Founded by passionate fly fishermen, Uptown Angler's virtual and real shelves brim with a huge variety of tackle, rods, and essential accessories for fly fishing excursions. With rods from Sage, Orvis, and Winston and hundreds of flies, fishermen can customize their lure of choice. The shop also carries sunscreen, instructional books and DVDs, and boat accessories. The knowledgeable staff leads lessons on proper fly-fishing techniques including terminology, roll casting, and rigging without accidentally flying away.
Headed by two former LSU runners, Louisiana Running Company is both a source of high-quality running gear and a social hub in the running community. Patrons can peruse sweat-wicking apparel, watches designed to be worn in motion, and shoes by brands such as Brooks and Mizuno. A shoe-sizing process with video gait analysis ensures a supportive fit. In addition to supplying gear, the shop's staff organizes free running groups and updates customers with news on races throughout the state.
Opened in 1982 by avid runners Mike Andrews and George Owen, Southern Runner not only stocks top-notch athletic apparel and footwear by brands including Asics, Moving Comfort, and New Balance, but also acts as a community center for those who love to run. Though Andrews and Owen still helm this runner’s haven, today they have additional support from a hodgepodge of life-long and late-in-life runners and walkers, including college athlete Kevin Fitzgerald, track coach and founder of Run, Chicks, Run Kristin Depp, and ultra-marathoner Tim Philips. When not helping fellow athletes find their perfect shoe with in-store foot evaluations, the crew leads weekly running groups, helps schools and coaches outfit their teams, and chases down bank robbers on foot.
Krav maga is a functional self-defense regimen that's used by the Israeli Defense Forces, but anyone with an interest in self-defense can learn it. At Street Smarts Krav Maga, experienced instructors teach students how to defend themselves against strikes, chokes, grabs, and weapons. Street Smarts' other training programs are similarly based in functional fitness, including TRX suspension training, yoga, and heavy rope training.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
Coral Reef's instructors help fledgling divers to fall in love with scuba diving, guiding students as they master buoyancy-control skills and environmental awareness. The scuba teachers oversee divers as they advance from beginner to master scuba diver in small and private classes at their PADI five-star facility, where water shimmers in both indoor and outdoor pools. Additionally, instructors teach specialized skills such as cave diving, rescue diving, and how to become a certified scuba instructor. They also pull up their anchors to take regular diving trips to exciting, watery locals such as Panama City Beach and William Howard Taft's tub.