Housed at the bottom of the roaring Willamette Falls, which comprises the confluence of Willamette and Clackamas Rivers, eNRG Kayaking's on-water shop and docks serve as the home base for instructional excursions in kayaking, rapids rafting, and standup paddleboarding. Head instructor Sam Drevo also helps those more experienced in watersports to attain a swift-water rescue certification or an ACA instructor certification, required credentials to shake hands with most river deities. Sam watches over all levels of kayakers with experience earned through years of competing, including a ranking as the world's sixth-best freestyle kayaker in 1998 and a first-place win at the Ford Gorge Games' Outdoor World Championships in 2001.
When Sam is not leading tours around the falls or down segments of either river, he guides extended expeditions to other northwestern and foreign waterways. His 16 international aquatic excursions have taken paddlers to rivers on four continents, through countries such as Canada, Costa Rica, Thailand, Laos, China, India, and Botswana. Sam and his staff aim to protect the rivers through eco-friendly exploration and sell a range of kayak models to help others to similarly respect the ecosystem or sneak up and tickle unsuspecting bass.
At Natural High Rafting, they lead guided rafting and fishing trips on more than 12 of Oregon’s scenic and coastal rivers, including the Deschutes and Clackamas. The fishing trips also seek out fish by species, often encountering monsters such as steelhead, trout, and coho and chinook salmon.
Willamette Sailing Club's docks stretch out into the Willamette River, where novice nautical voyagers gain their sea legs on a fleet of small sailboats. Classes of up to 30 spend two hours on the banks with a U.S. Sailing–certified coach as students learn how sails work, the necessary knots, and important terminology, such as "port," "starboard," and "boat." The coach will also cover how to rig and de-rig a boat, as delicate a procedure as rigging a casino game or school-board election. The club curates a fleet of Laser, Opti, and 420 sailboats for the use of its sailing classes.
On the screen before the trainee, an officer is down in the doorway, while down the hall within the scenario, an assailant shields himself behind a hostage. This is just one of the 160 high-definition real-world tactical scenarios—in addition to 180 virtual-range options—that play on the single-screen Threat Alley and 300-degree Threat Arena platforms, immersing marksmen in the kind of training used by law enforcement, the military, and special operatives. Using modified firearms that eschew ammo for an infrared laser and a CO2 system to produce recoil, each computerized simulator calibrates shooters' virtual shots, producing a recap for up to five shooters per round. The tactical scenarios also supply guests with return-fire belts, which deliver a small shock when either "hit" by virtual enemy fire or when one falls for, "Hey, what's that over there?"
Beyond overseeing their simulated tactical training and virtual ranges, Threat Dynamics' instructors—possessing a mix of military, law-enforcement, and NRA-certification backgrounds—lead classes in both armed and unarmed self-defense.
Monty Hawkins has been a coach for over two decades, extending a career on the pitch that began when he was just a kid. From starring as a teenaged phenom at Gladstone High School, captaining Oregon State’s first Division I soccer squad, and earning his professional stripes as a member of Germany’s TSG Tübingen, , Monty ascended through the athletic ranks faster than a rock climber riding a mountain goat. Today, he passes on his expertise to the next generation as co-owner of Tualatin Indoor Soccer. At the arena, stadium lights cast a blinding radiance across the freshly re-turfed, 186’x86’ field surrounded by 10-foot walls and glass, while up to 80 fans track the action in year-round adult and youth leagues. Monty also helps youngsters gear up for the spotlight at kids’ classes that promote not only athleticism, but also fun and friendship.
Building a strong community bond is as important to Salem Sabres’ owner, Rhonda Alexander, as is forming an elite basketball squad. For the team's first season in the American Basketball Association, Rhonda recruited young players who shared her enthusiasm for the sport, but also a passion for helping others. Between practices and games against Pacific Northwest Division foes, Sabres players take time to host community events and volunteer at local schools, performing in anti-bullying skits, playing pickup games with the students, and giving kids expert tips on how to spell "horse" both on and off the court.