A bearded and scruffy Shawn Hash launched his outfitting business 20 years ago with a spartan collection of four bicycles, two canoes, and a pickup truck. Tangent Outfitters now oversees a small flotilla of aquatic craft as it leads guests to all the outdoor adventures the New River and its surrounding valley have to offer. Tubing trips afford a leisurely 1- to 2-mile jaunt down the river, with plenty of pit stops at sunny beaches, swimming holes, or riverside nail salons. Instructors bring a slice of Hawaiian watersports to Virginia with standup paddleboard lessons or teach guests to snag unsuspecting smallmouths with guided fishing trips. The surrounding mountainous trails invite bikers to speed through their dirt-stained paths, and the riverbeds host seven different types of kayak and canoe day trips. Adventurers can stock up on excursion rations at Tangent's onsite deli.
On the scenic Smith Mountain Lake, run-about motorboats and WaveRunners create arcing, white-capped wakes atop the water. Nearby, slower-moving pontoons host anglers and picnickers. The captains of each of these vessels owe their enjoyable day to the family-owned Hales Ford Marina & Boat Rentals, which loans its equipment to locals and visitors alike. In addition to pairing clients with the right boat, staffers also perform repairs and maintenance, including winterization for a variety of vehicles.
Green Ridge Recreation Center’s certified swim instructors teach students of all abilities to swim during private lessons held at an indoor pool. Hydro coaches meet with pupils to design a custom program tailored to address individual needs and goals such as perfecting the backstroke or out-swimming your pet orca. Each 30-minute session grants aquanauts one-on-one time with their instructor, effectively bolstering swim skills through 10 lessons’ worth of individualized attention and advice. Lesson can be booked to accommodate most schedules.
Pump It Up specializes in indoor, inflatable arenas for children looking to get in touch with their natural buoyancy. During three fun-filled pop-in visits, children can leap around gargantuan air-filled bounce houses, skip down air-filled slides, and slither like snakes covered in bacon grease through an air-filled obstacle course. Pump It Up’s giant indoor air arenas are climate-controlled and maintained according to rigorous guidelines enforced by a well-trained staff and local police. Parents bounce for free during pop-in play times, so childless adults who want to play will need to borrow a neighbor’s kid or win one by collecting soda tops.
As a center for the visual arts, we encourage a free exchange between the making of art, the display of art and the interpretation of art. Our programs endeavor to explore creativity from inspiration to presentation with the goal of engaging and intriguing our audiences.
Aquatic Adventures’ staff of lifelong instructors and competitive swimmers transforms young fins into formidable flippers over the course of a month. Group lessons are divided into six class levels. Green guppies can wet their feet in the Seal program, which acquaints them with basic swimming skills in the shallower depths, and Walrus-level classes build on the basics to foster independence in swimmers who are comfortable putting their faces in the water, floating, and socializing with trout. Freestyle, backstrokes, and breath control constitute the Ice Fish curriculum, before the Macaroni Penguin program prepares youngsters for endurance swimming with longer distance practice and deep-water-diving skills. Children already privy to the secrets of the deep can enroll in advanced Polar Bear clinics that aim to further refine their skills through a focus on competitive swimming strokes and salmon hunting.