Established in 1977 by the late Phil Cohagan, one of Louisiana's diving pioneers, Seven Seas' legacy lives on through National Association of Underwater Instructors trainer Nancy Cohagan and her two children. Nancy leads a team of experienced, NAUI-certified instructors who train students to NAUI standards through intensive in-water classes. They introduce scuba theory and beginner technique during a basic certification program, which includes sessions in an onsite classroom and a custom-built, heated pool, as well as five dives in local waters. To help students build on these skills, instructors also lead advanced diving courses on topics such as search and recovery, nonpenetration wreck diving, and underwater photography, as well as certification programs for nitrox and rescue divers.
In Seven Seas' dive shop, staff members help customers navigate racks of gear for sale or rental. They offer basic student packages that contain all the pieces needed for class, as well as individual wetsuits, masks, gauges, and accessories from brands such as PADI, NAUI, O'Neill, and ScubaPro. The shop's staff can also repair broken or worn equipment, and proofread messages in bottles before they're tossed out to sea.
Underwater Adventures's owner and veteran diver Mark Smith has spent the past 22 years assembling exclusively NAUI–certified instructors for his team. For the company's classes, they hop into pools or natural bodies of water to help pupils as young as 10 to achieve a diving certification. In addition to teaching recreational scuba and seahorse riding, they also train first responders on underwater search-and-rescue tactics and public-safety diving. Mark is also an instructor for the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Department and has facilitated dive training for several municipal agencies including the Louisiana State Police and multiple fire departments.
The most viewed and attended water-ski tournament in the United States, LA Night Jam rivets show-goers from far and wide with a nighttime spectacle of world-class hydrodynamic dynamos hurtling toward top honors at more than 40 mph, performing watery glissades and midair acrobatics. Gates open at 5 p.m., kicking the night off with the Krewshal wakeboard kicker contest. Ski-jumping participants—including Freddy Krueger, the three-time defending men’s night-jumping champion and non-horror-flick-character—put the whammy on watchers during the Dolphin Wetsuit’s professional freestyle jump competition. Eagle’s freestyle barefoot exhibition amplifies the extremeness of extremities, and freestyle trick skiers perform step-overs, jumps, and flips before waterskiing in cursive. The night culminates in its ultimate event, the LA Night Jam extreme-distance-jump ski finals, winging fast-moving skiers at a ramp and sending them rocketing through the air farther than 200 feet.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 500 calories with each go-round.
With more than 40 years experience in the scuba-diving business, Harry's dedicated scuba instructors guide wannabe wet-suiters through scuba essentials over the course of 90 moistened minutes. For the scuba experience, students need only bring a swimsuit and towel; they'll be outfitted with all the necessary diving equipment on site. Open to divers as young as eight years old, these classes take place in an on-site heated pool, where dive masters teach basic gear functions, underwater breathing, proper safety precautions, and dolphin etiquette. Students will also have free time during the class to flipper about with the instructor.
Seal Sports' stable of sturdy single-person kayaks facilitates lengthy nautical excursions. Each vessel comes equipped with a comfy seat, paddle, and flotation vest. Once deck hands set up shop and draw an anchor tattoo on their foreheads, they can push out from the shoreline to glide atop the placid brackish waters of nearby Lake Pontchartrain or meandering Bogue Chitto River. Kayaks are rented out for periods of 24 hours on weekdays—allowing ample time for cruising, picnics, and general sightseeing. Meanwhile, weekend rentals let clients pick up their boat on Friday, take children around the waterfront on Saturday and Sunday to prove that SpongeBob Squarepants isn’t real, and drop off the equipment on Monday.