The Bouncy Castle Company Blog Page

At Home

At Home

Posting this a bit late, but hey, no one reads these anyway! The other week was Tom's 21st birthday party. He decided to have it at home, so we borrowed a marquee and put the bull up. A brazier on the patio and all was well! We also had a chocolate fountain running. Should have taken a picture!

New balls!

New balls!

Well, I suppose it had to happen sometime. The large Orb balls that we have (think of Zorb balls, but not!) got damaged in transport. One or two small hole we can cope with: patch tape for temporary then glue on a TPU patch when there is time. But with 20 plus holes and scraps on the balls, there was no hope. Some of the holes were on seams too - never fix them. So, as they say at Wimbledon, "new balls please!". We have ordered replacements and hopefully expect to see them in a few weeks.

Eid

Eid

Sunday was the Muslim festival of Eid here in Christchurch. We were at the Christchurch arena to provide some of the entertainment for the children - big and small

Employee of the Week

Employee of the Week

Congratulations to Finn for Employee of the Week, two weeks running! To be fair, he has been the ONLY employee for the last two weeks, but let not that get in the way of a well deserved celebration. Good times, good vibes, good people.

The Perfect Roll?

The Perfect Roll?

Our inflatable arena is used to contain bumper balls or Orb balls at events. It is a long gangly thing to roll up and very hard to do without the roll being very loose. Well on this occasion, Nando and I managed to get it just right! We were so proud of the roll that we took a picture (three in fact!)

New Website

New Website

Well, it has taken a while but finally! Number three child Tom, is a student. He also does websites ( you can find him over at https://www.tommy.global ) to earn money. Before Christmas he built us a website, customizing a template using webflow. Since then, the old man has been learning webflow too. I'd like to say I am quite competent at it now. But I'm not. Sigh. I do know enough to be dangerous and have done my best to get it working as we want it. The advantage over my previous website builder, is that I can make changes across webpages far more easily now. Keeps me off the streets.

New Stuff

New Stuff

Well, busy season has well and truly arrived!In the midst of it we are awaiting over 1.6 tonnes of new equipment to arrive in one shipment and almost 400kg to arrive in another. We are super excited for what is coming. Some replacements, some 'the usual' and some, 'not the usual' which we believe are a first in Christchurch if not Canterbury if not South Island. Only a few weeks to go...

Delivery and Set up

Delivery and Set up

We have been surprised at the number of enquiries that ask of we deliver and set up. We ALWAYS deliver and set up and pack down the inflatables at no extra cost (depending on where you want the castle setting up!). That way, you know the unit has been set up correctly, and has been checked for cleanliness too. No dirty castles!

What a difference!

What a difference!

A massive thank you to Caitlin at the Create Design Studios in Rangiora for designing our new logo and decal for the van and then to Luke at Sign Pursuits for putting the designs into action. We are super happy with the result. If only we had the money, we would get all the vans done the same. Look out for us delivering a bouncy castle to a home near you!

Out with the old

Out with the old

So in goes The Bouncy Castle Company Van to Sign Pursuits ready for decal work. We are super excited to see it when it comes out again. Out goes the boring grey and in comes the...well that would be telling!

Plan B

Plan B

When the weather is looking inclement we usually recommend plan B. In this case, however the client had thought out plan B to incorporate plan A. What you can see here is the Jungle Adventure Bouncy Castle butted right up to a double garage (with towels placed to stop it rubbing). Then we have two tarps placed over the unit anchored to an air-con unit ion the roof and stropped to wheels of the family car in the foreground. Sadly, it still took every towel in the house to keep it dry inside! Never mind; the kids had a great time, and I think dad enjoyed the challenge.

Lunch

Lunch

What with lockdown and the winter season in full swing, it has been a while since we have had to have a full crew out. Last Monday was our first time since we can remember. Six staff, three locations for The Bouncy Castle Company. Different name, but we are still bubbling with energy. Thankfully my beautiful wife remembered for me that I would need a lunch whilst out. Very nice it was too; so much better than when I make them myself.

Battle Axe

Battle Axe

There is a real knack to getting the velcro axes to stick on the target. I don't have the knack, but there are plenty of patient people who do. This is a great unit for children's play groups and public events

Travel Costs

Travel Costs

We are based just outside of Rangiora and Kaiapoi and service the surrounding areas and central Christchurch for free. We'd love to be able to say "just sling us $20 for fuel" or whatever to travel further afield, but in reality it costs us a great deal more. If you live in Ashburton, for example and require a bouncy castle that would be about 90 mins travel one way and just over 100km, depending on exact location (some people say Ashburton, but are probably a good 30 minutes beyond!). That would mean paying a driver, at roughly $25 per hour, at least three hours just to get you and back. Either they travel back to chch in the meantime, ramping up the fuel costs, or they stay in Ashburton (which also means I have a vehicle out of use for other jobs). For a 4 hour castle hire, allowing 30 minutes each for setup and packdown, this would mean $200 in wages alone. (3 hr travel, 1hr set up, 4hr wait). We do travel - Invercargill to Blenheim to Greymouth - most usually for larger events, but I hope the above gives you some idea of the costs involved.

The Mechanical Bull

The Mechanical Bull

Rodeo Bull, Mechanical Bull, Bucking Bull - whatever you call him, it's still the same unit! Our bull is one of only three or four in NZ that has full rotation. We have a large inflatable surround to catch people - as EVERYONE comes off, eventually! Unless you don't want to; then that's ok, we'll do our level best to keep you atop.

Rain

Rain

Rain! What to do? If you have a castle booked then all the rain covers inthe world will not keep out rain from blowing in. At this time of year it's usually breezey and cold. Once the kids get damp, they get cold and really, it's not that much fun! Best to cancel and put plan B into action. We're happy to refund.

New Website

New Website

If you are here, then you have found the new website! We have copied most from the Bubbling With Energy Website and added a few extras and changed some links etc. Still lots of text to update and change - if only there were more than 24hrs in a day!

New Beginnings

New Beginnings

At Bubbling With Energy, we had been talking about changing the name of the company for a few years. We procrastinated, as we do, until at the beginning of this year we decided to jump in anf get it it done. We had the new name, but couldn't decide on a logo. We tried many things 'in-house' but nothing satisfied. In March we went along to Laura and the team at Create Design in Rangiora (visit them here). They have been super helpful (especially over the lockdown period, working remotely) and came up with the logo above. We are super happy with it and look forward to taking the business forward as The Bouncy Castle Company!

Covid 19

Covid 19

Well, COVID just cancelled the week! 5% of yearly income vapourises in the level 2 lockdown! Ah well,.. more beans on toast!

The Big Kahuna

The Big Kahuna

We loved the name so much, we bought the castle. Well, not a castle; a slide. And not just a slide a water slide at that!The Big Kahuna is simply great for children's parties, especially in the heat we have had this summer. We supply a short hose from the top to the bottom; you supply a hose from your tap to the unit and then the kids of hours of fun. Simple

What a difference!

What a difference!

How do wet slides work? Across the top of the slide, where the anti-jumping' netting is, there is a channel of PVC with small holes in. An open hose is inserted about half way into this channel and then when the hose is connected to the tap, water flows into the channel and trickles out the holes. Just a trickle, but enough to make the slide 'SUPER FAST!'. Of course, the whole thing needs drying out afterwards, so on the Monday id drying and cleaning day!

Cowabunga Dude!

Cowabunga Dude!

One of our latest additions: A great bouncy castle with a water slide on the side! Just hook up the garden hose and set it to a dribble and the water falls down the slide and pools at the bottom, draining away slowly. Ideal for hot days.

Something different

Something different

At The Bouncy Castle Company, we employ some wonderfully talented young people. One of our crew, Eira, has started a paint party business! She comes along to your party with a selection of ceramics and paint which you then paint and keep. OK, there is more to it than just that, but you get the idea and you can always find out more by clicking here. Looking for something different - try PAINT PARTIES!

The all new Mechanical Bull

The all new Mechanical Bull

So we had finally saved enough money (almost, kind of...) to buy a new mechanical bull. With COVID it took what seemd like an age to get shipped from the USA and then another age to arrive in Chch. But my word, was it worth the wait? YES! It is a superb unit. We just need ot have it inspected, and certified by WorkSafe and we'll be ready to go!See it in action here: Bull Video on YouTube

Arena or not?

Arena or not?

Bumperballs inside the arena! Do you need the arena for your event? If it is a private function, then probably not. It is great for public events, to keep the balls contained, but for a birthday party the extra room to just roll around and play bull-rush is better than having the arena.

Cleaning

Cleaning

So Saturday we had 9 units to put up in 6 locations, all for similar times in the afternoon! Four crews set out (all returned, thankfully), the Rolleston crew had some time in between set up and pack down. Back up to Mandeville, on a very hot day. Up goes Screamer and three of us get out the soapy water and towels and start cleaning. Actually on eof us got out the camera first - video here) A cold drink went down well, as it dried, then pack down and back to Rolleston to pack up 5 units.

The Dunk Tank

The Dunk Tank

We bought the dunk tank back in 2012. For a few years we rearely hired it out - possibly due to the fact we didn't advertise it! It took up a lot of room on the trailer/truck and we wondered if in fact it might not be the thing for us. Then a couple of years ago, I decided to give it a whirl. We had it re-sprayed and given some love. Then we put it on the website! Well, since, then it has become a staple of Summer bookings! I wonder if there are lots of people who got dunked that wish we had simply stored it!

Tarps

Tarps

Above is a picture of our beautiful Carnival castle. It is massive (6m x 6m footprint) and great fun for kids, with obstacles and a slide inside. But I am not here to write about the castle, but about the tarp underneath. We almost always place a tarp under our castles. Why? The grass/soil under a castle is often damp and the bottom of the castle can get wet from condensation, even on a relatively hot day after being in the same spot for several hours. Without the tarp, the castle will get damp, the stitching slightly damp, and before long the unit will have that 'old bouncy castle' smell. We'd rather it didn't. So we tarp underneath and make sure units are put away dry, or if caught in the rain (it happens!), we make sure they are dried out as soon as possible.

Changing Times

Changing Times

So, we were setting up some equipment at a public event on Saturday. Whilst there, another company (I won't name them) delivered the bouncy castles. All was normal, until I talked to the people setting up the castles. They had been left two rolls and 4 blowers. No pegs, no leads, no RCD, no mats. One of the anchor points on one of the large castles was broken. The castles were very dirty. I now realise whey we are getting an increasing number of enquiries asking "Do you set up?", "Do you peg down?" etc. We never had these questions even just a few years back.

Surfaces

Surfaces

So, I drove to a job the other day where the surface was described as "grass/dirt". I presumed it was a grass area where in some places there wasn't much grass but soil...mud...dirt. But no, they meant rough pub carpark like gravel. Sharp stones etc. We then have the embarrassing situation where I say that I really don't want to put up on that and they say that the 'last bouncy castle' was fine on it! Eventually we found a grass area to use, so all was well in the end, It is worth noting, however, that we really can't and won't put up on sharp stone. It is not worth it for us - the damage to the base of the castle/tarp is more than the job pays.

It's a wrap!

It's a wrap!

So, just before lockdown Aug 2021, we had the new bull van sent to our friends at Sign Pursuits to be wrapped the same as the previous 'new' van! Two different vans (Nissan NZ350, Toyota Hiace Jumbo), but, other than that, TWINS! And since the Jumbo came back it has sat agthering yellow pollen from the conifer hedge as we have sat waiting for lockdown to end. Ho hum..

Winter hours

Winter hours

There have been some very cold mornings and evenings! During these Winter months we have shortened our working hours. We still get requests for bouncy castle running until 6pm or even later, despite the sun going down early! Why do we say no? Two reasons: firstly the castles are much harder to roll in the cold. Add in the dark and the wet and it becomes very difficult indeed; secondly, damp castles need to be dried out - and this is difficult in this weather. Not worth it for us or you.

Winter time

Winter time

Above are the Safari Playground and Jungle Adventure Castles - our biggest and smallest together! At this time of year, we are very grateful to families and organizations who are bale to host parties and events inside. The above is a church hall, where we have put up these two and three other units for a church sponsored event. There are many local halls that are suitable for bouncy castles - many don't charge much and have kitchen facilities too.

Minions

Minions

This arrived last Wednesday, just in time for it to be used on the Friday! It is a great castle - big and a great colours. It has an internal slide and some obstacles for the kids to throw themselves around on. I think this one is going to be a great hit.

Flooding

Flooding

The above is a picture of the surface flooding in the nearby paddocks around our house. Can you guess that all jobs were cancelled for the weekend? We were actually quite happy for them to be cancelled. At this time of year, drying time is limited and so we're happy to simply refund the full amount and have a much needed day or two off - like "normal people" have on a Saturday and Sunday!

Castle Combo

Castle Combo

The Castle Combo isn't our newest castle, but it still has one of the tallest and fastest slides for any inflatable outside of 'just slides'. It's a great bouncer and provides hours of fun for children - they love it. Here it is set up for a 10 year old's party. They managed about three hours of play before rain stopped play! Happy children = happy parents. Win-win!

New Stuff

New Stuff

A new Mechanical Bull requires a new van! Taller, wider, longer! Yep, we'll get it wrapped in the company colours. Watch this space, so-to-speak.

5 Mississippis

5 Mississippis

Bumperballs are made for... bumping, rolling, bouncing. Of course. But there is also the bumperball tower challenge. How high a tower can you make? The record, so far is 4 balls high. % balls has been achieved but it never made it to "5 mississippis" before toppling.

Office Politics

Office Politics

So, The Bouncy Castle Company is made up of family, friends, family of friends and friends of family. Sometimes employees, might be in a relationship (I see myself as a kind of Topol matchmaker type, singing "'stradition"! and "If I were a rich man". I'm closer when the beard is grown out.) Well, I arrived at a set up a while back where two engaged employees had set up the bull and surfboard as shown in the photo. One facing left, the other right. Next to each other. Much like the old kissing chair arrangements. Obviously we all pulled their legs about it for as long as we could. Ah, what it is to be young. Thankfully neither of them, nor anyone who knows them will read this. My little secret.

Glentui

Glentui

Well, I never really knew Glentui existed until the other week, when we went out there to do bumperballs for a school group at the Glentui Meadows Centre. Such great scenery in the valley. The children had a blast, the parent helpers were great and Craig and Anna from the centre were amazing.

New Bull, Old Truck

New Bull, Old Truck

So you pay a gazillion dollars for a new bull. It takes forever to ship from the USA (COVID times!), then it takes a while for WorkSafe Inspection and certification (actually, that didn't take too long!) then you realise that it doesn't fit in the old Nissan van, with tail lift, that we usually use for the bull! It's too heavy to man lift into a trailer, or even haul up a ramp, so onto the truck it went. Thankfully we didn't have far to travel. We did get a few strange looks though!

The Crusaders

The Crusaders

We put up this monster at a Crusaders event a few days ago. We had, in fact, 3 slide, but this being the tallest and steepest, proved the most popular. We used it dry on the day (despite the rain just before set up.), but it can be used wet, i.e. with a hose attachment, when it is even whizzier. Yes, it takes adults. Old Lucida in background is optional...

Holidays!

Holidays!

Not a new staff member, nor a selfie! With the cancellations of so many events in February, we found ourselves with time on our hands at the End of Jan into Feb, so booked a short holiday away. A time to not worry about PVC, not to answer emails etc. We spent some time just north of Kaikoura and then a night in Hanmer (hence the photo). It was glorious. Beautiful weather, no time constraints. Now we're back and just looking at 20 plus emails to sort. Ho-hum...

Delivery and Set up

Delivery and Set up

A bit of a shout out to the mechanical surfboard - the mechanical bull's brother. We had a great time at an OSCAR program with tte surfboard. The children loved it and the competition between them was real! We were quite lucky with the weather too. The surfboard is great for hawaiian themed parties etc.

Gladiators, ready!

Gladiators, ready!

Our gladiator unit at a home for a birthday party. Great fun for the kids. Batons you don't need to keep re-inflating and a massive landing area for safety.

The Simon difference

The Simon difference

You can always tell Simon has been working for us; neatly coiled cables! This is a picture from just before Christmas. We put up The Big One at a residence nr Swannanoa for a works' Christmas do. The cables carried 7A each for 5 or more hours in the afternoon sun. By the end, they were pliably warm and in the hands of an expert, who had laid them out neatly, they were easy to coil up!

Goodbye 2021; Hello 2022

Goodbye 2021; Hello 2022

Well, what a year it has been! Covid cancellations, rain cancellations, high wind cancellations but in between some great days - like the one above putting out The Big One for a customer in the Waimakariri District. Over the last year we have had over 270 jobs - from putting out Jungle in a back yard round the corner, to putting up 10 units and supervising them in Lincoln. What will 2020 bring? Hopefully a complete week of anything inflatable at the beginning of January and then a dry, busy February/March. We have some great new bouncy castles on order for next year and some new staff coming through the ranks. I am looking forward to it!

Biltong - a MUST

Biltong - a MUST

On Carmen Road heading down towards Hornby, on the left-hand side is the South African Shop. Inside they sell a variety of products to remind the expat community of home. Well, I'm not South African, but after trying their Biltong, I was hooked. Spicy Biltong to be exact. That means that any jobs we have in Rolleston or Burnham or beyond need to have a good 10 mins added to travel time . That allows time to queue and also peruse the shop for spices boerwoer etc, before I order 'the usual' - $20 of Spicy Biltong. To be fair, I haven't been that way for some time. Covid has had a dramatic impact on our business, but just for such a time, I now have the opening times on our website in the picture above to make sure that I am neither too early or too late!

Cowabunga

Cowabunga

The weather is starting to pick up. It's getting hotter. Why not pick up a wet/dry bouncy castle. Attach the hose to the slide and hours of fun as the kids slip slide down.

QR code and Vaccines

QR code and Vaccines

Well, Covid has returned (albeit in a VERY limited way) to the South Island. We have ourselves a QR code on the barn for staff to scan in! it is a bit redundant, but thought we better have one. Our 'cancellation department' is working overtime at the moment as events fold left, right and centre. We have some event organisers still holding out for level 1 ! I really don't see that happening. We're going from level 2 to traffic lights. Quite what colour depends on the state of things as we transition. Can't say I am too hopeful. Ah well.

The COVID-19 Protection Framework

The COVID-19 Protection Framework

Well, today was THE BIG DAY as the catchily named 'COVID-19 Protection Framework' was announced. What will it mean for us? if we, as a service provider ,have to go to an event that has a vaccine certificate requirement, will I need to vet staff beforehand? (I think all are staff are either single or double vaxxed at the mo, but things could change as staff change over the year etc). I don't ask them about other personal/medical details, but will I for this? Do I need to see proof? Do I need to document that proof? Does the contractor getting us in, need to see the proof? I am not sure how this will all pan out.How will the traffic light levels apply to 'street parties'. They are multi-entry point events. Usually people just wander in. Will the event need to be 'policed' to go ahead? Lots of community events will be affected by this. It is enforceable if there is one entry point, but I doubt school galas want bouncers on the door.Fun time ahead...sigh...

Rain

Rain

We are finally getting to the warmer weather (With a few days of near arctic temperatures thrown in for good measure!). Thinking about a bouncy castle for those hot summer months - try Cowabunga. A great-size castle with a WATER slide on the side - perfect for cooling off in the hot summer sun

Windy Day!

Windy Day!

Well what a weekend! Saturday was 40km/hr winds and dusts reaching 100km/hr beyond that. So bumperballs were cancelled as was a the Jungle adventure castle. Safari Playground (our largest bouncy castle by far - 8m x 9m) however, went ahead. We did a site visit in the morning and the client had simply the best shelter belt. As the big gusts hit the anenometer barely read above 14km/hr - quite breezy, but nothing to worry about. Even the rain missed this property - something I am very grateful for.

COVID

COVID

Well, we're at level 2, albeit 'Delta level 2' - so that is good news. Kinda. We're not sure how long we are going to be in this level or what a 'Delta Level 1' will look like. I am guessing that events are going to be hit hard, but hopefully we can carry on with backyard bouncy castle jobs for the foreseeable future. Not a great time to be in the events industry! Ah well, we'll stay positive and deal with what comes, when it comes.

Dummy Blog

Dummy Blog

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