When Jeff Chang and Karen Lar Rieu—the brother-sister team behind Wet Feet Hawaii—aren't scrawling on the ocean's waves with their paddles, they're usually in their shop chatting with customers about their experiences. Behind their counter, they sell and rent gear, and orchestrate a team of paddleboard racers, an ocean conservationist, and water enthusiasts as they lead lessons and tours.
During the eco tour, a conservationist—who was the first woman to cross the Molokai Channel on a standup paddleboard—teaches the basics while leading tour members to conservation areas to expound on the problem of plastics in the ocean. On the downwind tours, some of Hawaii’s top standup-paddleboard racers guide and coach guests to tackle the infamous downwind runs of Oahu. With four different levels to suit all experiences and 5- to 12-mile runs, tour members can challenge themselves without challenging every dolphin they see to a race. In recognition of their service to the sport and the community, Honolulu magazine named Wet Feet Hawaii Best Standup Paddle Shop in Honolulu for 2010.
In more than 200 locations in 25 countries, the staff at My Gym aims to nurture children's physical and mental development through engaging classes. Each gym houses small-scale fitness equipment with soft construction that inspires kiddies to play safely. Instructors lead kids in song, dance, jump, and exercise classes, all structured to fine-tune motor skills, critical thinking, and self-esteem. Children as young as 6 weeks can giggle and crawl in My Gym classes, which also include options for kids up to 13 years old.
Beyond scheduled classes, the gyms also host play sessions that discard lesson plans and encourage youngsters to cut loose. Open play gives them free rein of the gym's playground equipment while under supervision. During Parents’ Night Out events, the attentive staff watches over kids while parents enjoy a night of grown-up conversation or a chance to hone their Marco Polo skills for future family bouts.
Equipment: vault boxes, precision jumping trainers, mats, bars
Students should bring: covered shoes, loose-fitting clothing, water
Average class length: 60 minutes
Number of staff: one to five
Class location: indoors only
Registration required: yes
Good for beginners: yes
Guests allowed: yes
Parking: parking lot