Live2kite's Richmond and Greenbrae locations facilitate wave-riding instruction while also supplying maritime hobbyists with billowing chutes, sturdy boards, and stylish apparel for kitesurfing, standup paddleboarding, and wakeboarding. Canopies by makers such as Ozone, RRD, and Slingshot float upon air currents, free from the interference of kite-hating trees. Rental gear equips wave riders for hours at sea, and lessons impart kiting and paddling basics as well as more advanced tricks and tactics for surfing atop dolphins.
Rob Spear's love affair with bikes began at the age of 13. Since that sunny day in the 1980s, he’s spent 23 years learning the ins and outs of bikes, having worked with Discovery Masters National Cycling Team and with the University of Washington’s aerodynamic laboratory. At the one-man shop known as Spearhead Bicycle Excellence, he channels those skills into building and repairing bikes so that they function as a seamless extension of their rider, whether through proper fittings that allow for correct posture or tune-ups that keep parts working together correctly. Rob doesn’t keep any bikes in stock, instead opting to build custom bikes for clients who want an impartial expert or require a comically large front wheel.
It turns out that karate isn't just useful for taking down opponents. Goju Karate's instructors use the Japanese martial art as a jumping-off point for classes that teach endurance, meditation, and other noncombat skills. For aspiring black belts who want to learn the traditional skills of karate, there are fast-paced general classes that focus on combination techniques and how to match a black belt with any outfit.
Mikyo Riggs began his martial arts training in 1990, instantly drawn to freestyle fighting before the world knew it as mixed martial arts. In his quest to become the best fighter he could, he studied boxing, muay thai, and enshin karate, and earned a black belt from Ralph Gracie in the grappling art of Gracie Jiu-jitsu. Eventually, though, he realized he didn't want to just use these techniques in the ring, he wanted to help others along the path he'd followed. So, he founded Marin Mixed Martial Arts in 2006.
Today, his school teaches students of all ages a wide range of martial arts—exactly the way Mikyo himself learned. Alongside Jiu-jitsu they teach muay thai kickboxing, kali stick fighting, wrestling, and a women-specific Jiu-jitsu and self-defense class. Yet no matter the class, the staff applies a simple, singular core value: 100% technique. They believe that more than strength or speed, practice always wins, so they encourage their students to bring discipline and focus to their training. Students have responded positively, voting the studio the Best Martial Arts School four times, most recently in the Pacific Sun's 2013 Reader's Choice Awards.
At Breaking Away Bicycles, cycling enthusiasts and mechanics facilitate two-wheeled joyrides with a full line of bikes and accessories, repair services, and custom bike fittings. Apparel from brands such as Hincapie, Louis Garneau, and Castelli prepares cyclists for safe road riding and off-road jaunts through nature. In the repair shop, mechanics service bicycles of all makes and models, inspecting shocks and custom-fitting bikes to conform to the needs of riders or earth-dwelling former mermaids. For those in search of a new ride, Breaking Away Bicycle rents out mountain bikes and sells cycles from brands such as Ellsworth, Raliegh, Blue and KHS.