The 3,600-second Discovery Flight sits you side by side with one of the school's certified flight instructors in a Robinson R22 helicopter. After a brief ground school that covers the basics, you'll strap into the cockpit of this reliable, safe little bird and cover essential preflight principles such as breathing and not making eye contact for more than three seconds. Listen to the purr of the engine that's won the R22 major-speed and distance-performance records, while your steady hands maintain hovering level. From there you'll try a short flight around the area, with the instructor offering helpful guidance along the way.
A Roswell native, River Through Atlanta owner Chris Scalley grew up on the Chattahoochee River, which he proudly still calls home. It's not unusual for Chris to spend 200 days or more on the Hooch, as he and his affiliate guides constantly lead fly fishing instruction, boat trips, and wading trips on the river. Because of his lifetime of experience, Chris has accumulated a unique knowledge of the local ecology, behavior of the trout, and how frequently they vote on American Idol. Though he has fished at destination rivers all over the world, Chris still feels that the Hooch holds its own with regard to angling and aesthetics. To preserve these aesthetics, Chris led efforts to protect the Chattahoochee and its sport fishery, earning him recognition in 2007 as a Hero of Conservation in Field & Stream.
Georgia Kayak Adventures’ experienced staff guides tours centralized on the Etowah River, which plays host to 75 native species of fish and strategic Civil War battle sites and crossings. Its eco tours embark on the green, natural waters of the river surrounded by lush foliage as guides explain the ecology of the area, with chance sightings of deer, birds, and incredibly lost scuba teams. Weekend evening tours tempt romance beneath the moonlight, whereas history tours explore covered bridges and Civil War hot spots. Kayak fishing trips come in both day and overnight versions, in which anglers search for bass or etowah and cherokee darters, which are native only to this area of the world.
AIRDOG Airsoft provides all the tools, real estate, and teammates required for an adrenaline-pumping session of high-stakes combat play. Today’s Groupon is good for the full airsoft experience, providing all faux-soldiers with a G36 rental gun, battery, magazine, mesh mask, and 1,000 BBs designed for maximum velocity, accuracy, and bragging rights. Once players suit up and pump up, they're free to enter the wild, obstacle-laden landscape of the spec ops jungle. Games typically take between four and six hours to complete, allowing ample time for strategy swaps and devious diversions. The competitive playing fields at AIRDOG Airsoft welcomes BB beginners and airsoft old-hands of all ages (players under age 18 must have waiver signed by a parent or guardian; players under age 12 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
"[I] enjoyed the introspection it provided my mind when facing the open door for the first time," says ATL Skydiving's drop zone manager Josh Eckl. "Despite the fear, you push yourself forward and into the unknown." Since the profound experience he felt during his first skydive, Josh has gone on to complete more than 5000 jumps, becoming certified as a tandem and accelerated freefall (AFF) instructor in the process. Josh and his team—all members of the United States Parachute Association—arrange both of these types of jumps, offering traditional tandem jumps for amateur skydivers and AFF leaps for instructors in training. Regardless of the type of jump, skydivers are flown out of a tower-controlled airport (Earl L. Small, Jr. Field-Stockmar Airport in Villa Rica), ensuring they are in contact with all area aircraft, which contributes to ATL's stellar safety record.
To commemorate their dive, clients can purchase an RVT skydiving video. RVT, which stands for Revolutionary Video Technology, combines footage from a first-person canopy cam as well as panoramic shots in order to recreate the experience. The finished product shows every step of the jump, from the freefall and parachute opening to the ground landing and tasting of the soil to ensure that you landed back on Earth.
At 5-Tool Sports Training Center's 7,000 square-foot, air-conditioned facility, David Collings—a former scholarship player at Andrew College and the University of West Georgia—leads a team of specialized instructors whose collective experience includes minor-league play and collegiate-level coaching. Together the team shapes young baseball players with results-oriented clinics, including a pitching program designed after those used by major-league franchises and the Chinese national team. Other sessions range from summer camps that cover all aspects of the game to position-specific clinics, such as introductory and advanced catching with Mike Day––a four-time College World Series catcher who went on to play with the Montreal Expos.
To keep their skill set sharp, athletes can schedule time in one of four 55-foot hitting cages, two of which boast Iron Mike pitching machines or two dedicated pitching lanes. Private instruction gives kids individualized feedback, and a video-analysis room allows them to see the errors in their swing or the understated chicness of swapping out a cap for a beret.