Schooling hitters with its Iron Mike professional pitching machines, training cages, and certified instructors, the Laguna Beach hitting emporium helps sharpen the swings of players of all ages. All machines within the outdoor, mesh-shielded facility pelt backstops at a distance of 46 feet from home plate–allowing batters to hone their timing–and are capable of simulating real-life pitching speeds between 35 and 85 mph, while catering to left handers, right handers, and no handers alike.
ClimbX's indoor, ever-changing rock walls mimic the dusty color of actual outdoor crags. In this environment, climbers of all ages and abilities strap on safety equipment and climbing gear and learn to master the hand and toe grips that cover the arena's artificial rock formations. The outgoing and experienced staff teaches introductory-level climbing courses that impart basic safety procedures, proper belay technique, and climbing commands. A kids' climbing club coaches climbers aged 17 and younger through the basics of tying top-rope knots and securing handholds tightly even when those handholds start to quietly chuckle. When not helping people turn into spider-people, the staff also hosts birthday parties and corporate teambuilding events.
The oar claspers of Newport Harbor Kayak Fishing expertly tour the harbor's hotspots for bass, halibut, and even warm-weather barracuda or bonito. Most of the bay's feisty pisces will gamely battle dugout-buoyed sportsmen, quite unlike the capitulating barrel-flounder. The glassy, eelgrass-tufted waters of Newport Harbor are the most popular tour destination of these paddle-powered trawlers, and one of the few homes globally to the spotted bay bass. Lure casters of all skill levels should consult the list of requisite gear, which includes sunscreen, food and water, and drenchable clothing. Live bait, if desired, is purchasable on-site for about $20. This tour is for catch-and-release fishing only, so don't plan on taking home any souvenirs for mounting or alibi confirmation.
At Starlight Cinemas, cinephiles can get up close and personal with their favorite celebrities without worrying about security guards or the electric force field that keeps Ralph Macchio from aging. Two movie tickets grant Groupon holders and their companions access to any 2-D or 3-D movie (subject to availability), projected in pristine HD digital in every auditorium. A large tub of popcorn fuels buttery snacking during trailers, and a free refill ensures patrons have snacks to eat during the feature or to toss over their shoulder during startling horror scenes. Though not valid with this Groupon, each theater is equipped with full concessions should guests feel the urge for sodas, candy, or other popular cine-fare. Check Starlight Cinemas’ individual websites for current listings and showtimes.
Atop Pirate Coast Paddle Co.’s fleet of standup paddleboards, guests glide over the placid inlets of Newport Beach Back Bay in scenic excursions. The paddleboards—which look like slightly larger, heavier surfboards—offer a sturdy enough base for guests to stand upright and propel themselves with a single oar, an action that exercises core muscles better than doing sit-ups with a porpoise on your chest.
Led by a staff of nautical guides, paddleboarding tours send clients into the orange horizon during sunset paddle outings and enjoy an ocean view of the stars during full-moon SUP parties. Pirate Coast also offers private, semi-private, and group lessons. During all excursions, Pirate Coast provides boards and necessary equipment rentals, letting clients worry about how to stave off scurvy while on the ocean.
The idea for Newport Pontoons started in the same place it ended: the water. As the business’s founders spent their leisure time in Newport Harbor, they noticed that countless others shared their love for relaxing aboard watercraft. But typical rental boats were often too confining, restricting each person to his or her seat. Hoping to remedy this situation, the entrepreneurs tested numerous boat designs and one dolphin with a couch strapped to its back until they assembled a fleet of vessels that stood apart from those of competitors.
Each of Newport Pontoons’ easy-to-drive pontoon boats enables a floating party along the harbor waters. The decks allow ample room to socialize, grill out, or gaze at waterfront properties through 360-degree windows. Newport Pontoons also caters boat outings with sandwiches and cheese platters, saving customers the work of fishing for lost shoes.
OEX Sunset Beach's Paddle Into Fitness program gives seafaring students full-body workouts on stand-up paddleboards during 90-minute classes. A new trend in aquamotion, stand-up paddleboarding has water jockeys stand atop a surfboard-like plank with a long paddle, used for propulsion and swatting away bellicose mermen. Nautical novices can opt for the beginner lesson, during which they'll learn all the boarding basics, from proper paddle techniques to ocean safety. OEX's Nautical Flow yoga course ditches the mat for a board and brings classic routines out to sea, letting students bask in the sun while building better balance, coordination, and human sandcastles. The cardio-heavy Surfer's Sculpt fitness course, led by a registered personal trainer, helps paddling pupils build a stronger core to terrify soft-in-the-middle apples.
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