David Lane and his business partner started their sports-rental shop inside a cramped garage filled with surfboards, kayaks, and paddleboards—items they used for sports they practiced themselves. Lane’s favorite part of his job is “helping people participate in the activities I enjoy,” and his business has grown to a full-size store that stocks paddleboards, surfboards, and bicycles and leads guided excursions. Inside, displays house surfboards adorned with sunsets, beaches, and coconut trees hand-painted by a local artist, alongside similarly painted canvases to display at home galleries or hang on monochromatic surfers. The owners also deliver rentals free of charge to customers, dropping off surfboards at the beach, taking kayaks to watery trails, or delivering bicycles to cruise ships’ port of call for passenger day trips.
Additionally, the store offers excursions and lessons, including surfing lessons, guided kayak trips, and adventurous surf-fishing trips to hook ocean creatures from tarpon to 9-foot sharks, which the store has helped tag for a research project with NOAA Apex Predators Program.
Before retiring in 1997, Todd Holland made the NSSA National Team and racked up Rookie of the Year, Coke Classic, and Pepsi Surf the Edge titles. Meanwhile, Lauren McLean Holland was riding the waves for University of Central Florida, claiming one East Coast championship after another. This impressive duo fits seamlessly into School of Surf’s team of CPR-certified teachers, all current or former pro surfers.
During lessons, teachers drill pupils on skills ranging from pop-up fundamentals to more advanced techniques, such as staying atop a groundswell while dueling a swordfish. In addition, teachers offer daily recreational classes and summer day camps, as well as coaching for dedicated surfers looking to win competitions.
The experienced wave-riders at Surf Lessons Florida teach the subtleties to the art of surfing within calm and safe conditions. Instructors focus their tunnel vision on novice boarders during private surf lessons that encompass basic techniques and safety fundamentals. The Atlantic’s calm coastal waters greet riders with a wet embrace and small, manageable waves as instructors demonstrate the basics of body placement, foot positioning, and paddling. Students can also learn to cut across glassy waves during group lessons, which encourage surfers to travel in packs when confronting mermaids selfishly bogarting the best waves.
321 Kiteboarding & Watersports floats intrepid water gliders across the shimmering surface of the sea atop a variety of boards for sport and relaxation. Paddleboard rentals put aquanauts astride buoyant boards armed with paddles to propel themselves over the waves. Boarders can sit or stand on their planar transports, depending on experience and balance. Customers looking for a relaxing experience can stick to the tranquil waters of the Thousand Islands mangroves in Banana River Lagoon just outside 321's shop, where they can swap stories with easygoing manatees. Those trying to get their adrenaline fix can venture over to the ocean to ride the waves atop their boards. The improved angle of visibility that comes with sitting or standing on the board helps sharp eyes see things that wouldn't be visible to a belly-bound surfer, whether gazing into the depths at the synchronized swimming routines of gill-breathers or seeking out gnarly swells to better impress judgmental dolphins with wave-riding prowess.
Ride aboard a board upon the face of the place where ocean's bored face breaks into a wave with this Groupon: $40 gets you $80 worth of surfing or stand-up paddle-surfing lessons at SoBe Surf, the premier surfing and stand-up paddle-surfing school in Miami and Cocoa Beach. SoBe Surf's friendly, expert instructors are American Red Cross lifeguard–certified and fully insured. They're seasoned surfsmen (the owner recently launched his own line of paddleboards) who can teach boarders of any age, skill level, and ability how to correctly paddle out, duckdive, catch a wave, stand up, and think about dinosaurs nonstop without getting distracted.
With 10 military performers and 6 civilian air vessels, the Cocoa Beach Air Show delights and awes guests seated in the exhilarating drop zone. Against the ocean’s gentle lapping, the daredevil performers careen into the sun, writing invisible graffiti on the sky with impeccable grace, speed, and cursive. U.S. Navy Seals Leap Frogs launch from passing planes, floating ethereally to the sand just feet away from the drop-zone seating area. A B1B Lancer fighter jet screams across the blue expanse, leaving torn sound barriers and envious seagulls in its wake.
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