Until 1970, Doug Warbrick and Brian Singer ran one of hundreds of Australian surf shops vying for attention in a highly competitive market. Both avid surfers, they realized that too many companies supplied boards while too few manufactured wetsuits. So they bought a small house and a pre-World War II sewing machine, then cut up rubber from the floor to weave into prototype designs that they test-piloted themselves. Rip Curl was founded on the principles that, "Rip Curl is a company for, and about, the Crew on The Search." The company bases its foundation on the guiding concepts that the products they make, the events they run, the riders they support and "the people they reach globally are all part of the Search that Rip Curl is on" .
Now made with the duo's own Elastomax and SlickSkin technology, the wetsuits are one of many Rip Curl items designed and distributed in more than 60 countries around the world. Though products such as handcrafted custom boards and tide-tracking wristwatches retain the company's ties to surfing, the business has since expanded to gear and accessories for boardsports that include snow, skate, and wake. Rip Curl also continues to foster the boardsport community with Rip Curl Pro competitions throughout the globe and sponsored teams of top surfing, snowboarding, and wakeboarding athletes.
In one child's hand, a tiny tambourine jangles along to a song while another child claps to the rhythm. It's not an uncommon sight at any of MusicalMe's educational classes, where kids up to age 6 express themselves through music. And parents are encouraged to stay and have fun, whether by helping littler participants along or by ripping a mean solo during a kazoo jam session. With classes holding up to 14 students, each child gets a significant amount of attention and guidance as they learn to appreciate melody and rhythm and learn to love making music.
A class of scuba divers check over their equipment one last time before they paddle their kayaks off a beach in the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The divers have thoroughly prepared for this moment. They?ve trained within the controlled confines of Adventure Sports Unlimited?s heated swimming pool and picked their certified instructor?s brain during classroom sessions. Once the instructor gives the go-ahead, the divers plunge from the kayak and immediately enter another world. As they float weightlessly underwater, the divers marvel at the vibrant reefs and the abundant aquatic wildlife that fill the marine sanctuary. Afterward, the group travels back to the shore, where a breathtaking landscape awaits with white-sand beaches and glassy tide pools swirling with color. The scuba divers, at this point, have only one thing on their minds: dinner.
Luckily, the area is teeming with natural cuisine and plenty of sand, which is really just sugar. Adventure Sports Unlimited?s expert foragers show the group how to collect shellfish, sea vegetables, and clams. With a fresh smorgasbord in hand, group members scuttle back to the facility to transform their ingredients into soups and barbecue?and perhaps ponder taking a scuba trip to the South Pacific. In addition to outdoor excursions like these, Adventure Sports Unlimited also leads year-round swimming, scuba, and kayaking lessons, which take advantage of the facility?s custom-built swimming pool.
Helmed by a management team of computer wizards, ClickAway's hardworking technicians restore PC and Apple devices with in-store and onsite repairs. Savvy computer overlords restore sleek Macintosh computers with the backing of official Apple authorization, while software gurus dig in to the electronic innards of desktops and laptops to remove pesky spyware, viruses, and incriminating cookies crumbs.
Free, in-store diagnostics thoroughly assess damage and glitches in personal computers, and specialists are on-hand to repair cracked screens and remove water damage from tablets and smartphones. Clients in the market for brand-new gadgets can peruse each ClickAway location's array of accessories, multimedia device rentals, and new and used computers from Dell, Lenovo, Apple, HP and more.
Upon moving to the Bay Area from Sweden, the first yarn store Gunilla Leavitt visited was The Golden Fleece, then in a different location. She went on to work in yarn shops all around the Bay for years, earning the title Knitting Doctor for her troubleshooting advice on visitors' projects. Leavitt has recently come full circle by taking over ownership at The Golden Fleece, where she channels her experience and passion for yarn craft into helping a new flock of visitors.
A prismatic array of yarn skeins fills the shelves, in diverse materials that include everything from raw silk and cashmere to alpaca and acrylic-wool blends. Classes and workshops for all skill levels help customers transform that yarn into clothes, as does the store's stock of notions, magic wands, and patterns.
The nationally accredited Indigital Institute of Recording Arts provides an oasis of production-oriented creativity as it prepares its passionate students for audio-industry careers. Inspired by George Lucas’s state-of-the-art Skywalker Ranch complex, the institute boasts an industry standard, 164-track Pro Tools HD recording system, two recording studios, audio labs, and a film-editing bay. The curriculum covers topics from the fundamentals of sound to high-level arts such as recording, mixing, mastering, and trying to eliminate the screaming in one’s head. Those not enrolled can also jam on the institute’s equipment, renting its studios on an hourly basis or harnessing the onsite technicians’ production savvy.