Fun floats by air or by sea with watercraft rentals and aerial rides from Flying and Floating Toys. Zip around Lake Lewisville on the 20-foot Malibu Sportster, a competition boat ideal for water skiing, wake boarding, and lakeside high-fives for groups of up to seven people ($100/hour for first two hours with a two hour minimum, $85/each additional hour). Captained by the boat's owner, the Sportster has a tower that pulls boarders and skiers out of the water at a higher angle and 310 horsepower gets them up faster than an alarm clock made of three roosters. Float leisurely in the 22-foot 12-person pontoon boat ($75/hour for first two hours with a two hour minimum, $60/each additional hour, $10 extra/hour for a driver) or grab two friends for a ride on a Yamaha VX110 WaveRunner jet ski ($75/hour for first two hours, $60/each additional hour). Cloudcuddlers can soar up to 1,000 feet with a powered parachute ride ($150+) or lay a lower 100 feet over the water for a 15-minute parasail ($70/person, two person minimum). Fly solo or copilot a one- or two-person kayak around Lake Lewisville or tow kayaks to another lake or comically oversized hottub ($50/half day, $75/day, $225/week). Rental fees include gas, tax, and life jackets, and all boats feature a CD/MP3 player.
As waves churn in the mid-Atlantic, Captain Matt Meadows is hard at work. He has to deliver a sail boat to an eagerly awaiting customer at his destination port in Italy. Though the United States Coast Guard Master occasionally delivers boats domestic and abroad, his main passion is teaching. From his home base on Lake Lewisville, Captain Meadows and his team of skippers lead lessons ranging from intro to sailing classes all the way through advanced sailing certifications, during which they teach students essential sailing lingo, such as starboard and Pirates of the Caribbean. They also instruct on specialty concentrations such as celestial navigation and offshore sailing. They lead beginning and advanced racing lessons for students interested in performance sailing, and they also rent out their schooners for all sorts of occasions.
With 10" sub-woofers and spacious floors, Joe and Toni Watson?s fleet of catamarans were designed with revelry in mind. Licensed party-boat operators often chart routes to Party Cove, though they?ll happily stop anywhere on Lake Lewisville and crank up their vessel?s iPod-outfitted stereos. When parties rage beyond sunset, the boats? lights flicker on, casting a cool glow on the open deck and any stowaway flying fish.
Even though the ocean is six hours away, you can get into a tropical state of mind by boating with Island Bound Adventures. The sailing school's staff teaches students how to sail keelboats, farebeats, and yachts with all the basic techniques recommended by the American Sailing Association. In their coastal navigation classes, meanwhile, they demonstrate a variety of navigational theories for coastal and inland waters, including roping a dolphin and letting it pull you to shore. Their classes take place either on Lake Grapevine or in the islands, while discovery sailing adventures give explorers a taste of the open water.
Bring your Italian-fairytale fantasies to life without enduring the cost and chaos of the international flight or another encounter with the Man on the Scooter. You'll set out from either Gondola Adventures’ floating headquarters or the nearby Omni Mandalay Hotel. A master gondolerino will either sing or play romantic music as he pokes and paddles through quiet canal inlets on to the foamy heads of waterfalls or across the glassy, mirrored-sky expanse of the lake. You'll be plied with chocolates and non-alcoholic sparkling wine. Thanks to Irving's 1888 anti-hoedown law, if you want alcoholic wine you'll have to purchase it from the Omni Mandalay Hotel and have them cork it and bring it down to the boat.
For 40 years, the watersports enthusiasts of High Trails Canoe and Kayak Outfitters have outfitted visitors for outdoor adventures, renting the vessels they lift their name from along with standup paddleboards. In addition to renting gear, the staff also teaches kayaking classes that include beginner and advanced touring courses, as well as how to navigate surging waters such as rapids or a neighbor's hot tub. For sportsmen looking to purchase their own watercraft, High Trails' team stocks a fleet of multisport, sit-on-top, and hybrid kayaks from brands such as Hurricane Kayaks and Heritage Kayaks. An online advice page guides guests through choosing kayaks, encouraging them to consider design, material, and comfort.