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Kiteboarders skim across the tops of ocean ripples, propelled by the wind, seemingly free of gravity. But a lot of science goes into each ride, and Ovi Banuta founded KITE415 to help aspiring boarders learn to manage their multipart excursions. He and a crack team of instructors—all of whom are certified to teach by the International Kiteboarding Organization and the Professional Air Sports Association—begin lessons on land, teaching students how to read wind direction, control their kites for optimum power, and use divining rods to locate the ocean. The instructors focus on a logical, from-the-ground-up education in the science of kiteboarding to eliminate the learning curve that often stymies beginners. Once students master the basics, instructors throw them into the ocean’s deep end to take on the waves. Ultimately, Ovi and his team aim to quickly produce kiteboarders who can safely hop onto any sea in the world for a high-flying ride without the hassle of lassoing a seagull.
The instructors behind U.S. Training Group use their experience in law enforcement to teach clients how to responsibly protect their homes. The defense experts lead courses—including women's-only classes—that cover skills from cultivating the proper mindset to learning self awareness. Additionally, a FAQ page covers basic information to prepare students for training.
During Simmer and Sear’s themed cooking classes—which won fifth place in SFGate’s 2010 Best of the Bay—chef Anna Hadley unravels the secrets and steps to creating quality cuisine. By combining choice ingredients and time-tested methods, she demonstrates that proper technique and flavor balance can transform any ordinary dish into a culinary delight or beautiful fruit hat. Working out of professional kitchens a variety of locations, including her own home in Nob Hill, as well as nearby loft spaces, converted firehouses, and suburban mansions, classes can include everything from creating swordfish kebabs from Morocco, India, and France, to culinary competitions where students design their own meals from surprise ingredients.
Chef Anna’s work at Simmer and Sear fulfills her decades-long search for the perfect career. After working for 10 years in the highly competitive world of fashion design, she merged her creative whims with her passion for cooking, eventually opening her own business where she helps others unleash their own culinary talents. Her fun, food-focused classes have even earned attention from the New York Times for their popularity among bachelorette parties, as well as other group events such as birthday parties and loosely interpreted square dances.
Named Best Honey in 2008 by the Dallas Observer, Round Rock Honey's 100% natural local wildflower honey is harvested from more than 90 sites by owners Konrad and Elizabeth Bouffard and their crews of trained beekeepers. With precision, they remove the liquid gold from hives by centrifuge, ensuring that pollen, trace minerals, and complex sugars are never compromised during the honey harvest. They then pour the honey through a stainless-steel sieve to remove potential bee legs and wings, wax caps, and miniature tiaras before bottling it and selling it to specialty stores, farmer's market visitors, and online customers.
A similar procedure happens in other parts of the country at Round Rock's beekeeping schools. During classes, Konrad Bouffard and Beekeeping Academy teachers impart their beekeeping knowledge upon suited-up students while they extract honey from a live beehive. Along the way, novices learn about the finer points of raising bees and keeping them healthy, as well as bee handling and lullaby-buzzing.
To propel students feet-first into the industry, the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking has designed a project-based curriculum that combines traditional classroom study with real-world training. The school's one-year program covers the filmmaking process from start to finish, including independent filmmaking in different genres such as fiction, commercials, documentary, and straight-to-Internet shorts of cats completing three-act emotional arcs without ever leaving their boxes. At the end of the project-based program, each student comes away with more than five completed projects that include a 30-second commercial and an 8- to 12-minute thesis film, plus crewing on an additional 25 or more student films. The school also leads shorter programs and workshops designed for the active student, film enthusiast, or veteran filmmaker. Workshops include one-day, two-week, five-week, and three-month filmmaking courses, and a six-month documentary filmmaking program, though few humans can stay awake for a full six month-long movie.