Lake Norman Scuba earned its five-star instructor development center certification from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors through its commitment to training student divers in the basics and finer points of scuba using proven techniques and ultra-reliable equipment. Scubie newbies can get a taste of the life aquatic with the Discover Scuba class. Students will learn what it's like to breathe underwater using an oxygen tank and to move around in the water with basic scuba gear: mask, snorkel, fins, a buoyancy-compensating jacket and oxygen tank, scuba regulator, and a computer that monitors depth and air supply, ensuring divers' bloodstreams maintain the proper level of early-1980s soft rock.
My Aloha Paddle & Surf, Inc. helps customers navigate the calm shores of Lake Norman with standup paddleboards. A team of certified WPA and PaddleFit instructors teach everything from safety to basic board maneuvers. Their real calling, though, is fitness: this same team challenges clients to build on their basic paddling skills with group fitness classes, personal-training sessions, and even paddle-centric boot camps. Meanwhile, two showroom locations display high-end boards by Amundsen, NSP, and SupLove, and others?all of which are available for purchase.
Since its founding in 1980, Sun & Ski Sports has remained true to its philosophy: “do a few things, but do them better than anybody else.” The shop stocks equipment in five categories of extreme and outdoor activities, including camping, skating, running, bicycling, and water and snow sports. It specializes in these to ensure its merchandise maintains a high standard of quality, and its employees are knowledgeable participants in the sports their department represents.
Bikers can drop off their steeds for tune-ups from certified mechanics who put all brands through the rigors of a 12-point inspection, checking chains and adjusting wobbly pedals and malfunctioning spoke-card motors. While waiting, curious eyes might linger on a North Face two-person tent, a Blackburn Airtower bicycle pump, or a vast selection of shoes from brands such as New Balance and Asics. Men and women can traipse nearly barefoot in the park with Vibram FiveFingers, which offer minimal structural encumbrances for a more natural stride, or cast their feet aside for the new-wheeled prowess that comes with a Fuji SL-1 LE Ultegra performance road bike.
Bow hunting since 1970, Clyde Hartsell knew his passion lay in the sport and what the great outdoors had to offer. While working as an executive at McDonald's, Clyde entered tournament after tournament, honing his skills and surrounding himself with other bowmen at the Tomo-Chi-Chi archery club who shared his enthusiasm for the ancient hunting tools. During training and tournaments, however, Clyde quickly realized the sights and scopes available to him were not up to snuff, lacking the precision a professional archer requires.
After Clyde met his wife, Jean, the two teamed up to start their own archery business and immediately began crafting McKenzie 3-D shooting cards. Now the duo helps equip other bowmen through a retail shop that supplies sights, arrows, rests, and bows. The two also welcome archers to their 18-lane indoor range to practice in a professional environment.
One Christmas when Skinny Wheels founder Eric Phillips was young, his dad bought the entire family 10-speed bicycles for Christmas. Nearly every weekend after, he rode with his brother and father five miles into town for a biscuit breakfast before enjoying a leisurely ride back home. After years of riding for fitness and participating in races, he began a cycling club in Mocksville to encourage casual cyclists to explore Mocksville’s back roads and small-town geography. After finding that the lack of a local bike shop deterred riders who worried about getting a flat or repairing their own bikes, Phillips opened Skinny Wheels Bike Shop to fill that inconvenient gap.
Through the Skinny Wheels store, weekly summer rides, and cycling advocacy, Phillips hopes to nurture a casual cycling culture in Mocksville and encourage those who remain wary of cycling after being bitten in their youth by wild bikes. The shop’s mechanics custom-build bikes and tackle mechanical problems on everything from high-end cycles to department-store bikes. Fuji, Terry, Breezer, and Kestrel bikes cater to men and women traveling on the road, biking over dirt trails, or competing in triathlons, whereas used bikes provide an affordable starting point for new cyclists. Phillips summarizes cycling’s appeal by saying, “You experience life more on a bicycle than in a car,” whether you’re inhaling the fresh breeze over an open field or finding beauty in neighborhoods that a driver may ignore.
Whether you're curious about the marine justice league or wish to erect an underwater general store before the impending kelp rush, an introductory scuba class is an easy and effective way to decide whether submarine life is right for you. In the three-hour Discover Scuba course, one of Blue Dolphin Dive Center's friendly and highly experienced instructors will outfit amphibious-aspirants with all necessary subsurface survival equipment. They'll then carefully dish on the basics of the dive, including safety precautions and basic breathing procedures, and soon after, students will be cast out into the water to explore the aqueous depths on their own, slowly gaining an appreciation for the joys of submerged living and the challenges of underwater archery. Though you won't be certified to scuba dive after one class, the course is a great chance to get acquainted with the equipment and get a feel for a flippered existence.