Located within the Robert E. Loup Jewish Community Center, JCC Sports & Fitness welcomes people of all religions, ethnicities, genders, and walks of life. Inside, members audition new sweatbands atop Precor, Cybex, StairMaster, and other cardio machines, or head to the weight room to test their strength by arm-wrestling equipment by Cybex and FreeMotion. Between the spinning, heated yoga, and group exercise studios, instructors teach more than 100 group classes each week, but personal trainers are also available for one-on-one or small-group training.
Parents on their way to the full-size gymnasium or indoor or outdoor pools can drop their kids off at the childcare center, or suit up alongside them to wade in the kiddie pool. Steam rooms and whirlpools help men and women relax and shed stress after a long day of work, and men can also head into a traditional shvitz, or steam bath.
SwimLabs Swim School’s instructors have two priorities: teaching kids and adults how to swim and helping competitive swimmers optimize their strokes. In addition to CPR and first-aid certifications backed by years of experience, the instructors are aided by swimming-pool technology. Their private and small-group lessons take place in SwimLabs Pools with adjustable currents, each about 10’x16’ and heated to 90–92 degrees to prevent polar-bear infestations. The custom currents can give beginner students a boost or challenge advanced swimmers with more forceful resistance waves. As swimmers paddle against the current, the staff records their strokes with Dartfish video technology. They then analyze the results together, comparing the swimmer’s form to a video of proper technique.
PlanetSwim founder and owner Stephan's life is a timeline of aquatic achievements, containing awards that he won as a competitive swimmer as well as several teaching titles—lifeguard trainer and Red Cross–certified swim instructor among them. At PlanetSwim, Stephan holds his staff to similar standards. Each teacher has a minimum of five years of swim-instruction experience and has also been Red Cross–certified. Together, the team channels its knack for tutelage into swim lessons for children and adults of all ages in indoor, heated pools, including the one in Louisville, which is filled with warm water to encourage students to get in.
PlanetSwim's philosophy centers around personal attention, an element that demands small class sizes and a supportive atmosphere. Whether they are leading a 10-minute lesson for a water-shy toddler or an intermediate course on different strokes, the instructors monitor their pupils closely to ensure both comfort and development of technique.
Diving for more than 30 years, Ron Busch—PADI master instructor and owner of Coral Key Scuba & Travel Center—first decided to share his passion for underwater exploration in 1995 by building a facility that catered to all facets of scuba and snorkeling. Since its construction, the center has been recognized as a PADI five-star training center that offers scuba and snorkeling classes, professional gear, and diving trips to far-off locales such as Isla Mujeres. An avid traveler, Busch entrusts day-to-day duties to the center's manager, a PADI master scuba diver and trainer, Randy Partch, who teaches 22 different diving specialties and boasts certification to repair and service many different brands of scuba equipment and one kind of Xerox machine. Factory-trained technicians populate the center's repair shop, mending, maintaining, and returning equipment back to owners with an average one-week turnaround.
The pool at Ocean First Divers is warmed to 88 degrees to wrap students in a watery safety blanket as they venture out of their element. As a classroom for swimming and scuba-diving lessons, the pool boasts a gradient bottom that deepens in slow increments from 4 to 12 feet. Though Ocean First Divers now trains scores of students in swimming and scuba each year, the dive center was originally founded to advocate for the ocean’s unique ecosystems. The organization was so successful in its mission that it has claimed PADI’s Environmental Achievement Award every year since the prize’s inception. Now, the dive center's creative conservation efforts include group trips to Key Largo, Fiji, Indonesia, Mexico, and the Galápagos Islands, where students get a firsthand look at why these one-of-a-kind ecosystems are worth protecting, and, alternatively, the detrimental environmental effects of litter left by Charles Darwin.
Staged on lakes that have no competing boats, tubers or power turners, Mile High Wakeboarding’s lessons give students smooth waters to practice basic, intermediate, or advanced techniques. Professional instructors teach students of any level by pulling them with cables attached to boats or the cable park’s overhead cable apparatus. Each class has an average ratio of one instructor for every three students, resulting in one-on-one interaction. The cable park has an air cable for practicing tricks and learning how to ride and a slider cable for attempting jumps off aquatic obstacles, such as a 62-foot fun box. Friends and family members can cheer on students from the cable park’s surrounding beaches or any blimps they've rented for the day.
During summer vacation, students ages 10–18 can opt for wakeboarding day camps in Colorado and Texas. Mile High Wakeboarding also offers wakeboarding boat charter rentals, houseboat trips, swimming lessons, and private group events.