Broad Creek Martina Adventures Welcomes Aerial Adventure!
Author: Kitty Bartell | Photographer: Arno Dimmling
Something serious is going on at Broad Creek Marina Adventures on Hilton Head Island. Owners Roger and Pam Freedman are proving themselves to be serious stewards of making merry, all while expanding on the island’s recreational amenities, and promoting a legacy of care and appreciation of the island’s natural resources. Their latest foray, Aerial Adventure Hilton Head, is a natural companion to ZipLine Hilton Head, their 2012-launched zipline canopy tour.
“The grand opening was great fun,” said chief adventure officer, Roger Freedman of their April 1, 2014 launch. In addition to dignitaries such as Hilton Head Island Mayor Drew Laughlin, a group from the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Lowcountry was invited to be the first to take to the sky. There were smiles everywhere, and no one’s enthusiasm was bigger than Freedman’s. “What makes Pam and me so happy is that people come here and have such a great time.”
An impressive playground in the trees, Aerial Adventure Hilton Head offers 50 challenge activities on six ability-level courses. “A five-year-old can have a good time and a Marine can have a good time,” Freedman said of the multi-level green, blue, and black courses. With a primarily Hilton Head Island theme, some of the challenges include Skyak, Floating Fishy Climbing Wall, Shipwreck Bridge, the Bouncing Osprey Nests, Sand Dollar Skyway, and the Big Blue Catch. “We even tip our hat to military service people with the camouflage climbing wall on the black course,” Freedman said.
One of the first aerial playgrounds in the United States to offer the Saferoller continuous belay system, the adventure team is serious about safety. Having seen the system during a visit to Europe, where aerial parks have been popular for more than 20 years, Freedman said, “I was convinced it was the best and the safest, and we’ve really been pleased.” Saferoller keeps adventurers continuously connected to the playground, maximizing safety and enjoyment by eliminating switching from cable to cable after each activity.
Having welcomed over 43,000 visitors to ZipLine Hilton Head, the Freedman’s wanted to build on their adventures with an activity that could include the whole family, whether visitors or residents, with children as young as five. Mayor Laughlin was a tremendous supporter all along, Freedman said. “The mayor created an environment where you could get something like this done.” In honor of his pivotal role in understanding their goals and helping to execute their vision, the Freedmans named the first stop on the zipline course “Drew Laughlin Tower.”
Savannah, 13, Joshua, 13, and Mariah, 16 were three of the 30 Boys & Girls Clubs members who took to the trees for Aerial Adventures’ grand opening. The children had to earn their way onto the field trip by getting their homework done and obtaining their parent’s permission. “My parents thought it was awesome,” Joshua said of the opportunity. “I definitely want to go back. I did the four easier courses. Next I want to try the harder ones at the top.”
A surfer, Savannah didn’t take long to get into the experience. “At first I was a little uncomfortable, but then I really started to have fun. My favorite was the slide where you slid down and then ziplined across.” she says. “If I could go back I would want more time. I wanted to do more.”
Mariah, a cheerleader and runner, had previously been ziplining up in Columbia, which gave her the confidence to reach the black level courses. “I like the heights as long as I’m strapped to something,” she says. “It would be cool to do it again at night time. You wouldn’t be able to see the ground, but I think that would make it more fun.”
Brooke Newsom, assistant director of the Boys & Girls Clubs joined the members up in the trees. “I thought it was awesome,” she said. With varying degrees of skill and bravery, the children cheered each other on. “It was a huge confidence booster for them being able to accomplish something like this; this could spark a child’s interest. Without this kind of experience these kids won’t develop these kinds of skills the way other kids who have opportunities like this might. The Freedmans have been really generous with us.”
A group from the Boys & Girls Club of the Lowcountry was the first to try out the new Aerial Adventure.
With adventure and ecology in mind, Freedman said, “We built in a way that was really sensitive to the environment. You can’t see the towers from the water. You can look out but you can’t look in. The great thing is that this gets people outside and doing something physical. You see the most beautiful aspects of the trees and nature. It’s healthy and it’s fun.” Strap yourself in and get ready; these serious stewards of fun say that new and exciting adventures are in the planning stages and are on the way.
ZipLine Hilton Head and Aerial Adventure Hilton Head are located at 33 Broad Creek Marina Way. For more info call (843) 682-6000 or visit online at ziplinehiltonhead.com or aerialadventurehiltonhead.com.
ZipLine Hilton Head
Overlooking Broad Creek, with spectacular views of Shelter Cove, Palmetto Bay, and sometimes even dolphins, this zipline adventure starts with confidence-building challenges, and culminates in a thrilling dual racing zipline finale.
Owner Roger Freedman says ZipLine Hilton Head’s general manager, Rob DeCanio (a.k.a. “The General” from Survivor: Marquesas) is a great compliment to their commitment to safety and the ecology of the area. “Rob is possibly the most knowledgeable person on Hilton Head in terms of the history and ecology here. He trains all our guides. Not only are they trained in safety and ziplining techniques, they are trained to be great guides. This is ‘infotainment.’ You have a great deal of fun, but you also get a lot of valuable information about Hilton Head.”
Bungee Trampoline and Rock Climbing Wall
Add to the aerial family fun Monday through Friday days, and evenings Monday through Thursday.
Up the Creek Pub & Grill
Located right next door to ZipLine Hilton Head and Aerial Adventures Hilton Head, Up the Creek Pub & Grill is available to cater parties, corporate outings, and team moral building events. Combining casual dining overlooking the water and Broad Creek Marina, Up the Creek offers one of Hilton Head’s best views with great food and nightly entertainment.
Mondays, 8-9 p.m. – Fire Juggling
Tuesdays, sundown – Fireworks at the Docks
Wednesdays, 8-9 p.m. – Fire Juggling
Thursday, 7 p.m. – Gator Joe’s Gator Gang
Fridays and Saturdays, 7 p.m. – Live Music
Up the Creek Pub & Grill is located at 18 Simmons Road. For more information, call (843) 681-3625, ext. 4 or visit upthecreekpubandgrill.com. All the fun is just 1 mile from the Cross Island Parkway off of Marshland Road.