Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
A PADI five-star diving facility, Arlington Scuba Center, Inc. first opened its doors in 1972. Since then, the shop's scuba instructors have helped countless divers obtain PADI open-water certification. The lessons start within the facility's classroom and pool and eventually progress to natural locations, such as the five-story bathtub at Clear Springs Scuba Park, so students can complete dives in real-world conditions. Aside from this standard certification, the staff teaches advanced courses in which students can train for search-and-rescue missions or float above the hull of a sunken ship. Back on dry land, staffers man Arlington Scuba Center's dive shop, where they sell fins, masks, and other equipment from respected brands such as Aqua Lung and Henderson.
Since 1972, Mountain Sports has been furnishing outdoor enthusiasts with a wide range of apparel and gear designed to withstand extreme environments. Their wide selection of rock-climbing, camping, kayaking, and snow-sports gear includes Patagonia and North Face apparel, tents and camp stoves, and sleeping bags.
In 1997, the newly formed Fort Worth Bulls, due to a naming conflict, had to change their moniker. Although they settled on the Brahma—a type of beef cattle—as new inspiration, the one-time bulls never altered their tenacity. After the Central Hockey League's Fort Worth Fire folded in 1999, the Brahmas packed their players in bubble wrap and moved from the WPHL to the new league, where they have since made multiple playoff appearances and, in 2008–09, captured the organization's first Ray Miron President's Cup with a five-game series victory over the Colorado Eagles.
When the local skate park shut down, Jackie Andrews decided to ensure that her son, Beau, would still have a safe, legal place to practice his favorite sport. According to a recent profile in 360 West magazine, Jackie understood the challenges she faced from city officials but simply would not take “no” for an answer. The tenacious single mother of two was no stranger to entrepreneurial feats—nearly two decades ago, with no retail experience, she opened Chelsea's Tea Room, which gradually expanded from a tiny room to a 3,000-square-foot boutique.
Still, Jackie reflects, “opening a skate park is not the easiest thing to do,” and when the time came to build The Pier Skatepark she leaned on the design expertise of San Diego–based skate-park designer Brent Kronmueller. Housed inside a hangar-sized warehouse, his eventual layout would try to capture the sensation of skating outside with touches such as decorative palm trees interspersed among the park’s collection of rails, ramps, ledges, and exasperated high-school principals.
Since opening, the park has attracted not only local skaters but celebrities such as Lil Wayne, who recently paid a special late-night visit. When they aren’t celebrity spotting, guests can earn physical-education credit for school, enhance their skills during five-day summer camps, and hold contests to determine who has the coolest trick or the stickiest grip tape.
From the top of a two-level fort, the sniper surveys the grounds below, where opponents lurk behind mounds and ready their semiautomatic markers from within two school buses. Those props, which adorn The West Lot, are among the many obstacles and barriers littering the 10 courses at Fun on the Run Inc. Guests can duck behind army jeeps at The Fuel Depot, navigate The District's maze-style village, and storm the 15-foot, two-story castle, whose 3,000 square feet accommodates battling participants and court jesters performing medieval USO shows. Meanwhile, teams prepare for forthcoming competitions on three grass-turf tournament fields in the park's 3-acre training facility. Elsewhere in the park, players wield paintball markers equipped with laser light beams during outdoor hide-and-go-seek laser-tag games.