The two founders of Aquachild Swim School—Scott Launer and Brian Lilburn—came to embrace aquatic education through disparate means. When Scott took his then 2-year-old daughter, Jaya, to swim lessons, he was amazed to see 10-month-old babies floating on their own and began his journey to becoming a youth swim instructor. Brian, who nearly drowned in a backyard pool as a toddler, learned to love the water rather than fear it after his mom enrolled him in swim lessons. Scotty and Brian now share their life-saving knowledge alongside a staff of instructors that are all certified in water safety, first aid, and CPR.
Through Aquachild Swim School’s specially designed lessons, infants as young as 10 months learn to roll from facedown positions to back floats where they can breathe easily, and 1-year-old students begin to swim with their heads down, then twist onto their backs for air. As kids progress, they learn the four major strokes (front crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly), brush up on the basics to keep them confident, or start snorkeling. The instructors lead adult lessons to help older students learn how to paddle at pool parties or triumphantly retrieve their boss’s golf ball from a green’s lagoon during corporate outings.
Since 1984, swim gym has work towards one goal: to maximize pool safety by making people comfortable in the water. Since splashing onto the scene, the facility has schooled more than 45,000 students?most of whom happen to have feet instead of flippers. Coach and director Robert Strauss leads the facility's efforts, having taught in Miami himself since 1973. But these days, swim gym spreads its teachings across a trio of South Florida locations, where students of all ages can boost their floatability during group or private lessons and fitness classes, such as Waterobics and Aqua Zumba.
For more than a quarter century, A&A Beach Services has given beach-goers all the tools they need to get the best rest, relaxation, and enjoyment out of their sandy stay. Thrill-seekers can rent a Yamaha jet ski and zoom over the Atlantic waves. Beach accessories such as umbrellas, cabanas, and chaise lounges furnish a happily lazy afternoon.
The company’s prime spot directly on the 2.5-mile Hollywood Beach Boardwalk makes bike riding an easy and popular sightseeing activity and the best way to outrun an angry hermit crab. Everyone from single riders to families of four can enjoy their sunny jaunt with a bike inventory that includes banana bikes, kid carriers, and two- and four-seat Surreys.
Wading through indoor heated pools, the instructors at British Swim School teach independent swimming skills to learners aged 3 months and older, adhering to a curriculum devised by British national swimmer Rita Goldberg. The 30-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group lessons, containing six or fewer swimmers, elucidate essential techniques for water safety and the importance of speaking fluent manatee. Swimboree (ages 3 months–3 years with parents) and Young Minnows sessions (ages 1–3 years without parents) teach wee swimmers basic water-survival skills, such as the back float. Turtle One and Turtle Two classes focus on freestyle, backstroke, and breaststroke maneuvers, honing more structured swimming skills in older kiddos. British Swim School's Shark courses enhance stamina and speed and teach even more demanding strokes, such as the butterfly and little-known mountain-goat flail. Certain British Swim School classes require parents to participate in the water or to supervise from the pool deck, and adults-only lessons allow grown-ups to refine their own abilities without the supervision of a toddler.
Rob—a licensed Coast Guard captain and PADI-certified master scuba diver trainer—is affectionately called Captain Rob by his clients. His eponymous company helps the uninitiated to explore underwater with PADI-certification classes that focus on open-water dives in open water. From his 27-foot boat, a Grady White called Little Bugga, the captain launches expeditions beneath the waves. His encyclopedic knowledge of the area's ecology, which includes marine life, shines as he explains it in detail to divers. He also uses his decades of experience to teach new boat owners how to fish or captain their vessel through turbulent waters and car washes.
Over the course of nearly a decade of instruction, diving enthusiast and registered nurse Laura Parke has passed along the secrets of the deep to more than 700 divers. Though Laura leads a range of both basic and specialty courses, this deal is redeemable only for the private Discover Scuba Diving course for beginners ages 10 and up. The aqua-bound learning begins with students paddling in the pool to familiarize themselves with the gear and their functions. Once students are able to pat their heads while rubbing their goggles clean, they are carted off to get their fins wet at two shallow, oceanic locations. Tank toters will earn credit upon completion of this class, which can then be applied toward the Open Water Certification course, giving the average biped the chance to finally reunite with the speechless mermaid who got away.