If you’ve never stood on top of water, or if you’ve stood on it and want to further defy the laws of viscosity and velocity, then strap in to Northwest Riders’ line of Slingshot Sports boards and bindings, designed to give you a blend of comfort and performance that most only experience during sleeping-bag races. As you’re towed along by a 21-foot Malibu vRide boat, the experienced nautical navigators on board will tame the wake to fit your desired degree of difficulty.
It's like a scene from a secret agent film. A man in a black wetsuit shoots out of the lake, propelled by a jet of white water coming from a pack on his back. He arcs into the air, flips head over heels like a dolphin, and splashes back down into the crystalline depths.
This type of high-adrenaline excitement is commonplace at AV Watersports, a sporting company that deals in thrills such as flyboarding, jet ski rentals, and innertubing. Its flyboards are comparable to jetpacks and can propel wearers into the air, or horizontally across the surface of the water while they stand on a board. Using a personal watercraft for propulsion underwater and in the air, Flyboard riders stand on a board that is connected with a hose through a jetski. As water is routed to a pair of jet ski boots, riders fly into the air or can dive headfirst through water. Instructors are readily available to acquaint newbies to the unique aquatic sport, and to acquaint them with the customs of the cloud people they'll soon be meeting.
SkyMania! Trampolines' general manager Nancy Burritt believes she's found a formidable tool to fight childhood obesity: the trampoline. Jumps and flips atop its springy surface fuse excitement with a heavy dose of exercise, melting away pounds without the mini-humans even noticing. But it isn't just children that gain slimmer physiques and a newfound respect for kangaroos amid SkyMania! Trampolines' 9,000 square feet of wall-to-wall trampolines and foam pits. The facility plays host to everything from corporate team building to graduations and bachelor parties. "Our main goal is to give people a safe place to spend an evening and have fun," Ms. Burritt says.
This commitment to fun leads the staff at SkyMania!—many of whom have lost weight themselves—to incorporate traditional sports and exercise to the trampoline-filled environment. They host dodge-ball tournaments and lead volleyball matches. SkyRobics, one of the more popular classes, incorporates weights, bands, and mid-air fist bumps into a low-impact workout. Though the activities are diverse, Ms. Burritt thinks each one accomplishes a shared goal: "To make people happy."
The Outdoor Adventure Center's wildly experienced guides have led groups off the grid for more than a quarter century, pursuing rugged fun in the scenery and fresh air of mountains, rivers, and coastlines. Explorers at heart, the staff boldly launch kayaks into the ocean around the San Juan Islands and conquer the frothy waters of the scenic Skykomish River, known for its beginner-friendly rapids, migrations of spawning merpeople, pool and drop areas, and breathtaking views of 5,000-foot mountain peaks. Horseback and hiking trips delve into the lush woods, and nature photography excursions pause to celebrate the beauty of the wilderness near Index. The core team of 14 guides takes safety seriously, most with certifications from the American Canoe Association, training in wilderness first aid, CPR, and swiftwater rescue, and life vests tattooed over their chests.
From camps to paddle races to standard rentals, Northwest Paddle Surfers' watersport professionals help create laid-back adventures with a fleet of stand-up paddleboards. Atop Lake Washington's warm waters, the company's instructors teach pupils how to balance on boards and use paddles to stir giant cups of cocoa. Pine and evergreen trees make up the lakefront vistas that backdrop the on-water classroom, beckoning each student to explore aquatic locals such as Juanita Bay. Elsewhere, Paddle Flow Yoga classes held on paddleboards challenge participants to stretch and breathe deeper.
Corks and Canvas Events, like a work of fine art, came about by pairing a good idea with a passion to create. The founders both came from the marketing world, where they spent their days devising campaigns and events to inspire their audiences to take action. A shared love for art and wine inspired them to bend their action-creating talents toward a new goal?hosting painting and wine events in area wineries and wine bars, allowing guests to "uncork their creativity" and promote the burgeoning Washington wine industry in a social setting.
Their idea took the form of Corks and Canvas Events, where experienced artists lead guests step-by-step through the painting creation process. Guests re-create various paintings, everything from lush vineyard scenes to preening roosters, while sipping on glasses of local wines.