While most people’s biggest water-related fear might be sharks, Phil Pektas's was children. Not the kids themselves, of course, but the prospect of teaching them. This terror first surfaced when he was tapped to fill in for the Pre-K instructor at the swim school where he taught. Fortunately, he conquered that fear during the very first lesson and 20 years later is still introducing young people to the necessary skills for ensuring safe, aquatic fun. Pektas and his staff of American Red Cross–, CPR-, and First-Aid- certified instructors use activities, toys, and analogies to improve performance in the pool. With games such as Bird Catcher, kids will learn how to control their breathing and hunt for sub-aquatic fowl indigenous to chlorinated pools.
Though it's miles from the shoreline, Fantasy Surf's wave is ready to ride all day, every day?even when it's raining. The indoor FlowRider system keeps the water flowing constantly to simulate the action of riding a wave on a surfboard or gliding behind a powerboat on a wakeboard. The wave is also friendly enough for small riders, making it a fun outing for the entire family. Even kids as young as five can grip onto bodyboards to navigate the rushing water with the joy and ease of a half-man, half-dolphin. On-site instructors teach safety precautions, the fundamentals of wave manipulation, and nifty tricks to guests based on their individual ability levels.
Imagine for a moment diving into the ocean, resurfacing with not only memories of the sub-aquatic environment, but a full reel of photographs, too. Underwater photography is just one of the many courses offered at Scuba Quest, a family-owned company that has shown students how to safely explore the seas for more than 25 years.
Scuba Quest began as a single shop, but has since spread to six locations across the state of Florida. At each, the company?s NAUI-certified instructors lead refresher courses, beginner classes, and comprehensive certification programs. Rather than climbing into fish tanks while pet-store clerks are on break, Scuba Quest's students can put their new skills to the test in unfamiliar waters during the company?s exotic diving excursions around the globe.
For more than 25 years, The Dive Station has led PADI-certified scuba courses and graduated more than 3,500 students. Their courses range in scope, and include open water certification, advanced open water certification, nitrox diver, rescue diver, and specialty diver courses. They also lead divemaster courses for aspiring pros who wish to take scuba to a professional level, and cave-diving courses for explorers who wish to chart the unknown and possibly glimpse a grizzly bear taking a bath. The Dive Station stays active in the diving community, leading guided diving trips to local spots and exotic international locales such as Puerto Rico, Honduras, and Turks and Caicos.
Operating an outfit of exciting and exotic excursions, Florida Dolphin Tours expands the horizons of visitors and locals with trips that illuminate some of the state's most illustrious elements. The Kennedy Space Center Tour shoots aeronautical aficionados to the fun's furthest reaches with an in-depth look at the wonders of deep space travel. Thrill to the LC-39 observation gantry, which offers a bird's eye view of Space Shuttle launch pads and astronauts prepping kegs of Tang. After strolling under a massive Saturn V rocket, space supporters may gravitate towards a number of entertainment options, including an IMAX showing of Magnificent Desolation: Walking on the Moon 3D presented and narrated by Tom Hanks. Those stopping by the Visitor's Complex may meet a real life astronaut, enjoy the comedic live action show Mad Mission to Mars 2025, or strap in for the Space Shuttle Launch Experience, where guest crew members buckle in for an authentic simulator that replicates the sights, sounds, and intergalactic psych rock soundtracks of an actual shuttle launch.
The King of Wake series glides into its final day at Orlando Watersports Complex, pitting extreme athletes against each other to finish off its first heat of this summer's eight-city tour. During the all-day event, buoyant competitors from around the globe take to the tides in a battle for points, which amass over several months before determining a champion and winner of a novelty-size mustache comb at season's end. Cheers sweep through throngs of onlookers as aerial stunts, rail tricks, and bone-rattling wipeouts crash across the liquid field behind towboats travelling at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. A panel of judges scores each round, advancing only the top performers into the event's finals. Although not included with this Groupon, food stands, music, and stores packed with watersports gear join forces to further entertain fans and cheer up cranky dolphins awakened from their afternoon naps.