Though the world around Blank Skate + Snow has changed dramatically since the shop first opened in 1978, the team holds firm to its roots. Committed to carrying only trusted snowboard, long board, skateboard, and surf gear, they strictly avoid less-than-quality equipment, while maintaining a promise to never become a "clothing-skateboard store." To that end, staffers give skateboards and snowboards by Canadian manufacturers top priority in the shop, along with trucks, wheels, bearings, boots, and wax by companies such as Endeavor and Never Summer. They also keep their clients’ snowboards and skis maintained each season by edging boards and waxing away winter stubble.
Vanessa Herle isn't your typical mom. Not only does she manage two local child-care centres, Vanessa owns and operates Family Fitness World, where she draws from her degree in early childhood education and her 12 years of child-care experience to conduct a variety of kids' programs throughout the week. A certified kids' yoga instructor, Vanessa leads youngsters through animal-inspired yoga poses, stretches, and meditation exercises with the aid of stories, toys, and music. Alternatively, she can guide toddlers and infants along with their parents in movement and music exercises. She also hosts a before- and after-school program for elementary-school students within the spacious studio, where she supervises youngsters as they participate in both structured and free-play activities within the large gym and playrooms. Kids can play with toys, work on art projects in the craft room, or venture into the reading room to leaf through child-friendly reading materials.
Soulspin isn't like most fitness studios. For starters, there's the unique lighting that?along with the motivating sound system?makes this place feel like an otherworldly nightclub. At the beginning of each class, students hop onto a bike and start pedalling their way through a workout designed to strengthen and tone in equal measure.
An indoor-cycling workout might seem limited in terms of exercising various muscle groups, but Soulspin hosts more than 10 different classes that focus on different fitness goals. The Sunrise Blast class, for example, shakes off the morning cobwebs with a 45-minute workout, while the Spin Fusion class adds hand weights for an upper-body workout. After showering in the full-service shower and changing room area, students can pick up their kids from the play area or grab a beverage at Glow Juicery before heading out.
Nick Berry and Pat Rigsby founded Fitness Revolution and Athletic Revolution with a strong sentiment in mind: “The fitness industry has failed us.” Disillusioned with the impersonal trainers, unrealistic promises, and intimidatingly buff treadmills they saw as symptomatic of big-box gyms, the duo set out to create a fitness haven focused on individuals. At their centers, trainers work with clients one-on-one in small groups to customize workouts to each one’s highly personalized goals. Eight or 16 students at a time—adults or kids— take part in these small-group personal-training sessions, which serve to combine personal attention with a supportive atmosphere.
The windswept, coastal hillocks of the Old Course at St. Andrews and the seaside cliffs of Pebble Beach both come to life in the aboutGolf Simulators of The Golf Den. Showcasing massive, high-definition screens, the four simulators let golfers—armed with their own clubs or sawed-off curtain rods—play rounds at digital replicas of 40 of the world’s top courses. Players can also work on their swings in the practice modules, which feature systems of high-speed cameras that project the flight of each shot.
Before warping into digital Scotland for a round of 18, golfers can perfect their form with a lesson from one of The Golf Den’s CPGA-certified instructors. During lessons, the staff use V1 Video swing-analysis software to provide visual feedback for each shot, and FlightScope technology to track the ball’s trajectory. Guests in need of replacements for aging clubs or sand wedges that have taken jobs as firewood axes can browse The Golf Den’s inventory of Callaway clubs.
Inside their "no-frills" training facility, CrossFit Machine Shop owners Angie McNally and Dean Eckel merge several fitness certifications with a shared drive to redefine both their own and their clients' physical limits. Their emphasis on functional CrossFit actions rejects complex equipment for a challenging-yet-common-sense mix of core work, plyometrics, power lifting, and circuit training. During these intense workouts—as well as personal-training services and fitness classes—Angie and Dean stress proper form and a disciplined state of mind for sculpting tougher physiques and avoiding deep-fried sticks of butter. They blast music to spur reps onward amid walls bearing colourful graffiti; however, their shop's industrial interior and lack of kettle-bell-shaped whoopee cushions speak to the duo’s no-nonsense methods.