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.
The employees at East Side Jet Ski hand customers the reins to a fleet of brand new Sea Doo jet skis and then nudge them in the direction of the area's many waterways, including the nearby Pontiac Bay and Lake Sammamish. Once on the water, singles and doubles rev their engines and cruise over placid waters before scrawling an apology to sleep-deprived fish in the sandy shores.
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.
The ability to swim allowed humanity to explore the seas, discover pearls inside oysters, and evolve arms devoid of inflatable muscles. Wave Aquatics Centers’ instructors understand the importance of such a skill, aiming to impart it within children and adults alike across the community. Working as a nonprofit organization fueled by the common purpose of providing students of all ages with a slew of programs and lessons, the staffers share their wisdom in Juanita and Redmond High School pools. They train their charges in competitive swimming, maintaining three teams, including a year-round Masters-level team taught by professional coaches and reformed mermaids.