflatable games into one and can include slides, simulators, relay races, obstacle courses and many other variations. Some inflatable companies allow the use of water on the course (Please check with individual operators for details and conditions of hire).  Usually a large space is required, but great for team building or general all round fun.

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Laser Dome

Laser DomeThe inflatable laser dome can contain a series of interconnecting chambers and obstacles.  Opposing teams, wearing special chest packs and armed with laser guns, enter the dome.  Teams stalk and fire at each other.  When an opposing players chest pack it ‘hit’ with a laser beam, their pack registers the hit, and they are out of the game. It can be great for team building as well as parties.

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Multi Ride

The multi-ride inflatable provides a variety of the fun. There is usually an inflated base (to catch you if you fall), and several rides to fall off! Options can include a surfboard, bronco, camel or similar and are usually interchangeable. The champion is the one who rides for the longest. It provides a great competitive challenge and a good range of options so it is easy to find a ride to suit everyone!

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Obstacle / Assault Courses

Obstacle CourseInflatable assault courses are popular as they provide many challenges for many people. An inflatable obstacle course can include any number of components and be as easy or as difficult to complete as you like. They are suitable for people of all ages and can be used for a variety of things  including team building days, parties, fetes and fund raising events. They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes so you can choose the one that best fits your needs!

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Rodeo Bull / Bucking Bronco

Rodeo BullThe rodeo bull inflatables are popular with adults of all ages as they provide a personal challeng! The rodeo bull is usually an inflatable base with a bull in the centre. When an individual gets seated on the bull and is happy and holding on tight, the bull is activated and will buck and spin for a set time or until the person riding it falls off! The person who rides the longest is the winner.

Rodeo Bulls are supplied with an experienced operator who will adjust the machine according to the rider's ability. Some operators will have an age restriction whilst others will restrict its use to those (irrespective of age) who can climb onto the bull without assistance.

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Sumo Wrestling

Sumo WrestlingSumo suits are available in both adult and child sizes. Two large sumo suits are provided, which are padded (and inflated) and the contestants are zipped into them to make them look like a sumo wrestlers. The two opponents must try to wrestle each other out of the circle or to the ground! The sumo suits come with helmets and neck braces for your safety.

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Surf Simulator

Surf SimulatorThe surf simulator is a test of skill and balance, and can cause moments of hilarity for everyone involved when you set it in motion! The base of the surf simulator is an inflatable platform. In the centre of the base is a surf board that ‘surfer’ stands on. Once on board, the surfboard will spin and rock (as if riding over waves) whilst the ‘surfer’ tries to remain standing.  This can be a great way to bring out your competitive streak!

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Giant VolleyballThe giant inflatable volleyball court is divided into two halves by a volleyball net in the centre. Usually suitable for adults and children, you can really test your acrobatic and ball skills playing volleyball on a bouncy court and taking some daring dives! A great inflatable for those not lucky enough to live by a beach.

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Zphere / Zorb

ZphereThe Zphere / Zorb is a giant see-through bubble / ball which is pushed up a large inflatable slide. Players climb inside the ball and are then rolled down the slide in the ball.



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There are many different inflatables to hire, for parties, fetes, fairs, corporate events, fund raising and team building exercises.  UK-Bounce recommends that you speak to the Inflatable Operator to ensure that you get the right inflatable for your event. Operators will help you choose an inflatable that fits safely in the space you have and is suitable for your guests.  Always follow the hirers’ advice relating to age / height restrictions and ensure the inflatable is properly supervised at all times.

The UK-Bounce directory is a quick and easy way to find a Bouncy Castle operator in your area or countrywide.  Your only decision now is which inflatable to choose!

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Useful Articles

Bouncy Castle Hire
Glossary of Bouncy Castles and Giant Inflatables
Making Sure Your Bouncy Castle Operator has Public Liability Insurance

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