The staff at Valenti Sports emblazons the uniforms and off-court garb of more than 400 local teams with their respective logos, names, and numbers. They also help guests to navigate a 9,000-square-foot haven loaded with sports gear from big names such as Under Armour, Nike, and Adidas. Their shelves boast more shoes than an octopus's swim-in closet with more than 600 styles of footwear, including 130 types of cleats, turf shoes, and flats.
Beyond stocking goods for baseball, football, basketball, and soccer players, the shop also celebrates the lesser-known sport of pickleball. The wiffle-ball-and-paddle-fueled pastime gets spotlight treatment inside and outside the store, with an onsite court available for test-driving products or testing hand-eye coordination for upcoming Whac-A-Mole championships.
Preparing explorers for jaunts through the waterways and paths of the historic Erie Canal, the staffers of Erie Canal Boat Company outfit visitors with bicycle, kayak, canoe, pontoon, and paddleboat rentals, as well as appropriate supplies. They lead group and private lessons, teaching tender-footed kayakers the basics of safety and stroke skills for recreational, competitive, or impress-your-favorite-seal's-mom kayaking. They also host weekly paddling clubs and races, as well as annual regattas, and stock a variety of gear at their shop to ensure pioneers are suitably appointed for paddling and pedaling excursions.
While everyone knows that a custom suit will fit better and last longer than something off the rack, not many people apply this logic to their bicycles. Bike Zone is working to correct this view by eschewing one-size-fits-all bikes in favor of cycles that are each built to its rider?s body type and intended usage. Staff begin by measuring clients for the correct frame and then adjust the seat and handlebars until each component is as comfortable and easy to control as possible. Clients can also test ride and compare any of the shop?s Raleigh, Trek, and Felt models, each of which has been expertly assembled by an in-store mechanic instead of by North Pole elves.
Bike Zone also specializes in repairs for all brands of bikes, and mechanics can be found manning six separate repair stations any time of day. Each new bicycle bought in the store comes with a free tune-up, and the shop also accepts trade-ins for bike-shop-quality bikes that are in good working order.
A watery gateway into Frederick Law Olmsted's pristinely designed park, Genesee Waterways Center encourages adventurers to experience kayaking, rowing, sculling, and canoeing. The outfit for outdoor activities is a non-profit organization that strives to educate the public about the Genesee region's vast system of waterways and reported bingo conspiracies. Rental vessels can glide into the calm waters of a spillway ideal for beginners, while more advanced captains can venture into the Erie Canal. In addition to rentals, the Waterways Center also hosts a number of community events and classes throughout the year, such as regattas, family-oriented programs, a kayak challenge course,and instructor certification programs.
Captain Strimple and the team at Bayside Boat and Tackle help new generations connect with nature through fishing and boating on scenic Irondequoit Bay aboard rented pontoon boats, rowboats, and paddleboats. They supply live bait and tackle to help customers snag a fish for dinner or a tire to replace a recent auto flat. Dedicated anglers can join Bayside's Let's Catch Fish fishing club, whose members enjoy discounted store purchases and boat rentals. Additionally, Bayside Boat and Tackle is a dealer for Duras portable inflatable boats, Tohatsu motors, and EZ Dock docks, which they can also help install.
At Pisces School of Dive, most learning takes place outside the classroom. Sure, students learn rules and safety tips inside the PADI-rated five-star training facility, but they get to test their skills in the center’s pool and in Canandaigua Lake, where a 28-foot Harris boat shuttles them to dive sites far from shore. Over more than 35 years in business, the school’s staff has developed classes that train both aspiring divers and those who want to test the waters before fully committing to a certification course. They also offer an online PADI-certification course, though participants will have to perform the open-water dives in person or send their avatar to a virtual ocean before gaining full accreditation.