Sports in Riverside Heights

Select Local Merchants

Fitness studios often work hard to cultivate a relaxing setting. They might install floor-to-ceiling windows, play soothing music, or enforce a strict policy against flash mobs. But Urban Kai ramps up the relaxation to the next level. Their fitness classes take place on the Hillsborough River, where yoga groups stretch and bend atop stand-up paddleboards. The aquatic setting surrounds exercisers in waterfront architecture and open skies, which take on brilliant hues at sunrise and sunset. Dolphins, turtles, cats, and other marine life make occasional appearances as well.

Urban Kai was founded by Michael Conlee and his wife, Aimee. Mr. Conlee originally started paddle boarding as a hobby, but he quickly realized that his new pastime had toned his physique. Mr. Conlee started Urban Kai, and—along with his fellow instructors—he now teaches several on-water fitness classes. Urban Kai's yoga-on-water class, for example, helps participants build strength and flexibility, while warrior-zen workouts combine paddleboard exercises with on-land workouts. Mr. Conlee and his team also take groups on long-distance paddleboard tours.

2305 N Willow Ave.
Tampa,
FL
US

The BRAG in BRAGNetwork is actually an acronym, one that stands for Business Resource Assistance Group. Once you decode its name, the organization's mission is no surprise: it helps connect local consumers with stellar local merchants to promote worthy causes. Periodically, the team spotlights a specific industry, too. With a current focus on the health and wellness industry, the team hosts a 60-day weight loss challenge that blends weekly workouts and perks from local merchants. A current partner is the YMCA, yet the challenge doesn't require knowing the YMCA dance to participate.

110 E Palm Ave.
Tampa,
FL
US

The crew at Kayak Valet has one mission: to get more people out and enjoying the local waterways and scenery via kayaks or paddleboards. Since storing, hauling, unloading, reloading, and potty training their own kayaks can deter people from boating, the team sets up shop to cancel out such deterrents. They take care of nearly every task, bringing all equipment necessary for a leisurely paddle on puddles of all sizes right to the launch site. The crew will pick up and deliver equipment to popular launch sites within Hillsborough, Pinellas, and Manatee Counties. To keep the aquatic adventure accessible, the shop rents only kayaks and standup paddleboards that can be piloted by anyone, experienced or not. Additionally, they give visitors tips on paddling and safety techniques and sell new kayaks, paddleboards, and accessories.

1001 North Boulevard
Tampa,
FL
US

Just two days after the Thanksgiving table is cleared, the River Blast and Burn OFF the Pie 5K will offer the Tampa community a chance to, well, burn off the pie. Runners and walkers will descend upon downtown for the early-morning jaunt, which will begin with an optional yoga session at 7:30 a.m. Those who participate in the race can enjoy unlimited amounts of pride after crossing the finish line, but they'll also receive custom finishers medals and backpacks to store all their sweat in as proof of their attendance. Extra festivities will turn the brief race into a full-day outing, including a fitness expo, live music, and food and beer vendors.

600 N Ashley Dr.
Tampa,
FL
US

Extreme athletes banded together to design Spartan Races' intense courses orchestrated over standardized distances, each strewn with natural and man-made obstacles to test mind-body fitness, resilience, stamina, and strength, designed to leave participants exhausted and exhilarated. In waves of 200, runners collect smudges and stains as they perform box jumps, haul heavy sandbags, and juke feral linebackers. Depending on where in the world they're participating, the course may be as short as 3 miles or, for extremely practiced athletes, as long as a full marathon.

4201 North Dale Mabry Highway
Tampa,
FL
US

From the time Larry McGrath took up the game at the age of 13, golf has remained an abiding passion and steadfast pursuit for him. It wasn’t until 1992, however, that McGrath found the single-plane swing system, an approach to the swing that eliminates superfluous body rotation, including all superstitious pre-shot backflips. He became a certified teacher of the system in 1999, and today he teaches students how to keep their swing on a single path, starting with the proper grip and a firm setup. They’ll then take an abbreviated backswing and, at impact, return their arms, wrists, and hands to the same position they were in at the setup. Ideally the club will then continue in the intended direction of the ball’s flight path through the finish.

3435 W Spruce St
Tampa,
FL
US