Play It Again Sports overhauls lockers with high-quality gear and rescues gently used athletic equipment from untimely retirement. Products from brands such as Bauer, Easton, and Wilson make up an all-star lineup across each store's shelves, which are replenished daily with goods for a wide selection of sports that ranges from baseball and hockey to golf and lacrosse. Treadmills and exercise bikes equip bodies with muscular suits of armor, and pintsize and adolescent equipment arms youngsters with protective padding until they eat enough bologna to grow muscles of their own. To ensure its stock remains robust, Play It Again Sports encourages athletes to collect their lightly used gear—including treadmills—and bring it into a local store to either sell or trade.
Forest Lake Tennis Club's experienced tennis pros refine serves and strokes on their eight indoor, air-conditioned courts. A tennis pro diagnoses your stroke for the first hour of the clinic, tinkering with your form and process. For the last half hour, racket raisers can test their newfound ability to defeat challengers with topspins, slices, and smashes that provide a more definitive ending to a match than the time Duke Evers knocked out Rocky Balboa with his autobiography. The clinic is geared toward advanced-beginner adult players, and classes hold a maximum of 32 adults, with a student-to-pro ratio of six to one. Throttle pea-green projectiles Tuesdays–Thursdays from 6 p.m. to 7:30 pm.
GolfTEC has two convenient locations in Charlotte, both staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the Three Laws of golfing robotics. Motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor your swing and break down your form on a high-definition video display. GolfTEC’s PGA specialists point out your flaws, strengths, and coach you on how to permanently improve your game, from tee to green. Sensors chirp with approval when you’ve executed a perfect stroke or cracked an especially witty golfing joke.
At Haunted Paintball Park, haunted hayrides take platoons of fear-seekers across 25 acres of haunted forest on missions to shoot paintballs at loitering monsters. During the 45-minute adventure, sharpshooters of all ages keep a steady finger on their triggers as they cruise through darkening tree lines, ever ready to pick off actors convincingly dressed as sharp-toothed werewolves, murderous pirates, and bloodthirsty accountants. Though the monsters use shadowed hideaways and ambush tactics to frighten passengers, they do not return fire, allowing monster bashers to unload on menacing clowns without fear of them returning fire by infiltrating their childhood memories. After the hayride, patrons doff their weapons and enter unarmed into the torch-lined corridors of the haunted trail, a smoky maze through thick woodlands, hair-raising props, and a Transylvania-themed haunted castle, before comforting themselves with hot cocoa.
On Target STL's team of experienced instructors teach the safety skills needed to handle a firearm with confidence. They lead courses that range from shooting for beginners to second-level tactical handgun operation.
Operating out of the historic Defiance general store built around 1898, Katy Bike Rental's owners Todd and Robin White showcase their pride in local heritage as they equip visitors for voyages down the Katy Trail State Park. Originally the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, the line has since been converted into a state park whose calm gravel trail winds through lush forest alongside the Missouri River. Cyclists set out aboard the store's fleet of hybrid mountain bikes, tandem bikes, or comfort cruisers, each with optional attachments such as child carts to tow kids. They then pedal past old railroad signals and between man-made stone walls, and follow cliffs running along the river. Additionally, Todd organizes events along the trail, such as wine and movie nights, at local wineries and breweries or, when it’s a flannel kind of day, log-rolling contests with local lumberjacks.