Buccaneer Bay packs in more liquitechnics than an underwater merman metal concert. With several twisty, bright-colored waterslides right out of a novelty curly-straw factory, the Bay has everything for every member of the family (even small slides for wee ones). Parking is free and so is the use of life jackets and inner tubes. Between all the splashing and splishing, head to the green grass picnic area, where tired visitors can recharge with a bite to eat, such as hot dogs available for purchase ($1.50 each).
Boot Camp H20 is not your average water-fitness class. In fact, if it were possible to work up a sweat in a pool, this is where it would happen. Each fast-paced, high-intensity, waterlogged workout combines strength and cardio training to build muscle and burn fat quickly. Led by a qualified instructor, these challenging classes—which take place in an indoor pool—incorporate swimming strokes, water polo, modified plyometrics, water aerobics, and strength exercises.
Watersafe Swim School teaches children of all ages (2 months and up) the Smart Fish Method which begins with the survival roll-and-float technique that enables any children who falls into the water, even fully clothed, to roll and float on their back to save themselves. From their we focus on stroke technique.
Head coaches Nick and Julz Heaney draw from their experiences as professional wakeboarders to unveil the mysteries of the sport for students of any skill level. The two-part private lessons take place back to back on the same day, first on land and then on water, for about one and a half to two hours of hydro-taming instruction, though students can stay for up to four hours. During the land portion, an orientation covers boat and safety basics and sea-shanty harmonizing. Students also practice turning on heel and toe in order to develop the muscle memory needed to control the board on the water. Once the wake mavens deem their apprentices worthy of buoyancy, the lessons take to the water, where either a Pro 09 MasterCraft X-Star speedboat or a team of harnessed dolphins awaits.
Though it's changed hands, equipment, and even names over its 50+ years history, Deep Blue Scuba & Swim Center is a little piece of diving history. The scuba shop started its life as one of the first in the country, quickly came into the public consciousness thanks to a cover story in the February 1956 issue of Skin Diver magazine, and was even owned at one point by a colleague of Jacques Cousteau, Sam Lecocq.
Though a lot has changed since the early days, when Sam patented his “WaterLung” apparatus—the first single-hose regulator—Deep Blue has lead the charge into new technologies. Their state-of-the-art facility houses a heated indoor pool complete with an Eco-Safe filtration center. There, PADI-certified instructors teach landlubbers to breathe underwater in as little as two hours in introductory classes or certify treasure hunters as search and recover divers by throwing gold doubloons in the pool.
Water splashes up against their toes, which are firmly planted on the board. Arm and back muscles tighten as they push themselves forward with their paddles. Thus do novice paddleboarders from Long Beach Adventure Tours ride slowly glide their way across Long Beach, from the shore of the Hotel Maya to the behemoth hull of the Queen Mary. But they aren't the only patrons out for fun in the sun. On the beach nearby, students carrying surfboards rush into the water to catch their first waves, as a certified instructor shouts out encouragement and instructions behind them. Further out in the water, a colorful arched sail cuts through the air, sending the kiteboarder holding the reigns jumping and twisting into the air. Whatever the sport or activity, instructors that live and breathe water activities unleash their expertise onto both novice and experienced students.