The soft light of the setting sun creeps across the water. Above the placid reflection, a paddle boarder floats silently. These quiet moments are what Step Into Liquid's instructors hope to give to their pupils. Along the north and south shores of Long Island, they help groups balance atop boards during lessons or tours, which pass by resplendent coastal homes. The personal watercrafts also serve as floating mats for on-water yoga workouts, which call students to stretch their muscles and strengthen their cores.
Bounce! Trampoline Sports proves that learning to dunk a basketball is not a matter of practice and persistence, but of location. On the slam-dunk court, preteens can achieve the same amount of air time as pro stars, dropping the ball into the net before landing safely on the springy floor. These antigravity zones allow for freeform flips and bounds as well as games and activities. Dodge-ball teams lob soft spheres at each other in midjump, and low-impact aerobics classes condition students through energizing leaps. The center also caters to skateboarders and snowboarders, who can rehearse their tricks without worrying about hard falls or the harsh critiques of a nearby Sasquatch.
During open bounce time, the gym welcomes guests of all ages to test its cushy amenities, all of which are supervised by staff and protected by various safety measures. Group events range from birthday parties to corporate gatherings.
Gleaning attention from media outlets such as Sports Illustrated, ESPN Radio, and the Washington Post, not to mention endorsements from major-league players such as Mariano Rivera, Manny Ramirez, and Mike Bordick, Frozen Ropes has gained a nationwide reputation thanks largely to its unique training model. Coaches from all baseball and softball backgrounds integrate instructional elements ranging from basic strength conditioning to biomechanics and sports psychology, helping students build their skills the same way dentists do—through a scientific approach to relentless drilling. Since 1989, the program has been used to help novices and professional-level players produce more of the company's namesake, the “frozen rope”—slang for a hard-hit line drive or a strong throw. At each of the company's nationwide facilities, instructors must complete Frozen Ropes' comprehensive curriculum—including hours of classroom instruction, shadowing, and mock lessons—before they can even begin teaching students the proper way to eat sunflower seeds.
It's not so rare to end up finding a gift for yourself when you're actually searching for a present for a friend. But for Gabe Haim, the gift he stumbled across was a home brewing kit that served as the cornerstone for a future business. As a beer lover, he was thrilled at the prospect of crafting his own brews. And just like that, Oyster Bay Brewing Company was born. With the help of his friend and partner, Ryan, the two guys embarked upon their beer-brewing journey with a feverish passion. Today, they craft a handful of beers at their microbrewery, offering tastings in-house or from taps around town. The brews range from the hoppy imperial IPA to the wheat ale, a summer sip best enjoyed with both feet in a kiddie pool.
Sportime runs more than 150 tennis courts in the New York area, and it's not unusual to spot John McEnroe at one of them. The famous tennis player helms an eponymous tennis academy at three Sportime locations, whose young participants perfect their serves, master new techniques, and get pro tips from the legend himself.
McEnroe's academy is just one of Sportime's many offerings, however. Along with tennis lessons for adults, most complexes boast multi-sport courts for games such as basketball, volleyball, and Lean On The Net WIthout Falling. Inside group exercise studios, patrons can chisel their stomachs during "Ab-solution" classes, or dance off calories with festive Zumba routines. Most locations host multi-sport summer camps for kids, too, keeping youngsters active and teaching them to work as part of a team.
Most children revel in playing video games, but it's often characterized as the antithesis of getting fit, what with all the endless hours of sitting idly and guzzling soft drinks. However, Fit Fusion Interactive's innovative instructors have managed to seamlessly integrate the two into their high-intensity martial-arts training program. To add an element of excitement and fun into getting fit and learning self-defense techniques, they utilize video-gaming fitness equipment. The stationary game bikes challenge cyclers with simulated on-screen hills, and the video game Dance Dance Revolution motivates dancers to work up a sweat to thumping tunes as they face off against imaginary opponents, who hail from the rival dance crew that served you at the soda-pop fountain last April.
To help their adult clients reach their fitness goals, these instructors also lead fitness classes such as karate classes and Fusion, which blends techniques from kickboxing, Pilates, and boot-camp classes. During Fitness Arcade sessions, students can take a break from all the fit-getting and compete against players from all over the world in the latest video games.
When players achieve a new level of fitness, they earn a colored bracelet to signify that they're moving up in Fit Fusion Interactive's ranking system. It is similar to the belt system in traditional martial-arts classes but made up of 15 levels, and students advance by acing physical challenges, passing tests of health knowledge, and slaying hydras with well-timed kickboxing moves. In addition to the classes and signature training program, kids and adults flock to the center for services such as personal training, parties, and special events.