In 1960, Sally Strand, a Northshore District High School science teacher, had a dream of sharing her love of skiing with her students. This led her to start the program that would eventually become Mohan Skiing & Boarding. Today, the non-profit ski school services six school districts with lessons, leadership training, and scholarships for any youngsters hoping to learn to ski. Led by veteran skiing gurus Rob Stimmel and John Mohan, the academy?s staff leads instructional expeditions on the snow-swathed slopes of Snoqualmie Summit Central, teaching students of all ages how to carve through powder, zoom down steeps, and use giant icicles as makeshift ski poles. Guests can schedule a private lesson for one-on-one instruction or register for one of their weekly group sessions, which range from weekend lessons for children ages four and a half and up and Thursday executive ski sessions for adult alpinists.
Every winter, Alpine West Ski & Snowboard School peeks through blanketing snowdrifts and evergreen groves at the Summit at Snoqualmie, as it has done since 1980. The chalet is home base for founders Ron and JoAnn Mattila and their staff of instructors, who take every skiing and snowboarding trainee under their ski poles and help them improve their balance and controlled turns. The certified school has something to teach every level of rider, through private lessons and in groups organized by both skill level and degree of horror exhibited at the mention of the word "mogul."
"We speak fluent shred," says Lyon Ski & Snowboard School's website, and it isn't fibbing. In addition to teaching their snowboarding students what "stomping it" means, the instructors cover the fundamentals of beginning, intermediate, and advanced alpine skiing and snowboarding. Their 7-week programs help kids, teens, and adults to master the slopes.
For eight exciting weeks this autumn, children will flock to the fields of Marymoor Park to score some new skills and friendships, with all instruction designed and led by Seattle-native and USSF-certified Jacob Haney. In addition to providing a steady stream of professional instruction and individualized attention, i9 Sports works hard to maintain a positive, supportive environment that forbids negative language from both participating children and adult onlookers, and gives each player equal playing time. Over the course of the eight-week league, children will maneuver themselves through a throng of drills and exercises, sharpening both technical and teamwork techniques. Leagues meet for practice once a week on Saturdays, and are organized by age group to keep young ones safe and feeling confident. Call ahead to register your miniature proto-adult for an eight-week league, or enter your Groupon number during online registration.
Backed by 30 total years of experience that includes teaching kayaking and selling equipment for REI, Barbara Gronseth shares her passion for the outdoors through Issaquah Paddle Sports. Profiled in the Issaquah Press, Barbara and her team?which includes husband George?rent stand-up paddleboards, kayaks, and NuCanoe Kayaks to all ages of outdoorsmen. Since Issaquah Paddle Sports is located within Lake Sammamish State Park near Tibbetts Beach, its protected beach affords visitors a relaxed setting for launching into the lake.
Beyond supplying guests with equipment, Barbara's team also leads programs that range from guided tours to experiences designed exclusively for women and kids. Additionally, the staff arranges lessons in kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding through parent company Kayak Academy. Back at the clubhouse, attendants dispense replenishments such as Clif Bars, SmartWater, and caviar cupcakes.
Before hitting the slopes or the field, savvy sportspeople hit Superior Seconds Gear Exchange. With a rainbow of shiny snowboards crowding the walls and helmets stacked nearly to the ceiling, it looks like the store receives regular shipments from sports gear factories. But Superior Seconds specializes in equipment that's gently used and consigned, inviting customers to buy, sell, or even trade their equipment so they can fatten their sports good collections without fattening their wallets. The shop has a huge selection of items for a wide variety of sports?from summer activities like fishing to winter activities like skiing, to autumn and spring sports like football, bicycling, and throwing pumpkins at dart boards. There are even technicians on-staff who maintain and repair gear.