Sportations connects amateur adrenaline jockeys to certified professional adventurers, drawing from a nationwide network of aeronauts and speed demons to introduce habitual pedestrians to the wonders of skydiving, ballooning, hang gliding, and stock-car racing. Thrill seekers can zipline across a forest canopy, hollering like Tarzan or taunting nearby birds until they agree to race. Helicopter tours ferry patrons skyward over landmarks and cityscapes, whereas paragliding adventures get up close and personal with blue skies and clouds. For most sports, Sportations accommodates groups of any size, from physics classes empirically proving gravity's existence to solo ballooning supervillains declaring dominion over all they see.
Technology has brought us a long way since the stone age, but the human race has turned an epochal corner with the flyboard—a sort of aquatic jet-pack that straps to the feet like a wakeboard. Dreams of flying take a step towards reality with the waterproof gadget, which propels riders through the air and sea at a thrilling speed. While the sight of flyboard-rider is breathtakingly surreal, the act of actually captaining the device is quite straight-forward. The savvy staff of Orange Beach Flyboard demystifies the spectacle with quick lessons on flyboarding before releasing their daredevil clients attached to a 55-foot hose. Orange Beach Flyboard boasts that most riders catch on in five to ten minutes, after which the fresh flyboarder can tilt their feet to move through water and sky like the baby of Ironman and a tetherball.
Behind the white sand beaches of the Alabama Gulf Coast's north shore, among sparkling spring-fed lakes of a lush nature preserve, and a short trek from the rolling greens of Soldiers Creek Golf Course sprawls Lake Osprey RV Resort. The luxury resort is designed to accommodate high-end RVs in its 188 landscaped sites with full hookups. Other amenities and attractions include a free laundry and bathhouse, a fancy private clubhouse, swimming pools and hot tubs, and an 11-acre lake for fishing and kayaking. Lake Osprey RV Resort is restricted to class A motorhomes 15 years or newer, class C motorhomes, and fifth wheels 10 years or newer and 29 feet or longer.
Wahoo Watersports sets up its clients with jet skis and pontoons at its perch on the Cotton Bayou, and then waves goodbye as they make hay for the open waters of the Gulf. Jet Skiers can spend the day picking and choosing which waters to shred or follow a predetermined route that will bring them up close with dolphins frolicking in their marine habitat. Customers can also charter a fishing boat and enjoy the private attention of a pro fisherman, who points out the best spots to drop a line and cleans the catch for free at the end of the trip.
Dewsweepers Golf School’s instructors impart club-swinging know-how to golfers of all abilities in one-hour, private lessons. The well-rounded instructors (lessons are valid for any staffer except Tony Ruggiero) can help pupils hone any aspect of their game, such as adding distance to their drives, improving their short game, or bending short irons into serviceable boomerangs. At all locations, computerized video swing analysis technology augments instructors’ ability to diagnose swing deficiencies by providing slow-motion replay for each shot. After the lesson, pupils receive an email file with a copy of the video swing analysis that features voiceover instruction for players to have for later reference and play nonstop at upcoming performance reviews with the boss.
Signature service: Creative Photography & Design Expert
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Average Duration of Services: 2–4 hours
Brands Used: Canon DSLR
Pro Tip: Students will need to bring a DSLR camera with them for a more hands on experience.
What is one of your signature services? How is it performed?
When photographing a session my first goal is to make my clients feel comfortable and feel at ease. I am human and I always seem to find someway to unintentionally show them that (whether that be tripping, shooting with my fly down, stepping in a mound of ants, or sitting in goose crap). So, my camera-class students can be assured that the class will be light hearted and fun—no stiff stuff here.
Besides making clients happy, what do you like most about your job?
What I enjoy most about being a photographer is having the ability to give someone something that most others can't. I heard a quote once that I love: "Pictures stay the same, but the people in them change." It's a great feeling being able to freeze a person into a time capsule of who they once were as a reminder to all of those who love them. I provide memories that don't fade. This class will help people to capture their own family and personal memories just a little bit better as their skill set widens.
When and how did you first develop a passion for your work?
I was the photo editor in my high school year book a million years ago. Since then, I have toted a camera and haven't stopped.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
I have a degree in professional photography, and am continuing my education constantly. I hope to one day be able to call myself "master photographer" through the Professional Photographer of America's system.