With the opening of its first store in 1989, Eastern Boarder established a foothold in the then nascent extreme-sports category and has since ridden the explosion in popularity of skating, snowboarding, and BMX. Today, at each of its five stores, devotees of these now mainstream sports can find gear, accessories, and apparel by manufacturers such as Volcom, Neff, and Nike. In recognition of its staying power, Snowboarder magazine named Eastern Boarder the Coolest Shop in the Country in spite of several sabotage attempts on its thermostat. The shop also sponsors a pro snowboarding team that’s been acclaimed by the likes of ESPN Action Sports.
Since 1965, the family-run Ski Haus has kept customers coming back by adhering to the family motto: “Make sure we keep a fun environment and give everybody a fair deal. They get a ton of stuff for their money and we stay in business for a long time." Patrons can still expect the same low prices and see the same friendly staffers’ faces year after year while shopping for winter gear.
Racks stocked with apparel by brands such as The North Face and Marmot, skis and snowboards by brands such as Atomic and K2, and a team of skilled technicians have earned Ski Haus accolades from Ski magazine, SnowSports Industries America, and New England Winter Sports Representatives, Inc. During tune-ups, technicians polish skis, stone-grind ski edges, apply hot wax, and repair bases damaged by treacherous slopes and sharp snowman noses.
By combining thorough education services with modern technology, Babbel's interactive learning tools help students speak a second language by connecting with potential friends and business contacts across the globe. Babbel offers programs for 11 languages, including French, Brazilian Portuguese, Swedish, German, and Spanish, with integrated speech-recognition tools and review managers that adjust exercises according to each learner's progress. The online lessons can be accessed from home computers. Babbel's Web-based software also connects users to an online community of learners and native speakers who offer assistance by chatting with users, commenting on writing exercises, and posting obituaries for dead languages.
Black belt Raphael Carneiro is the coach of Fenix Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Lowell, where he offers jiu jitsu and muay thai classes. Raphael puts his experience as a previous and current competitor to use as he leads classes for a variety of skill levels. The class schedule offers opportunities for adults and children alike, and topics range from fundamentals and self-defense to advanced and competitive.
Aquatic Specialties guides marine dreamers to aquatic adroitness during this three- to four-hour beginner's scuba lesson. Aquatic Specialties boasts a highly experienced staff of dive instructors and an official status as an SSI (Scuba Schools International) instructor-training facility. Marinate your marine-hungry brain during a classroom instruction before wetting your flipper tips during a swim in Aquatic Specialties' heated, year-round pool. With this lesson, aspiring deep-sea divers can learn how to set up gear properly, how to ascend and descend, and how to calmly diffuse confrontations with pushy panhandling conches.
East Coast Alpine keeps bikers cycling to the summit of their skill-mountain by tuning two-wheelers to peak condition. Technicians calibrate bikes for safety and a smooth ride by adjusting the brakes, front and rear derailleurs, and cables; physically checking the derailleur hanger, bottom bracket, crankset, hubs, rims, and tires; and testing the bike's gear-jerk reflex using a tiny hammer. Bikologists will also degrease and lubricate all moving, nonbiting parts before cleaning the nonmotorized carriage and truing the rims if needed. After performing the full inspection, the team can recommend further repairs to the owner or prescribe a treatment for handlebar acne.